22nd of Srabon is perhaps more familiar than the date to English calendar of August when the most genius Bengali poet ever in history Rabindranath Tagore physically departed in 1941 after leaving an aura of glorious impetus for the whole nation to revisit the mind of naturalists. He is a poet of love, nature and beauty and of course a philosopher of rare kind mixing up spiritualism with the sort of idealism as a sublime tone of unbounded truth.
This day would have been a saddest moment for us since we lost him finally but it inspires us to dream forward; it teaches the nation entirely how to love and make bridge between finite and infinite. Tagore, indeed, a man becomes a pal of despondent, a strength of distressed and a dear to the darling. Except some early years of his life eighty springs had been enjoyed by him with incredible joviality.
Even, he writes moment before his operation in July little ahead of his departure. He is an utter optimist writes numberless poems and songs that mostly exasperates the emotive nerve of his connoisseurs. Tagore is the only man in the sub-continent who is remembered officially every morning by maximum people with the rendering of his songs as the national anthem.
In fact, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, one-fifth of the world population, took him as their most revered teacher for official purpose. To be sure, nothing happens to any one's life ever in history except him. It is sometimes compared with Shakespeare of England and Goethe of Germany but Tagore's influence on common life is perhaps more conspicuous in terms of the varieties of creations. It should be said without doubt that the area of his entire thoughts is surprisingly widened. It ranges from literature to social affairs; poetry to poverty.
Rabindranath is unique and a harbinger of a non-conventional method of education for the children. Santiniketan (place of peace) is made by him in 1901 at Bolpur. As a result, he was a pioneer of attaching education with pleasure and ecstasy which asseverates the union of love. Education he believes is the medium that enables human heart to be enlightened; and of course this should be the only way out. He argues against the education that makes only official clerk and professional reader. Basic education should come from the heart and there should a link with nature. Life and nature are interwoven with and nothing can make any hindrance between the two.
It is difficult to weigh up Tagore's ingenuity by a single epithet because he is really marvelous in all the fields of literary versions e. g. short-story, playwright, songs, and painting. He makes an equal impression on Bangalee mind by his special project in poverty alleviation and keeping down global tension for international-war. As an humanist Tagore's foot-step runs into the line of human emancipation. He creates a paradigm of humanism that steps out a distance from East to West.
Perhaps he is the most effective moderator between oriental-mind and western cognition. In fact, his recognition in west had been enjoyed by most of the genius of his time including Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein. Unlike other debate Tagore took part in serious conversations with both the giants over philosophical issues including beauty, truth, completeness, infinity, realism and non-realism etc. Some of his followers observe that Tagore turns to be a skeptic at the end of his long journey because his whole gamut of feeling started to be on the wane about the creation and the secrecy of nature.
It is absolutely evident that Tagore is influenced by Upanishad from the very inception of his life. Upanishad avers oneness; declares unity and union of love. It seeks the harmony among diversities. He says, "play thy melody oh, Infinite one, within a bound/ that is why your emergence in me so astounds."
To remember, Tagore's ethical and theosophical teaching has been emitted from the learning of Hinduism and Christianity and those faiths had been interwoven by his own style. He seeks after the truth-the truth that enlightens all and shades the darkness. Truth he believes is one and it stands out of different facts. This truth is absolute and lies beyond the so-called appearances. The supreme being of the entire world is pervaded to. All appearances are the final touch of that absolute being.
In Sesh Lekha Rabindranath had some fundamental asking on the question of thoughts that helps us to understand the mind of spirit. He writes, "the first sun asked at the creation of spirit/ who are thou?/ no answer was heard/ years crawled away, touching the reddened south sea/ the last sun asked the last question/ who are thou?/ in the mourning minute/ the silenced remained."
Perhaps this is a big question for the whole creation indeed, what is the purpose of the whole journey? Or, it may have been a serious question about the purpose of the human journey but no suitable answer is given to. Again, he says, "life is known to be sacred but its nature is unthinkable". In human enquiry it becomes an extraordinary thought that what is the source of the whole creation and where it will be ended lastly? Indeed, Tagore's asking is fundamental and it may be the key-point of all questions people asked so far.
It is believed that skepticism arises without being confirmed about the certain knowledge. So, Tagore is in a limited sense called to be an agnostic but this is not his real identity I suppose. He is perhaps more than that and possibly the biggest optimist in history. His countless essays remind the story that he believes for whole life.
The question often strikes today; will Tagore be contextual for hundred years later like the present day? Or, will his reader find pleasure as today's emotional mindfulness? Time is quickly getting shape and at a run. Culture, literature, music and human relationship are directed to commercialize and this has been a customary to overthrow the classical morality for which the Eastern people are accustomed to. In the very social atmosphere Tagore is apprehended to be oblivion from the heart of millions.
But, it is undeniable that Tagore could understand the heart of common people and also the mind of countless Bangalees. He speaks about the way people use to make for. Certainly, he introduces himself to be a man of millions. Therefore, he will be ever and may be in this form or either but never be outside of the mind of his limitless followers. Dr Radhakrishnan, former Indian president and great philosopher of East says, "The popularity of the writings of Sir Rabindranath Tagore shows that there is neither East nor West in the realm of spirit, and that his work meets a general want and satisfies universal demand."
The writer is Chairperson and Professor, Department of Philosophy, Jagannath University, Dhaka
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