Rabindranath Tagore quotes

Rabindranath Tagore photo
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Rabindranath Tagore

Birthdate: 7. May 1861
Date of death: 7. August 1941
Other names: Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore , also known by his pen name

Bhanu Singha Thakur , and also known by his sobriquets Gurudev, Kabiguru, and Biswakabi, was a polymath, poet, musician, and artist from the Indian subcontinent. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal".A Brahmo Hindu from Calcutta with ancestral gentry roots in Burdwan District and Jessore, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. At the age of sixteen, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym Bhānusiṃha , which were seized upon by literary authorities as long-lost classics. By 1877 he graduated to his first short stories and dramas, published under his real name. As a humanist, universalist, internationalist, and ardent anti-nationalist, he denounced the British Raj and advocated independence from Britain. As an exponent of the Bengal Renaissance, he advanced a vast canon that comprised paintings, sketches and doodles, hundreds of texts, and some two thousand songs; his legacy also endures in the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University.Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to topics political and personal. Gitanjali , Gora and Ghare-Baire are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed—or panned—for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation. His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla. The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work.

Works

Stray Birds
Stray Birds
Rabindranath Tagore
Gora
Rabindranath Tagore
Chokher Bali
Chokher Bali
Rabindranath Tagore

„I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service is joy.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Quoted often without citation http://www.tagorefoundationinternational.com http://rupkatha.com/V2/n4/11Tagorephilosohy.pdf
Compare this verse verse written by Ellen Sturgis Hooper:
::"I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty;
I woke, and found that life was Duty."
Disputed

„Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Gitanjali http://www.spiritualbee.com/gitanjali-poems-of-tagore/ (1912)
Context: 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.

„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.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Gitanjali http://www.spiritualbee.com/gitanjali-poems-of-tagore/ (1912)
Context: 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.

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„Though the West has accepted as its teacher him who boldly proclaimed his oneness with his Father, and who exhorted his followers to be perfect as God, it has never been reconciled to this idea of our unity with the infinite being.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Sādhanā : The Realisation of Life http://www.spiritualbee.com/spiritual-book-by-tagore/ (1916)
Context: Though the West has accepted as its teacher him who boldly proclaimed his oneness with his Father, and who exhorted his followers to be perfect as God, it has never been reconciled to this idea of our unity with the infinite being. It condemns, as a piece of blasphemy, any implication of man's becoming God. This is certainly not the idea that Christ preached, nor perhaps the idea of the Christian mystics, but this seems to be the idea that has become popular in the Christian west.
But the highest wisdom in the East holds that it is not the function of our soul to gain God, to utilise him for any special material purpose. All that we can ever aspire to is to become more and more one with God. In the region of nature, which is the region of diversity, we grow by acquisition; in the spiritual world, which is the region of unity, we grow by losing ourselves, by uniting. Gaining a thing, as we have said, is by its nature partial, it is limited only to a particular want; but being is complete, it belongs to our wholeness, it springs not from any necessity but from our affinity with the infinite, which is the principle of perfection that we have in our soul.

„Compulsion is not indeed the final appeal to man, but joy is. And joy is everywhere“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Sādhanā : The Realisation of Life http://www.spiritualbee.com/spiritual-book-by-tagore/ (1916)
Context: Compulsion is not indeed the final appeal to man, but joy is. And joy is everywhere; it is in the earth's green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky; in the reckless exuberance of spring; in the severe abstinence of grey winter; in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame; in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; in living; in the exercise of all our powers; in the acquisition of knowledge; in fighting evils; in dying for gains we never can share. Joy is there everywhere; it is superfluous, unnecessary; nay, it very often contradicts the most peremptory behests of necessity. It exists to show that the bonds of law can only be explained by love; they are like body and soul. Joy is the realisation of the truth of oneness, the oneness of our soul with the world and of the world-soul with the supreme lover.

„The infinite being has assumed unto himself the mystery of finitude. And in him who is love the finite and the infinite are made one.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Sādhanā : The Realisation of Life http://www.spiritualbee.com/spiritual-book-by-tagore/ (1916)
Context: In love, at one of its poles you find the personal, and at the other the impersonal. At one you have the positive assertion — Here I am; at the other the equally strong denial — I am not. Without this ego what is love? And again, with only this ego how can love be possible?
Bondage and liberation are not antagonistic in love. For love is most free and at the same time most bound. If God were absolutely free there would be no creation. The infinite being has assumed unto himself the mystery of finitude. And in him who is love the finite and the infinite are made one.

