Posted on 13th Feb 2018
Rumi was born on the Eastern shores of the then Persian Empire on September 30, 1207, in the city of Balkh in what is now Afghanistan and finally settled in the town of Konya, in what is now Turkey.
Today 3 countries claim him as their national poet Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan. However none of these countries as they are today actually existed back then. Iran was called the Persian Empire, a monarchy, and it was quite larger than it is today. It included all of today's Iran and Afghanistan also parts of Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Iraq. Turkey had not yet formed then and Afghanistan was part of the Khorasan Province in the old Persian Empire.
Rumi's life story is full of intrigue and high drama mixed with intense creative outbursts. Rumi was a charming, wealthy nobleman, a genius theologian, law professor and a brilliant but sober scholar, who in his late thirties met a wandering and wild holy man by the name of Shams. In Rumi's own words, after meeting Shams he was transformed from a bookish, sober scholar to an impassioned seeker of universal truth and love.
Rumi and Shams stayed together for a short time, about 2 years in total, but the impact of their meeting left an everlasting impression on Rumi and his work. After Shams was extinguished by Rumi's youngest son (an honor killing), due to events that are explained further down on this page, Rumi fell into a deep state of grief and gradually out of that pain outpoured nearly 70,000 verses of poetry. These thousands of poems, which include about 2000 in quatrains, are collected in two epic books named, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi and Masnavi (Massnavi, Mathnawi).
Please read topic 5, "Rumi & Shams, the Untold Story" below for a more in-depth biography of Rumi and an overview of his unconventional friendship with Shams.
It seems that the universe brought these two opposing characters (a wealthy nobleman and a poor, wondering, wild holy man) together to remind us that it is impossible to know where your next inspiration may come from or who might aid furthering your growth. For Rumi life of mystics is a "gathering of lovers, where there is no high or low, smart or ignorant and no proper schooling required."
You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop Rumi
Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. Rumi
Come, seek, for search is the foundation of fortune: every success depends upon focusing the heart. Rumi
Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being. Halfheartedness does not reach into majesty. Rumi
Lovers dont finally meet somewhere. Theyre in each other all along. Rumi
Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you? Rumi
You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life? - Rumi