Dr. Celaleddin Celebi has given numerous speeches in Turkish, English, French and Spanish. Some of these were compiled as books and booklets and were published during his life time.
Message of Friendship
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the intellectuals of a Great Country, I am sure that some of you have taken up a probing before gathering here, in order to have more knowledge about us. I guess that you have derived these knowledge out of the sources of the Western Culture. These information were mainly derived from the writings and memories of authors and travelers, who had lived a brief period in Turkey. These writers seemed to have been attracted by the magic of the Orient, imagining utopist legends, fancy idle tales or with the hope of living in the "One Thousand and One Night Stories…" As a result of their adventural experiences, optimist or pessimist, they wrote under the impression of personal views, thoughts and sentiments. It is evident that no culture can be fully comprehended in these contexts. Turkey and her culture are of no exception to this. And hence, you have come here some of you biased, some of you unbiased, some of you feel that let us see first and make up mind later. In this distinguished gathering, I shall be displaying some examples of our culture, regarding as our thoughts, feelings, music and folklore with the aim of making ourselves understood. I hope that our messages, which are hidden in words and forms, would be able to let you recognize us inside out, in comparison to what you hitherto studied on Turks.
Ladies and Gentlemen, owing to the geographical situation and historical significance as you all know, that our country is the cradle of ancient civilization, retrospectively Anatolia had become the trespassing stage for the rise and collapse of several nations. By the appreciation and help of the God of all us, since almost exactly a millennium we have been outliving than any other nations whom preceded us in Anatolia. In the meantime converted to Islam, we always practiced its leniency, and as a rule, we never intervened the faith of "the people of the scripture." It is apparent that the presence of people from different believes, who had been under our administration are now acting as our witnesses.
To day too, the inhabitants of this country, belonging to various faiths and religions, are amalgamated within the sphere of "love." More than everybody else, we all believe to the equality, the unity of human being as the creature of God, and that he has been created with love, for love and for to be loved. The existence of this understanding is the result of a spiritual education and teaching of centuries inherited from father to son. In particular we owe this to Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi (1207-1273). The great Turkish sage, mystic and poet of humanity Mevlana, teaching and educating us since 700 years, gifted us the most valuable mystic treasure of the world. His works translated in many languages, are composed of five books, two in poetry of 75,000 verses and the rest in prose. He inspired music too, which is the source of the Turkish Classical Music. With the whirling dance, he takes part to the universal movement, which exists in the atoms, that the modern science has just found as the essential secret of the existence. According to Mevlana, the human being is a triangle, composed of Spirit (essence, energy, activity, sema…) Reason (wisdom, intelligence…) and Love (feelings, poetry, music…) it is not possible to find these three components so tightly joined, thus supplementing each other in thought and meaning, in theory and practice in any other system of thought! More later, this conception has created a practicing school, now a part of our folklore, called Whirling Dervishes. Mevlana, who influenced and continue to influence throughout his works many people in the world… Between many we can mention, In the 16th century, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, Martin Luther, Sebastian Frank, the three great humanists of the Renaissance, who translated some of his poems. In the seventeenth century the great paint artist Rembrandt. In the eighteen century the famous music compositor Ludwig Van Beethoven. In the 19th century Joseph von Hammer, Johann Wolgangvon Goethe, Friedrick Ruckert… In 20th century Prof. A. Nicholson, Prof. Arberry from Cambridge Univ. the poet Hans Meinke, the Orientalist Prof. Ritter, Prof. Dr. Anne Marie Schimmel from Harvard and Bonn Univ., Prof. Eva Meyerovitch from Sorbonne University, etc.
An example of Mevlana's conception of unity of all believes:
"Like the spear pierces the shield in a moment, I passed through nights and days. This is why all believes and religions are for me One and hundred thousand of years just a moment…"
"Get united… I came here not to divide but to unify."
"Come! Come again! Whoever, whatever you may be, come!
Heathen, idolatrous or fire worshipper come!
Even if you deny your oaths a hundred times come!
Our door is the door of hope come! Come like you are!"
Mevlana says, that the basis of all creation and believes is love:
"Our mother is love! Our father is love!
We are born from love! We are love!
All loves constitute a bridge leading to the divine love.
To love human beings means to love GOD."
In the miracles showed by the Prophets in order to invite to faith, Mevlana includes himself as followed:
"From behind a burning bush, I heard a voice calling me: 'Come beloved!
Am I Moses, Son of Abraham?'
O Moses, I was a stick! In your hand, I became a dragon
O Messiah! I am the Lazarus of this time. With your breath, I revive in the grave of non-existence and return to the world.
O Jesus! I was the bird of mud that you molded. You blew on me and I came to life and flew to the skies.
Or am I the tree dragging its roots, coming from the desert by the order of the Prophet?…"
The call of Mevlana to all human being without discrimination:
"Come, come over, more over, how long this brigandage? As you are me and I am you. How long this discrimination of you and I?
