The daylight sank deeper and deeper into the darkness, and the widowed land, whose harvest had been reaped, lay silent.
Suddenly a boy's shrill voice rose into the sky. He traversed the dark unseen, leaving the track of his song across the hush of the evening.
His village home lay there at the end of the waste land, beyond the sugar-cane field, hidden among the shadows of the banana and the slender areca palm, the cocoa-nut and the dark green jack-fruit trees.
I stopped for a moment in my lonely way under the starlight, and saw spread before me the darkened earth surrounding with her arms countless homes furnished with cradles and beds, mothers' hearts and evening lamps, and young lives glad with a gladness that knows nothing of its value for the world.
The sky which gives light is blue, and my mother's face was dark, but she had the radiance of holiness, and her beauty would put to shame all the vanity of the beautiful.
STRAY birds of summer come to my window to sing and fly away.
And yellow leaves of autumn, which have no songs, flutter and fall there with a sigh.
O TROUPE of little vagrants of the world, leave your footprints in my words.
THE world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover.
It becomes small as one song, as one kiss of the eternal.
IT is the tears of the earth that keep her smiles in bloom.
THE mighty desert is burning for the love of a blade of grass who shakes her head and laughs and flies away.
IF you shed tears when you miss the sun, you also miss the stars.
HE sands in your way beg for your song and your movement, dancing water. Will you carry the burden of their lameness?
HER wistful face haunts my dreams like the rain at night.
ONCE we dreamt that we were strangers.
We wake up to find that we were dear to each other.
This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.
At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.
When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.
All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony-and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.
I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.
A collection of over one hundred inspirational poems, Gitanjali covers the breadth of life's experiences, from the quite pleasure of observing children at play to man's struggle with his god.
Publisher : General Press
Publisher : General Press
One evening the stranger came down from the cloud-hidden peak; his locks were tangled like drowsy snakes. We asked in wonder, "Who are you?" He answered not but sat by the garrulous stream and silently gazed at the hut where she dwelt. Our hearts quaked in fear and we came back home when it was night.
Next morning when the women came to fetch water at the spring by the deodar trees, they found the doors open in her hut, but her voice was gone and where was her smiling face? The empty jar lay on the floor and her lamp had burnt itself out in the corner. No one knew where she had fled to before it was morning--and the stranger had gone.
Tagore attempted to express in his poetry the divine spirit that he glimpsed in nature. W.B. Yeats noted that his poetry had “an innocence, a simplicity that one does not find elsewhere in nature.” It touches the soul with its serenity and lyrical quality. Gitanjali is truly a treasured companion on life’s long journey.
There is to be a big meeting in our temple pavilion. We women are sitting there, on one side, behind a screen. Triumphant shouts of Bande Mataramcome nearer: and to them I am thrilling through and through. Suddenly a stream of barefooted youths in turbans, clad in ascetic ochre, rushes into the quadrangle, like a silt-reddened freshet into a dry river-bed at the first burst of the rains. The whole place is filled with an immense crowd, through which Sandip Babu is borne, seated in a big chair hoisted on the shoulders of ten or twelve of the youths.
Bande Mataram! Bande Mataram! Bande Mataram! It seems as though the skies would be rent and scattered into a thousand fragments.
I had seen Sandip Babu's photograph before. There was something in his features which I did not quite like. Not that he was bad-looking--far from it: he had a splendidly handsome face. Yet, I know not why, ...
Thus, over Life's outward aspect passes the series of events, and within is being painted a set of pictures. The two correspond but are not one.
We do not get the leisure to view thoroughly this studio within us. Portions of it now and then catch our eye, but the greater part remains out of sight in the darkness. Why the ever-busy painter is painting; when he will have done; for what gallery his pictures are destined—who can tell?
Some years ago, on being questioned as to the events of my past life, I had occasion to pry into this picture-chamber. I had thought to be content with selecting some few materials for my Life's story. I then discovered, as I opened the door, that Life's memories are not Life's history, but the original work of an unseen Artist. The variegated colours scattered about are not reflections of outside lights, but belong to the painter himself, and come passion-tinged from his heart; thereby unfitting the record on the canvas for use as evidence in a court of law.
But though the attempt to gather precise history from memory's storehouse may be fruitless, there is a fascination in looking over the pictures, a fascination which cast its spell on me.
The road over which we journey, the wayside shelter in which we pause, are not pictures while yet we travel—they are too necessary, too obvious. When, however, before turning into the evening resthouse, we look back upon the cities, fields, rivers and hills which we have been through in Life's morning, then, in the light of the passing day, are they pictures indeed. Thus, when my opportunity came, did I look back, and was engrossed.
I. 13. mo ko kaha[n dhanro bande
O servant, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kaba(R)r says, "O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath."
I. 16. Santan ja[t na pacho nirguniya[n
It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter-
Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no mark of distinction.
Few figures in history have been as important as Rabindranath Tagore in bringing Indian philosophy and spiritual teachings to the West. Although he was known primarily as a poet, his work is deeply religious, imbued with his belief that God can be found through personal purity and service to others. Sadhana (sometimes translated from the Sanskrit as “spiritual practice” or “spiritual discipline”) is a beautifully written, concise distillation of the great resources of Indian philosophy. With the surge of interest in Indian spirituality, it will be welcomed with enthusiasm by readers everywhere.
In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and he remains one of the most important voices of Bengali culture to this day. These short stories, written mostly in the 1890s, vividly portray Bengali life and culture. Tagore’s treatment of caste culture, bureaucracy and poverty paint a vivid portrait of nineteenth-century India, and all are interwoven with Tagore’s perceptive eye for detail, strong sense of humanity and deep affinity for the natural world. Tagore’s stories continue to rise above geographic and cultural boundaries to capture the imaginations of readers around the world.