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Life of a Saint

The Venerated Master Rumi (vegetarian): Poetic Lover of the Divine

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A venerated enlightened Master, humanist, poet, and theologian, Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi Rūmī, known simply as Mawlana in Persian and around the world as Rumi, embodies universal love and understanding that is unfettered by the bounds of tradition. Master Rumi’s early spiritual education was under the tutelage of His father Bahauddin, a professor of religious sciences. When the great scholar Sufi Burhaneddin al-Tirmithi arrived in Konya, Rumi studied under him for nine years. His training was based on the foundations of Sufism: divine love, worship, and consciousness of God with humility, austerity and abstinence, piety, and tolerance. Rumi learned that to serve others is to serve God. At the age of 37, Master Rumi met Shams al-Din of Tabriz, an enlightened Sufi mystic and Master Dervish who significantly influenced Rumi’s view and path in life. With Shams’ guidance, Rumi was able to awaken His deeper metaphysical nature. Master Rumi soon started His insightfully marvelous work, the Masnavi (Mathnawi), consisting of 26,000 verses of divine poetry. Master Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry, and dancing as a path for reaching God. He believed music could help devotees to focus their whole being on the Divine, and to do this so intensely that the soul was resurrected. It was from these inspirational experiences that the practice of Whirling Dervishes developed. Master Rumi taught that “Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians should be viewed with the same eye.” In the last few years of Master Rumi’s sojourn on Earth, He compiled His six-volume epic work Masnavi, as well as the Persian prose work called “Fihi Ma Fihi,” meaning “It is What It Is.” These timeless works continue to provide precious wisdom and guidance to readers worldwide. Master Rumi’s poetry expresses the secret of existence: God is absolute Love, and we must become that same Love in order to recognize God, to know God, and to get closer to God. With deep gratitude for His compassionate, uplifting teachings, we conclude today’s program with a beautiful reminder from Master Rumi: “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.”
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