Rabindranath Tagore


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The early life

Born as the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore in the year 1861, Rabindranath Tagore, the great poet of contemporary Bengal and undivided India, received his early education at home. Debendranath was a leader of the Brahmo Samaj which was a new religious faith aimed at reviving the old monastic base and glory of Hinduism. At the age of seventeen, Rabindrantah was sent to England for schooling though he did not finish his study there. But from the beginning he had a preference for literature and arts.

In the grown up age

When he grew up, Rabindranath was entrusted with the responsibility of managing his family real estate and this provided him with a broader view of the humanitarian and social reform aspects. He started an experimental school trying a new pattern of education following the ideals of Upanishad, at Shantiniketan. He was a close follower of the Indian National Movement and had a great friend in the father of the nation Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi. Side wise his literary pursuits continued and culminated in the epoch making “Geetanjali" for which he was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize. He was also awarded the Knighthood by the British Empire which he relinquished after some time protesting against rule of British tyrannies in India. As a poet and writer his fame continued to grow higher and he was frequently invited to deliver lectures in most prestigious venues world over. He had in fact become the symbol of the Bengali Literature.

The works

The first work of this great literary genius came in the shape of a collection of fifty odd poems captioned “Manasi" in the year 1890. Manasi was followed by “Sonar Tari" in 1894, “Gitanjali" in 1910, “Gitimalya in 1914, and “Balaka" in 1916. Many of his poems were translated in English and published worldwide. Though he was most well known as a poet and earned the nickname of “Viswakabi" a poet of the world his works were not confined to composing poems only. He was also the author of many short stories in Bengali and a number of novels. His most notable novels were “Gora" in 1910, “Ghare-Baire" in 1916, “Chokher Bali" and Yogayog in 1929. Besides he wrote a number of famous plays like the “Raja" in 1910, “Dakghar" in 1912, “Achalayatan" in 1912, “Muktadhara" in 1922 and “Raktakaravi" in 1926. He also composed music for his poems and lyrics and used to paint pictures too. Truly speaking he had multifarious creative expertise and brilliance. During the sixty years of his writing and composing life he could come up with one thousand poems, two dozens of play, eight novels, and two thousand songs with music, a lot of other writings and volumes of short stories. Three marked influences are visible in his writings, the Sanskrit lyrics, the Vaisnaba writings in Bengal and the renowned English poet Shelly.

Visit Santiniketan to know more about him.


No writing on the great Rabindranath can be complete without a reference to his creation, the Shantiniketan that he founded at Bolpur in 1901. This was his way of protest against the existing system of education. The School became popular instantly and ultimately caused the arrival of Viswbharati University. Most of his ripe ages were spent in Shantiniketan except the times taken off for lecture tours outside the country and state. Shantiniketan school was established at the same place where his father Debendranath founded an Ashram in 1863. The Shantiniketan culture is a mixture of the East and West. One of the unique events at Shantiniketan is the Pausa Mela where students and teachers take active part together. To day Shantiniketan is a famous university not only in Bengal but in India and world. The main attraction of Shantiniketan is various artistic buildings set up inside the university campus. The Poet, also popularly called as Gurudev (Teacher) lived in Uttarayn Complex. Later his son Rathindranath Tagore also made several improvements to the buildings. Some renowned artists like Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose and the great sculptor Ramkinkar Baize were the proud products of Shantiniketan.

Rabindranath breathed his last at the age of 80 in 1941.

Visit Rabindra Sangeet to know about his music.

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