Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rabindra Jayanti.

"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf." Beautiful words, indeed! These are the words of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore.

Today is a special day. It is the 7th of May... somehow I am managing to rhyme everything these days... don't know how!! But then, writing about one of the greatest of poets and no rhyming (??)... not done!!! Today we are commemorating the 148th birth anniversary of the great poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore. My other posts on this lyrical genuis can be read at: Tagore.

Tagore is my favourite poet, and I thought this to be an apt occasion... to mention some of his words or quotes here. Tagore's words were his thoughts, his philosophy, his teachings and his belief. We have much to reflect, learn and imbibe from them.

Following are some of this great poet's sayings... Read on:

1. "You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Don't let yourself indulge in vain wishes."

2. "By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower."

3. "Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come."

4. "The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."

5. "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark."

6. "Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance."

7. "Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it."

8. "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."

9. "Trees are the Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."

10. "The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous."

11. "Music is the purest form of art... therefore true poets, they who are seers, seek to express the universe in terms of music... The singer has everything within him. The notes come out from his very life. They are not materials gathered from outside."

12. "A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it."

13. "We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility."

14. "Night's darkness is the bag that bursts with the gold of the dawn."

15. "God finds himself by creating."

16. "We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us."

17. "If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars."

18. "If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed; if I say that He is without me, it is falsehood."

19. "In our desire for eternal life we pray for an eternity of our habit and comfort, forgetting that immortality is in repeatedly transcending the definite forms of life in order to pursue the infinite truth of life."

20. "Music fills the infinite between two souls. This has been muffled by the mist of our daily habits."

21. "Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time."

22. "Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield but to my own strength. Let me not cave in."

23. "Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom."

24. "In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects."

25. "Beauty is truth's smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror."

26. "Let me light my lamp", says the star, "And never debate if it will help to remove the darkness."

27. "He who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good."

28. "The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence."

29. "The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures."

30. "Those who own much have much to fear."

31. "Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it."

32. "The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence."

33. "From the solemn gloom of the temple children run out to sit in the dust, God watches them play and forgets the priest."

34. "The touch of an infinite mystery passes over the trivial and the familiar, making it break out into ineffable music... The trees, the stars, and the blue hills ache with a meaning which can never be uttered in words."

35. "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."

Tagore continues to be as popular today as he was in his own time. The reason perhaps is very simple. The man was far ahead of his times. His portrayal of women is encouraging, to say the least. His depiction of his cultural and social milieu not only talked about the existing problems but offered practical solutions to them. He was a modern man.

Last year (2008) on this occasion... a true entertainer that he is, Bollywood superstar and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) owner Shah Rukh Khan enthralled the crowd in Kolkata... reciting Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's poems when the team's match (IPL season 1) against the Bangalore Royal Challengers was delayed due to rains. "Tagore has poems for every mood. So, to boost up the KKR morale and their 65,000 supporters at the gallery, I recited 'Where the mind is without fear' from the translated version of 'Geetanjali' (collection of Tagore's poems)," Shah Rukh said. "He is the epitome of world literature. Whenever I feel stressed out, his songs and poems inspire me. It is an honour that KKR will be playing a match on this pious occasion and that too at the birthplace of the world poet (Bengal). We are really blessed," he concluded.

I too bow my head in all humility in front of the great bard.

Note: Compiled from and Wikipedia.

Photographs: (in clockwise order)

1. A photograph of Tagore as a student in England, in 1880.

2. Water droplets resting on a leaf and reflecting the light like a precious diamond... I felt this picture aptly captures Tagore's words: "Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf."

3. A few lines from Tagore's poem: The Year 1400.


  1. Great collection of quotes by Tagore.

  2. Thanks!

    I have more of them... will put up by and by... I love reading the works of Tagore... including his quotes! He fascinates me...

  3. Sankalitar kobitagulor katha mone pore gelo

  4. Absolutely!

    Tagore is my favourite poet...

    Aami kichudin aage oonar lekha 'Pujarini' kobita-ta pelam... thanks to Rajdeep.

    Ki je bhalo laglo pode... eto bochchor pore...

    Aami "Sanchaita" boita khujhchhi... hopefully ei barer "Kolkate Book Fair" @ BLR-e peye jabo... !!!


  5. pujarini konta re? oi Sankalitar last page e jeta chilo? 'debatar mandir majhe bhakata prabin.....'???

  6. Toke 'Pujarini' kobita-ta mail kore pathiyechi...

    Pode dekh... tahole-ei bujhbi je konta... Its a beautiful poem and one of my favourites... :)