A Bridge to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s Geetanjali

[This article is written for a rational audience. The interpretations are all my own. I am only sharing my impressions. They are not intended to impose, influence or comment on prevailing beliefs. I am also not sure that I may not find more revelations in my next reading of the same text.]



I am attempting a metaphoric bridge to “Geetanjali”. Every line represents one song in the same order as the song occurs in Tagore’s work. The speaker is feminine.


A Bridge to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s “Geetanjali” – By Sudhir


Your boundless creation makes my song immortal. Your calling fills me with vain pride. I am daunted by your compositions. I pledge my allegiance to your truth. I pray for a moment’s harmony to begin. Come; hold my hand lest I falter. So my songs can stay simple and sincere. Mother, do not imprison me with worldliness. I shall not be shaped by material yearning.


Devotion is obstructed by pride so often. This deliverance is realized only by effort. I must search far and wide for myself. My song remains unsung. Though sufferings make me abandon worldly desires. I seek honor only through my song. I have lived my karma in this world. I am waiting now for your call. I am restless in anticipation. I await the awakening. I have failed my insights often before. This waiting on emptiness seems futile. I hope Truth does not evade me tonight. Where are you?


I am weary of this struggle. I am not prepared for worship. I sleep in ignorance. Pray, awaken me with your enlightenment. Futile attachments and inhibitions tear me asunder. I am enveloped by walls of selfdom. My own self follows me everywhere. I have imprisoned myself thus. Love is not love that does not liberate.


Your blessings are invaded in the night by naive guests. But I am happy to remain in the bonds of your love. Into that heaven of freedom, father, let me awake! I pray for the strength to liberate myself. Your song is everlasting. I seek to attain you, nothing else. You are my holy spirit, my life, my strength. Your fervor burns me all over. Where are you?


My songs are emancipated by your silent attention. I found you today. This is my life, my delight. I have always known you thus. I feel your presence. I awaken myself in you. I look back with a smile at my fear of this journey. You heard the song of a simple novice.


I regretted saving myself from you. You came so in a dark dreadful night. You gave me the gift of disengagement. It is more precious than all my virtues. Our love is seamless. May this joy fill our being! Thus is our love undivided. Our love pervades all, like light over life. This is the joy that needs no words for expression. Your love fills my being so!


Life is a sport, death is an appointment. Life begets life as love begets love. Now I marvel at the charms of your creation. Now I know the truth of your immortality. Now I know the futility of surrendering this divinity to obscurity. I am nothing if I am not divine love. This is my inner self whom I have always preserved.


Life of all lives, your radiance is eternal. Benevolence is benevolent because it lets evil be. Life is eternal. Ephemeral joys live and die in this everlasting association. You are the life of my life. I am not tempted by illusions for emancipation. I am captivated by your music. I am mortal; you are the meaning in all. When I am done with this mortality I shall be with you. Like a child with a parent. This is the perfection.


Let me suffer my pain in silent seclusion. I am merely a pawn of destiny. If not for you, my life would have no purpose. My fear of time is dispelled by your timelessness.


Mother, bless me again with your grace. This severance is the cause of all suffering.


The rewards of life are not taken after death. Yet I shall welcome death as humbly. But now I am unable to find myself anywhere. Where am I, the deity of my own temple? In a world of useless inconsequence I find no pleasure in good or evil. Death can deprive me of nothing. Yet I wait for death as a bride waits for her groom. Amid prospects of death, I see how precious everything is in this world.


I bid a peaceful farewell. I shall part with empty hands. Death is as unknown to me as life was when I came. Remember that I have known the imperishable. I did not know it as divine till I saw the world bow to it in worship. In death too I shall not escape unconquered. I am now wiser; I shall not struggle in vain. My music is now boundless; my songs are now immortal. I found you through my songs. Yet, even now, I cannot describe your meaning.


I salute thee, my God.



[Here is Tagore’s anthology Geetanjali. It starts on page 15.]

Comments are closed.