About The Divan
The “Divan” is the inspiration of Rumi’s middle-aged years. It began with his meeting Shams-i Tabriz, becoming his disciple and spiritual friend, the stress of Shams’ first disappearance, and the crisis of Shams’ final disappearance. It is believed that he continued to compose poems for the Divan long after this final crisis– during the composition of the Masnavi.
The Divan is filled with ecstatic verses in which Rumi expresses his mystical love for Shams as a symbol of his love for God. It is characteristic of Persian sufi poetry for it to be ambiguous as to whether the human beloved or the Divine Beloved (= God) is being addressed. It is also an essential feature of the particular kind of Sufism Rumi practiced that mystical “annihilation in the spiritual master” [fanâ fi ‘sh-shaykh] is considered a necessary first stage before mystical “annihilation in God” [fanâ fi ‘llâh] can be attained.
The Divan is filled with poems expressing this first stage in which Rumi sees Shams everywhere and in everything. Rumi’s “annihilation” of his separate self was so intense that, instead of following the tradition of including his own name in the last line of odes/ghazals, he often uses the name of his beloved spiritual master and friend instead. Or he appeals to (mystical) Silence [khâmosh] which transcends the mind and its concepts.
ABOUT THE ODES/GHAZALS
The Odes, or ghazals [ghazaliyât], are the major poetic format of Rumi’s Divan (collected works of poetry).
Rumi is believed to have begun composing ghazals soon after meeting Shams-i Tabriz in 1244 (when Rumi was 37, at the least; Shams is believed to have been in his 60’s at the time). He continued a vast outpouring of ghazals after Shams’ final disappearance (1247-1248) until about 1258-1261 (when Rumi was in his mid-fifties), the time when he began composing the Masnavi. And it is believed that he continued composing ghazals, but less often, even during his later years.
The odes, or ghazals, of Rumi are known as his “ecstatic poetry”
(although there are rapturous passages in the Masnavi, as well). They are best understood as expressing the stage in the sufi path known as “annihilation in the spiritual master” [fanâ fi ‘l-shaykh], during which the spiritual seeker loses ordinary consciousness of himself and sees the face of his beloved master everywhere, in every thing, and at all times.
Web Source: dar -al -masnavi
- Rumi homepage