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Portal:Rabindranath Tagore

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Late-middle-aged bearded man in Grey robes sitting on a chair looks to the right with serene composure.
Tagore (c. 1925)

Rabindranath Tagore FRAS (/rəˈbɪndrənɑːt tæˈɡɔːr/ (About this sound listen); Bengali: [robindronatʰ ʈʰakur]), Bengali: রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর, Phonetic transcription: Robindronath Ţhakur, Latin transliteration: Ravīndranātha Ṭhākura (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941),(Bengali : 25 Baishakh, 1268 - 22 Srabon, 1348 - ২৫শে বৈশাখ, ১২৬৮ - ২২শে শ্রাবণ, ১৩৪৮ বঙ্গাব্দ) sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath from the Indian subcontinent, who was a poet, musician and artist. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", 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 Pirali Brahmin from Calcutta with ancestral gentry roots in Jessore, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. At the age of sixteen, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym Bhānusiṃha ("Sun Lion"), 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.

Selected article

Chitra is a one-act play written by Rabindranath Tagore, first published in English in 1913 by the India Society of London. The play adapts part of the story from the Mahabharata and centers upon the character of Chitrangada, a female warrior who tries to attract the attention of Arjuna. Chitra has been performed worldwide and has been adapted into several different formats, such as dance.

Selected image

Rabindranath with Einstein.jpg
Credit: UNESCO

Rabindranath with Einstein in 1930

Selected drama

Vālmīki-Praṭibhā (Bengali: বাল্মীকি-প্রতিভা, Balmiki Protibha, lit. The Genius of Vālmīki) is an opera by Rabindranath Tagore. The Bengali libretto was written by Tagore himself based on the legend of Ratnakara the Thug who later became Sage Valmiki and composed Ramayana, a Hindu epic.

Composed in 1881, the opera was first performed at the Jorasanko Thakur Bari on 26 February 1881. Tagore himself played the role of Valmiki. It was staged in front of some eminent literary personalities of contemporary Bengal like Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Gooroodas Banerjee and Haraprasad Shastri. The first edition of the opera was also published this time. The second and final edition was published on 20 February 1886.

The music of this opera was a "fusion of classical, folk and European strains." The story narrates how Ratnakara, a robber chief turns into a great poet by the grace of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom.

Selected poem

Rabindranath Tagore at the time he wrote the first "Bhanusimha" song, 1877. A sketch by Gaganendranath Tagore.

Bhanusimha Thakurer Padabali (Bengali: ভানুসিংহ ঠাকুরের পদাবলী, Bhanushingho Thakurer Padabali; lit. The Songs of Bhanushingho Thakur) is a collection of Vaishnava lyrics composed in Brajabuli by Rabindranath Tagore. It was published in 1884. These lyrics, which were earlier brought out in several issues of Bharati magazine, were first anthologized in 1884. Later, Tagore described composing these songs in his reminiscences Jiban Smriti. Rabindranath Tagore wrote his first substantial poems titled Bhanusimha Thakurer Padabali in Brajabuli under the pseudonym Bhānusiṃha ("Sun Lion") at age sixteen.

The anthology has 22 songs out of which only nine exists in Swarabitan (Vol. XXI), collection of notations of Tagore’s music.

Selected fiction

Nastanirh (also Nashtanir, Bengali নষ্টনীড় Nôshţoniŗh; English: The Broken Nest) is a 1901 Bengali novella by Rabindranath Tagore. It is the basis for the noted 1964 film Charulata, by Satyajit Ray.

Selected song

Bengali English transliteration Word for Word translation
তবু মনে রেখো যদি দূরে যাই চলে।

যদি পুরাতন প্রেম ঢাকা পড়ে যায় নবপ্রেমজালে। যদি থাকি কাছাকাছি, দেখিতে না পাও ছায়ার মতন আছি না আছি-- তবু মনে রেখো। যদি জল আসে আঁখিপাতে, এক দিন যদি খেলা থেমে যায় মধুরাতে, তবু মনে রেখো। এক দিন যদি বাধা পড়ে কাজে শারদ প্রাতে-- মনে রেখো। যদি পড়িয়া মনে ছলোছলো জল নাই দেখা দেয় নয়নকোণে-- তবু মনে রেখো।

Tobu mone rekho jodi dure jai chole.

jodi puraton prem dhaka pore jay nobpremjale jodi thaki kachakachi, dekhite na pao chayar moton achi na achi-- tobu mone rekho. jodi jol ase ankhipate,ek din jodi khela theme jay modhurate, tobu mone rekho. ek din jodi badha pore kaj sharod prate--mone rekho. jodi poriya mone chcholo chcholo jol nai dekha dai noyonkonay-- tobu mone rekho.

But keep in mind that if you walk away.

If the old love is covered in the net If you are nearby, I am not like the shadow I see - But remember that If water comes to light, one day if the game stops in honey, But remember that If one day obstacles fall into practice, remember - Think if you read Slowly water does not appear in the eyes - But remember that.


“Every person is worthy of an infinite wealth of love - the beauty of his soul knows no limit.” -Rabindranath Tagore, Glimpses of Bengal [1]

“Who are you, reader, reading my poems a 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 an hundred years.”

“Trust love even if it brings sorrow. Do not close up your heart.” ― Rabindranath Tagore, The Gardener [2]

“The roots below the earth claim no rewards for making the branches fruitful.”

“We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.”

“Once we dreamt that we were strangers. We wake up to find that we were dear to each other.”

~ Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds [3]

(All quotes sourced from Project Gutenberg)

Did you know...


Selected singer

Indrani Sen is a famous Bengali singer. Indrani Sen is the most recognized singer for Rabindra Sangeet. She is a daughter of Sumitra Sen, one of the eminent exponents of Rabindra Sangeet, is possibly the most talented female vocalist, for her distinctive style combined with well- modulated delivery, and her grip over various forms of Indian music. She has excelled not only in songs of Tagore and Nazrul, but in Bhajans, Geets, Ghazals, Modern Bengali Songs, devotional and many other forms of light classical and modern music. She is reigning the music industry since last 40 years as the most respected and honored vocalist.


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  1. ^ Glimpses of Bengal
  2. ^ The Gardener
  3. ^ Stray Birds
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