Rumi’s Life Story: Genesis of his Poetry

In one of the engagements some community members mentioned that they were not familiar with Rumi’s story so here’s a quick snap re Shams and his impact on Rumi ... it changed Rumi’s life forevermore … and we are all relishing the results of that profound change 800+ years later ! There is so much to Rumi & Shams so will share this story over several posts :-)

Rumi was a respected scholar and spiritual leader of his community and when he met Shams he realized that, in Shams, he was “meeting” That which he had been reading and studying about … their 1st “meeting” is a fascinating encounter (several versions exist). Interesting to note that Shams sought out Rumi - yet another amazing story.

From this meeting began their deep Sohbet and they were lost in this for extended periods … so much so that some people in the community became jealous. Shams left for a while and then came back and again their Sohbet began (or their Friendship) ... shortly thereafter one night Shams was called away and he never returned! One version says that one of Rumi’s son was responsible for killing Shams.

Of course Shams disappearance left Rumi utterly bereft with grief, he was devastated ... and he searched for Shams - everywhere … and in the midst of this extreme grief one day Rumi realized that he was already that which he was seeking … that he did not have to look for The Friendship because he was The Friendship itself. An interesting side story about this moment is that it was also the genesis of what became known as “whirling.”

This was a profoundly transformative moment or experience for Rumi - it made him “madly drunk” with The Divine and the thus began the uttering of his extraordinary poetry! … two different persons scribed for the Love Drunk Rumi … the scribe names sometimes appear in the poems (e.g., Husam). Rumi did this for the last 30 years of his life (I might be off in the # of years) !

Lot more to come … as we continue our dance together here :-)

Above story is an expression of what I have absorbed over the years from my reading of various translators, e.g., Coleman Barks, Jonathan Star, Shahram Shiva, and several others.

#Rumi #RumiLIfeStory #Shams #RumiShams

Image: by Kıvanç Niş under CC BY 2.0
(, via Wikimedia Commons
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