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Week and Whirling Dervish Ceremonies in KONYA ,Turkey.
great Turkish philosopher and poet Mevlana Celaleddin-i
Rumi was commemorated on the 733th anniversary of his
death with ceremonies held on 07-17 December in Konya.
During the special “Mevlana Week” a series
of conferences, meetings, panels and theatrical performances
were held to promote various aspects of Mevlana's life.
As a result of the philosophies of Mevlana, Haci Bektas-i
Veli, Yunus Emre and other spiritual leaders, an atmosphere
of peace has provided in Anatolia, the cradle of civilization.
Mevlana can be thought of as not only a great mystic,
poet and philosopher, but also one who demonstrated
great tolerance for people of all faiths.
Every December foreign and Turkish tourists go to Konya
to commemorate the death of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi,
who died on December 17, 1273. He is better known as
the founder of the order of the Whirling Dervishes.
was born in 1207 in Bakh (in present day Afghanistan).
Mevlana's father, Bahaddin Veled, left his homeland
to escape the persecution of the Moguls. He first went
with his family to Mecca and Medina and then to Asia
Minor, seeking protection and asylum. Finally the family
arrived in Konya in 1228 at the invitation of the Seljuk
Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat. Bahaddin Veled, known as the
“chief of all the learned” in Konya, became
highly respected among the Seljuks. When he died in
1231, his son Mevlana was 24 years old. After Bahaddin's
death, his followers and students began to gather around
Mevlana. They regarded him as the sole intellectual
and spiritual heir, and a source of inspiration. In
the following years, Mevlana became a teacher in the
schools of Konya. As a scholar and theologian, he became
even more popular than his father.
In 1244 Mevlana met the dervish Þems-i Tebriz,
or Shemseddin of Tabriz. This meeting marked the beginning
of a great mystic love between the two men. The influence
of Shemseddin changed the once sober-minded theologian,
Mevlana, into an ecstatic mystic. He neglected his work
in order to have meditative sessions with Shemseddin,
which often lasted weeks.
Mevlana's family and also his students and disciples
disapproved of this relationship. Shemseddin finally
had to flee from Konya. Mevlana suffered greatly and
tried all ways to locate him. In the end Mevlana's sons
brought Shemseddin back to Konya. However after his
return, the attitude of Mevlana's family and of his
disciples toward Shemseddin did not change. Around 1247
he disappeared again and was never found. Speculations
indicate, that he might even have been murdered.
After Shemseddin disappeared,
Mevlana chose Selahaddin Zerkubi as his spiritual confidant
until he died 10 years later. Zerkubi was succeeded
by Hüsameddin Çelebi, who was of Kurdish
origin. Mevlana dictated his major work. This six-volume
work, known as the “Mesnevi” consists of
26,000 verses. It begins with the words, “Listen
to the reed flute -- talking about separation..”.
The reed flute (ney) plays a special role in the ritual
of the Mevlevi order. The Mesnevi, a masterpiece of
Islamic mystic literature was written in verse, and
included philosophical, mystical and spiritual messages.
On December 17, 1273, Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi died
The ritual dance of his followers,
more commonly known as the Whirling Dervishes, symbolizes
a release from earthly ties, which liberates the soul
and prepares it for union with the divine.
The dance consists of three parts, which represent the
stages of reaching, seeing, and uniting with God. In
the first stage, the dancers whirl three times accompanied
by the mournful sound of the ney. During the second
part, they remove their coats. This symbolizes the release
of the soul from earthly concerns. Then they slowly
begin to whirl with their right hands palms up and left
hands palms down. This gesture indicates: “What
we receive from God we give to man, while we have nothing
Their whirling movement represents the earth revolving
on its axis and their rotation around the hall symbolizes
the earth orbiting the sun. In the final part of the
dance, the sheik enters, the rhythm becomes more rapid
and the dancers are more frenzied. Then the flute signals
the moment of man's union with God.
Actually Mevlana did not found the Mevlana order. It
was established in his name after his death by his son
Sultan Veled, himself an important poet. The Mevlevi
sect has lost its former importance. Only in December
Konya becomes the center of the Mevlana celebrations.
Nearly 10,000 Tourists visit the Mevlana Museum in Konya
Nearly ten thousand Turkish and foreign tourists visited
the Mevlana Museum in Konya during Mevlana Week. Curator
Erdoðan Erol said that the number had increased
considerably this year. Mevlana devoted himself to the
pursuit of Sufi mysticism, in which field he was justly
regarded as a supreme master. He was the spiritual founder
of the Mevlevi order of whirling dervishes. His most
important work, as mentioned above, is the Mesnevi,
a vast compendium of Sufi lore and doctrine, interspersed
with fables and anecdotes. It is especially remarkable
for its insight into the laws of physics and psychology.
Second to this is the Divan-ý Þems-i Tebriz,
a collection of lyric poems (gazels) dedicated to his
spiritual guide, Shemseddin of Tabriz.
here for more info about Whirling Dervishs, sema,rumi,
Mevlana,semazen, sufi, sufism, music dance in Istanbul,
Konya, Divan, Dervish, Semazen Museum, Galata, Taksim,
Dervishes Tourneurs et Hurleurs Istanbul, Estambul,
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