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Rumi's Life

Jelaluddin Rumi was born in the region today known as Afghanistan in 1207. His family fled the Mogul invasion to Konya, Turkey where he spent most of his life.

Rumi following in his fathers ancestoral line became a scholar until his meeting with the wandering dervish, Shams of Tabriz. Of this meeting Rumi said, "What I had thought of before as God, I met today in a person."

After Shams, Rumi's other strong influences were Saladin Zarkub, the goldsmith, and later his scribe, Husam.

His poetry filled with a longing to be with the Friend, Him, or You. Are these mysterious pronouns the names of God, Shams, or who? This is for you, the reader to ponder.

Rumi founded the Mevlevi Order of dervishes, better known as the Whirling Dervishes of Sufism. Through a turning movement, body posturing, mental focus, and sound, the dervish achieves ecstasy through union with God.

Once a secret society, today the Mevlevi tour the world allowing audiences to witness the ceremony of their sacred dances and music.

It is also interesting to note that similar to other major religions, Islam frowns upon dancing and using words such as "gamble," "drunk," and "wine" which you find throughout Rumi's and other great Islamic and Sufi poets writings. Obviously they mean "drunk" on God's grace, but that's not to say they wouldn't be outcast by religious fundamentalists today.

More about Rumi (new window).

Joseph Campbell*, the renowned religious scholar has said that the major problem of all religions has been and continues to be, to mistake the the literal or historical fact for the metaphor. Much of what is written is meant to be read and interpreted as metaphor, not fact.

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Rumi-Poet of the Heart
Rumi - poet of the heart (VHS Video)
(English, Poetry, Music)

A beautiful and inspiring film about one of the greatest poets of all time. This video provides an additional spiritual dimension to the often passionate words in Rumi's poetry.

(ToRumi's poetry)

Rumi: The Wings of Love (VHS Video)
Director: Shems Friedlander
* Format: Color
* NTSC format (US and Canada only)

Other Rumi

Rumi, The Great Persian Poet (Poems, Books, CDs)

The Mystical Poems of Rumi A.J. Arberry

Mathnawi of Jalaluddin Rumi IV , R.A. Nicholson

In Praise of Rumi (In Praise of), HOHM Press


Kabir, Poems translated by Robt. Bly

The Alchemy of Love and Sex
by Lee Lozowick, Georg Feurestein

The History of Sex
The History Channel

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*Joseph Campbell
Mr. Campbell has written many books on cultures and religions. He was interviewed by Bill Moyers for a the PBS special The Power of Myth (available: book, cassette, video). He was a consultant on the movie StarWars because George Lucas wanted to correctly represent the character archtypes in the movie.

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The word Baraka means "blessing" in several languages; watching this film, the viewer is blessed with a dazzling barrage of images that transcend language. Filmed in 24 countries and set to an ever-changing global soundtrack, the movie draws some surprising connections between various peoples and the spaces they inhabit, whether that space is a lonely mountaintop or a crowded cigarette factory. Some of these attempts at connection are more successful than others: for instance, an early sequence segues between the daily devotions of Tibetan monks and Whirling Dervishes, finding more similarity among these rituals than one might expect.

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