Kobiguru Rabindranath Tagore was a poet, musician, polymath, Ayurveda-researcher, and artist who recast music, Bengali literature, and Indian art in the late 19th and early 20th century. In 1940, Tagore went into a coma and never recovered. After years of chronic pain and long term illness, Tagore died on August 7, 1941, at the age of 80.
Tagore, whose songs serve as a repository of hope for those who see it as a source of spirituality and others who look at it as the cultural achievement of a Bengali poet became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. He was awarded the prize after the publication of his acclaimed collection of poems Geetanjali.
He holds the unique distinction of having composed the national anthems of two countries – India and Bangladesh – ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ respectively. Many believe the lyrics for Sri Lanka’s national anthem are also his.
Rabindranath’s brother Hemendranath taught him anatomy, geography and history, literature, mathematics, Sanskrit, and English. At the age of 11 after his Janeu, Tagore toured India with his father. Rabindranath Tagore visited his father’s Santiniketan estate and stayed in Amritsar for a month before reaching the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie where
Tagore read biographies, studied history, astronomy, modern science, Sanskrit, and examined the classical poetry of ‘Kalidasa’. Tagore was highly influenced by the Gurbani and Nanak Bani which were sung at Golden Temple, Amritsar. In 1882, Tagore made his debut with a short story in Bengali ‘Bhikarini’.
Mahatma Gandhi had a very unique relationship with Rabindranath Tagore. They were known as good friends and intellectual rivals. Their arguments were fully combined with learning, understanding, knowledge, feelings, and emotions.
On the occasion of his 79th death anniversary, here are top 10 inspiring quotes by The Bard of Bengal:
- “Our nature is obscured by work done by the compulsion of want or fear. The mother reveals herself in the service of her children, so our true freedom is not the freedom from action but freedom in action, which can only be attained in the work of love.”
- “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”
- “Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”
- “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
- “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”
- “Asks the Possible of the Impossible, “Where is your dwelling-place?” “In the dreams of the Impotent,” comes the answer.”
- “To understand anything is to find in it something which is our own, and it is the discovery of ourselves outside us which makes us glad. This relation of understanding is partial, but the relation of love is complete. In love the sense of difference”.
- “The question of why there is evil in existence is the same as why there is imperfection… But this is the real question we ought to ask: Is this imperfection the final truth, is evil absolute and ultimate?”
- “The potentiality of perfection outweighs actual contradictions… Existence in itself is here to prove that it cannot be an evil.”
- “Obstacles are necessary companions to expression, and we know that the positive element in language is not in its obstructiveness. Exclusively viewed from the side of the obstacle, nature appears inimical to the idea of morality. But if that were abs”.