Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gandhiji and Rabindranath (contd-1)

Rabindranath came to Santiniketan on 11 Mar and saw the new arrangement of the Kitchen. His reaction as stated by Prasanta Kumar Paul was mixed. He wrote to Rathindranath;
" I was glad that you could not reach Santiniketan this time. The new arrangement in the Kitchen caused a good deal of trouble.The students have taken charge of the Kitchen as per the instruction of Gandhiji and are cooking food by themselves. This created a source of gossiping and excitement.If you would have come in this situation, new set of discussions centering round you would have started. Though the system is a bit difficult, but it has begun. This has solved some of our problems specially relating to finance.the most important thing is that it is done by our boys. Santiniketan, after long time, is getting new light, ttotally organised by the boys.The boys are getting energy and inspiration. The problem is with some of teachers. Some is eager to get your support in their line after your this situation It is better to remain silent keeping you outside this situation.There are complexity but it will be solved in due course."
Rabindranath was concerned only with study of the students which , in his opinion, should not be disturbed. 
Gandhiji, too, could understand the contradictions  between the ideologies. For that reason, he was arranging to shift the students of Phinix Vidyalaya and again came back to Santiniketan on 31st mar in the night. Rabindranath also came yesterday. They had discussions for the next two days.on 3rd April, Gandhiji wrote in his diary;
"  Last meeting with boys and with Gurudev as Chairman, kept Maganlal and Ramdas at Bolpur to help in the Kitchen. left for Hardwar with the rest."
The students of Phinix Vidyalata started for Hardwar with Gandhiji leaving Santiniketan.They stayed for some time in Gurukul Vidyalaya and then went to Kochrab near Ahmedabad . Phinix Vidyalay was shifted  after  Satyagraha Asram being there.established

Gandhiji and Rabindranath

Gandhiji went to Santiniketan along with his wife Kasturba on 17th Feb, evening. The details of their visit were described by a students, Prafulla Chandra Choudhury, in his article "Arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi at Bolpur" and Sudhakanta Roychoudhury in "Asrame Sreeyukta Mohanchand Karamchand Gandhi O tar Sahadharmani" . 
But Rabindranath was not present on the occasion as he was in Calcutta. He wrote to Andrews 0n 18th Feb.; "I hope Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi have arrived in Bolpur, and Santiniketan has accorded them such a welcome as befits her and them.I shall convey my love personally to them when we meet."
Gandhiji could not stay because he went to Pune at the news of sudden death of Gopal Krishna Gokhale on 19th Feb.
Rabindranath came to Santiniketan on 22 Feb and wrote Gandhiji a letter. This was the first time that Rabindranath wrote a letter to Gandhiji;
" Dear Mr.Gandhi,
That you could think of my school as the right and the likely place where your Phoenix boys could take shelter when they are in India has given me great pleasure -- and that pleasure has been greatly enhanced when I saw those dear boys in that place . We all feed that their influence will be great value to our boys and I hope that they in their turn will gain something which will make their stay in Santiniketan fruitful. I write this letter to thank you for allowing your boys to become our boys as well and thus form a living link in the Sadhana of both of our lives./Very  Sincerely yours."
Having learnt the death news  of Gokhale Gandhiji went to Pune on 20th Feb. he again came to Santiniketan on 6th march. This time he first met Rabindranath. 
Gandhiji wrote in his diary on 8th Mar, "Gurudev left for Calcutta. Had a talk with Andrews about his conduct." Gandhiji left for Calcutta en route to Rangoon. Gandhiji wrote;

" I am habituated to be mixed up with the teachers and the students . I went there and discussed with them about self-reliance.If the students and the teachers cook their food by themselves instead of the paid cooks, It is much better, if it maintains the health of your stomach, is controlled by the teachers and the students become self-sufficient and get the lesson of cooking their own food. I said the teachers about this. Some of them nodded their heads . Some appreciated the experiment." On enquiry about the opinion of Rabindranath, he opined if the teachers would agree to this, he should be glad and said to the students, "this is the way to Swaraj ".
Practice of one's self-energy was the basis of social reform of Rabindranath. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Honour of Knighthood to Rabindranath - Feb. 1915

Rabindranath halted at Calcutta for some few days more the reasons of which he explained in a letter written to Adrews on 18th Feb; " Waiting for Lord Carmichael, hoping to see him tomorrow./Calcutta will keep me till Sunday.I do not hope to free myself from its clutches before that though I shall try. Anyhow, Monday will see me in Bolpur, somewhat feeble and worn-out, unfit to be trusted with any responsibility". Possibly, the meeting was arranged at the initiative of Lord Carmichael. He wrote to Rathindranath from Silaidah ; " Governor will arrive on 19th and our meeting was arranged 2/3 days after his arrival. Is the initial of Gourlay illegible? Perhaps, it is W.R. - if I'm correct.Anyway, you post the letter to his address which I've sent to you. " Gourlay was the private secretary of the Governor. The intention of the governor was , probably, expressed in his letter.Rabindranath also invited Carmichael to visit Santiniketan which he also accepted.
In the mean time, one man from Viceroy's Lodge wrote to Andrews on 16th Feb, marked private . " A suggestion was made to the Viceroy some little time ago that it would be an appropriate and graceful act on the part of  His Majesty to confer a knighthood upon Rabindranah Tagore in recognition of the name he has established in India & Europe and of his genius as a poet -- The Viceroy would be very happy indeed to make a recommendation in this sense, if he thought that Rabindranath would appreciate the honor , but he hesitates to do so , because he just a shade of doubt whether Rabindranath would do so.
So he has asked me to write and entrust to you the delicate task of sounding Rabinranath on the subject -- you are so close a friend of his that I feel sure you will be able to elicit from him his real feeling in the matter...
P.S. An early answer would greatly oblige."
Rabindranath was conferred Knighthood on 3 Jun 1915, the date of birth of 5th George in recognition of the name he has established in India and Europe and of his genius as a poet.
Rabindranath Tagore discarded this Title of Knighthood for the inhuman act of British Government in Jallianwalabag in 1919. Gopal Krishna Gokhale refused to accept the same title on political reason.
It is to be mentioned  here that
Lord Hardinge had deep regard for Rabindranath and he declared Rabindranath, before receiving Nobel Prize, as the "Poet Laureate of Asia". Rabindranath was also grateful to him for it was due to his circular that the wards of Government servant could not study in the School at Santiniketan was revoked.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rabindranath again at Silaidah

