Rabindranath Tagore is one of the most prominent personalities of India. A polymath who created masterpieces in painting has left an indelible legacy in poetry also. Rabindranath Tagore was a philosopher, painter, poet, humanist, storyteller and novelist, truly, his genius is unmatched. The education of Rabindranath Tagore has not been stable as it did not intrigue him but his pupils regarded him as Gurudev. Tagore is the patron of Shantiniketan, the school founded by his father. Seen as the equivalent of Plato’s Academy in India, the school combined Upanishadic principles of teaching with modern education. Let’s read more about him and his life!
This Blog Includes:
- Early Life of Rabindranath Tagor
- Education of Rabindranath Tagore
- His Contributions to the World
- Music and Artworks
- Literature & Nobel Prize
- His Friendship with Albert Einstein
- Political Views and Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore
- Impact on Bengali Renaissance & Swadeshi Movement
- Travels of Rabindranath Tagore
- Unknown Facts of Rabindranath Tagore
- 10 Major Achievements of Rabindranath Tagore
- Museums of Rabindranath Tagore
- Top 5 Inspiring Quotes
- The Legacy of Rabindranath Tagore
Also Read: Greatest Scientist of all Times
Early Life of Rabindranath Tagor
Born in Kolkata on May 8, 1861, to a highly educated family of reformers, thinkers and educationists, Rabindranath Tagore’s father Maharishi Devendranath and mother Sharda Devi supported him in his endeavours from his early childhood. Tagore was the youngest among his thirteen siblings. His elder brother was a poet and his sister a renowned novelist, which influenced him to read the works of various poets and philosophers including Kalidasa. Numerous attempts were made by the family members for the education of Rabindranath Tagore but during his early age, he had found his inner calling in devoting his life to the service of mankind and reading literature. At the age of 16, he started publishing his poems under the pseudonym ‘Bhanusimha’. Becoming the voice of new India, Tagore was at the forefront to improve the educational standard in the country. He was engrossed in the realm of knowledge and learning which led him to explore the works of western thinkers that marked the beginning of him as a philosopher.
Everyone knows Tagore was a Nobel laureate but his Nobel prize had one more replica made of Bronze.
Being a devoted friend of Mahatma Gandhi, he actively took part in India’s freedom struggle. After coming back from England, at the age of 10, he got married to Mrinalini Devi. The education of Rabindranath Tagore can be questioned as he did not have many academic degrees to his credit but the voluminous works produced by him and his contributions are extraordinarily significant.
Education of Rabindranath Tagore
Being the iconic figure in the educational history of India, Rabindranath Tagore was not satisfied with the education system prevalent at that time in the country, which made him isolate himself from it. Despite being born in an educated family, Tagore did not attend school and rather received the education at home. Although in 1878 he was sent to England for formal schooling, he left his studies midway.
His father wanted him to become a barrister and his sister-in-law joined him in England to support him in pursuing his father’s wish but that did not move him from following his heart. Later Tagore was enrolled at the University College London where he was to study Law, but he was determined to follow his passion and he chose to study the works of Shakespeare on his own. During his time in England, he studied English, Irish and Scottish literature.
His Contributions to the World
Rabindranath Tagore’s contribution to society is undeniable. He not only promoted the Indian culture at the international level but also brought in the reformist ideas from other countries to support the development of India. Rabindranath composed his first poem at age eight which demonstrates the exceptional creativity that he had. By the time of his death in 1941, Tagore had written over twenty-five volumes of poetry, fifteen plays, ninety short stories, eleven novels and thirteen volumes of essays. His critically acclaimed work includes Gitanjali, a collection of poetry for which he won Nobel prize in 1913, making him the first Asian Nobel Laureate in literature. The book is a part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works. Moreover, he extensively wrote on culture, politics and other aspects of Indian society at that time. Tagore also wrote the national anthem for India.
Rabindranath Tagore was honoured with a knighthood in 1915 but returned it in the protest against the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.
Music and Artworks
Rabindranath Tagore was an outstanding artist & musician. He created around 2000 masterpieces at his time including various cultural songs & paintings. His songs were the heart of Bengal music culture and were considered as Rabindra Sangeet. He composed many emotional and devotional songs all about love in his era. What astonishing is that at the age of 60 he started creating paintings. His artwork included more than 2000 pictures that were exhibited in many countries.
Literature & Nobel Prize
Literature was Tagore’s passion. Rabindranath Tagore wrote eight novels and a number of poems mostly in the Bengali language. His most acclaimed novels are Ghare Baire, Shesher Kobita, Char Odhay, Gora, Jogajog, and Dak Ghar. He has also excelled in writing autobiographies, fiction, essays on various topics. Rabindranath was known for composing the National anthem for two countries India and Bangladesh. As a prolific musician, he composed the words and music of the Indian national anthem, Jana Gana Mana, in 1950. Later his song for Bangladesh was also accepted.
