About the Book:
Devotion is dedication of the self to the All Serene. To Rabindranath Tagore, it is more than mere dedication. It is a vrata to be I perfect unison with the Vratapati, the Lord of askance in sincerity, purity and poignance.
To be christened with the spirituality of Tagore in the most intrinsic and poignant pattern is to muse and re-muse his devotional songs, and in doing so, one cannot but discover within oneself the lotus-land of spiritual excellence. Indeed, somewhere in the heartland of everyone lurks the unending beckoning of the All Beautiful.
Here are a hundred devotional songs of Rabindranath representing prayer and worship with diverse dimensions of joy, sorrow, awakening, introspection, aspiration, resolution and so on to encounter the All Beautiful.
Hitherto unknown to the national and the global lovers appreciators of Tagore due to language-constraints, A Hundred Devotional Songs of Tagore, the first of its kind in India and abroad, might be a resourceful and thrilling companion to the study of and quest for devotion.
About the Author:
MOHIT CHAKRABARTI, D. Litt., is a teacher of English at Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan. He has participated in so many national and international conferences and has been a regular contributor in a number of journals of repute. Besides being a contributor to children's literature in English and Bengali he is a regular contributor to the studies and researches being to the studies and researches being held on Rabindranath Tagor, Mahatama Gandhi and Swami Vivekanand. He has a number of books to his credit and has also got National Award.
About the Translation:
Translating the songs of Rabindranath Tagore is undeniably a very challenging but thrilling task. Care is taken to be justified to the original as far and as best as possible. One cannot but admit the constraints related to translating a few typical words, phrases and idiomatic expressions, where a judicious approach to retain the nuances called forth is undertaken. At the same time, the imagery patterns of Tagore in each song have been given due importance in the task of translation.
To Rabindranath Tagore devotion is like an ektara always playing on within. It is a state of mind poignant and serene joyous and simple to be in unison with the all beautiful.
A creator of no less than three thousand songs Tagore is undeniably at his best when he composes devotional songs. In the quest for maner manush his devotion finds a new language a new rhythm a new world of thought feeling and emotion incomparable and beyond any parallel in depth and vision.
Here is a humble presentation of a hundred devotional songs of Tagore translated into English and preceded by the original ones in italics for the convenience of those who want to have a glimpse of the original. Moreover the revered readers might tune on within themselves in moments of deep involvements with some of these devotional songs and if so perhaps therein lies the translator’s success.
I cannot but recall the continual enthusiastic words of Professor Himadri Ranjan Bhattacharya my teacher and colleague and the invaluable words of advice tinged with love and affection of Shri Jagadindra Bhowmik a great Tagore scholar and member Board of Editors Rabindra Rachanavali. I humbly dedicate this book to them as a token of my reverence and gratitude.
I would also like to convey my ardent gratefulness to Rabindra Bhavana Visva-Bharati Santiniketean for the matter for illustration.
If the book appeals to everyone interested in devotional songs I would feel me endeavor amply rewarded.
Rabindranath Tagore is at his best in efflorescence of spirituality in his devotional songs. In these songs the spiritual concept of the all serene finds newer avenues in sorrows and sufferings agonies and expectations languishment and laughter. What brings forth a definite and distinct point of departure in the essence and ascent of spirituality is that he endearingly nursles optimism crystallized in the effulgence of purity and catholicity of vision. Even death becomes a caressing partner to encounter the all beautiful. As he characteristically muses.
Duhker timire tumi, p.l.(Translated by me)
The spiritual vision of inner consciousness to be in unison with the all serene as Tagore reveals in his devotional songs is the ardent prayer for a birth anew form the legion to the one. The prayer also finds a lucid language of welcome
Come in closed eyes enamoured
Come with physique pure and bright
Come O beautiful refreshing and calm
Come O come in Variegated dress
Come in joy and sorrow come in the core
Come Daily in all activities
Come at the end of all work
Tumi naba naba ripe P.10 (Translated by me)
Interestingly Tagore does away wit the intense and rigorous methods and techniques of spiritual poignance and loves to enjoy the warmth of spiritual freedom and spontaneity in day to day affairs of life. Love to him becomes an eternal gateway to the wonderland of spirituality. So is joy wherein he sincerely longs for unison with the all true amidst an aura of beauty all around
With the light of the new sun awake today in joy anew in life pure and lovely, loving and shining and clean
The new fountain of life is o’erflooded the songs of hope surging
In this air adorned with peace the fragrance of nectar like flowers flows.
Naba anande jago p.24 (translated by me)
How does Tagore come closer to the all Endearing? Here is an exquisite dramatic muse in which his sense of spirituality finds a living and thrilling resonance.
Yonder rings the sound of thy opening the door amidst my heart.
If the bar is removed in thy room at night and at dawn
In what shame shall I then remain in my room
Much have I Said lies are they all
Much have I trekked false are those trekking
At the End of all paths let me stand at thy door today
Tomar Duar Kholar Dhvani p.42 (translated by me)
To be christened with the spirituality of Tagore in the most intrinsic and poignant pattern is to muse and remuse his devotional songs and in doing so one cannot but discover within oneself the lotus-land of spiritual excellence. Indeed somewhere in the heartland of everyone lurks the unending beckoning of the all beautiful in the soulful words of prayer. This boon do y pray to thee let me rise from death in the tunes of songs.
Tomar Kache e bar magi p.45 (translated by me)
A few words about the basis and rationale of selection. I have excluded the other writings of Tagore primarily because I would like to humbly present his genius and excellence in devotional songs an illuminating area where let us frankly admit nothing is presented especially to the revered and interested readers to Tagore till now. The world of the songs of Tagore is too vast to be encompassed and appreciated either in translation or in critical appreciation his entire writings notwithstanding. As such selection is restricted to a hundred songs that’s reveal the diverse dimensions of devotion. This however does not at all eliminate the immense possibilities of unfolding the unparalleled genius of Tagore in his other devotional songs. Moreover any selection including the present one always arrests every esteemed reader’s attention on assessing the selector within a limited but definite and therefore existing parameter. If this axiom stands valid I would really feel myself unerringly justified and amply rewarded.
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