Rabindranath could not attend the memorial event of Maharshi Devendranath due to his extreme tiredness and determined to go to Silaidah for a change in natural environment. He also wrote to Andrews on 29th Jan,1915; "I don't like to frighten you with news of ill-health, but it must be given to justify my absence from the Asram. I feel that I am on the brink of a breakdown. I must take a flight to the solitude of the river Padma leaving Rathi and Bouma to make arrangements for our departure. I need rest and the nursing of nature."
Andrews was also sick. On 31st Jan. Rabindranath wrote," I hear that you are really ill.This is won't do  Come to Calcutta. Consult some Doctor;    and if he recommends, come to Silaidah, where I am going to-morrow morning . I dare not go to Bolpur. I have reached such a sublime depth of tiredness."
Rabindranath started for Silaidah on 1st Feb, 1915 and on reaching there he wrote to Rathindranath on the next day, " As soon as I have reached Silaidah my extreme tiredness and and mental fatigueness  disappeared.. I am feeling better which I didn't feel for long time. I was going throughout the world in search of this but I have forgotten that my satisfaction remained at my door. "
Rabindranath emphasized the statement of the  letter written to Rathindranath and expressed the same in the letter written to Andrews;
" Directly I reached here, I came to myself, and now healed. The cure for all these illness of life is stored in the inner depth of life itself, the  access to which becomes possible when we are alone. This solitude is a world in itself, full of wonders and resources unthought of. It is so absurdly near, yet so unapproachable     
distant." Andrews also went Silaidah on 5th Feb, 1915. Rabindranath wrote to his son ;
" Andrews arrived here like a storm and went away with the same speed."
Rabindranath wrote 12 poems in .Silaidah in 5 days.
On 7th Feb., he wrote a poem, " Pakhire diyecho gaan, gaay sei gaan" (published in Bharati - Chaitra issue, 1322). While explaining the poem, later on, Rabimdranth said;
" One day a poor woman was going by the side of the river on foot. She was taking with her a few children. The elder one was carrying a load on his head. The junior to him was carrying a bag in his hand. Two others small children was walking slowly by their side. The smallest one is on her lap". My mind was thinking heavily on that day. Suddenly it came to my mind - this is my pride that I am carrying the load of agony. God gives much load on the head of the elder son and take in her lap the smallest one. "The human being expect much from his elder child, and less from the younger one."
Rabindranath left Silaidah on 12th Feb.     

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rabindranath and Religion

An essay , titled "Christodharma,"  written by Rabindranath about his prayer on the day of 25th Dec 1914 (10th Paush), the birth day of Christ, in the temple of Santiniketan, was published in the magazine "Sabuj Patra". The glory of Christianity was perceived by Rabindranath after being introduced with the persons like Andrews and Stopford Brook but during his return journey to India, the behaviour of two Christian Missionaries in  the ship had hurt him. He also knew the activities of the Christian Missionaries in India.In the introduction of the Essay " Christadharma" he explained this bitterness:
" When I see that the Christians are boasting of their religion, it becomes evident they are mixing some impurity in their religion which is their own made. For this reason when they  come to help us, we hesitate to accept blessings from them  because self-consciousness grows against their vanity and if the pride prevents one to accept any gift, it is not   unworthy."
Of course, he knew  that the communal feeling is not  its monopoly. The small sect of  Adi-Brahmo Samaj is not also  free from  this evil.( vide the essay "Adi-Brahmo Samajer Bedi"). He also said;
" Now it is the duty of human being to save the Christ from the hands of communal Christians, to save Bishnu  hands of Communal Vaishnabs, to save Brahma from the hands of Communal Brahmos, In our Asram we shall not contradict the truth in rage with our sect. We shall try to understand the meaning of Christianity- not because it is the religion of Christians but because  it is the religion of Human being."
The Biographer of Rabindranath found his indifferent state of mind in this poem.
Andrews wrote on 15 Dec, "I can see so clearly I should have done injury to your love for me also if you had not been so firm and true and patient and gentle with me and what you really wanted from me. for now I see that you were really asking all all the while for something far deeper and truer and more manly from me than the weak, emotional, and almost selfish love which I was offering."
In reply to this letter, Rabindranth wrote on 18th Dec from Allahabad;
"I do not know how to heal the hurts that painfully surprise my friends when in their intercourse with me they stumble against fences that can never be removed. Surely you know by this time that I have something elusive in me, which eludes myself not less than others. Because of this in my nature, I have to keep my environments free and open, fully to make room in my life for the undreamt-of who is expected every moment. Believe me , I have strong human sympathy, yet I can never enter into such relations with others as many impede the current of my life,  which flows through the darkness of solitude beyond my ken. I can love, but I have not that which is termed by phrenologists "adhesiveness", or to be more accurate, I have a force acting in me, jealous of all attachments, a force that tries to win me for itself, for its own hidden purpose."
On 27th Dec Rabindranath translated his speech on Jesus Christ. 
On 29th Dec. Rabindranath wrote to Rothensteion;
" I send you the translation of a poem of mine suggestd by the letter I got from Rachel. It gave me the right perspective and I saw all the simple things of the world in their proper significance inspite of the din and smoke of this terrible war."           