„It is the constant harmony of chance and determination which makes it eternally new and living.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Interview with Einstein (1930)
Context: Our passions and desires are unruly, but our character subdues these elements into a harmonious whole. Does something similar to this happen in the physical world? Are the elements rebellious, dynamic with individual impulse? And is there a principle in the physical world which dominates them and puts them into an orderly organization? … It is the constant harmony of chance and determination which makes it eternally new and living.

„This "I" of mine toils hard, day and night, for a home which it knows as its own. Alas, there will be no end of its sufferings so long as it is not able to call this home thine.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Sādhanā : The Realisation of Life http://www.spiritualbee.com/spiritual-book-by-tagore/ (1916)
Context: This "I" of mine toils hard, day and night, for a home which it knows as its own. Alas, there will be no end of its sufferings so long as it is not able to call this home thine. Till then it will struggle on, and its heart will ever cry, "Ferryman, lead me across." When this home of mine is made thine, that very moment is it taken across, even while its old walls enclose it. This "I" is restless. It is working for a gain which can never be assimilated with its spirit, which it never can hold and retain. In its efforts to clasp in its own arms that which is for all, it hurts others and is hurt in its turn, and cries, "Lead me across". But as soon as it is able to say, "All my work is thine," everything remains the same, only it is taken across.
Where can I meet thee unless in this mine home made thine? Where can I join thee unless in this my work transformed into thy work? If I leave my home I shall not reach thy home; if I cease my work I can never join thee in thy work. For thou dwellest in me and I in thee. Thou without me or I without thee are nothing.

„Our passions and desires are unruly, but our character subdues these elements into a harmonious whole.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Interview with Einstein (1930)
Context: Our passions and desires are unruly, but our character subdues these elements into a harmonious whole. Does something similar to this happen in the physical world? Are the elements rebellious, dynamic with individual impulse? And is there a principle in the physical world which dominates them and puts them into an orderly organization? … It is the constant harmony of chance and determination which makes it eternally new and living.

„In the region of nature, which is the region of diversity, we grow by acquisition; in the spiritual world, which is the region of unity, we grow by losing ourselves, by uniting.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Sādhanā : The Realisation of Life http://www.spiritualbee.com/spiritual-book-by-tagore/ (1916)
Context: Though the West has accepted as its teacher him who boldly proclaimed his oneness with his Father, and who exhorted his followers to be perfect as God, it has never been reconciled to this idea of our unity with the infinite being. It condemns, as a piece of blasphemy, any implication of man's becoming God. This is certainly not the idea that Christ preached, nor perhaps the idea of the Christian mystics, but this seems to be the idea that has become popular in the Christian west.
But the highest wisdom in the East holds that it is not the function of our soul to gain God, to utilise him for any special material purpose. All that we can ever aspire to is to become more and more one with God. In the region of nature, which is the region of diversity, we grow by acquisition; in the spiritual world, which is the region of unity, we grow by losing ourselves, by uniting. Gaining a thing, as we have said, is by its nature partial, it is limited only to a particular want; but being is complete, it belongs to our wholeness, it springs not from any necessity but from our affinity with the infinite, which is the principle of perfection that we have in our soul.

„The human soul is on its journey from the law to love, from discipline to liberation, from the moral plane to the spiritual.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Sādhanā : The Realisation of Life http://www.spiritualbee.com/spiritual-book-by-tagore/ (1916)
Context: The human soul is on its journey from the law to love, from discipline to liberation, from the moral plane to the spiritual. Buddha preached the discipline of self-restraint and moral life; it is a complete acceptance of law. But this bondage of law cannot be an end by itself; by mastering it thoroughly we acquire the means of getting beyond it. It is going back to Brahma, to the infinite love, which is manifesting itself through the finite forms of law.

„That side of our existence whose direction is towards the infinite seeks not wealth, but freedom and joy.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

Sādhanā : The Realisation of Life http://www.spiritualbee.com/spiritual-book-by-tagore/ (1916)
Context: That side of our existence whose direction is towards the infinite seeks not wealth, but freedom and joy. There the reign of necessity ceases, and there our function is not to get but to be. To be what? To be one with Brahma. For the region of the infinite is the region of unity. Therefore the Upanishads say: If man apprehends God he becomes true. Here it is becoming, it is not having more. Words do no gather bulk when you know their meaning; they become true by being one with the idea.

„Open your doors and look abroad.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore

85
The Gardener http://www.spiritualbee.com/love-poems-by-tagore/ (1915)
Context: Who are you, reader, reading my poems an hundred years hence?
I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds.
Open your doors and look abroad.
From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished flowers of an hundred years before.
In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across a hundred years.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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