Monday March 19, 2018

The never ending journey to self discovery: Remembering Rabindranath Tagore



By Prachi Mishra

In this playhouse of infinite forms, I have had my play and here have I caught sight of him that is formless. -Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore, India’s one of the most prominent cultural personalities, has artistically brought out the essence of eastern spirituality in his poetry unlike any other poet. He himself had stated that his spiritual vision inculcates “the ancient spirit of India as revealed in our sacred texts and manifested in the life of today.”

Swami Adiswarananda of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York, in the preface of ‘Tagore: The Mystic Poets’ wrote, “The inner-seeking spirituality of India infused all of Tagore’s writing. He wrote in many genres of the deep religious milieu of Hinduism. The values and core beliefs of the Hindu scriptures permeated his work.”

“Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophical and spiritual thoughts transcend all limits of language, culture, and nationality. In his writings, the poet and mystic takes us on a spiritual quest and gives us a glimpse of the infinite in the midst of the finite, unity at the heart of all diversity, and the Divine in all beings and things of the universe,” said the Swami.

Tagore was born in 1861 in a wealthy Bengali Brahmin family that was devoutly Hindu, yet also strongly political. His father and grandfather were involved with in the religious movement called Brahmo Samaj. After growing up in such an atmosphere, Rabindranath developed a strong individual perception of life.

In his writings, Tagore kept reiterating that humanity’s mission is to ultimately merge with God. He focused primarily on man’s oneness with God. In Sadhana, he stated “Man becomes perfect man, he attains his fullest expression, when his soul realizes itself in the Infinite being who is Avih (fearless), whose very essence is expression.”

“This is the ultimate end of man, to find the One, which is in him, which is his truth, which is his soul; the key with which he opens the gate of the spiritual life”, he added.

Tagore regarded human being as the highest of God’s creations. He believed that humans are endowed with an inherent divinity, which helps them to attain perfection. He wrote, “The world has found its culmination in man, its best expression. Man, as a creation, represents the Creator.”

Gurudev’s primary literary theme was man’s achievement of moksha (liberation) from the cycle of reincarnation. He believed that man is perpetually expanding the horizons of his mind and soul, and his ultimate destination is the divine union with God. His written works elucidated the idea of surrendering to God and serving humanity with love and respect.

He not only believed in serving humanity, but also in serving nature. His religious inspirations came mostly from nature. It was nature that gave his poetry its ethereal beauty. The poem Gitanjali (song offerings), for which he was awarded the 1913 Nobel Prize for literature, celebrates the worship of nature.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Rabindranath Tagore was indeed a very knowledgeable personality. Not only did kids love his stories, but elders also enjoyed it to the fullest

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Trump views 50 years out of date, may trigger disruptive trade war: Paul Krugman

According to him, immediate issue is going to be confrontation not with China, but with Europe as the "steel tariffs" will hit Europe

human rights
Trump is not taking his responsibilities seriously: Paul Krugman. Wikimedia Commons
  • Paul Krugman criticises U.S. President Donald Trump
  • Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize winner
  • Paul says Trump’ actions can cause a war

Criticising the US President Donald Trump for his protectionists policies, Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman on Saturday accused President Trump of not taking his jobs seriously. Following the protectisists measures taken by the US President, there could be “risks of disruptive trade war”, he said.

President Donald Trump has pledged to avoid any new foreign business deals during his term in office.
President Donald Trump is heavily criticised. Wikimedia Commons

“He does not take the job seriously. He doesn’t say to himself that I am the most important official in the world; I have better do my homework for understanding the issue. ..He just goes that these are my gut feeling and hires people who make him feel good…that is a frightening prospect,” Krugman said responding to a query on his perception on Trump. On the economic issues President Trump’s gut feelings are “protectionist” and his views of America were “50 years out of date”.

“He wants America a heavy industrial country in the way it was when he was a young man. That is not just going to happen but he attempts to make it happen, which is extremely disruptive to America and to the global as a whole,” Nobel Laureate said. Krugman said he was until recently optimistic that Trump’s protectionist policies would not see the light of the day.

“Until about two weeks ago, I was quite optimistic that it would not happen. The reason was not because the President would get good economic advice but because the US businesses are invested in a globalised economy. All the investments the businesses have made is based upon the assumptions that the open trading system would continue. There is an enormous amount of fiscal capital and a large number of jobs are dependent on these value chains,” he said at the News18 Rising India Summit here.

Also Read: Trump Not Backing Down on Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

Krugman further said: “I had assumed the influence of these business communities would be sufficient… that it would not happen. I am less optimistic now…we have seen reasonably sensible Economic Council Head was fired, completely irrational tariff (was) imposed on steel and aluminium.”

The President also called for more mental institutions and hospitals in addition to the idea of arming teachers.
Krugman says these actions of President can cause a trade war. Wikimedia Commons

According to him, immediate issue is going to be confrontation not with China, but with Europe as the “steel tariffs” will hit Europe. He said there are possible risks of “disruptive global trade war”.

Speaking on Chinese economy he said, “China is a financial crisis waiting to happen. China is a widely unbalanced economy…the country is sustaining itself with a credit bubble that is waiting to burst…There is a significant risk of Chinese bubble burst.”