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rabindranath and 1st World War

After visiting for 2 to 3 days in Allahabad, Rabindranath started for Bolpur on 20th December,1914 (5th Paush) and reached Santiniketan on 21st December (6th Paush) to celebrate 24th anniversary of Paush Utsab. He wrote a poem on that day, " Arochai je, Aro chai go.." In explaining the meaning of  the song, Rabindranath remembered 1st World War (1914-1918) that took place in Europe. But the idealistic poet Rabindranath  did not forget to see the progress of the Human society even in this inhuman war and said;
"Once you think and feel that the moment we are enjoying our festival, the people beyond the ocean are involved in terrible battle Could the morning sun light see the terror of the destruction. Standing on this horror the man is describing its glory - at the call of the history the people have come out of their abodes. Who is right and who is wrong - who is responsible and who is not are out of their agenda. But at the call of the history -- the Germany have come, the English have come, the French, the Beljium,  the Austrian and the Russian have come.The God of Time is accepting its homage through the traces of history. This battle is celebrating its festival. of war.
The command of the King of the History is - " it can't be that a nation could make its nationalism  narrow by continuously accumulating own interest. The human being was so long sacrificing human body to the deity of  the  interest of its own country. The order of the day is to demolish the pagoda of the evil spirit of narrow nationalism. The God of the eternity ordered today that the sacrifice of the human body will no longer continue and the duty of every body is to destroy the temple of the self-centered nationalism and make it flat. Henceforth there will be no sacrifice of human body. As soon as this instruction was issued cannon ball was hurled on the walls of the narrow nationalism. The thunder of the cannon has blown the song of victory of the humanity."
Rabindranath might have visualised the victory of democracy against the fascism.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Financial position after winning Nobel prize by Rabindranath

The economic stringency in Santiniketan was removed to some extent from the interest obtained from the money of the Nobel Prize deposited in a bank.The professors quarters and common kitchen of the school were constructed from the royalty of the books written by Rabindranath. But the demand of more money was still prevailing. Rabindranath wrote to Andrews in this respect on 12 Nov,1914;
" I know the school financial difficulties are good for us, but I must have strength enough to extract good....The whole Asram must rouse itself from its passive inanity and be ready to meet the danger ,... Even the little boys should not be kept entirely ignorant of our difficulties . They should be proud of the fact that they also bear their own share of the responsibility."
But when the students took some decisions of their own, Rabindranath himself stood in the way of the decision.
Due to the 1st World War (1914-1918) the price of Jute had come down specially in East Bengal. as a result, they had scarcity of rice. There were more students in Santiniketan coming from East Bengal. They had witnessed the sufferings in East Bengal when they went home during Puja Vacation.After coming over here they conveyed a meeting under the chairmanship of Nepal Chandra Roy to form a Relief Fund. This news was published in Modern Review in Dec. under the title, "A Noble Example" which read as;
" The boys of Babu Rabindranath Tagore's school at Bolpur have opened a relief fund. They have invited subscriptions t o their fund, to be sent to Mr. W.W.Pearson, Santiniketan, P.O., In addition to what the boys can personally contribute, they have in a body resolved to save Rs.40 a month not consuming sugar.
This amount will go to the relief fund. By not consuming Ghee for three months they will be able to contribute Rs.500 to their relief fund."
Having read this news Rabindranath wrote to Andrews from Agra on 5th Dec;
"I am surprised to read to read in the Modern Review that our Bolpur boys are going without sugar and ghee in order to open a relief fund. Do you think this is right?"
The same thing he wrote to Nagendranath from Allahabad on 16 Dec.;
" From the Paper I came to learn that our boys have given up to take sugar and ghee for their relief fund. This is just a carbon copy of foreign student. But this is very easy. It is to be remembered that the boys are not independent about their food. Which one they can give up and which not that they cannot decide. If they decide that they will stop reading and stop buying books. The money collected from that fund they will donate. Are they eligible to do that. No, they are not. Rather they can save money by donating their labour in digging ponds, wells , constructing roads, bridges and can donate the amount."
The boys then did that as per advice of Rabindranath and sent the money saved. 

Rabindranath in "Bostami"(short story), written by him.

Rabindranath wrote to Pramatha Choudhury from Ramgarh on 5th June;
"In the arena of literature my days have come to an end. I have written many words, right or wrong. Those words are now being filtered through the screen of the time. I don't want to create more rubbish. Now, it makes me awake, day and night, how I may attain  completeness in my life. All my success, my fame have become so insignificant that all the worldly demand could not touch my heart." This state of mind was expressed by  Rabindranath  in his story "Boshtami". These ideas were imbued in the characters of "Boshtami" and "Anandi". The basis of the reality of the characters of Anandi called Anandi as "Sarbakshepi". This is supported by the essays of Rabindranath ;
"  I remember the morning when a beggar whom  an in a Bengal village gathered  in the loose end of her Sari the stale flowers that were about to be thrown away from the vase on my table ; " Oh, Beloved of my Heart!" Her eyes could easily pierce the veil of the outward form and reach the realm of the infinite in these flowers, where she found the infinite touch of her Beloved, the great, the universal Human."
Rabindranath was always concerned about his school at Santiniketan whether he remained within or outside it. But he remained outside the school for the benefit of the school. He always wanted to develop power within oneself whether it was a school or a human being - mighty be a student or a teacher.But the problem was when he remained within the school , everyone would depend on his advice and instructions which he did not like. Not only for imposing discipline amongst the students but also to solve the inner problems of the professors, there was Principal's Council..  But when Rabindranath remained present within the School, he had to take responsibility of solving them.They used to quarrel each other - moreover, they became  involved  in a competition of being close to him.
He wrote to Ajit Kumar Chakraborty on 7 Mar 1908,
"Discipline within the school should come spontaneously but it was not becoming so due to the obstruction of the presence of his personality  in the school. The reasons of the weaknesses of the school were due  both to the school and to himself. If the theories required to develop the school would evolve within the school, all the weaknesses of the school would be removed. What is my opinion, what I shall say, what I want-all these questions  have apparently become like a disease in the decision of all the matters in the school.You could not follow which work of the school are done by you and which one by me are the reasons for you not to be able to do the work of the school unitedly. When you will feel that the school is yours, you will be able to do justice to the school.
"For this reason h e wrote to Andrews on 15th Nov. ;
It is wicked of me to be away when you are returning to the Asram after your illness; but I feel that you will have a better opportunity of coming closer to the boys and teachers if I am not there, and that will compensate you for my absence."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rabindranath at Lucknau with Atul Prasad

