Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cihan Okuyucu on Rumi, his piety hiding in divine love

Cihan Okuyui, author of
Rumi, Biography and Message
"Rents . . . increased excessively..." That statement strikes dread in the hearts of New Yorkers.  Fortunately the rents referenced were in Baghdad in the early 1200s. That's when Rumi and family fled Balkh in northern Afghanistan. Mongols descended as Mongols were want and destroyed Balkh and other cities, hence a westward migration to Baghdad, hence a spike in rentals. Rumi's family caravaned to Hejaz, which might have been cheaper than Baghdad, but who knows, a city's a city.

His father and relatives were scholars and religionists, and he was well educated well into his adult years. A teacher, Burhanaddin, stepped in after his father's death and sent him to Aleppo and Damascus to perfect disciplines of learning, culture, art, Koranic study, mysticism over a period of nine years; then insisted on three 40-day ascetic retreats after which Rumi's heart was "awakened to divine secrets."* I don't doubt it.

Barhanaddin left Kayseri where he died. His tomb is still the most-visited n the city. I can't tell you where Kayseri is, but I will visit the tomb of Rumi's teacher in meditations. Students visited Rumi.  He had "divine love in him but his love was hidden in his piety."*  Later, "his piety would hide in his love."*

*I'm reading Rumi, Biography and Message (The Light, 2007) by Cihan Okuyucu, who teaches Turkish lit at Fatih University.

1 comment:

  1. Like 'love dogs' answering the call
    this post is precisely what the sleet said
    this morning as I rose from a tossed about bed
    to examine Liminal states of being
    in the vast archive of the web.

    Thank you for posting.