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Let us mark the 972nd birthday of Omar Khayyam

May 18, 2020

indiran7 ROKroseToday, 18th May 2020, is the 972nd anniversary of the birth of the man known as Omar Khayyam.  As most readers will know, the historical Omar Khayyam, born in 1048 in Nishapur,  was a famous astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher.  He may also have written at least some of the many verses of poetry that have been attributed to him.  This last point is still very much a matter of dispute, as the new translation and commentary on the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Juan Cole, reviewed in the previous post, makes clear.  But, regardless of one’s view on the question of authorship, 18th May is a good time to celebrate both the established achievements of Omar Khayyam himself, and the contribution that the verses attributed to him have made to all our lives.

So please join us in marking the occasion in an appropriate way.  We had hoped this year to be able to add a current photo of the rosa Omar Khayyam which grows in our garden, which has been getting ready to bloom (very early) for over a week now.  But the buds remain stubbornly closed, so that image will have to wait for a later post.  Instead we show an earlier picture of the same variety of rose, planted in the garden of the Ancient India and Iran Trust in Cambridge to mark the Rubaiyat and FitzGerald anniversaries in 2009.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Charles Mugleston permalink
    May 18, 2020 1:15 pm

    May I also offer my appreciation of and birthday wishes to Omar – a fellow taurean. The name Omar, if you were not aware is both a Hebrew name meaning ‘Eloquent’ or alternatively an anglicization of the Arabic Umar meaning ‘Flourishing or prosperous… ‘all three are equally appropriate.
    As it so happens…I received through the post today a copy of the very beautiful and profound ‘The Heart of Awareness’ being a poetic translation of the Ashtavakra Gita translated by Thomas Byrom. Pub by Shambala which contains the Essence – essential teachings of Advaita Vedanta – of the Sacred Word OM.
    When we look into the Heart of a Rose something very deep happens…and looking into the notes to this book for Chapter 18. The Master. The Sanskrit word Budh has the following explanation…. ” to awaken, bloom,reveal, arouse,cause to open, be aware, come to understand, elicit a perfume…” words which E.F.G intuitively understood and wisely wove into his rendering – rendering The Ruba’iya’t a Spiritual Masterpiece.

  2. May 18, 2020 1:57 pm

    Thank you, Charles, for your insights. Always appreciated.

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