In the year, Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize because of his “profoundly sensitive, fresh, beautiful and verse with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”. The Nobel Prize was given to Rabindranath Tagore was a matter of pride for all the Indians and especially for the Bengalis.
His Friendship with Albert Einstein
Tagore and Einstein met 4 times between 1930 and 1931. Not only they admired each other but also shared a common interest in music and general interest in so many things. Tagore described Einstein in insightful words, “There was nothing stiff about him – there was no intellectual aloofness. He seemed to me a man who valued human relationships and he showed toward me a real interest and understanding.
Political Views and Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore
Tagore opposed European Imperialism and supported Indian Nationalists. He also shunned the Swadeshi Movement, denouncing it in his acrid September 1925 essay The Cult of the Charkha. In addition, he viewed British control of India as a “Political symptom of our social disease”, urging Indians to accept that “there can be no question of blind revolution but of steady and purposeful education”.
On 30th May 1919, he renounced the knighthood that was conferred upon him by Lord Hardinge in 1915 in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre when British soldiers killed at least 379 unarmed civilians. He was also instrumental in resolving a dispute between Gandhi and Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. It involved Ambedkar’s insistence on separate electorates for untouchables & Gandhi’s announcement on protest against “unto death”.
Impact on Bengali Renaissance & Swadeshi Movement
Tagore was heavily active during the Bengali Renaissance. Living in this period, he was able to reshape the culture and social aspects of Bengal. It began during the British Indian Empire and lasted until the 20th century. This movement saw Bengali Literature thrive and Tagore’s work played an important role during this period. Literature was already established in the 11th century but the Renaissance amplified literature further. He introduced the middle-class Bengal Community into the literary society.
Travels of Rabindranath Tagore
- Between 1878 and 1932, Tagore set foot in more than 30 countries on five continents.
- In the year 1912, he took a sheaf of his translated works to England, where he gained acknowledgement from Gandhi’s protege – Charles F. Andrews, Irish Poet William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, etc. He also visited the United States and the United Kingdom.
- From May 1916 until April 1917, he lectured in Japan and the United States.
- In 1924, he arrived from Buenos Aires and Tagore was not keeping well so he was shifted to Villa Miralrio at the behest of Victoria Ocampo and left for home in 1925.
- In 1926, he reached Naples and met Mussolini in Rome.
- On November 1, 1926, Tagore arrived in Hungary & spent some time on the shore of Lake Balaton in the city of Balatonfured recovering his heart problems at a Sanitarium.
Unknown Facts of Rabindranath Tagore
10 Major Achievements of Rabindranath Tagore
- He introduced the short story genre to Bengali Literature
- He is widely regarded as the greatest modern Indian poet
- He was a leading playwright of his era
- Tagore is regarded as a towering figure of 20th-century world literature
- Rabindranath Tagore was also an influential artist
- He founded the famous Visva Bharti University
- He wrote the National Anthem of India
- He remains the only person to have penned the national anthems of two nations
- Rabindranath was the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize
- He was awarded an honorary degree by oxford university
Museums of Rabindranath Tagore
There are eight Tagore museums. Three in India and five in Bangladesh:
- Rabindranath Bharati Museum, Kolkata, India
- Tagore Memorial Museum, Shilalidaha, Bangladesh
- Rabindra Memorial Museum, Shahzadpur, Bangladesh
- Rabindra Bhavan Museum, Santiniketan, India
- Rabindra Museum in Mungpoo, India
- Patisar Rabindra Kacharibari, Naogaon, Bangladesh
- Pithavoge Rabindra Memorial Complex, Bangladesh
- Rabindranath Complex, Khulna, Bangladesh
Top 5 Inspiring Quotes
There are some quotes which are saying by Rabindranath Tagore. Here is follows:
“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
“Father is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”
“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”
“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.”
“Life is given to us, we earn it by giving it.”
The Legacy of Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore is celebrated for his works which impacted culture and politics. He brewed a legacy between the 19th and 20th century which continues to live on. Some of his most famous works include Gitanjali (1910), Kabuliwala (1961), The Postmaster (1918) to name a few. Rabindranath also impacted the political science of India with his poetry. The themes in his work continued to be remembered for their influence on literature and culture.
The experiences and delving into deep thoughts, besides reading significant work of the thinkers all over the world, led to the education of Rabindranath Tagore. People like him are born in centuries and they inspire us to be adamant on our decisions and follow our passion regardless of the circumstances. At Leverage Edu, we encourage students to be the scholars and professionals of tomorrow by giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the leading educational systems in the world. If you have set your mind to achieving your goal, we are here to give it a flight.