First Edition of The Mesnevi in Konya – Chapter 1,
As time passed the life full of love and ecstasy of the great mystic Mevlana Celaleddin was approaching its spiritual culmination. His disciple Celebi Husameddin was closely following this progress of his beloved Mevlana. He longed and felt it his duty to propagate Mevlana’s perfection, to draw the curtains hiding this sun of love and enlightenment, and illuminate the whole world with its beams. At the same time, the Great Divan had at last been completed made up of the ones written by Mevlana. But now Mevlana could create a more mature and satisfying work. His extensive knowledge, technique, and mastery of the art of poetry and ability to compose a poem without pondering at length on rhythm and meter would now allow him to write such a masterwork. Husameddin was just waiting for an opportunity to tell Mevlana about this idea. One day this opportunity arose. Mevlana was wandering around a garden through which a stream was flowing, with Celebi, and reciting poetry. Just at the right time, Celebi opened the subject:
— My Sultan! You have composed many modes. The Divan has grown large. Now if you could compose a book of poetry in the Mesnevi measure (rhyming couplets) you would become the traveling companion of all ashiks (a lover of God who traveled from place to place and sang or recited poetry). From now on instead of speaking the words of others, they would fill their spirits with your work. Mevlana was already prepared for this. With a smile, he took a piece of paper from the folds of his turban and handed it to Celebi Husameddin. On this paper were written the first eighteen couplets of the Mesnevi.
— Read it! he said, and Celebi began to read it aloud: Listen, how can I complain about the sound of the ney, How can I grieve for the partings. Since I left the busy world Men and women weep for my suffering I want a heart rent with a longing I want to lament and pour out my troubles. And the last of these eighteen couples is this: Can the raw understand the cooked?
I had to speak briefly and that is that. As Husameddin Celebi read he became exuberant. Tears ran down his cheeks. After he finished reading he knelt in front of Mevlana and kissed his hand:
— My Mevlana! 0 my sultan who has no equal! I implore you from my heart. May there be no end to these verses, may they extend to infinity, may volumes be filled.
— Celebi, if you consent to write them I will recite..
— I am ready, we can begin right away, Celebi replied.
Mevlana was pleased. He said to Celebi:
— Then write Husameddin. Husameddin, who was raised with truth, the sun of truth, write.
You will continue to find more about First Edition of The Mesnevi in Chapter 2