We are light of GOD! Why this separation among us? Why light escapes from light? We are all from the same yeast, our brains and heads too. But under this bowed sky we see double…"
From this five senses, six directions carry all what you possess to the country of Unity. Till when you will continue only to speak of Unity.
Come on, deny your Ego. Get United with everybody. So long as you remain in yourself, you are a particle. But if you get united with everybody, you are a mine, an ocean. Believe that all spirits are One! And all bodies are One! Just like almonds in quantity hundred thousands; but there is the same oil in all of them.
There are many languages in the world, in meaning all are the same. If you break the cups, water will be unified and will flow together…
Ladies and Gentlemen, words and time may have an end, but not the explanation of a culture. A people could only be understood with relations, experiences and a continual contact. So I repeat the call of Mevlana, "Come, come over, more over…" But please come with 'LOVE'.
Ladies and Gentlemen, is it possible to believe to a perpetual peace in the world strictly rational by Education, Science and Culture but without love?
My wish is that all of us here and all the nations of the world break the cups of our EGOs and be unified in love of GOD, the Creator of all of us, in love of mankind, without discrimination of races, believes and nations, living all together, in a world of LOVE, with happiness and peace.
Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi" (1207- 1273) as well as of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture.
From a scientific viewpoint we witness that contemporary science definitely confirms that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no object, no being which does not revolve and the shared similarity among beings is the revolution of the electrons, protons and neutrons in the atoms, which constitute the structure of each of them. As a consequence of this similarity, everything revolves and man carries on his live, his very existence by means of the revolution in the atoms, structural stones of his body, by the revolution of his blood, by his coming from the earth and return to it, by his revolving with earth itself.
However, all of these are natural, unconscious revolutions. But man is the possessor of a mind and intelligence which distinguishes him from and makes him superior to other beings. Thus the "whirling dervish" or Semazen causes the mind to participate in the shared similarity and revolution of all other beings… Otherwise, the Sema ceremony represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to "Perfect." Turning towards the truth, his growth through love, desert his ego, find the truth and arrive to the "Perfect," then he return from this spiritual journey as a man who reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation, to all creatures without discrimination of believes, races, classes and nations.
The Sema consists of seven parts:
The dervish with his headdress (his ego's tombstone), his white skirt (his ego's shroud) is by removing his black cloak spiritually born to the truth, he journeys and advances there. At the onset and each stop of the Sema, holding his arms crosswise he represent the number one, and testifies to God's unity. While whirling his arms are open, his right hand directed to the skies ready to receive God's beneficence, looking to his left hand turned toward the earth, he turn from right to left around the heart. This is his way of conveying God's spiritual gift to the people upon whom he looks with the eyes of God. Revolving around the heart, from right to left, he embraces all the mankind, all the creation with affection and love… It starts with an eulogy "Nat-I Serif" to the Prophet, who represents love, and all Prophets before him. To praise them is praising God, who created all of them.
The second part is a drum voice, symbolizing God order to the Creation "BE"
The third part is an instrumental improvisation "taksim" with a reed "ney." It represents the first breath which gives life to everything. The Divine Breath.
The fourth part is the "dervishes" greetings to each other and their thrice repeated circular walk "Devri Veled," with the accompaniment of a music called "peshrev." It symbolize the salutation of soul to soul concealed by shapes and bodies.
The fifth part is the Sema (whirling). It consists of four salutes or "Selam"s. At the end of each as in the onset, the dervish testifies by his appearance to God's unity.
The first salute is man's birth to truth by feeling and mind. His complete conception of the existence of God as Creator and his state of creature.
The second salute expresses the rapture of man witnessing the splendor of creation, in front of God's greatness and omnipotence.
The third salute is the transformation of rapture into love and thereby the sacrifice of mind to love. It is a complete submission, it is annihilation of self with in the loved one, it is unity. This state of ecstasy is the highest grade in Buddhism, defined as "Nirvana" and in Islam "Fenafillah." However, the highest rank in Islam is the rank of the Prophet, he is called God's servant first and his messenger afterwards. The aim of Sema is not unbroken ecstasy and loss of conscious thought. At the termination of this salute, he approves again by his appearance, arms crosswise the Unity of God, consciously and feelingly.
The forth salute Just as the Prophet ascends till the "Throne" and then returns to his task on earth, the whirling dervish reaching the state of "Fenafillah," return to his task in creation, to his state of subservience following the termination of his spiritual journey and his ascent. He is a servant of God, of his Books, of his Prophets and all his creation.
At the sixth part Sema ends with a reading of the Quran and specially of the verse from sura Bakara 2, verse 115, "Unto God belong the East and the West, and whither over ye turn, you are faced with Him. He is All-Embracing, All-Knowing."
The seventh part is a prayer for the repose of the souls of all Prophets and all believers.