Rabindranath Tagore was a multi-faceted genius. His universalism combined the finer ideas of Eastern and Western philosophy. His deep roots in India's ancient culture were reflected in his creative manifestations - in poetry, music, ballet, drama, novel and painting.
This book of quotations presents a bouquet of his thoughts on love, freedom, greed, spirituality and other elements of modern life.
A book of hundreds of Rabindranath Tagore's valuable and inspiring thoughts on various subjects collected from his writings is of enormous value to readers to understand the insightful observation not only of a great mind but also of one of the most towering renaissance figures of 19th and 20th century India.
True, Tagore was primarily a poet. He won the Nobel Prize in 1913 for his Gitanjali, which was a collection of religious lyrics originally written in Bengali and translated into English by the poet himself. But surely he was more than English by the poet himself. But surely he was more than a poet, a dramatist, writer of stories, novelist, a social, political, religious, aesthetic thinker, innovator in education, rural reconstruction and a champion of the 'One World' idea.
The range and thrust of his thoughts culled from his reflective writing on society, religion, culture, civilisation, asesthetics, education, rural, welfare, nationalism, internationalism, race relations etc. are of great value even today. Some of his single phrases and insights are capable of infinite annotations. He is, of course, less a philosopher and more a visionary whose life-long quest for the ideal is expressed in the following words from "My Reminiscences" (1917):
This book of quotes has a number of quotations on 'The Infinte'(page 132). Tagore says that men must find and feel and represent in all their works the Eternal. If it is said that such pursuit, with an eye fixed on the Eternal, involves what Toynbee called etherealisation, it is not always true. The quote on 'Infinite Reality' given in page 58 of this book rather informs Tagore's deep concern for pure truth of love or goodness from other than the human point of view:
Till today he is the most widely read Indian writer in India and abroad not just as a poet but also as a socio- political thinker, educationist, phosphor and an aesthetician of great merit. Tagore was criticised in the West in his lifetime for denunciating nationalism, which did not find favour in the West or in Japan. But today there is a growing interest in him and people want to understand his views on nationalism. Now the realisation has come that Togore's dream of a world order, not broken up into fragment by narrow domestic walls, ought to be made a reality for peace in this universe. The world all over is now referring to his intense concern for various issues of the contemporary world, particularly the unity of the universe and the uniqueness of man and the relationship between them.
While reading these quotes one comes to realize that Tagore's prose has an intimate relationship with poetry. His prose is capable of capturing those fine shades of emotion we normally look for in lyrice: its range stretches from the most abstruse to the intensely lyrical. This book of quotes is full of such lyrical prose. Just to give one example, while presenting his views on modernity in literature (page 91) language, makes use of an expression which is lyrical in its intensity:
Indra Nath choudhuri
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