                                                                                           House of Atul prasad at Lucknow  Rabindranath and Andrews became the guest of Atul Prasad at Lucknow.They attended at least once in a meeting there.The details of this meeting were published in the magazine "Mahila" in an essay titled "Prabase Rabindranath Thakur and Andrews Saheb";
" Our respectd Poet and the respected foreign friend ultimately had come to this province of Hindusthani.The Bengalee Youngmen's Association had assembled to welcome them.Having noticed  the poet addressed them about the literature and the nature of the good and bad in the behaviour of Bengalees."
The poet said;
"  If we discuss the history of different countries it becomes evident that the development of knowledge, Religion, and literature were spread from Bengal and Magadh. In course of time it started from west and came to east but the east had developed it further and spread it in and around India. It is east which has spread Knowledge and  Religion to Tibet, China, Japan and other places.
Even now a days there are so many learned men in our country that the knowledge of the learned people of the foreign are insignificant. Still the rate of progress of the literature of our country is so slow. The poet said about his experience in America. The Professors of that country in Sanskrit and Tamil are having less knowledge than that of the ordinary teachers of our country. But from the very childhood they have learnt the scientific method of teaching and with the help of that they can utilise properly which they have learnt. There are so many learned men in our country, to speak frankly, they are deeply absorbed  in knowledge and wisdom.They cannot do any progress without the help of scientific method of training. Even today, we have to take the help of English writers for imparting philology. Of course, we must be grateful to them.  But should we remain under the skirt of a woman ? ... Now  Bengalees are going to different parts of the world. If they, from their own place, discuss about the points of similarity and  dissimilarity with the language of that place and the Bengali and write it in a paper or if they themselves collect ideas and deposit them to a particular place and collect local tales of the females then with the help of these then the intellectuals of our country may discover some theories of History and Philology.They may also send their information to our Sahitya Parishad.
It is said that Bengalees have attained greatness in many spheres. But the thing is this, Bengalees are not respected as before. May be the problem is to both. It is because of pride of one and the competition to others. Bengalees had a prlde of greatness to others , in respect of wisdom and Religion. ......"     
Andrews delivered a small lecture. Rabindranath came back to Calcutta from Lucknau on 14th June.      

Friday, December 9, 2011

Haimanti, the House at Ramgarh

The name of the "Kuthibadi of Surul" at Ramgarh was "Snow-View Gardens" . Rabindranath re-named it as "Haimanti". He made it memorable by writing a story "Haimanti", published in "Sabuj Patra', in Jaishtha -issue. The story expresses the existence of the simple grandeur of the Himalayas. This story was written after Rabindranath had come to Ramgarh on 3rd June. There was no locality in and around the house "Haimanti" at Ramgarh. Only an Anglo-Indian family was residing by the side of the house where there was an Apple garden. But they were unknown to them. Within a few days the family  residing at the top position of the hill became acquainted  with the Tagore family. Mr. Sweetenham , a retired English civilian, invited the family of Rabindranath along  with Andrews in a tea-party. Rathindranath described in an essay written by him about the remarkable sunset on that day and  wrote,." Time has come to dismiss the assembly. At first Atul Prasad went away. Before his departure he invited my father to Lucknau. Not only he had to stay for some days , he had to deliver lecture there. Dinendra and Mukul followed the cue of the departure.
This hilly side was under non-regulation administration . We have to take permission from the commissioner  for porter to carry human being. But in spite of submitting application one permission was obtained. Considering the situation Andrews said that he would go on foot and let Gurudev go with the help of Porter. My father was not agreeable with the proposal. But due to persistent request of Andrews Rabindranath took the help of the porter.But after some time it was found that both of them were going by walking and the porter following them.. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Atul Prasad Sen and Rabindranath

Andrews informed Rabindranath on 23 May, 1914, that he would be coming to Ramgarh on 1st June to meet with him.By this time Rabindranath became free from his mental agony. Andrews again wrote on 24 May, " I feel that I must have all my interests alive, grow on all sides, and enter into various relations with the world, keeping my body and mind fully awake."
Henceforth, Rabindranath was waiting impatiently and eagerly for Andrews. On getting a telegram from Andrws he became very  much busy and made others busy. But Andrews arrived just on 1st Jun.
At that time another guest came to Ramgarh - he was poet Atul Prasad Sen.
At the 70th birth anniversary held at Delhi, Atul Prasad Sen, in his presidential address, said in his memoir;
"He invited me to stay with him at Ramgarh for some days. I came hurriedly from Lucknau to Ramgarh. One day there was heavy rain which contiued late in the night. We had an assembly of rainy season on that day. From afternoon till at 10 o'clock at night, the poet (Rabindranath) recited poems  wwritten by him one after another and  sung many songs of rainy season. I couldn't forget that day.At about eight in the night our dinner was made ready. That daughter and daughter -in-law of the poet was  waiting at the door. But neither the poet nor any of us could take notice of them. In that sitting Rabindranath requested me  - " Atul, will you please sing a  Hindi song of your locality. I sung  - " Maharaja keoriya kholo, rasaki bund pare". It was a timely song, ans every body liked it.The poet accompanied me in the song. Even the song touched Andrews who was ignorant  of the song. He accompanied me loudly with his strange pronunciation and wrong tuned voice"
Rabindranath had strong fascination on Homeopathy treatment. At the request of Rathindranath he took the resposibility of prescribing medicine to an artisan who got cured. It was to one's astonishment  that everyday patients came to their rsidence and Rabindranath had to open a chamber.Only by oral publicity It was circulated all around.It was heard that the Postmaster had fed with fuel to it. The Calcutta University conferred him with a Doctorate degree. Having seen his title Dr. before his name on an envelope written to him, the postmaster said to everybody that a famous Doctor had come here at Ramgarh.Rathindranath Rabindranath  said his father liked to practice Homeopathic treatment and his desire was fulfilled at Ramgarh.
Rabindranath also mentioned in many letters or expressed verbally with pride about his this incident.   

