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Published:July 17th, 2006 13:44 EST
Urban Legend - Kabi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore

Urban Legend - Kabi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore

By Rasha Lamba

He is the heart and soul of our motherland, ecstacy, philosphy, love and happiness, given us all the feeling of being a human on the other hand.

He is the creator of our modern art, Welcomed the charm of outside in every part.

He is the incomparable genius of every time, Glory, grace and simplicity was always with him in his prime. There is always a feeling of expressing about him more. He is the legendary, Kabi Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore.

Since my childhood as an Indian and Bengali as my mother tongue, I always felt Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore around one. In my sweet morning songs, in my national, in a quiet discussion and of course in my bedtime stories, as my mother always sits around us in the night and proudly with charm tell his short stories and poetries and in every moment we felt like our souls coming out of ourselves wanted to spread in every substance of existence.

He was so truthful in every of his words. He loved his motherland so intensely that we can feel every of it in his concentrate and clear sentences.

Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore was not only the incomparable poet of India but also of the whole world. Every time telling about him is like a drop of water in the whole, unending ocean.

Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore was born in a distinguished Bengali family in Calcutta(West Bengal) in 1861.His father's name was Maharishi Debendranath Tagore, well-known Hindu reformer and mystic and his mother was Smt Sharada devi. Rabindra Nath Tagore has received his education at home in Bengali with English lessons in the afternoon. He read Bengali poets since his early age and began writing poetry himself by the age of eight. Rabindra Nath Tagore has a brief spell at St Xavier’s Jesuit School but found the conventional system of education uncongenial. Thier he was sent to England to become a barrister. There he heard John Bright and W.E. Gladstone speaks and was highly inspired by thier"Large-hearted radical liberalism”. He was called back by his father to India in 1880.By 1883,he was married a ten year old girl from a very respected family named Bhabhatarini, renamed by Rabindra Nath as Mrinalini.

Rabindra Nath Tagore poet, prosewriter, composer, painter, essayist, philosopher, educationist and social reformer. It is basically as a poet he gained fame all over the world. He was awarded the noble prize in 1913, the first Asian writer to award this distinction. Gurudev's achievements as writer can only be understandable correctly in the contest of his whole life. Since his philosophy and his poetries changed as he moved from one phase of his life to another. Though constant studies and in-depth experimentation he mastered the transformation that had taken place in the world

world, literature, culture, civilization, philosophy and knowledge over the ages and the result can be seen in his countless poems, songs, short stories, novels, essays, plays, musical drama, travel narratives, letters and intense and innumerable speeches that he delivered at home and abroad. His philosophy of life itself laid solid foundations that were built on his own ideas. Thus, his creativity flows into ever new channels. To the west he was a poet, a mystic, a messenger of spirituality. As his biographer, Edward Thomson once wrote” No other man in any other country might have traveled so far and as often as did Tagore".

The poet himself said"Ah! Restless in my soul, long for the far and the distant”. While writing an introduction to "Gitanjali"

W.B. Yeats wrote "These lyrics.... display in their thoughts a world I have dreamt all my life, work of a supreme culture".

A well-known biographer of T.S. Elliot wrote that Tagore was one of the six Britons to receive the noble prize for literature

Besides Kipling, Yeats, Shaw, Galsworthy and Elliot. Gurudev tried to harmonies the spiritualism of ancient India with the humane spirit of the west and thus” Brought east and west into receptive emotional and intellectual contact”. According to a recent  biography of Tagore his western admirers saw the humane spirit of Christianity, venerated in theory but ignored in practice, reflected back at them by "Gitanjali" in pure form "Jesus Christ was an oriental", Gurudev emphasized and his own idea of Indian spirituality had a strong affinity with that of New Testament. The reaction of Charles Darwin’s granddaughter Francis corn ford on a meeting with Gurudev in Cambridge in July 1912, touched this aspect "I can now imagine a powerful and gentle Christ which I never could before".

Great poets of India like Kabirdas, Jayadev and Kalidasa has influenced and inspired his writing and as a matter of fact, he paid tributes to Kalidasa's "Meghdoota" and translated many could before. Despite, he was never in politics, his love for his motherland flowed in every Indian heart as the river Ganga flows from Himalayas to anyakumari, revolutionised the fact of freedom for all with his patriotic poetries novels and speeches.

One of them was "Ghare-Baire" written by him in an absolute critical situation when the British rule, the freedom fighters and the social background were all affected whether a rich or a poor Indian national. Later on, a film based on this exclusive novel was directed and produced by Satyajit Ray, a renowned international fame Oscar winning director, film personality and an intense follower of Gurudev and his works.

Shantiniketan was his kind of settlement, he always wanted to do for the good of everybody after he suffered emotionally from the manipulations of freedom fighting mingled with dirty politics in setting up Shantiniketan Tagore was fulfill his dream as early as in 19o2, Gurudev wrote "I wish to keep my students away from all the luxuries of European life and any blind infatuation and thus lead them in the ways of the sacred and unsullied Indian tradition". Shantiniketan brought students to the element of nature for Satyajit ray it was "a world on vast open spaces vaulted with a dustless sky that on a clear night showed with constellations as no city sky could ever do. Once writing to his son Rabindra Nath Tagore wrote” I have it in mind to make shantiniketan the connecting thread between India and the world. I want to make this place somewhat beyond the limits of nations and geography".

It is in present day Gurudev's dreamland Shantiniketan is an absolute place for a little to grow up exploring and knowing own self and the around. Gurudev published his first book, the collection of poetries entitled "KabiKahini"(A poet's tale), when he was 17.He became widely known with his 1912 publication "Gitanjali"(Song offerings).Despite, he was from a rich family, he always felt a pain for the needy and the rejected and got all of them under his thoughts of equality as God has made us all the same.
 
Power and position of women in India was very poor and at a very low profile at that time. Gurudev supported the encouragement of women in social agenda by writing memorable novels like "Chokher Bali"(Tale of a widow lost her husband in the childhood as at that time child marriages was in a flow in our traditions),and dance dramas like "Chintrangada"(A daring princess wanted herself equally noticeable as his loving prince),"Chandalika"(A low caste girl's intense and pure love which was left and forgotten by a prince),to show the power to get along with men in our societies which we still need to think. These dance ballets are performed by many renowned Dance and art groups of international fame around the world. So, different thoughts of Gurudev for every different kind.

Some of his great works:-
1883-Prabhat Sangeet (Morning Songs)
1887-Rajashi (Riches)
1889-Raja O Rani (The king and the queen)
1890-Visargan (Sacrifice)
1893-Valmiki Pratibha
1944-The Parrots Training
Many more of his works are collected as follows:-
1951-Sheaves-More stories from Tagore
1955-The Tagore testament
1961-A Tagore reader; towards man; on art and aesthatics; Bicitra
1972-Imperfect Encounter
1977-The house warming  
1985-Rabindra Nath's selected poems and collection of his boundless speeches and letters. So, all his life was a travel of literature with no boundaries flowing from one to the other ages, castes, religion, and racism and joined to the heavenly note of love and purity with passion of pure silence from very close to Gurudev Rabindra Nath, you can feel the harmonizing magic of being in the universe of the infinity. In august 1941, Gurudev was moved from shantiniketan ashram to Calcutta for an operation. In the same i.e. he passes away in the same house which he was born in. Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore is still in our hearts waking us to create new dimensions of love and boundless for the roaring societies.