Rubaiyat

Definition - What does Rubaiyat mean?

Rubaiyat typically refers to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a book of poetry attributed to Omar Khayyam, a highly respected Persian astronomer and mathematician, who lived in the 11th and 12th centuries. Generically, rubaiyat describes a collection of a specific type of poem, or rubai, that contains stanzas of four quatrains or lines. The rubai often has a rhyming pattern of A-A-B-A.

The Rubaiyat gained interest in the West after the 1859 English translation by Edward FitzGerald, although there are numerous English translations and the collection has been translated into almost every major language.

Yogapedia explains Rubaiyat

In the 20th century, Paramahansa Yogananda, a yogi, spiritual leader and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship, wrote about what he interpreted as the deeper philosophical meaning of the Rubaiyat and its significance for a spiritual life. Yogananda called the poetry “true scripture” that describes the bliss of self-realization and recognizes the divine within each person.

Others have interpreted the Rubaiyat as a rejection of religion and religious morals. Regardless of the interpretation of the poetry, the Rubaiyat has inspired English poets and writers since Victorian times, including T.S. Eliot and Oscar Wilde.

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