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Andrews and Rabindranath

In reply to some recently written letters Andrews  wrote ; He had gone in good health to the hills in order to spend there his summer holidays, but he told me afterwards that the mental pain he experienced soon after his arrival was almost equivalent to a death-agony.He had hardly expected to survive it. This was all the more strange because it came upon him  quite suddenly at a moment when he was feeling a sense of physical exhilaration in the supreme beauty of the Himalayas and also the delight of the charge from the intense heat of the plains. I remember him saying to me that the shock of agony overtook him like a thunderstorm out of a clear, unclouded sky.
Rabindranath wrote to Ajit Kumar Chakraborty on 25th April;
" God has always given me new life. He pulled me again. I don't feel any grief in this world - I have taken the shelter of truthfulness but it cdan't be that I could not myself becoming just - I must be right top to bottom. I should not have any softness.My God has given me some capital to run His business. But being tempted I have not invested the full amount. I have saved some amount for myself which leaves some holes, small in size,   that causes disaster to big  business. After coming at a long distance from the field of work, this became evident on looking through the book of account. I am getting ready  for managing the situation."    
His mental condition was not expressed in that letter, it became clear from the letter written to Rathimdranath;
"When I was in Ramgarh my conscience pricked me because I could not perform my duties in my family, my  school, my work as a zeminder and my country. I ought to have donated all my assets and belongings without any hesitation. I was thinking that in my life I could not feel how I would be able to realize my idea or I should die. I should be born a fresh to do my prayer. My mind is now full of darkness and my relatives whom I love are facing disaster."
His present mental condition was revealed in his poems written at that time.;
" Charana Dharite Diyo go amare", "Gaan geye ke janay Apan Bedana", etc. 
Rabindranath, Andrews & Ramananda Chatterjee                                                                         

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Birth Day of Rabindranath celebrated at Urbana, USA

"Prior to the era of Bangbhanga (1905) Rabindranth always spoke of internationalism in the perspective of nationalism but after going to Europe and America he tried to find the national problems at the background of internationalism" - commented Prasanta Kumar Paul, Author of "Rabijibani".
On 8th May, 1914, (25th baishakh) Rabindranath had completed 53 years of age.
Urbana, USA, celebrated birth day of Rabindranath on 6th May evening.
"COSMOPOLITAN CLUB TO HONOUR TAGORE TONIGHT/Celebrate birthday Anniversary in Marrow Hall at 6.40 - Dr.Boyer will read from Tagore." - enclosing this headline of an unknown local news paper, Sm Seymour wrote to Rabindranath;
"Our little Circle has met tonight yto commemorate their Poet's birthday and to send him their cordial greetings ....After the public meeting, the Circle met and each recited a favourite poem while Mr. Barman and Mr. Seymour sang Bengali songs from the book on Indian Music."The book mentioned here was The Music of Hindoostan  written by Fox Strangways. In this book there are original many Rabindrasangeet withh staff notation. Somendrachandra Devbarma spoke on Rabindrajibani and Bankim Chandra Roy on Brahmacharyashram.
Rabindranath along with Pratima Devi, Mira, Devi, won-in-law Nagendranath and two servants went to the garden house at the hill side of Ramgarh. Rathindranath in 1912 had purchased a garden house with a Bunglow at Ramgarh near Nainital. Rabindranath wrote to Andrews,;
" I am starting for Ramgarh tonight. Last night I came to Bolpur to make arrangements for some new buildings . I will join our party at Burdwan.
In 1903 when he had came to Almorah with Renuka for recovery he took the help of Lala Badriprasad Shah for getting accomodation for him. This time also he took some preliminary help from him and sent Rs, 300.00 for meeting the expenses.
Usually Rabindranath did not like hill station as hiily areas obstruct his long distance view. But this time he liked itt. He wrote to Andrews on 14th May;
"Here I feel that I have come to the place that I needed most in all the world... to-day I am already bending my knees to Father Himalaya asking pardon for keeping aloof for so long in blind distrust.
The hills all around seem to me like an emarald vessel brimming over with peace and sunshine. The solitude is like a flower spreading its petals of beauty and keeping its honey of wisdom at the core of its heart. My life is full. It is no longer broken and fragmentary.
To express his heart full joy, he wrote the song, "Ei labhinu sanga taba, sundar,he, sundara".     

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snehlata and Rabindranath

Snehlata was a learned woman, daughter of Behari Lal Gupta. She had close relation with Rabindranath. She also sent her sons to Santiniketan for study. She translated two songs of Rabindranath - 1. Tumi rabe nirabe,  and 2.Jhara jhara barishe baridhara and sent them to Rabindranath. But Rabindranath re-translated  and sent them  to her and wrote on 7th May;
"The translation from Bengali  into English could not be done literally. Specially if it is a Bengali song. Because we cannot translate the melody of the song into English and hence there must be some charges to fill up the blanks of the melody or it will become  flat. That is why I had to write them a fresh. At first I wanted to correct your translation  but that  was not possible. To translate such a writings, one requires some freedom which I don't want to hand over to others."
The method of translating Rabindranath's lyric, at least to communicate his ideals, is evident from the correspondence of the following letters.
The visit of Rabindranath to Europe and America and his meeting with the intellectuals   added to the ideas of  internationalism of Rabindranath  in a more wider  sense.
This phenomenon was vividly explained by Krishna Kripalani;
"Henceforth he was more a world-citizen than an Indian.He was a world-citizen not because he became world famous but because he felt with the world.... Tagore made the world's destiny his own and felt deeply the agony if there was real in him exposed himto not a little misunderstanding in his own country."
This statement is incorporated by the letter written by Rabindranath to Sturge Moore on 1st May,1914;

   "Our school is closed and after long interval of a busy time a full day has been given to me .....

