100 Years of Nobel Prize to Rabindranath Tagore: India's Greatest Gift to the World

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Hundred years of Noble Prize (1913-2013): Rabindranath Tagore-India’s Greatest Gift to the World.

Through Rabindranath Tagore India has given her message to mankind and his unique genius reflects India’s eternal values. As a visionary saint he guided every soul through the raptures of his music and mystic vision. Tagore having avoided to write in English, emerged as a Bengali poet which ultimately brought about a renaissance to all the Indian languages. The success of Indian Writing in English (IWE) and vernacular literatures in modern India is a direct contribution of this Indian sun (rabi). As a colonized country India could not have been taken seriously but for the international repute of Tagore a century back with a noble prize to the first non-European. He was held in highest esteem as a new fountain of poetry, as a bridge between the East and the West, and above all, a quintessential artist during his life time which ultimately helped awaken India and gained her a ground to be heard for its legitimate claim for swaraj (independence). This paper is attempted to illumine on Tagore’s contribution and his universality what India has ever shared as its greatest gift to the world.

Key Words: Avant –Garde; East-West; educationist; eternal; globalization; Maya; music; religion; Renaissance; Trinity; truth; Time-Space-Causation; visionary.

Tagore left the highest number of creative works in this world counting more than 1,200 songs with music composition, 38 plays, equaling the number of Shakespeare’s, 12 novels, 200 short stories, more than 2,700 pictures, let alone his direction, stage-setting, acting and choreography which sprang from his power of perception, rather than from any logical speculation or existing philosophical treatise. A diversified field of expertise represents a millennium of Indian culture and civlisation. His philosophy and poetic vision fuse into one leading to a universal religion in which everyone is to struggle to realise the universal soul harmonizing the material outside and the spiritual within. He termed it a ‘ Poet’s religion’ and it begins from epistemological quest of perceiving the validity of any knowledge or reality from sensory to extra sensory realization what he put himself as, “Reality cannot be known by the intellect, the infinite has to be realized by the individual in his intuitive experience.”1

Hence, his intuitive poetic effervescence is the insight of a seer like that of the Vedic saints which is expressed through music that transcends the barriers of language. It is not simply his sign language; his power of personality dwells in every phoneme and lyric that carries effect. His poesy is the mirror of the spirit reflecting:

The highest aspirations and longings of the soul of Man. All feeling and effort to express it emanate from the common source of our divine inheritance. In doing so he has bestowed an inestimable benefit on India in the enrichment of her literature and the ennobling and spiritualizing of India's musical ideals and his creations will be known and loved wherever there are lovers of the good and beautiful in art2 In essence, he was a poet-saint and one of the parts of his poetic religion was his determination to bring to the surface the highest ideals of Indian philosophy discovered and stored in the Vedas by Indian sages for the purification of the general mass who could march India forward contesting and constructing the boundaries and borders of nations to the forth coming millennium into a heaven of freedom:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…
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 mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake3....
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