Life Lessons from Poems


According to Rumi, the stories of Mathnawi are not a series of stories to entertain us but, they are life lessons for those who want to hear what Rumi says, and experiment it. Through experimenting what Rumi says they would be able to see and feel Rumi, when they see Rumi, it is as though they have seen the mirror and if they look at the mirror, they would see themselves. In Rumi’s words:


I am a mirror, I am a mirror, I am not the man who recites;

You will see how I feel if your ears become your eyes.

(Diwan-I Shams-i-Tabrizi, Ghazal 23, Translation by Minoosh Seifi)

آینه‌ام آینه‌ام مرد مقالات نه‌ام     دیده شود حال من ار چشم شود گوش شما



A lot of people think Rumi was just a great philosopher, mystic and poet who has left us with some beautiful poems to read and enjoy. In fact, the poems emerged from Rumi as a result of the transformation he went through after he met Shams-i Tabrizi. Through his poems and the tales in his book of Mathnawi, Rumi is inviting us to be transformed and experience a rebirth that he himself experienced. Rumi regard this rebirth as his true birthday. In “The story of the king’s falling in love with a handmaiden and buying her”, Rumi asks us to regard the story as the very marrow of our inward state.


O my friends, hearken to this tale: in truth it is the very marrow of our inward state. (Mathnawi of Jalalu’ Ddin Rumi, Book I, 35, translation by Reynold A. Nicholson)

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