Nandalal Basu and Santiniketan

Rabindranath had a contact with Nandalal Basu (1883-1966) in 1909. He was one of the disciple of Abanindranath. He had drawn 7 pictures for "Chayanika" at the request Rabindranath and drawn 2 pictures for Crescent Moon (1913). He first came to Saantiniketan on 24th April at the invitation of Rabindranath and appointed the drawing teacher Asit Kumar Haldar of the school to fetch him. Nandalal expressed to Panchanan Mandal the memoirs of  his coming over to Santiniketan; "I got up in the train from Howrah station at noon in the loop-line and dropped in Bolpur station at the end of the afternoon.My brother Suren (1894-1970) also came with me. The cow driven car was ready for us at the station. My accomodation was arranged by the west side of the children's department and at the side of the Saal Trees in a double roomed cottage."
Welcoming ceremony of Nandalal Basu was held on 25th April at Mango-Garden of Santiniketan. He wrote about this ceremony;
"In front of the concrete -Carmichael Stage, there was a earthen stage at that time.After going there I found that leafs of Lotus were spread all over the stage. With the help of spades and other instrument lotus leafs were constructed on the ground and granules of stones were spread on the petals. The whole thing was nicely designed.Paitings had been drawn in front of the stage. Mani Gupta (Manindra Bhaushan Gupta (1898-1968) was student at that timeMoreover, Dhirendra Krishna (Debbarma, 1903-1995), Saradindu Nandi, D.L.Roy were also students.mani Gupta was an asssistant of Asit. They made powder with the granules and then drawn 'Alpana' with the help of those powder - probably, they had done it according to Vedic way. Then the poet (Rabindtranath) came. When I took my seat, conch was blown. Asit or somebody among the boys garlanded me. The Poet gave his blessings to me and said a few words. I too said something and mentioned that I had become glorious."
On this occasion Rabindranth constructed a blessings of sixteen lines and offered it to Nandalal. Modern Review published the news in the lines;
" Babu Nandalal Bose ...recently had occasion to visit Rabindranath Tagore's school at Bolpur. The poet gave him a cordial reception and presented him with a benedictory poem. This is an honour of which any artist may well be proud."       

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rathindranath Tagore - Part II ( 1910 - 1961) contd-2

Rathindranath was the youngest one in the Tagore family amongst all his cousin brothers and sisters . In a big-book known as "Paribarik Khata" was kept in his uncle's (Satyendranath) house for writing comments by the members of the Tagore family where  he was marked as a shy and introvert one by his cousin brothers and sisters. He was born in 1888 and remained in Jorasanko upto the age of 10 yrs and his preliminary education from a Nusrsery trained teacher and his wife.   He was then admitted in a school at Silaidah founded by his father. He got his education from his father and three other teachers there.. He took admission as a founder student, among 4 others, in Santiniketan Brahmmacharyasram in 1901 after studying 3 years in Silaidah.. He passed Matriculation examination in 1903 and was trained at home for 3 years to be admitted in Illionos University to study  BS in agricultural Science in 1906. He passed BS in agriculture in 1909, had an educational tour to different countries of Europe and had come back home in the same year at the call of his father. He had gone to Silaidah and Patisar to get himself acquainted  with the tenants of the estate. He started an agricultural  farm with a laboratory for soil taste in Patisar. In 1910 he was married to Pratima and then came to Santiniketan to take some responsibility of his father in the mangement of the Institution. He wanted to stay permanently in the Kuthibadi of Surul but was unable to stay there  as they were attacked with malaria and came back to Santiniketan. He permanently stayed in Santiniketan with his wife Pratima unless he was deputed for other responsible job.He got  4 genuine responsibilties; .1. to look after the Zamindary including to conduct village court founded by his father, 2. to look after his farm at patisar, look after the administration and development of Santiniketan, 4. to accompany his father in his foreign tour. 
Rathindranath was not only one of the first five boys of the Santiniketan Brahmacharyasrama, he was also one of the key persons for the existence and development of Santiniketan. Rathindranath was one of the most representative product of Rabindranath's educational ideals. After his matriculation, Rathindranath was sent to Illinois to study Agricultural Science. He spent the next four decades of his life serving Santiniketan and Visva-Bharati.
At Santiniketan, he taught genetics to the students and he had been praised for making such a technical subject interesting to the students. Apart from teaching he worked mostly behind-the-scenes, organising, trying to find newer and better methods to implement ideas. At different times he had been the Karma-Sachiva  and  teacher. As a  Santiniketan-Sachiva, in charge of Sriniketan,  he served for about fifty years after his joining the Brahmacharyasram. He did a lot to promote it to Visva-Bharati University,  a Central University in 1953 and  became its first Upacharya.
Without his active patronage, the Tagore memorial and archives perhaps could never have come into existence. He made over his heir loom to Visva-Bharati and a part of his income to Rabindra Bharati.

Rathindranath Tagore - Part II (contd-1, 1910 - 1961)

