How Is Tagore’s Philosophy of Life Reflected in the Gitanjali?


Vincent White

Rabindranath Tagore, the renowned Indian poet, writer, and philosopher, is known for his insightful philosophy of life. His work Gitanjali, a collection of poems and songs, reflects his deep understanding of human existence and spirituality.

In Gitanjali, Tagore presents a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of self-realization, love, and devotion. He believes that every individual should strive to find their true purpose in life by connecting with their inner self. This idea is reflected in many of the poems in the collection.

One such poem is “I have become my own version,” where Tagore writes about how he has realized his true self by breaking away from societal norms and expectations. He writes:

“I have become my own version
Without any fear or apprehension
I have found my inner light
That shines so bright.”

This poem highlights Tagore’s belief that we should not conform to societal expectations but rather listen to our inner voice to find our true purpose.

Another important aspect of Tagore’s philosophy reflected in Gitanjali is his emphasis on love and devotion. He believes that love is the ultimate truth and the path to spiritual enlightenment. In one poem, he writes:

“Love adorns itself;
it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty.
Love does not claim possession,
but gives freedom.”

Here, Tagore emphasizes that true love is not possessive but rather liberating. It allows individuals to grow and flourish without any constraints.

Tagore also believes in the power of nature to inspire us and connect us with our inner selves. In one of his most famous poems from Gitanjali, he writes:

“Where The Mind Is Without Fear”

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

This poem speaks to Tagore’s belief in the power of a free mind to achieve greatness. He envisions a world where knowledge is free and individuals are not held back by narrow-mindedness or societal constraints.

In conclusion, Tagore’s philosophy of life is reflected in his work Gitanjali. Through his poems and songs, he emphasizes the importance of self-realization, love, devotion, and connection with nature. His work continues to inspire people around the world to this day.