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The Spiritual Aspect of Rabindranath Tagore

What Tagore's Composition Teaches Us Concerning God

Rabindranath and Spirituality

Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 - August 7, 1941) the Shakespeare of Bengal immaculately brought out the essence of spirituality in his composition like no alternative poet. His psychic vision, as he himself said, is ingrained "with the ancient spirit of India as revealed in our sacred texts and manifested in the life of today."

Tagore's Mystical Quest

Swami Adiswarananda of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, in his preface to 'Tagore: The Mystic Poets' writes, "The inner-seeking spirituality of India infused all of Tagore's writing. He wrote in many genres of the deep religious milieu of Hinduism. The values and core beliefs of the Hindu scriptures permeated his work." Says the Swami: "Rabindranath Tagore's philosophical and spiritual thoughts transcend all limits of language, culture, and nationality. In his writings, the poet and mystic takes us on a spiritual quest and gives us a glimpse of the infinite in the midst of the finite, unity at the heart of all diversity, and the Divine in all beings and things of the universe."

Tagore's Spiritual Beliefs

Tagore assumed that "True knowledge is that which perceives the unity of all things in God." Tagore through his vast immortal literary works, educated us that, the whole world is a expression of God, and that there is no unbridgeable gulf between our world and God's, and that God is the one who can offer the greatest love and joy.

Tagore's Poetry Educates Us How to Love God

Tagore's 'Gitanjali' or 'Song Offerings' that consists of his own English prose translations of Bengali poetry was released in 1913 with an intro by the Irish poet W. B. Yeats. This publication won Tagore the Nobel Prize for Literature that year. Here is an excerpt from his intro that will help us comprehend that "We had not known that we loved God, hardly it may be that we believed in Him…"

The Omnipresence of God in Tagore's Works

Yeats writes: "These verses … as the generations pass, travellers will hum them on the highway and men rowing upon the rivers. Lovers, while they await one another, shall find, in murmuring them, this love of God a magic gulf wherein their own more bitter passion may bathe and renew its youth… The traveller in the read-brown clothes that he wears that dust may not show upon him, the girl searching in her bed for the petals fallen from the wreath of her royal lover, the servant or the bride awaiting the master's home-coming in the empty house, are images of the heart turning to God. Flowers and rivers, the blowing of conch shells, the heavy rain of the Indian July, or the moods of that heart in union or in separation; and a man sitting in a boat upon a river playing lute, like one of those figures full of mysterious meaning in a Chinese picture, is God Himself…"

About the Spiritual Author

Debolina Choudhury


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