Rabindranath was staying with Rathi and Pratima  in Surul. But they would be going to the Bunglow of Pearson at Chandipur and Puri during Puja vacation and so Rabindranath had to go to Santiniketan.
A few years back Rabindranath had some trouble at the left of his countenance and at the neuralgia of his ear which had elapsed recently. He was facing this trouble off and on. He informed Rathindranath about his health. Previously he had his treatment and was relieved of his pain. But due to the side effects of the medicine he got some new problems in his nervous system. Rabindranath, himself, was also a good physician and practiced Homeopathy and so knew the cause and side-effects of a disease. Quoting from the Materia Medica he wrote Rathindranath his present state of depression of his mind. This was clearly expressed in his songs and poetries published in Gitali.   
He wrote poems in Gitali about his mental depression, his trouble out of it and way of attaining higher stage of mind. He wrote to Kshitimohan Sen at the crossing point of his recovery on 2nd Oct 1914;
" I'm passing through a stage of separation and union - after finishing my lyrics, I shall get a way out of it. Now I should keep mum"
But he again wrote to Andrews on 4th Oct;
" It seems as though I am coming out of the mist once more, and I am trying to throw off my shoulders the burden that has been oppressing me all these days. As my mind feels lighter, I have rightly earned my freedom./We have all come to Santiniketan from Surul; and this change has done me good. "
He again wrote on 7th Oct ;
" My period of darkness is over once again. It has been a time of very great trial to me, and I believe it absolutely necessary for my emancipation. I know that I am being lifted from the sphere
where I was before ; and it is the loneliness of the new situation and and the cry of the old life that is still troubling me. But I have glimpses of the ineffable light of joy, which I am sure will not fail me." 
While Rabindranath was in London in 1912, he purchased the Kuthibari and garden house of Surul with a sum of Rs.8000.00 by a hand  note and started remodelling it very soon. In 26 Aug 1914 the payment of the same was completed. But before that on 14th April in Bengali new year day the ceremony of formal entry into the house took place.In front of Rabindranath Rathindranath and Pratima took their seat on the sacred stage and Kshitimohan Sen recited Vedic hymn. All the teachers and the students were present as guests but the ceremony was not finished due to rain.
Rabindranath had a dream  that Rathindranath would construct a laboratory here on agricultural science. Rathindranath and Pratima began to stay here but after some time both of them were attacked with Malaria. As a result they had to leave the idea of permanently staying there. After passing several years by doing this and that,  a centre for village culture, Sriniketan, had been developed here.
Rabindranath was a Nobel Laureate. But he was not in the habit of staying at a particular place and remained absorbed in his own writing. Rathindranath said that he was a born-traveller. When he was young he could not stay at home for long time. He moved from this place to that within the country. He also went twice in England for a short period.The first time he went to England before his (Rathindranath's) birth. Second time he went to England in 1890, when he was a mere child. Third time when he went to Europe and America, Rathindranath and his wife accompanied him. Rathindranath said, so far he could remember, Rabindranath had journey to foreign in 1912, 1920, 1924, 1926, 1930 and in all these times Rathindranath and Pratima accompanied him. In 1932, Rabindranath went to Iran and Mesopatemia by plane - Rathindranath could not accompany due his ailment and only Pratima accompanied him. Rabindranath went several times to different places of far-east and North and South America taking others as his accompaniment.When he went to Russia , Rathi and Pratima could not accompany.            

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rathindranath Tagore - Part II ( 1910 - 1961)

