Every 17 December, the night of Mevlana’s death, thousands of people from all around the world gather at the magnificient 13th century Mevlana Mausoleum to celebrate Seb-i Arus, his ‘Wedding Day’, his reunion with his Beloved, with the Divine.
During his last hours his wife pleaded with Mevlana to not leave and ask God to let him stay here a little longer. Mevlana’s reply was thus:
Am I a thief?
Have I stolen someone’s goods?
Is this why you would confine me here and keep me from being rejoined with my Love?
So we see his opinion of death. It is the time of release from this cage of the body; the time when the bird of the soul flies free. But it is thus for the soul which has realized the Divine within and has become purified of all earthly desires. For those on the path of Mevlana, Seb-i Arus is a celebration, like a festival of the beauties being offered every moment to the Lovers of God.
According to Mevlana’s teachings, human beings are born twice, once of their mothers and the second time of their own bodies. The real birth is the second, spiritual birth. Mevlevi dervishes, guided by a spiritual leader, are expected to live as members of the Mevlevi Order, according to the principles of his teaching. A long period of spiritual progress is necessary before they can participate in the whirling dance, for which they wear a tall cap symbolizing the tomb of carnality, and a white robe which is its shroud.
Those who live this celebration every year and also those experiencing it for the first time, were given at least a taste of the beauties and wonders of loving God, of wanting to be with God eternally.
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