Rabindranath Tagore - A Tribute

Today is Guru Rabindranath Tagore's 150th Birth Anniversary. A multi-faceted persona. A Noble Laureate, a visionary, poet, artist, philosopher, novelist, playwright, composer and the greatest literary personality India has ever seen. An icon of Indian culture.

He became the first non-European to receive the Noble Prize for Literature in 1913. In 1915 he was awarded knighthood by the British king George V, but he returned the knighthood after the Jalianwalabagh massacre in 1919.

His works consist of poetry, novels, essays, music, paintings, travelogues, dramas, short stories and thousands of songs.
Guru Rabindranath TagoreWhere the Mind is Without Fear - Rabindranath Tagore
His compositions were chosen by two nations as their National Anthems. India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla. Many of his novels and shorties have been adapted into cinema.

Some of his famous works
Valmiki Pratibha (1881)
Visarjan (1890)
Mayar Khela
Sonar Tori
Dui Bigha Jomi
Shesher Kobita
Ghare Baire
Char Odhay
Chokher Bali
Iurop Jatrir Patro
Manusher Dhormo
Short Stories
Kshudita Pashan(1895)
Strir Patra
Musalmani Didi
Jibito o Mrito

Selected Poems from Gitanjali

Mind Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not! I fear lest it
droop and drop into the dust.
I may not find a place in thy garland, but honour it with a touch of
pain from thy hand and pluck it. I fear lest the day end before I am
aware, and the time of offering go by.
Though its colour be not deep and its smell be faint, use this flower
in thy service and pluck it while there is time.

Song Unsung
The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.
The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set;
only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.
The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by.
I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice;
only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house.
The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor;
but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.
I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.

I must launch out my boat.
The languid hours pass by on the
shore---Alas for me!
The spring has done its flowering and taken leave.
And now with the burden of faded futile flowers I wait and linger.
The waves have become clamorous, and upon the bank in the shady lane
the yellow leaves flutter and fall.
What emptiness do you gaze upon!
Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air
with the notes of the far-away song
floating from the other shore?

Some of the famous quotations of Rabindranath Tagore
  • Music fills the infinite between two souls
  • You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
  • Trees are Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
  • The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence
  • In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects.
  • Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf
  • He who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good.
  • Those who own much have much to fear”
  • When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing
  • Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.
  • Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
  • The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence
  • Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
  • To be outspoken is easy when you do not wait to speak the complete truth.
  • I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
  • Facts are many, but the truth is one.
  • By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower
  • Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.”
  • Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come
  • The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough
  • The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous.
  • Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance
  • "Let me light my lamp", says the star, "And never debate if it will help to remove the darkness
  • Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them
You can checkout rest of the poems of Gitanjali here.
He will continue to be a great source of inspiration not only for the literary giants and writers and poets but also for the common man

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