“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy”
Rabindranath Tagore, who inspired millions through his literary works and philosophical thoughts completes his 156th birthday on May 7th.
He is known as a complete man who encompassed everything in his poetry ranging from religion, aesthetics, education, nationalism, and social dynamics to internationalism and race relations.
Tagore was born on May 7th, 1861, in Central Calcutta. From the childhood, he was not the person of formal education. He dropped out his school in his early age itself and became a person of bottled life, from where he found his extraordinary love for nature. For him, this universe is a gift box, wrapped up with many mysteries, which awaits to be unlocked and explored.
He was the first non-European to achieve Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.
Literature and music held an important part in his life. Tagore made use of his lifestyle to turn more into the world of literature. He started writing from the very early age and until his death that pen kept writing. Tagore modernized Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic structures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke on topics like political and personal
He was against imperialism and supported Indian nationalist. He once mentioned the British administration in India as the “political symptom of our social disease”.
His articles and poems were like a flowing river, it never hanged on to any one meaning, but it moved from one to another as time passed. A stagnant force of delight always remained in his works. Humanist spirit pervades throughout his poetry. Tagore liked to see men as men, not the caste, colour, sex, race. He believed man and nature belonged to each other, like one dwelled in another. The journey of a man to nature is a journey to god according to him.
He believed in values like mutual respect and equality, thus he taught the world. Tagore was the lover of people, life and the call of nature.
“At one pole of my being, I am one with stock and stones. There I have to acknowledge the rule of universal law. That is where the foundation of my existence lies, deep down below….But at the other pole of my being, I am separate from all. There I have broken through the cordon of equality and stand alone as an individual. I am absolutely unique, I am I, I am incomparable.” he claimed.
He taught the need of creating a proper environment and thus a human life to reach harmony. He was the one who reshaped Bengali literature as well as the Indian art with contextual modernism.
“Life of my life, I shall ever try to keep my body pure, knowing that thy living touch is upon all my limbs.
I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts, knowing that thou art that truth which has kindled the light of reason in my mind.
I shall ever try to drive all evils away from my heart and keep my love in flower, knowing that thou hast thy seat in the inmost shrine of my heart
.And it shall be my endeavour to reveal thee in my actions, knowing it is thy power gives me strength to act” – Geethanjali.