You must bind yourself to knowing this: “Who am I? What substance am I? Why have I come? Where am I going? Whence is my root? At this time what am I doing? Toward what have I turned my face?
(Shams al-Din Tabrizi)
Photo: Men at the entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza. Photo taken by the Zangaki Brothers
'Rumi's Sun: The Teachings of Shams of Tabriz'
by Shams of Tabriz (Author), Refik Algan (Translator), Camille Adams Helminski (Translator)
Rumi's Sun collects many lessons and discourses from Shams of Tabriz, the Sufi mystic and spiritual master who was the catalyst for Rumi's awakening. Rumi's son wrote, "After meeting Shams, my father danced all day and sang all night. He had been a scholar he became a poet. He had been an ascetic he became drunk with Love." Shams of Tabriz was indeed Rumi's "Sun," the one who set him alight with Divine Love. With the opening of that friendship, a new paradigm appeared and Love flowed out into this world in such abundance that even after almost 800 years the ripples are still widening to encompass the whole of this world . . .
"Rumi’s Sun offers something unique in classical Sufi literature: an eyewitness record, by Rumi’s own disciples, of the actual personal teachings and conversations of Shams-i Tabriz. In this beautifully readable version, we are given a fascinating insight into a unique and unforgettable personality: a boldly iconoclastic figure whose teachings are marked by an intensity of purpose, and whose own spiritual experience is expressed in an unusually open way. The translators have also done a useful service highlighting the many places where Shams’ teachings were subsequently adapted and creatively transmuted throughout Rumi’s epic Masnavi and other poems."
(James Winston Morris, internationally respected scholar of Sufism, Professor, Boston College)
"Rumi is the most popular poetic voice in America today. But if he is the king of poetry, Shams of Tabriz is the power behind the throne. What Rumi points us to, indicates, refers to, is here—in the words of his intimate friend and . . . infinitely mysterious master. Shams’ words shock and stun, amaze with their inspiration . . . When you have found Shams of Tabriz, you know there is nowhere else you need to go."
(Peter Kingsley, author of Reality and In the Dark Places of Wisdom)
"According to a prophetic tradition, 'Love is a fire that, when it befalls the heart, burns away all but the Beloved.' Look into the burning breast of Shams of Tabriz and you will see the Beloved looking back at you."
(Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Spiritual Leader of the Sufi Order International)