Omar Khayyam

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Omar Khayyam Mean?

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) was an astronomer, mathematician and poet. He is best known in the West for his collection of poetry known as the Rubaiyat, although some scholars believe he did not write the poetry attributed to him.

20th-century yogi and spiritual leader, Paramahansa Yogananda, wrote about the deeper philosophical meaning of the work attributed to Khayyam and its significance to the yogic spiritual path. Specifically, Khayyam questions the relationship with God and the nature of reality.


Yogapedia Explains Omar Khayyam

Khayyam's full name was Ghiyath al-Din Abu'l-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nisaburi al-Khayyami. He was born in what is present-day Iran, but spent much of his adult life in Uzbekistan. Omar Khayyam studied philosophy, but it was in mathematics and sciences that he made his mark.

He wrote books on arithmetic, algebra and geometry, and made his mark with his solution of cubic equations using intersecting conic sections. He was also involved in reforming the calendar with his work in astronomy.

It was English writer Edward FitzGerald's translation of Khayyam's writings in 1859, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, that brought attention to the collection of poetry. One of the most famous phrases from the Rubaiyat that is still heard today is “A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou.”

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