Visakavi Rabindranath Tagore was a poet, playwright, novelist, artist, musician, educationist and patriot, all rolled into one. Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda hailed him as “a modern mystic” of pre-independent India. It is interesting to note that among all the literary profusions of this creative genius, it was Gitanjali, a slim volume of poems that won for him world acclaim and the Nobel Prize.
It is heartening to note that chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) Shodha Sansthan is publishing the Sanskrit translation of this deeply divine outpouring. I congratulate Sri. K. Ramakrishna Warrier for his simple, lucid and lovely translation.
I am very happy that CIF has been granted recognition as Shodha Sansthan by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Deemed University, New Delhi, and that the Sanskrit translation of Gtanjali is its debut publication. This is an important milestone in the history of CIF which is flourishing into an international center for Sanskrit Studies and Indology.
I invoke the Lord’s grace and Pujya Gurudev’s Blessings on one and all.
Rabindranath Tagore, the celebrated and renowned poet, needs no introduction. The profound sense of beauty that pervades his works also underscores the nobility behind his writings and touches everyone's heart. To quote Suniti Kumar Chatterji, the Bengali educationist and litterateur, "Tagore was a unique and rare phenomenon in the domain of man, the full or complete and integrated man-with a mind of widest perception." Tagore was always looking at the future of mankind and his words that expressed concern for the betterment of humanity, came from his heart. That is why Tagore is called the poet of the 'visvamanava', the oriental sage and prophet. Tagore's works have a universal appeal. He worked to unite all sections of society and the compassion he felt towards mankind, is evident in all his works. Let me quote one of his songs:
"They stand with uplifted eyes,
Thirsty after light,
Lead them to light,
My Lord! They cannot see the paths in the twilight dark while the nights of despairs gather before them."
The Gitanjali written in Bengali and translated into many languages is a collection of songs to be sung in fine tunes. Bengali is the daughter of Sanskrit and Gitanjali has been translated into Sanskrit by many poets. One of them is Prof. N. Gopala Pillai, a renowned Sanskrit scholar and writer from Kerala, whose translation was published in 1959.
Gopala Pillai had two objectives in doing this:
(1) To pay his tributes to Tagore through his translation,
(2) To demonstrate to the new world that the ancient cultural language of India remains competent to absorb new imagination.
In this translation, Prof. N. Gopala Pillai followed the style of poet Jayadeva, author of the famous Gita-govinda.
Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) Shodha Sans than is delighted to bring out a new Sanskrit translation of Gitanjali. Sri. K. Ramakrishna Warrier, a traditional Sanskrit Scholar of Kerala, now residing in Chennai, Tamilnadu, has earlier left his mark on a collection of Sanskrit poems by name Paritosikam. His style is very simple and capable of touching the minds of the readers. Sri. Warrier is a lover of nature and is known for his passion for upholding the unity of mankind.
Sri. Warrier's translation of Gitanjali stands in good stead for his tiresome spirit to enrich the Sanskrit Language.
Compared to Prof. Gopala Pillai's translation, Sri. Warrier's is closer to the original Bengali.
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