Article Index
Mevlana Jalaleddin Rumi
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
All Pages

 

Overwhelmed by the profundity of this answer, Shems fell to the ground senseless. After Mevlana helped him up, they embraced as long lost lovers and without a word, set out arm in arm for Mevlana's house at medrese. The townsfolk looked on in confusion and astonishment as their dignified Mevlana walked away with this disheveled strange dervish. 

It was Shems who kindled the spark of passion for the Divine in Mevlana. Mevlana's whole life of book learning, canonical views, and conservative behavior changed radically as the burning of Divine Love swept through him. A steady husband and father, Mevlana had taught in the medrese (a center of learning similar to a university of the time), given judgements on religious matters, and drawn a following. Now he was completely absorbed with Shems, stayed in seclusion with him for months, and humbled himself in his attempt to meet his every wish. 

Mevlana's students and disciples couldn't bear to see this person they held in such high esteem submitting himself to an unknown, aging dervish who was uninterested in endearing himself to anyone except Mevlana. Soon their displeasure turned to actual threats against Shems, and one day he disappeared. Because those followers were unable to comprehend the meaning and depth of the relationship between Mevlana and Shems, they were unprepared for Mevlana's reaction to Shems' disappearance. Instead of returning to his former ways and relationships, Mevlana became crazed with longing and spent days and nights whirling in the Sema (2) that Shems had given him a taste for, and feverishly reciting love poems that sprang from the anguish and longing within him. 

When it was learned that Shems was in Damascus, Mevlana's oldest son Sultan Veled set out to try to bring him back. Now Mevlana was overcome with anticipation--He was returning! The one who had revealed to him Divine Love in man ! The on who had brought him to Divine Love! The one who had become Divine Love! Poetry, music, Sema ecstasy! 

And for some time after Shems' return things went well. The malcontents were remorseful and on their best behavior , Mevlana gave a young woman of his household to Shems in marriage , and the loving relationship between Shems and Mevlana reached new depths as Mevlana matured in this Sea of the Divine . 

The distinction between lover and beloved was being obliterated . In response to Sultan Veled's asking Shems to give him what he had given to Mevlana , Shems replied that nothing of himself , no Shems , existed any longer . He told Veled that he could find Shems only in Mevlana now . As for Mevlana , through his poems we see him losing his individual identity and acknowledging Shems as the embodiment of the Divine in which he had 'drowned' . 

But things were not to continue like this for long . Shems' young wife died rather suddenly and the former agitators used this as an excuse to openly disparage Shems , and actually threatened his life , saying the young woman had been unable to bear such a husband and had pined away in sadness . Their menacing became bolder until one night when Shems left the room where he was chatting with Mevlana and stepped outside in response to a call , the threats were brought to realization . Nothing was found of Shems but a few drops of blood on the threshold . Though Mevlana searched for Shems as at his first disappearance , this time there was to be no delivery from the loss . 

One time they had asked Mevlana to describe his life and he replied , " I was raw . I cooked . I burned . " Now was the time of burning , of reaching total unity , of realizing Shems within himself . They were not two individuals but rather two bodies with one soul . The longing , the anguish that Mevlana was living were essential . Shems was not anywhere but within Mevlana himself ; he had merely been a bodily form presenting to Mevlana the reflection of that Divine within himself .