Rumi is the greatest mystic poet to have written in Persian, and the Masnavi
is his masterpiece. Divided into six books and consisting of some 26,000 verses, the poem was designed to convey a message of divine love and unity to the disciples of Rumi's Sufi order, known today as the Whirling
Dervishes. Like the earlier books, Book Three interweaves amusing stories with homilies to instruct pupils in the understanding of God's meaning. It has a special focus on epistemology, illustrated with narratives that involve the consumption of food.
The first ever verse translation of Book Three of the Masnavi
, It follows the original by presenting Rumi's most mature mystical teachings in simple and attractive rhyming couplets. 'Our soul each moment struggles hard with death -
Think of your faith as though it's your last breath.
Your life is like a purse, and night and day
Are counters of gold coins you've put away'