Who is Rumi?

Maulana who is also known as Rumi, was a 13th century Afghan-born philosopher and Sufi mystic of Islam. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him and to his disciples, all religions bear the same truth. Looking with the same eyes on Muslims, Jews, Christians, and believers of all other faiths, Rumi's tolerant teachings have appealed to men and women of all sects and creeds. Rumi, without any doubt, is the most eminent Sufi poet Afghanistan has ever produced. Today, in this world full of miseries, wars, injustices, and materialism, the spiritual influence of Rumi is being felt by people of diverse beliefs and ideologies. Rumi's major work, generally considered to be one of the world's greatest books, is his Masnavi Maanavi (Spiritual Couplets of Inner Meaning). His Table-talk (Fihi Ma Fihi-In it what is in it), and Letters (Maktubat) also contain important parts of his Sufi infused mystical teachings.

Save pure-souled Shams-e Tabriz
None ever was drunken
and intoxicated
and distraught with Divine.

The culturally rich Afghan legend has it that Diwan-e-Shams-e-Tabriz, Rumi's entirely dedicated poems to his teacher, Shams Tabrizi, is an interesting story of a renowned Teacher becoming devoted Disciple of one of his students: a wandering Sufi from Tabriz named Shams al-Din joined the circle of disciples gathered around Rumi. After the first sermon, Shams stopped Rumi in the street, asking, "What is the purpose of wisdom and knowledge?" With calm confidence Rumi answered, "To follow and reach the Prophet." "This", Shams countered, "is commonplace." "What then is the purpose of knowledge?" Rumi asked back. "Knowledge", Shams replied, "is that which takes you to its source, for as Sana'i said, 'Ignorance is far better than knowledge which does not take you away from yourself.'" it was at that moment that Rumi instantly recognized the profound spiritual superiority of Shams Tabrizi and immediately became his disciple.

Shams took Rumi into a secret retreat for 40 days during which both men meditated in complete silence, not speaking even a word to each other....When Rumi emerged from this remarkable retreat, he was a transformed human being. For Rumi, Shams had become his own true Self.

When suddenly one day Shams Tabrizi disappeared, and it was rumored to have been murdered, Rumi was inconsolable. He renounced his teachings and began to cultivate the unique form of ecstatic trance that gave the Sufi Order the name Sema or 'whirling dervishes'. Moving in a profound state of divine unity and inner peace, Rumi would spontaneously utter Ghazal poems devoted exclusively to Shams Tabrizi. His disciples quickly scribbled them down or memorized them on the spot, all of which later became the magnificent Diwan-e-Shams-e-Tabrizi, dedicated to his teacher, Shams Tabrizi.

Rumi's Teachings

Once more I rose above the heart, reason and the soul;
The beloved appeared in my midst;
We rose above the midst.
We turned from Faana and plunged into Baaqa.
We searched the sign less and rose above the symbols

The Farsi words of Fana, Baqa and Waham form the most essential methods of profound meditations in Rumi's Sufi Order: Fana means one's complete removal from the personal sense of 'Oneself', and Baqa is one's finding total integration in profoundest meditation.

Without a strong and consistent love, a human being is the victim of opinion and images. Reason stands against sensuality and images, but pure intuition directs the untainted reason. Reason gives knowledge, but love provides certitude.

Naafsor False Ego

Rumi teaches us that our worst enemy is hiding within ourselves, and that enemy is our Naafs or false ego. Rumi describes our heart as a mirror. Naturally, this mirror becomes dusty, and we have to wipe it to take the dust off. In a mystical way, Rumi is effectively instructing us the way of wiping this mirror so the reflection may fall more clearly, equaling wiping our hearts from the fakery and dualities that are surrounding us. Therefore, Nafs/False Ego equals any inclination which springs from disregard of love, harmony, beauty, and being unconcerned with well being of all others.

Other Farsi word is Maan, or I. Rumi's "I" is different than the "I" we all know, I want/I know/I have.. in Rumi's vision, Maan/'I' which holds everything to oneself is crushed and thrown away. That 'I' is no longer there. Thus, the real "I" is found in Him, all names are His name, all forms are His form, and the whole cosmos is His own being.

Relationship between man and God on the one hand, and between man and man, on the other, and the various stages of man's evolution in his journey towards the Ultimate. Rumi challenges us to ponder upon and decipher the mysteries: Why the light has been associated with darkness? Why God has allowed the bad things with good things? And if God is within us, then is there two of us or there is just one?

Though Rumi used the language of one religious tradition, Islam, he rose above religions and sectarian viewpoints through his unique mystical vision and Sufi awareness which clearly defied the categories and "Nomenclatura" of established schools and religious doctrines...

Who is a Sufi?
A Sufi is a seeker, the enlightened one, a friend, a Dervish, a Faqir, a Qalander, a lover of God, or a mystic. A Sufi is the one who moves towards mystical union with God by means of love and devotion. A Sufi believes the only way to become perfect is to purify oneself.

Purification of Self in Sufism:
In Sufism, the stages of purification are:
1. Self becoming emptied
2. Self becoming illuminated
3. Self becoming adorned
4. Self-having-passed-away.

The Sufi, through these stages of purification, travels the inner way, the spiritual path. Having traveled this path, the disciple becomes a perfect being and arrives at the threshold of the Divine Truth. In that true center for higher education, there are no teacher, and a Sufi's only guide will be the Absolute Love or God. Here, Sufi's only teacher is Love, his/her books are Love, and his/her being is Love.

Brief Chronology of Sufism Terms:

Dervish: "Novice" or one who "wills" to follow a spiritual teacher; also called Faqir, the "Poor one" or world renouncing mystic.
Salik: "wanderer" who may follow many different teachers seeking personal goals, different states or levels of spirituality.
Murshid: Spiritual guide, teacher and example whose presence is an inspiration to spiritual development, maturity and illumination of a novice Sufi.
Pir: Sufi master of traditional Sufi teacher-student relationships.
Khanaqah: Meditation and prayer center for collective practice of spiritual disciplines.

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Thank you for visiting Maulana Rumi Online, a blog dedicated entirely to the life, works and teachings of Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi better known simply as Rumi here in our beloved America. Just as a memory refresher, all articles, e-books, images, links and reading materials listed in this Blog are solely for Educational purposes. This Blog is designed and maintained by yours truly, your comments, critiques or suggestions are quite welcome and greatly appreciated. As for my own Rumi Translations, you are welcome to copy and use them as long as it's not for commercial purposes. For best viewing, please try this Blog on Google Chrome Browser. This is a very long Blog though, so please make sure to use the Scroll To Top or Bottom Buttons at the left side, or Back To Top Button at the bottom right corner of your screen for smooth navigation. If you have any question, comment, critique or suggestion, please contact me by clicking the Contact Box embedded at the right middle corner. As Rumi would say, "Come, come, whoever you are, come back again.."!

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