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Quotes from Tagore

Quotes from Tagore
Item Code: IDE186
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8129105535
Pages: 181
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 7.8" X 5.2"
weight of book 172 gms


From the Jacket:


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):

When the voice of the silent
touches my words
I know him and therefore I
know myself

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:

We touch the infinite reality immediately within us
only when we perceive the pure truth of love or
goodness, not through the explanation of theologians,
not through the erudite discussion to ethical doctrines.

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:

True modernism is freedom of the mind, not slavery of
taste. It is independence of thought and action, not
tutelage under European school masters. It is science,
but not its wrong application in life.
This book of quotes has a collection of 174 inspiring thoughts of Tagore related with various topics which refer to his artistic activities and other social commitments. His ideas can always be our companion in the search for values, in all that contributes to civisation. His creative gift will outlast empires, the whirligig of politics and public taste. His thoughts have the potentiality to guide us as a narrative of faith in man and hope for the triumph of the individual Once he wrote, 'As I look around I see the crumbling ruins of a proud civilisation strewn like a vast heap of futility,' and yet he thought it was 'grievous sin' to lose faith in man. 'A Day will come when unvanquished man will retrace his path of conquest, despite all barriers, to win back his lost human heritage'

Indra Nath choudhuri



Introduction XV
Acquisition and enjoyment 1
Aesthetics 1
Animal and man 1
A personal being 2
Aphorism 3
Art 3
Art and life 5
Artists and scientists 5
Barbarism 6
Beauty 6
Beauty and freedom 9
Beauty and truth 10
Bondage and liberation 11
Caste 11
Children 12
Christian 12
Civilization 13
Commercialism 15
Common fellowship 15
Courtesy 16
Creation 16
Creative impulse 18
Crucible of reason 19
Dejection 19
Delight 19
Dharma 21
Different truths 22
Discord 23
Divide and rule 23
Dream 24
East and West 24
Education 32
Emotions 37
Emotional forces 38
English literature 38
Enlightenment 39
Europe 39
Everlasting love 40
Excellence 41
Eyes of the soul 41
Faith in man 42
Fish 42
Fishing 43
Freedom 44
Gentleman 50
Good 50
Good and bad 50
Greed 51
Growth 52
Happiness 52
Higher self 52
His own language 53
Home and barriers 53
Horse-power and spirit-power 53
Humanity 54
Ideals 55
Ideals of perfection 56
Ideas 56
Imagination 56
Imperfection 57
India 57
India's unity 58
Infinite reality 58
Isolation 59
Joy and things 59
Knowledge 60
Learning a language 60
Leisure 60
Life 61
Life and death 61
Life and goodness 62
Life, the rebel 62
Literature 63
Love 63
Man 67
Man's religion 75
Man and God 75
Man and nature 76
Man and women 77
Mentorship 77
Mind 78
Miscellaneous 78
Modernism 91
Modern civilization 92
Moral and immoral 92
Music 93
Mutual menace 94
Nationalism 94
Nature 97
Nature and human 97
Othello and Manu 98
Our soul 98
Pain and joy 99
Paradise 99
Paradise of perfection 100
Peace and conflict 100
Pessimism 100
Poetry 101
Poetry and arts 101
Poets and artists 102
Poverty and wealth 102
Primitive man 102
Progress 103
Prosody of the stars 104
Puritanism 104
Quotes from Fireflies and Stray Birds 105
Real knowledge 112
Realism and reality 112
Realization 114
Relation to beauty 114
Relationship 115
Religion 115
Religion and Sectarianism 120
Renunciation 121
Revolution 121
Rhythm 122
Science 122
Science and religion 123
Sex and aesthetics 125
Simplicity 125
Sin 126
Socialized tyranny 126
Soul and poetry 127
Spirit of progress 128
Spirit dyspepsia 128
Success 128
Surface of life 129
Survival of the fittest 129
The artist 129
The best teaching 129
The demon of barbarity 130
The forest Asramas 130
The golden key 130
The highest truth 131
The imperialists 131
The infinite 131
The infinite being 132
The kingdom of wisdom and love 133
The light 134
The limit 135
The mind 135
The miracle world 136
The modern age 136
The pen and the brush 141
The personal man 141
The poet and the modern world 141
The politicians 142
The present age 143
The prophet 144
The reality 145
The search for God 145
The shrinking man 145
The sterile sand 146
The truth of life 146
The universe 146
The world 147
The world's reality 147
This and that 148
Tradition 148
Truth 149
Truth and beauty 154
Tyranny 154
Unity 155
Universal and unique 155
Universal man 155
Universal mind 157
Unreason 157
War and peace 158
Warehouse security 159
Western civilization 159
Wholeness of being 161
Within and without 161
Women 162


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