Fleur Nassery Bonnin
In introducing Dr Esfandiar, Fleur Nassery Bonnin spoke about how Moulana Rumi dedicated
the precious latter part of his life to writing his Magnum Opus, The Masnavi,
about which Rumi himself said:
"These words are the ladder to heaven
Whoever ascends it ends up there"
In the Masnavi, Rumi takes the role of a teacher and a guide who has full knowledge of the
existential needs of man beyond the constrictions of time and place. He uses stories and parables
as vessels to carry his profound teachings and guidance towards the ultimate destination -
which is man's inner reality instead of the borrowed ego-personality.
However to receive and realise these transformative teachings is not easy for the busy and distracted person
of the present time. Adding to the problem is the lack of familiarity with Rumi's language as well as the
subtlety of his allusions to deeper meanings. Readers of the Masnavi are often caught by the beauty
of the outer language and stories and cannot go beyond them to unravel their hidden secrets. Rumi
alludes to this himself at the beginning of the Masnavi, where he says:
"My secret is not far from My outcry
But eyes and ears do not possess that Light"