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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 in Konya.

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 ourselves”.

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 Erdoğan 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-ı Şems-i Tebriz, a collection of lyric poems (gazels) dedicated to his spiritual guide, Shemseddin of Tabriz. 

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