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Mevlana :: Beyond Sems

Beyond Sems

Mevlana, however, was inconsolable. He gave himself up to mystic ritual-sema-and devotion. He wrote poetry in an ecstasy of grief an longing. In one such poem, he addresses Sems:

''Oh, the essence of a thousand rose gardens, you masked yourself from the jasmine. Oh my soul's essence, how did you hide yourself from me? The sky is filled with your light, so why do you hide yourself? This frame lives through you, so why do you hide?

Oh, sultan of men, you have hidden from God's jealousy, you have hidden from men and women alike, for the beauty of your face overwhelms. Oh, light of the nine heavenly spheres, how can it be that you have surpassed the uppermost sphere, and yet you hide under a basin? True, you may hide from me, and from the two worlds, but how strange that you should hide from yourself, a moon beyond existance, you hide also from yourself.

Oh, star Canopus, even the sun, on sight of you, fades in ecstasy. And yet you hide even from Yemen. What is this? Be it a good omen, I pray. The musk of the land of the Tartars, in its fragrance, constantly expresses long life to all, and yet it cannot be seen. You are sultan of the skies and yet you hide from the ephemeral world. Oh, beloved of all confessed, you are so secreted that you have completely concealed yourself. You are so plain to see, this is more than concealment.

Sems of Tabriz, you have fallen in the well, like Joseph. Oh, water of life, you hide yourself even from the rope.

"Mevlana travelled to Damascus several times in search of Sems, but was unable to find him. He finally established him so firmly in his own heart that he wrote the following lines, in a poem: ''Seekers, see what you will, him or me. See either him, or me, for I am him, and he is me''.

While still mourning the loss of Sems, Mevlana was one day confronted with another Sems in the person of Selahaddin-i Zerkub.

 



Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Mevlana and the Mevlana Museum".

You can purchase "Mevlana and the Mevlana Museum" book and other Turkey related books from Explore Turkey Bookstore.

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