Manual Rabindranath Tagore: Perspectives in Time

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He also composed more than two thousand songs, both the music and lyrics. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. He died on August 7, at the age of Rabindranath Tagore : Perspectives in Time. Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore, a Bengalese writer, artist and thinker won the Nobel Prize for Literature and became an international celebrity. These essays arose from an international Tagore Conference held in London in which aimed to reassess the range of his achievement and the catholicity of his thought. The Bengali Prophet of Mass Genocide.

The Supernatural in Tagores Short Stories. Tagores Educational Ideals. A Legend in His. Introducing Tagore in Multicultural Education.


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Andrews Calcutta Cambridge century Chaudhurani child civilisation composer creative critic cultural D. But we do hope that the volume, enriched by contributions from learned scholars both from India and abroad, will be welcomed by the readers. The task becomes more difficult when so much has already been written on him over the years. Happily, the interest in Tagore is growing all over the world.

Stereotypes are being replaced by fresh appraisals and deeper critical appreciation. One may say that Tagore is being rcdiscoverd. The convention- al image of Tagore as the author of Gitanjali, which earned him the distinction of being the first Nobel Prize winner in Literature from Asia, is being replaced by that of a literary phenomenon and rare all-round genius. This was long overdue. There is also an increasing awareness of the relevance of his literature, philosophy and ideas in the present-day world. The articles included in the volume indicate the new dimensions of Tagore studies.

This is the destiny of every genius, the price he has to pay for his success and fame. Rabindranath Tagore has not escaped this destiny. Recognised as one of the greatest poets of the modern age, he Was not taken seriously as a thinker. Tagore wrote serious essays on subjects derived from such diverse fields as philosophy, religion, art, education, social and political thought. In many of these areas he made a valuable contribution by exposing prejudices, by putting forward original interpretations and by anticipating many important ideas which were later accepted.

It is being recognised that many of the ideas of Dewey. Whitehead, and other philosophers of education were anticipated by Tagore half a century earlier. That area is Aesthetics, or the Philosophy of Art, as some would prefer to call it.

Rabindranath Tagore: Perspectives in Time by Rabindranath Tagore, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

In ail the collections of his English essays and lectures — Sadhana, Creative Unity and Personality — there are comments on art, beauty, creativity and aesthetic experience. NARVANE his writings on religious subjects, since he accepted the traditional Indian view regarding the close connection between religious andaestheticexperience. His Bengali writings, and particularly his discourses collected in the series of volumes entitled Santiniketan, yield a wealth of information regarding his aesthetic ideas. So do his autobiographical writings and the large number of letters which he wrote to friends, scholars, thinkers and artists in India and abroad.

His convictions regarding specific philosophical questions, and even his interpretations of certain philosophical terms, can hardly be appreciated unless one remembers that we are dealing with the philosophy of a poet, an artist. It was maintained in the above paragraph that Tagore's philosophical ideas were influenced by his aesthetic approach, and by the fact that he was himself a creative artist of the front rank.

Tagore s views on art, beauty, creativity, and other issues that are traditionally discussed in Aesthetics, follow — naturally and spontaneously — from his general philosophical out- look and his basic ideas about Reality, Knowledge and human nature. A study of Tagore's aesthetics must therefore begin with a statement of his basic philosophical convictions and presuppositions which are reflected in his views on specific aesthetic questions.

He looks upon life as an indivisible, ever-flowing river which cannot be studied in portions by putting intellectual dams across it. Indeed, the river becomes for him a beautiful, poetic symbol of all-inclusiveness and relatedness. Eternally the same and eternally new, the river suggests the harmonious coexistence of apparently opposite principles. Here Tagore's philosophy takes on a distinctly aesthetic colouring, as can be seen from some of his river-poems. One such poem is Prabahini. My songs to heaven rise.

To my right is happiness.

Rabindranath Tagore’s Educational Ideas and Experiments by Christine Kupfer

Pain to my left attends. In the tranquil sea of music Melody's journey ends. Darkness and light, earth and heaven, sorrow and joy, sound and silence; all are glimpsed in the progress of the river through hills and valleys, towns and villages, deserts and forests.

The German philosopher. Count Hermann Keyserling, once described Rabindranath Tagore as 'The greatest reconciler of the modern age. It should be emphasized here that the Middle Path implies a positive, affirmative acceptance of whatever is valuable in each perspective, not just a negation or rejection of what is irrational or outmoded. Avoidance of onesided, extreme views is only one part of building the middle way.

We see this affirmative spirit at work in Tagore's handling of major philosophical issues. In his concept of Reality, he leans towards the idea Of Supreme Personality, without excluding the impersonal view of the Absolute. The Infinite is interpreted in and through finite experience; but the distinction between the finite and the Infinite is not glossed over. On the question of knowledge, he emerges as a rationalist who realises that Reason must be enriched by Intuition.

In ethics, Tagore treads the middle path between asceticism and hedonism, between action and contemplation. In his religious express- ions, the way of devotion and love is lauded, but a note of warning is sounded against emotional excess. This philosophy of reconciliation and harmony, of balance and proportion, is of special significance in the field of aesthetics. But before I turn to a discussion of Tagore's views on harmony in his comments on art, I would like to conclude this section by quoting from another of his poems which seems very relevant in the present context.

The title of the poem isSamahjasya 'Accord' or 'Equilibrium'. Here is an English rendering: Incense longs to merge itself with fragrance. And fragrance desires to cling to incense. Tune wishes to be imprisoned in metre. While metre hastens to unite itself with tune. Feeling yearns to become a part of Form, But Form desires to surrender itself to Feeling. And the finite wishes to lose itself in the Infinite.

Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore: A Perspective

In creation and dissolution, through some mysterious contrivance. There is continuous coming-and-going between Feeling and Form. Bondage wanders in search of its freedom; Freedom seeks a dwelling-place within Bondage. The Infinite and finite point to the metaphysical aspect of this harmony; Freedom and Bondage have ethical suggestions; Feeling and Form evoke the aesthetic side of this universal harmony.

Ill Let us now see how Tagore applies his philosophical world- view , based on a strong emphasis on harmony and integration, to his aesthetics. Tagore does not give us any definition of Beauty. But he tries to bring out the concept of the beautiful from various angles. Thus in the history of aesthetics there comes an age of emancipation. He gravitates more towards the ancient ideal which, as we will see presently, transcended the barriers of East and West in its emphasis on harmony. Tagore's idea of harmony has two implications: first, there is the assumption that the intellectual, practical and other aspects of human nature must conform to the aesthetic; and second, that within the aesthetic side of life itself there should be a harmonious coexistence of the rational and the intuitive, the sensuous and the spiritual, the individual and the universal aspects of the creation and appreciation of beauty.

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It would be appropriate, at this point, to take a look at the contrast between ancient and modern aesthetics, as pointed out by some prominent thinkers, such as Winckel- mann in the middle of the nineteenth century, and Bosanquet in the early years of the twentieth century. Winckelmann was the great glorifier of classical Greek art.

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Among the moderns, we find that greater emphasis is laid on the idea of significance, expressiveness The former stressed symmetry, while the latter attached great importance to proportion. Both pointed to the same general principle.


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For Tagore, too, the broad principle of harmony in art finds one of its important manifestations in its unifying role. This is greater than the unity between different parts of an art-work.