How can I not write about this crazy man with white long beard, when the motto of my blog is ‘live your best life’? Who else can inspire us better than Rabindranath Tagore, to live our best lives? I listen to Rabindrasangeet sometimes, honestly not much. I read many of his writings, but honestly not all. I can’t claim myself a Rabindranath expert, but the little I got to know about this person in my life, the philosophy of life I got to read in his writings or listen in his songs, literally gave me the courage to follow my heart and live my best life. Forgive me for saying this, but right here in West Bengal, where he was born,most people are very passionate & proud about discussing his work, but very few actually follow his philosophies to improve their lives. My purpose of writing this post is to remind you about those philosophies, that can really transform your life.
What Inspired Me to Write this Post
A simple question – “What attracts you most about Rabindranath”
My Memories of Rabindranath Tagore
Before sharing those philosophies I’d love to share with you, a few of my precious memories involving Rabindranath Tagore.
I got introduced to Rabindranath Tagore very early in my childhood like most Bengali kids. And you know the fun part? I used to think that he was another God. Why? Because in Bengali he is lovingly called “Rabi Thakur”. ‘Thakur’ means God. But trust me, the day I realized that he was not a God, but a common human being like all of us, admiration and respect for him got multiplied many fold.
Another memory I will never forget is, the day when my Dad brought the whole Rabindranath Tagore writing collections from Kolkata. It was a huge cardboard box (like your washing machine packing box) with 20+ books as far as I can remember. Now I know that at that time, our financial condition was pathetic. So it must have been very expensive buy for my dad. And as we couldn’t afford any transportation to bring it from Kolkata to Midnapur, dad literally carried it on his head and by local train. This passion of my parent for Rabindranath Tagore made me more curious about him. I can never forget the look in my dad’s eyes after he unpacked all the books. He was glowing. And he said “May be I will never get time to read all these writing in this lifetime. But I will feel close to him if all these books are with us”. That meant a lot for me!
Also I am very grateful to my schools “Saraswati Sishu Mandir” and “Ramakrishna Mission Narendrapur” for involving us in celebrating Rabindranath’s birthday each year. Most memorable among all those was the last year we had in Narendrapur (class X)
Photo Courtesy: Jyotirmoy
Another very exciting memory was listening from my Grandpa (mom’s dad) again and again, how he saw Rabindranath Tagore to just walk past him on the street. I still feel goosebumps when I listen to this experience from Grandpa.
Philosophies of Rabindranath Tagore
that can inspire you to live your best life
I remember discussing with one of my friends once, “Did Rabi thakur miss writing about any topic?”. And that’s really true. Through his writings, he covered every aspects of life – love, friendship, courage, challenges, difficulties, education everything. Let me share with you some of those philosophies here in this post.
Among all other topics, I will emphasize most on Rabithakur’s view on Education. Because that’s what our society needs most at this moment. Education is turned into a meaningless competition today, where young minds are forced into participating everyday. Getting good marks and degrees is being given most importance, than acquiring real knowledge and implementing it to create something meaningful.
Those who are winning this rat race, are settling for a life of rat, forgetting about their potential of being a lion. Those who are losing in this rat race, are brainwashed to believe that they are failures, unworthy of living a great life. The education, which is meant to create better human beings and as a whole a better society, is actually murdering potential in its root.
That’s why it’s very important to remind ourselves what ‘education’ really means, from the words of one of the most ‘educated’ (in the true sense of the term) person this world has ever seen – Rabindranath Tagore.
So rightly said! What’s the point of only collecting information ( specially today in an era when you can find any information at your finger tip), if we don’t learn to create harmony in our lives? What’s the value of being educated, if we forget to appreciate the gifts of nature, abandon the kindness, become afraid to love?
The irony is [Tweet “Today’s education teaches everything, at the cost of making people forget who they really are. “]
Surely, that’s not the educational system Rabithakur envisioned.
Today our educational system is focused more on teaching logic. But the fact is, where logic ends, true knowledge begins. And
[Tweet “Purpose of education should be to open up mind, not to close it.”]
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not discouraging anyone to go to schools or colleges. I just want you to understand that only formal education doesn’t make you successful. And if you live a life bending your head down just because you are not that good in studies, I want you to look up.
Success Comes from Following Your Bliss in Full Devotion
Most people believe that Rabindranath Tagore or Sachin Tendulkar or successful people from different field were/are gifted with special talents. That’s why they could achieve such greatness. Total bullshit.
Just think how many hours Rabindranath Tagore devoted in writing, how many hours Sachin devoted practicing cricket.
Now tell me honestly, how much time do you devote doing the thing you are good at or you enjoy doing?
Swami Vivekananda said it best –
Just imagine, what if we could inspire & allow every children to devote to the subject/ idea/ activity they enjoyed most from the very childhood, instead of wasting their valuable time forcing them to memorizing useless data? That’s the world Rabithakur dreamed of, and that’s what I envision too.
Infact Rabithakur has been one of the greatest influences in my life to inspire me to propose An Alternate Educational System.
Parenting or Teaching
And this one is so very important. I read this line and think how modern Rabithakur was in his thinking, though he was born ages ago.
So often you can hear adults saying to younger people “Do you know more than us? Do you understand life better than us? Do whatever we are telling you, or you’ll regret later”. And this is how many potential stars waste their lives living like lamps. Never limit your children or students with your own limitation.
[Tweet “We have more to learn from our next generations, than to teach them.”]
Today when the world around us is teaching us to avoid difficulties or take shortcut, we need to remember that Rabithakur taught us to be fearless and face all the dangers and difficulties in life.
Image Courtesy: Prasanna Vishwasrao
Inspite of so much progress and development, more and more people are becoming pessimist. Next time you think about giving up, remember these lines by Tagore.
Like every successful people, Rabindranath Tagore also understood how mind worked – Law of Attraction. We are programmed from our childhood by people around us to think and feel according to what is happening to us. If life is going good, feel good. If life is going tough, feel bad. Most people live their whole lives never realizing the catch point –
[Tweet “Our mental condition is not the effect, but the cause of everything that is happening to us. “]
I am a learner and teacher of ‘science of mind’. And I feel very much surprised to see the reluctance of most people regarding learning this subject. I hope these lines by Rabithakur will inspire you to study your mind and transform your life.
I can keep writing on and on, about his philosophies endlessly. But I will finish it with my most favorite lines written by him:
Tagore’s own translation (English Gitanjali Verse 35):
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!!
Here is a fusion A. R. Rahman created with this verse:
Rabindranath Tagore on Internet & Social Media
Naturally from last few days Internet is full of posts about Tagore. Let me share a few I liked.
- The Tagore I Know – Sohini Mitter
- Education of Tarrot: Rabindranath Tagore & India’s Education – Supriyo Chaudhuri
The real #friendship is like fluorescence, it shines better when everything has darken. -Rabindranath Tagore
— Inspirational Quotes (@InspowerMinds) May 8, 2014
Share with us your experience with Rabindranath Tagore. How he inspires you? What do your learn from him?