the idiotplayers podcast 07: Dr. Nevit Ergin

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Welcome to the idiotplayers podcast. In this episode you will be glad to listen to Dr. Nevit Ergin. Dr. Ergin is the man who has translated into English the 44,000 verses of the Divan-i-Kebir from the poet and Sufi Jalalluddin Rumi. These divan are currently widely available as a 22 volume set or as individual volumes. A new collection of Rumi’s rubai will be available in the spring of 2012 with special recordings of selected poems read by Coleman Barks and recorded in the Mevlana mausoleum in Konya, Turkey.

Dr. Ergin trained and worked as a surgeon in his professional life. He now works solely to bring Rumi’s works and teaching to a wide audience. He says “Understanding the message of love in Rumi is our last hope to avoid nuclear winter.” Please go to the website for the “Society for Understanding Mevlana” at for more information about Dr. Ergin’s work. You’ll find an excellent set of posts on many topics.

The content of the conversation is excellent as Dr. Ergin covers many topics ranging from the Itlak path of Sufism that he was initiated into by Hasan Shushud to aspects of Rumi’s life. I cannot imagine that there is anyone better qualified at this time to speak to these topics.

I apologize for the recorded quality of the first 12 minutes or so of Dr. Ergin’s conversation. The quality does improve when we switch to a landline. In any case, the conversation requires a quality of careful listening that the idiotplayers audience is well capable of, I believe. I have provided a summary of topics covered in the show notes so that you can follow along as the conversation develops.

As usual, the introductory music and closing music are excerpts from the idiotplayers. As well, in this podcast I have included a taksim played on the guitar by your host and simply entitled taksim 3.

I lost the donation button on the site temporarily, but if you would like to donate to the work of you can so through paypal directly by addressing your donation to Your donations are appreciated. If there is anyone out there with WordPress experience who would like to contribute a bit of expertise, that would be most welcome. Thanks to all of you for getting the word out about the high-quality conversations that we have been posting this year, and I encourage everyone to post something of their own in the way of a comment or reflection to the blog. Let me know that you’re out there listening.

This conversation was originally recorded on Dec 23 2011 and is being published on Dec 28 2011. The running time is approximately 1 ½ hours.


Dr. Nevit O. Ergin, a Turkish-born surgeon, is the original translator of Rumi’s 44,829 verses of the Divan-i Kebir into English. He has been a student of Sufism and the poetry of Rumi since 1955. Nevit spent 35 years translating the divan (or anthology) from the Turkish version prepared by Golpinarli, one of the most important Turkish scholars and an admirer of Rumi.

Dr. Ergin emigrated first to Canada and later to the United States to pursue post-graduate medical work. He founded The Society for Understanding Mevlana in 1992. Dr. Ergin currently resides in San Mateo, Northern California, in a little house called a Rumi Sanctuary.


Society for Understanding Mevlana

New collection of Rumi’s Rubai

Review of  “Tales of a Modern Sufi” by Nevit Ergin

Index of Topics

The truth of death;
Death before actual chronological death;
Die before you die;
Human perception;
The heart that has not learned ecstasy will always stay under the feet;
The problem of the knowledge of good and evil;
Creation has never taken place;
We are fooled by the gods;
Essence and existence;
We are the children of perception;
Adam and Eve;
Change of perception through changing eating and breathing habits;
Mevlana Rumi;
Translation of Divan and Rubai;
Qualification as a surgeon (FRCS);
Zaman Furuzanfar;
Ahmed Aflaki;
The Divan is not for beginners;
Translation of the Rubai available in Spring 2012;
Shems of Tabriz;
Rumi’s son Aladdin;
Rumi’s letters;
Rumi was 62 years when he met Shems, who was older than this;
Rumi and Shems were not in a relationship in the everyday sense;
The non-material nature of love;
Plato’s idea of love;
Zikr, fasting, suffering, fellowship;
The humiliation of the path;
Hasan Shushud;
Fana, Annihilation of Self; ladun; Fana al-akham (Fana of laws—Presence of Body), Fana al-af al (Fana of Actions—Spiritual Presence), Fana al-sifat (Fana of attributes—presence of potentiality), Fana al-dhat (Fana of essence—presence of Ipseity);
Fana of Actions, all intellectual problems dissolve;
Fana of Attributes, love and ecstasy;
The love we experience in life is a gateway to Love;
Love of Self;
Prey and predator mechanism of the self;
The selflessness of motherly love;
Mevlana Rumi is the last hope for humankind;
The importance of breathlessness;
Fellowship – sohbet;
Fellowship, however, is effective when breathing and fasting practice is in tact;
Husamuddin Celebi;
Shems came to Konya in 1244 and left in 1247;
The power of Rumi’s work;
Sanai and Hafiz;
Mathnawi written beginning in 1265;
Work on Divan continued during Mathnawi;
The form of the poems in the Divan;
The life of Konya as seen through the Divan;
Method of translation of the Divan – word by word;
Life as a Dream;
Man is not an object, he is a concept, the touching point of two unknowns;
Mevlana and wine.


Opening: Urgent Carnival

Interlude: Taksim 3

Closing: Advice to the Drunk at Heart

All music copyrighted by the idiotplayers (

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3 Responses to the idiotplayers podcast 07: Dr. Nevit Ergin

  1. kym chaffin says:

    thanks so much for doing this!

    I’m intending to listen to it again.


  2. Klaudio Mihovilovich says:

    so good that folks have a chance to hear Dr. Ergin words
    thanks for your eforts

  3. idio says:

    Indeed Klaudio. Dr. Ergin has given us much too ponder.

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