Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. A Short Biography

 

Rabindranath Tagore, also popularly known as Gurudev, was an Indian poet, writer, and philosopher considered one of the most influential figures in modern Indian literature. He is the author of the well-known poem “Gitanjali” and numerous other works of poetry, fiction, and drama. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born in Calcutta in 1861. Tagore came from a wealthy and well-educated family. His father was a leader in the Brahmo Samaj, a Bengal religious and social reform movement. It was a new religious sect of nineteenth century in West Bengal.

 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/religion/festivals/rabindranath-tagore-jayanti-2022/articleshow/91392239.cms

 

Rabindranath Tagore was exposed to Western thought and culture from an early age, and he was sent to England for his education when he was just seventeen. While in England, Tagore began writing poetry in the Bengali language. He also experimented with other genres, including short stories and plays. In 1883, he returned to India, and his first collection of poems, “Bengali Songs,” was published the following year. Tagore’s work celebrated the spiritual and the mystical, and he sought to promote a vision of India as a country united by its diversity. He is perhaps best known for his call for India’s independence from British rule, which he delivered in a speech at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1930. Tagore died in 1941, but his legacy continues to inspire writers and thinkers in India and worldwide.

 

Family history and Early Life:

Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest son of 13 surviving children (nicknamed “Rabi”) and was born on May 7, 1861. He was the son of Rabindranath Tagore. His mother’s name was Saradha Devi. She died when Tagore was a young child. Their servant primarily raised him. His family used to host theatre and Bengali and Western classical music recitals. They also did the publication of literary magazines. Several musicians came and stayed at their home and taught music to the children. He got his formal education at home. He was sent to England for formal education, but he did not complete his schooling there.

 

Shilaidaha: 1878–1901:

Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Debendranath Tagore, wanted him to become a barrister. In 1878 Tagore enrolled at a public school in Brighton, East Sussex, and England. He stayed there for several months. He read law but left school and decided to read Shakespeare’s plays Coriolanus. Tagore started to manage his vast ancestral estates in Shelaidaha in 1890. He released one of his best-known Manasi poems (1890).

 

Santiniketan: 1901–1932:

He went to Santiniketan in 1901 to find an ashram with a prayer hall, a school, gardens, and a library. There he lost his wife and two children. They died due to cholera. His father also died in 1905. He received monthly payments and income from the Maharaja of Tripura.

 

Travels:

Rabindranath Tagore visited more than thirty countries on five continents between 1878 and 1932. He took his translated works with him to England. His works gained attention from missionaries and many other poets and writers. He returned home at the age of 63. He accepted an invitation from the Peruvian government. Tagore began a four-month tour of Southeast Asia with his two companions. They visited Malacca, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Siam, Singapore, Bali, and Java.

 

Works:

He was primarily known for his poetry. He also wrote novels, short stories, travelogues essays, dramas, and thousands of songs. His short stories are most highly regarded. He wrote his first dram when he was just sixteen. He started his work as a play of feeling, not action”. He wrote Bisarjan in 1890. He is indeed credited with originating the Bengali-language version of the genre. His work is noted for its rhythm and optimism, and such stories are mainly borrowed from ordinary people. His non-fictional work is filled with history, spirituality, and linguistics. He also wrote autobiographies. His travelogues, essays, and lectures were compiled into several volumes.

Songs and Art:

He composed around 2,230 songs. His songs are merged into his literature fluidly. His songs are liked and sung by the Bengalis. Even illiterate villagers sing his songs. Tagore took up drawing and painting at his sixty. He successfully exhibited his many works in Paris upon encouragement by artists. It was held throughout Europe. He was red-green colorblind. Which resulting strange color schemes and off-beat aesthetics in his work.

 

Politics:

He supported Indian nationalists. He opposed imperialism. He revealed his views in their favor in Manast. His views enraged many. He rebelled against the nationalist of the independence movement. He called the British presence in India the “political symptom of our social disease.” During his stay in a San Francisco hotel in 1916, He narrowly escaped assassination.

 

Theft of Nobel Prize:

Tagore received Nobel Prize in 1913. His nobel prize and several other of his belongings were stolen from the safety vault of the Visva-Bharati University on 25v March 2004. Tagore’s Nobel Prize were replicas by the Swedish Academy by the two; one made of gold and the other made of bronze. In 2016 the thieves were arrested. The Nobel Prize was returned to the Visva-Bharati University.

 

Death:

He passed away on August 7, 1941, at 80. Rabindranath Tagore was one of the most prolific and celebrated writers. His work ranged from poetry and novels to plays and essays. He was also a respected philosopher and thinker. Many people from all over the world mourned over his death.

 

Legacy:

Kabipranam, his birth anniversary, is celebrated by many groups across the globe. The Tagore Festival is held annually in Urbana (USA). Rabindra Path Parikrama is a walking pilgrim. In this pilgrim, the pilgrimages walk from Kolkata to Santiniketan and recite his poetry. These events are held on significant anniversaries. Tagore was a true Renaissance man who excelled in many different fields, including poetry, painting, music, and drama. He was also a great thinker with profound insights into the human condition. His writings continue to inspire and enlighten people. And his vision of a world united in harmony is as relevant today as it was when he first articulated it. Tagore was a true man’s giant, and his legacy will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of all fortunate enough to encounter his work.

 

Summary:

Rabindranath Tagore was one of modern India’s most prolific and influential figures. Born in 1861 in Calcutta, he was exposed to various influences from a young age. He was educated in both Bengali and English and went on to study law and philosophy in England. However, he returned to India before completing his studies and began to focus on his writing. Tagore was a prolific writer and is best known for his poetry. He wrote numbers of novels, short stories, and plays. His work often dealt with social and political issues, and he strongly advocated independence from British rule. He was also a fierce critic of orthodox Hinduism and sought to promote a more liberal and inclusive form of the religion. In addition to his literary work, Tagore was also a composer and musician. He wrote the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh, and his work has hugely influenced the development of Bengali music. Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, becoming the first Asian writer to receive the award. He died in 1941, leaving behind a legacy that continues to be hugely influential in India and beyond.

 

 

Reference Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabindranath_Tagore

https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1913/tagore/biographical/

 

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