After completing his B.S. in Agriculture Rathindranath returned to India having some educational tour in Europe at the request of his father in Sept. 1909. In the mean time his field for constructing a farm wirh a laboratory had been made ready by Rabindranath at Silaidah. Rabindranath also decided to hand over some charges of zamindary estate to his son Rathindranath. Rathindranath became satisfied with his future prospect. Rabindranath had moved to different places of his zamindary with Rathindranath to  introduce him with the tenants. Moreover, this was the first time when he became close to his father in the same house boat. Rabindranath, having faced several untimely death of his loved ones ( Mrinlini, Renuka and Shamindranath) specially Shamindranath, embraced his son, Rathindranath, with all the love and passion he had.   
While visiting for his Zamindari work Rabindranath preferred to use a Bajra (big boat) but in the opinion of his son Rathindranath, having returned from America after obtaining his degree, Bajra was a slow vehicle and was not suitable for going by water. Rabindranath purchased a steamer with Rs. 7900/- from Fortilla Company for him. Rabindranath wrote about this steamer to Rathindranath in some of his letters earlier. Previously Jyotirindranath lost all his wealth in competition with this company namely " The Bengal Central Fortilla Co. Ltd." This was the beginning of Rathindranath's exorbitant cost of living in contrast with Rabindranath's simple living. Rabindranath was not satisfied with his son's way of living but due to his affection towards his son he could not point it out to him. After few years the steamer had to be sold out for Rs.3000/- only on 8 May, 1917, undergoing heavy loss.
Sujit Kumar Chakraborty, brother of Arabindo Mohan and Ajit Kumar, passed B.Sc. from Presidency College. Rabindranath paid Sujit Kumar Rs.35/- pm regularly in the absence of Ajit Kumar. Now Rathindranath, being in charge of the estate, was instructed by Rabindranath to pay the amount from Ashwin within 3rd day of every month.
Rathindranath got his education in Agricultural Science from America and Rabindranath selected Silaidah as his place of work. Rathindranath wrote ;
"My life has been started afresh in Silaidah -it is supposed that I am just a wealthy farmer in Europe or in America. A vast land was made ready for the purpose of farming. The seeds of corn and seeds of different grass for the animals were imported from America. Different kinds of instruments for farming, suitable for our country was prepared. Even a small laboratory was constructed for testing the soil,
"Rabindranath stayed here as a guest of his son and daughter -in-law. He came here with illness and wrote Ajit Kumar, " My lever was not functioning properly which I did not feel earlier- for this reason, I have come here. Now I'm feeling better. The problem of my lever is no more." A small room was
constructed on the roof of the estate-building (Kuthi-Bari). That was his shelter. The rain is over and Beneath the sky there is wide field of crops and the stream of water of Padma is flowing . His mind became completely filled with sense of leisure in the slow-idle going village life. Explaining his state of mind he wrote a letter to Ajit Kumar.In  every evening they had discussions on different issues - some times of his past educational life, some times of his present programme of action, sometimes with the miserable conditions of the peasants, sometimes of Rabindranath's plan and programme of development of villages. Sometimes they had some discussions on literature also. Rathindranath started a new life in Silaidah as if he was an well to do agriculturist in Europe or in America . He had to establish his farm on a vast land at Silaidah. Seeds of corn, food for domestic animal and seeds of different kinds grass  was imported from America. Different kinds of ploughs and plough shares which was suitable for applying  in this country. Even a small laboratory was prepared for examining the soil of the land. By this time Myron Phelps had come from America who was sympathetic to the cause of India.Different essays written by him were published in local papers. He had certified in his writings about the farm at Silaidah as a good attempt to organise a farm like America. When Rathinranath was busy with his present work he was called for his marriage which was fixed on 27th January, 1910, after five months of his arrival in India. This was the first time in their family of an widow marriage. After his marriage a few years had passed very smoothly and peacefully. He was doing his work in the farm at Silaidah and in the laboratory and Pratima was going  on with her study at Jorasanko with the help of  a lady teacher Miss Burdaten  coming from Illionos. But this easy going life within the simple living peasants in the villages had ended suddenly. 
As it became very difficult for Rabindranath to take all the responsibilities of Santiniketan,  he called Rathindranath to share some of his responsibilities. His classmate Santosh Kumar Majumdar after coming from America had already joined Santiniketan. His brother-in-law (husband of Mira), Nagendranath, also, would come back from America after finishing his study and would join. Rabindranath sent them all to America for their study in agriculture to help  in the developmental work of  Santiniketan and the country. 
Rathindranath was happy in the natural environment of Silaidah but he had to take an additional responsibility of his father at Santiniketan.
His subject of study was agriculture and its scientific application. Now he had to think of handicraft and fine arts. After coming  from America he found that Jorasanko was busy with ceremonies of art and literature.  In America and Europe he attended many cultural  programmes  but the tastes of those were different from that of Jorasanko Here the ceremony was balanced, restrained and appreciating
Gaganendra and Abanindra were doing various types of experiments on art and culture. He went  to their house at 5 no. Jorasanko, everyday. and tried to follow. He organised  a club known as "Bichitra Club".
Here it might be mentioned that Rathindranath organised a Cosmopolitan Club at Illionos at Urbana. The logo of their Club had drawn by  Nanda lal Bose.
After organising Bichitra Club he had to come to Santiniketan at the call of his father. Before  that he tried for a business which as usual in Tagore family could not see any success. He purchased a car for  his conveyance and went with it in different places inside and outside Bengal by self driving. This was the only benefit he got from his business.
Rabindranath’s second child Rathindranath Tagore (2nd from left), who was his eldest son, was born on 27 November 1888. Rathindranath was married on 27 January 1910 to Pratima Debi (2nd from right). Pratima Debi was born in the year 1893. At the time of their marriage, Rathindranath was 21 years 2 months of age and Pratima Debi was about 17 years .
Pratima Debi was Gaganendranath and Abanindranath Tagore’s niece. (Her mother Binayini Debi was their sister). Before her marriage to Rathindranath, Pratima Debi had been married to Nilanath Mukhopadhyay but, was widowed later. Rathindranath and Pratima Debi’s marriage was the first instance of a widow marriage in the Tagore family
First rice taking ceremony of Pratima was held on 30th Jan, 2010 and Rabindranath handed over the charge of his family to her with a sum of Rupees 50/- as the balance of family expenses on 2nd Feb, 2010, just after 3 days she came to her father-in-law's house. Rabindranath wrote to his son-in-law, Nagendranath,
" Hope you have got the news of my daughter-in-law. Everybody likes her very much. It is Santi who is charmed and Dhiren (both are brothers of Nagendra) too is so. They are of opinion that this time her beauty surpassed that of Bela even. Not only in outward beauty, her behaviour is also sweet. Her face appears so calm that she looks gracious and everyone becomes attracted."
In that letter, written to Nagendra, he described the duties allotted to Rathindranath. After the completion of his course Nagendranath might join in the same field of work. Rabindranath described him in details the socio-economic perspective of contemporary India.
" Now,our main duty is to try to develop the economic condition of the downtrodden people of our society.If you want to be a co-worker of Rathi then there are ample scope. You can cultivate land in co-operation with the farmers, can open Banks, to build healthy dwelling place for them, to pay up their debt, to arrange for the education of their kids, to provide means of livelihood for their old age, to construct roads and dams, to remove scarcity of drinking water, to fasten each other with bondage on the basis of co-operation, and so many similar works.If we became successful to form an ideal village of this type, then the whole country will get an example to do likewise. I did not find persons to do this type of basic work. Everyone wants excitement. There are very few persons for real work, for real sacrifice."
In the month April (Baishakh, 1319),1912, Rathindranath purchased a bunglow with garden in Ramgarh, near Nainital with Rs. 10,000/- only  where Rabindranath had gone for rest with Pratima Devi, Mira, Nagendra and two servants.
Rabindranth decided to go to foreign for the third time on Friday, 24 May 1912.
"The Bengalee" paper published, in Saturday, 25 May (12 Jaistha) issue, the detail description of the farewell of Rabindranath;
" Babu Rabindranath Tagore accompanied by his son Babu Rathindranath left Calcutta on Friday by B.N.Railway Bombay Mail for Europe.he will first visit France and Germany and stay for some time in England, whence he will go to America and return after making a prolong tour through China, Japan Siam. Members of the Tagore family, his friend and devotee, his Bolpur students and ex-students, with many of the teaching staff saw him off at the station.
Rathindranath along with his wife accompanied Rabindranath to Europe and America in May, 1912. They stayed in England and then went to America and came back.
Manchestor Guardian during day time published the news of the departure of Rabindranath Tagore on 3rd Sept,1913.
Rabindranath reached Bombay station on 27th Sept when he had answer several questions put by the reporters. His answers were published in The Bombay Chronicle and Morning Post, Observer of London.
He boarded the ship when he went to London from the same port and came back to his own land after one year 4 months.
In London and in America Rathindranath tried to increase his academic attainment but circumstances did not permit him to do so.
Rathindranath established his family in the Kuthibari of Surul, the newly purchased garden house.On 25th Aug  Rabindranath became a guest in their house. Rabindranath came everyday to Santiniketan with the help of a Cow-Cart through the earthen road. Dinendranath stayed in the house known as Benukunja made of straw where every evening Sangeet Sandhya were arranged.