Rabindranath Tagore’s most well-known work, Gtjali, is a collection of poems that came out in India in 1910. Tagore then turned it into English prose poems called Gitanjali: Song Offerings. It was published in 1912 with an introduction by William Butler Yeats.
Tagore based the poems in Gitanjali on devotional songs from India in the Middle Ages. He also wrote music to go with these words. Love is the main theme, but some poems also talk about the struggle between spiritual longings and earthly desires. A lot of the images he uses come from nature, and the mood is mostly low-key and quiet. Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 in part because of this collection, but not everyone agrees that it is his best work.
Theme of Geetanjali
The main idea in Gitanjali is mysticism, which also brings up a number of other ideas. According to Indian philosophy, mysticism is the highest stage where the human soul is in direct contact with God. A mystic thinks that the world we see with our eyes and ears is not real and that there is a more real world behind it that can only be understood spiritually, not through the senses. The mystic tries to get in touch with the inner, ultimate reality in a way that is direct and intuitive. In some ways, realism and common sense are at odds with mysticism. Mysticism is not something that can be explained logically. All mystics try to separate themselves from the outside world and connect with the world inside. This type of mysticism is based on the ideas of renunciation, detachment from the world, and asceticism. Tagore was influenced by a lot of mystic writers, such as Walt Whitman, Kahlil Gibran, and, to some extent, Sri Aurobindo. Still, Tagore’s version of mysticism is a little bit different from the first. He doesn’t completely doubt what he thinks and what he feels. He doesn’t try to get away from real life, but he does enjoy the joy of living. He doesn’t deny sense experience, but instead turns it into a way to have a spiritual experience. Nor does he have the slightest desire to be a monk. His strong humanism keeps his mysticism in check and keeps it from getting out of hand.
Check out the complete UPSC Syllabus
Story of Gitanjali
Gitanjali is divided into two parts. To begin, the majority of these songs are composed as dialogues between the poet and God. Even if God’s messages were not always spoken, the poet expresses his prayers and sentiments. Aside from certain personal prayers, some songs are also directed to the Bharatvidhata—the God of India. In two songs, He mor chitto punyatirthe jagore dhire (song number 106) and He mor durbhaga desh (song no 108), the poet urged his countrymen to band together against both internal and external calamities. It is important to understand that Gitanjali was composed in British India. When the protests against the British government became violent and nonviolent, the poet appealed to Bharatvidhata to awaken his compatriots into the paradise of wisdom and labour. He also asked for the abolition of caste prejudice.
The poet’s prayers are not for mortal or material things. They aspire to live a better life. According to Yeats, these songs arose from immense sadness and intense emotion. A single line of his poetry may make anyone forget about the world’s problems. Gitanjali’s songs can help us purify our bodies and minds in order to grow closer to God. Although the God of Rabindranath is the God of beauty, intelligence, and perfection, he is neither a religious or traditional god. This God has no unique picture, nor has the poet ever represented his God by symbols. He resembles the notion of a supernatural force, the God of the Upanishads. The opening song in the collection, Amar matha nata kore dao he tomar charandhular pore, appears to be a prayer from the poet to his God to forcefully lower the poet’s head before the Almighty. The fundamental message of the hymn, however, is that the devotee must give up his pride in order to get ultimate peace and contentment from his God. In Bipode more raksa kato, he prayed to his God for strength and courage to tackle his issues.
Rabindranath depicted death as the only way to reach his God. Death seems to him as a calm ocean where he may relax when his earthly life has ended. Gitanjali’s songs have a strong link to nature. These songs are generally written during the monsoon season, autumn, or spring. When nature bestows her gifts on us by adorning our surroundings with fresh pictures, lights, fruits, and flowers, we become new and pure in our devotion to God. Song nos. 11 and 13—amra bedhechi kasher guchha and Amar nayana vulano ele—describe autumn festivals, whereas song no. 12 Amala dhabala pale legeche mandomadhur hawa is composed in the rain. Songs 16 through 20 highlight various aspects of the rainy season.
Visit to know more about UPSC Preparation Books
Theme of Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore.
1) Theme of God :- Gitanjali is God’s prayer. It is a collection of songs about God and praise for him. Which are deeply rooted in the ancient tradition of Indian Vaishnava poetry and have mystical, eternal, and sublime qualities. They have a wide range of moods and ways of doing things. The theme of God runs through the whole Gitanjali.
2) Theme of Nature: Gitanjali also has a theme about nature. It looks at the connection between God and nature. His lyrics stand out because of how beautiful and full of images they are. These images come from nature and Indian mythology.
3) Theme of Humanity: Gitanjali doesn’t just talk about the relationship between a man’s soul and God. It also talks about the relationship between a man’s soul and other men. It stands up for the rights of the poor and humble, who are often denied the most important rights of man.
4) Theme of Death: At the end of Gitanjali, Tagore also writes about death, and he does so in many different and artistic ways. He doesn’t fear death. Instead, he looks forward to it with joy because it’s the only way to be with God. “Death looks scary, but it brings the soul of a person to a meeting with the eternal,” he said.
5) Theme of Love: There are many kinds of love in Gitanjali, including love for women, love for other people, love for humanity, love for God, love for nature, love for his country, love for beauty, and love for the truth. Tagore is a poet who loves God and religion, and his poetry shows the truth, happiness, and beauty of the world.
Read about UPSC Notes
It’s hard to put Rabindranath and his ideas in a certain category. As shown in the Gitanjali, these ideas are very different, but they fit together well as a whole. They show how the poet really felt. This work is not only a Classic that everyone interested in Tagore and the Bengali Renaissance must read, but it is also a must-read for anyone interested in philosophy.