Montag, April 17, 2006


Very soon after I've come to the conclusion that Savasana-Exercises had such a salutary effect on my body and on my
soul I wanted to know more about Yoga and about the multifaceted Indian culture in general. By chance I met at a vernissage a very interesting sculptress who was older than me and very congenial. Soon I made friends with her...
She was the first person who called my attention to the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Here is a short biography to the Indian Poet, Philosopher, Musician, Writer, Educator and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore:

He was born in Calcutta, India into a wealthy Brahmin family. After a brief stay in England (1878) to attempt to study law, he returned to India, and instead pursued a career as a writer, playwright, songwriter, poet, philosopher and educator.

In 1912 he then returned to England for the first time since his failed attempt at law school as a teenager. Now a man of 51, his was accompanied by his son. On the way over to England he began translating, for the first time, his latest selections of poems, Gitanjali, into English. Almost all of his work prior to that time had been written in his native tongue of Bengali. He decided to do this just to have something to do, with no expectation at all that his first time translation efforts would be any good. He made the handwritten translations in a little notebook he carried around with him and worked on during the long sea voyage from India.

Upon arrival, his son left his father's brief case with this notebook in the London subway. Fortunately, an honest person turned in the briefcase and it was recovered the next day. Tagore's one friend in England, a famous artist he had met in India, Rothenstein, learned of the translation, and asked to see it. Reluctantly, with much persuasion,
Tagore let him have the notebook. The painter could not believe his eyes. The poems were incredible. He called his friend, W.B. Yeats, and finally talked Yeats into looking at the hand scrawled notebook.

The rest, as they say, is history. Yeats was enthralled. He later wrote the introduction to Gitanjali when it was published in September 1912 in a limited edition by the India Society in London. Thereafter, both the poetry and the man were an instant sensation, first in London literary circles, and soon thereafter in the entire world.
His spiritual presence was awesome. His words evoked great beauty. Nobody had ever read anything like it. A glimpse of the mysticism and sentimental beauty of Indian culture were revealed to the West for the first time. Less than a year later, in 1913, Rabindranath received the Nobel Prize for literature.

In 1915 he was knighted by the British King George V, but in 1919, following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by British troops, Sir Tagore renounced his Knighthood.

Above you can see the old Rabindranath Tagore with Albert Einstein


Blogger Sujay Sukumar said...

castor, this is so nice. I'm priviliged to be the first one to comment.

My mum used to narrate to me what she read in the gitanjali. its so nice to hear it from you castor.

9:36 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Sujay Sukumar:
You are also privileged to have heard verses from the Gitanjali already by your mum, Sujay! :-)

12:21 vorm.  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

again yourinformative site has given me someone new to discover. thanks castor.

9:33 vorm.  
Blogger Trudging said...

Wow, things I never knew

1:12 nachm.  
Blogger Ryan said...

wow all the info u can learn if you just take the time.

3:00 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Cocaine Jesus:
It's interesting in accordance with which criterions such a personality like Tagore is forgotten so soon, isn't it?

7:33 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Trudging:
As one of the earliest educators to think in terms of the global village, Rabindranath Tagore’s educational model has a unique sensitivity and aptness for education within multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural situations, amidst conditions of acknowledged economic discrepancy and political imbalance.

Perhaps these things caused the fact that he fell into oblivion ...

7:44 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Ryan:
Tagore said also for example:

"I was brought up in an atmosphere of aspiration, aspiration for the expansion of the human spirit. We in our home sought freedom of power in our language, freedom of imagination in our literature, freedom of soul in our religious creeds and that of mind in our social environment. Such an opportunity has given me confidence in the power of education which is one with life and only which can give us real freedom, the highest that is claimed for man, his freedom of moral communion in the human world.... I try to assert in my words and works that education has its only meaning and object in freedom–freedom from ignorance about the laws of the universe, and freedom from passion and prejudice in our communication with the human world. In my institution I have attempted to create an atmosphere of naturalness in our relationship with strangers, and the spirit of hospitality which is the first virtue in men that made civilization possible."

7:50 vorm.  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Very informative post and as always the little unknown snippets which you always present! Very nicely introduced castor!! :) I remember reading some of tagore when i was in school especially 10th grade when i used to borrow his books from my cousin who was a big fan herself. :)

8:08 nachm.  
Blogger Brad said...

You keep coming up with such interesting people Hans! It would have been so nice to have had the chance to meet some of these folks.

As for Yoga... I'll tell you the samething I told someone on another blog recently writing about it. I avoid Yoga like the plague for fear it might actually work and make me VERY flexible. My fear being that one day I could do what dogs can do and for someone like me that wouldn't be a good ability! :)

9:47 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Prmod Bafna:
Thanks Prmod :-)! As you see, Tagore isn't very famous in the West although he has got the Nobel prize! I's really a pity! Therefore I published this post about him!

3:48 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Brad:
:-) I think you aren't well informed about yoga :-)

Here is a link to know more about it:

4:00 nachm.  

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