Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali; or Song Offerings

Dear friends,

In honor of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations and onwards, I am undertaking an audio reading of Tagore’s Gitanjali and am sharing clips of my selections. Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. The title of this work, Gitanjali, which was beloved by readers throughout the world, means Song Offerings.

Though he was initially ambivalent about his relationship to Sri Ramakrishna, Tagore spoke very highly of Bhagvan Ramakrishna as he grew to learn of the Master’s divinity and message for the Kali Yuga

One day I saw Paramahamsadev for ten minutes from a distance. I used to know Vivekananda and Nivedita far better. Some portions of conversations of Paramahamsadev were collected from the sadhakas abroad. I don’t have any doubt in my mind regarding the depth of his spiritual sadhana. Amidst the powerful bhakti that he has generated all over the country exist his greatness with proof and his contribution established forever.

(…)

 Great souls, like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, have a comprehensive vision of Truth, they have the power to grasp the significance of each different form of the Reality that is one in all….

(…)

Diverse courses of worship from varied springs of fulfilment have mingled in your meditation.

The manifold revelation of the joy of the Infinite has given form to a shrine of unity in your life; Where from far and near arrive salutations to which I join mine own.

  • Song 1. Thou hast made me endless
  • Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest

    again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

    This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

    At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable .

    Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.

    When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and

    I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

    All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony ⎯ and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.

    I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.

    I touch by the edge of the far spreading wing of my song thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

    Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art my lord.

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