Hodjapasha Culture Center
Sufi Music Concert and Whirling Ceremony
By the Sufi Group of Istanbul Galata Mevlevi Lodge
Duration: 1 Hour.
First Half : Sufi Music Concert
Second Half : Whirling Ceremony
Mevlana and The Mevlevi Way
The name Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi stands for Love and ecstatic flight into the infinite. Rumi is one of the great spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind and was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam.
Rumi was born on 30 September 1207 in Balkh in present day Afghanistan to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire. When his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences.
The mevlevi brotherhood is founded completely on love and tolerance.
The Exalted Mevlana is saint of love : gave his heart to the creator and he taught us to speak always of love and to love all creation as being from the Creator. He asks, If you fill a jug from the ocean , how much can it hold ? One day’s supply.
Thus. Just as the ocean can only fill the jug to its capacity , so mevlana can only fit into words and our perception in proportion to our capacity . In any case , Mevlana is beyond the highest and finest conception. He said, Be a lover , a lover. Choose love that you might be a chosen one.
To give up one’s own existence and become non-existent in God , that is , to bind ones’s heart completely to God , is shortest way to God . Whoever has given his heart to the Divine Truth has no “self ” left . It is god who moves every particle of him. In this way that person no longer acts in accordance with his ego , doing the bad things that would cause harm to others. He has become enfolded in the moral principles of God . Exalted Mohammed and the Exalted Mevlana are examples of these qualities for us.Mevlana is limitless being , unable to be contained by this world. He is the Divine Voice giving the good news to those seeking beauty , truth , goodness , light and Divine Truth. He is the voice of mercy offering consolation to those under tyranny. He is the breath of healing , bestowing health on those crying out in separation. He is the teacher of humanness to humans. He teaches that every thing is within the human being and that the whole universe is under man’s command. Mevlana is a great lover of the Divine Truth. He is the master of love . He himself is love . To those who asked what love was he answered thus
Be like me and know ; whether in light or darkness , until you have been like this you can’t completely know love.
Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is an illustrious being , Divine Light , a spritual sun who brought a brand new message to human thinking ; who offered the ideas and system of Islamic thought and articles of faith within the triangle of spirit , mind and love ; who opened new horizon to man by adding excitement to the way of morals , religion , wisdom , and knowledge . The greatest message he brought to human thinking is Love , Divine Love and Unity.
Rumi brought enthusiasm to hearts with his saintly characteristics ; he was a saint , spritual master , whose human mind had been bathed in light ; he cleanses hearts and minds of impurities and rescues them from duality.
He rejects nothing but rather unites , perfects and causes love. He is prejudiced toward none because he knows that everything is the manifestation and actualization of God and he reflects this as a spritual state to the mind and heart of man Mevlana is asuperior and saintly master . He is a system in himself , a life an order. He is a monument to spritually who , through his sublimity , displayed his moral values , his knowledge , wisdom love , intelligence , perception of God , behaviour , everything . His is the true representative of the prophets , the highest element and realization of love and intelligence.
Man is the nost honorable of all creation. is one of his maxims.
The Exalted Mevlana embraced those of every language , creed and race or color ; he is the symbol of love peace , brotherhood, and tolerance.
The flutist , drummer , chanters and choir are devloped into an ensemble called “Mutrip” . The mutrip takes its place in front the front part of the Sema chamber. After the mutrip , the dervishes have taken their places and the Naat-ı Sherif is recited by the chanter. This work whose musical notation was composed by Itri is in praise of the prophet mohammed.After Naat-ı Sherif comes the sound of the drum , representing the Divine command , “Be” After this is a flute improvisation. The flute represents the soul given to universe. When the improvisation finishes the dervishes bow to each other in front of the sheepskin post in acknowledgement of the center of Divine Truth within the heart of each.
The semazens ( whirling dervish) remove their cloaks and begin turning. This represents the birth of humanity.The semazen wears a special costume indicating the death of ego . The sikke is a slender earth-coloured headdress which sembolizes tombstone of the ego. The hırka is a long black cloak representing its tomb. The tennure is a full-skirted long gown depicting the shroud. As the dervishes enter the circle their arms are crossed across their chest . In this position they resemble a “one” , signifying the Unity of God. During the sema their arms are extended with the right hand opened upward , the left hand turned downward. The meaning of this is : From God we receive , to man we give ; we keep nothing to ourselves.
Just as the moon and planets revolve both around their own axes and also around the sun , the semazens revolve while circling the chamber.The sema is a means for humans to reach Divine Reality ! It is an intoxication of the soul ! During the first cycle of the Sema the dervishes are viewing all the worlds. In this way they reach the grandeur and majesty of God. The lovers are freed from doubt and testify their faith in the Unity of God. In the second cycle their whole existence is dissolved within this Divine Unity. During the third cycle the lovers cleanse themselves and reach the level of maturity. In the fourth cycle they arrive at the junction of non-existence within Divine Existence. With the lone sound of the flute the ceromony ends with a reading from the Koran. And thus the journey ends. But in truth this was only one phase in the spritual journey which continues every minute of the lives of the followers of the Exalted Mevlana , of all who take the path of love , of all who seek the Divine within themselves.
In the words of Mevlana :
If you entered the Sema you will leave both worlds: the worl of the Sema is outside both worlds.
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Crossing Old Town Istanbul Hamidiye Street
Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see the other names of Istanbul) is the largest city of Turkey and the third largest city in the world. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province.
It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.