Rumi and Shams

My eyes are small, and yet they see enormous things.

I am so small I can barely be seen. How can this great love be inside me?

Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind. He was born on September 30th, 1207 CE at Balkh in the north-eastern provinces of Persia, present day Iran. Rumi was introduced into the mystical path by a spiritual vagabond named Shams, known as the "Bird". Rumi's son, describes the first meeting of the two, and thejr subsequent friendship: "Shams appeared, suddenly, and found Rumi. He spoke to Rumi of the philosophical heights of spiritual love. He drew back the curtain of esoteric devotion, bringing light to Rumi's world. The shadow of Rumi was dissolved in his light. At first all his followers were guided by Rumi, and drew from him spiritual strength. Now, Rumi was guided by Shams. Together they attained a vision of the graces of God. In one of his lyric poems, Rumi exclaims: "it was the time before dawn. In the sky rose a shining moon, it rose and stared at me. it hunted me as the hawk hunts its prey , rising with it into the sky. Rising with me into the heavenly spheres, it drew my soul from its human frame. In that sphere of spiritus, I was blind to all but the moon which bore me upwards."
Shams was indeed an intriguing man. It is said that Shams had a gaze that captured the soul as if he had mastered the unknown. Shams and Rumi would spend days in deep state of meditation. Witnesses claimed the two bodies would be present, but the souls would depart into another world. One night a knock on the door broke the conversation between the two men. "They have come to take my life" Shams said to Rumi. Shams walked out of the house. He was found dead a few days later. Rumi’s love and his bereavement for the death of Shams who was probably murdered by Rumi's son, found their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems, Divan Shams. Divan Shams is a masterpiece of wisdom and eloquence. It is often said that Rumi had attained the level of a "Perfect Master" and as such, he often dwelled in the spiritual realms that were rarely visited by others of this world. He attained heights that were attained by only a few before him or since. Rumi is also the author of six volume didactic epic work, the Masnavi. Masnavi is the best known work of Rumi, and he himself defined his work as a work of destruction, destruction of the worldly for the sake of embracing the Divine. He warns the reader in advance to be prepared to let go of everything.
Hazrat* Shams Tabrizi's statue outside
of his final resting place in Khoy, Iran
Mollana** Jelaluddin Rumi died on December 17, 1273. He remains alive in the hearts of many. His is the message every man and woman can understand. He speaks on our behalf. The words and feelings we often cannot express on our own is spoken for us through Rumi. Today, Rumi is the best selling poet in the West, thanks to the brilliant translations of Mr. Coleman Barks. Although non-Farsi speaking reader can enjoy the beauty of Rumi's poetry, It is in Farsi that the poetry gains heights reaching the heavens. Rumi's selections of words and placement of those words are beyond anything a mortal man could have thought of. Those who deeply read Rumi in Farsi, experience a feeling of out of body experience. With Rumi in your soul, you will never be lost.

"Why should I seek? I am the same as
He. His essence speaks through me
I have been looking for myself!"

* Hazrat is an honorific title used to honor a unique and special person. The literal translation of Hazrat means "Great Presence".
** Mollana, meaning My Lord or My Master, is the name Rumi is referred to in Iran and other Eastern parts of the world.

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