Rabindranath Tagore · 80 pages
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“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 toward perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost it's way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward by thee
into ever widening thought and action.
In to that heaven of freedom, my father,
LET MY COUNTRY AWAKE!”
“On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.
The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.
They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.
They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.
The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby’s cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.
On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.”
“Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.
The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.
The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion.
Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure. The heaven's river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is abroad.”
“Oh my only friend, my best beloved, the gates are open in my
house—do not pass by like a dream.”
“When I go from hence, let this be my parting word, that what I have seen is unsurpassable.
I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on the ocean of light, and thus I am blessed—let this be my parting word.
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here have I caught sight of him who is formless.
My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come—let this be my parting word.”
“Alas, why are my nights all thus lost? Ah, why do I ever miss his
sight whose breath touches my sleep?”
“Ah, thou hast made my heart captive in the endless meshes of thy music, my master!”
“Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.”
“And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well. (#95)”
“I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.
That is why it is so late and why I have been guilty of such omissions.
They come with their laws and their codes to bind me fast; but I
evade them ever, for I am only waiting for love to give myself up at
last into his hands.
People blame me and call me heedless; I doubt not they are right
in their blame.
The market day is over and work is all done for the busy. Those
who came to call me in vain have gone back in anger. I am only
waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.”
“There is no day nor night, nor form nor colour, and never, never a word. (#67)”
“he who has the knowledge has the responsibility to impart it to the students.”
“এরা সুখের লাগি চাহে প্রেম, প্রেম মেলে না, শুধু সুখ চলে যায়”
“The speech of my heart will be carried on in murmurings of a song.”
“Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!
He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the pathmaker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put of thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!
Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found? Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation; he is bound with us all for ever.
Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense! What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained? Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow”
“At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.”
“Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple, great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked—this sky and the light, this body and the life and the mind—saving me from perils of overmuch desire.”
“The sleep that flits on baby's eyes - does anybody know from where it comes? Yes, there is a rumour that it has its dwelling where, in the fairy village among shadows of the forest dimly lit with glow-worms, there hang two timid buds of enchantment. From there it comes to kiss baby's eyes.
The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps - does anybody know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumour that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning - the smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps.
The sweet, soft freshness that blooms on baby's limbs - does anybody know where it was hidden so long? Yes, when the mother was a young girl it lay pervading her heart in tender and silent mystery of love - the sweet, soft freshness that has bloomed on baby's limbs.”
“If the day is done, if birds sing no more, if the wind has flagged tired, then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk. From the traveller, whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended, whose garment is torn and dustladen, whose strength is exhausted, remove shame and poverty, and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.”
“On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.
I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.”
“Many an hour I have spent in the strife of the good and the evil, but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days to draw my heart on to him;”
“The light of thy music illumines the world. The life breath of thy music runs from sky to sky. The holy stream of thy music breaks through all stony obstacles and rushes on. My”
“In pleasure and in pain I stand not by the side of men, and thus stand by thee. I shrink to give up my life, and thus do not plunge into the great waters of life.”
“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.”
“When I bring to you coloured toys, my child, I understand why there is such a play of colours on clouds, on water, and why flowers are painted in tints---when I give coloured toys to you, my child.
When I sing to make you dance I truly now why there is music in leaves, and why waves send their chorus of voices to the heart of the listening earth---when I sing to make you dance.
When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands I know why there is honey in the cup of the flowers and why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice---when I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.
When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling, I surely understand what pleasure streams from the sky in morning light, and what delight that is that is which the summer breeze brings to my body---when I kiss you to make you smile.”
“At this time of my parting, wish me good luck, my friends! The sky is flushed with the dawn and my path lies beautiful. Ask not what I have with me to take there. I start on my journey with empty hands and expectant heart. I shall put on my wedding garland. Mine is not the red-brown dress of the traveller, and though there are dangers on the way I have no fear in my mind. The evening star will come out when my voyage is done and the plaintive notes of the twilight melodies be struck up from the King’s gateway.”
“I was not aware of the moment when I first crossed the threshold of this life. What was the power that made me open out into this vast mystery like a bud in the forest at – midnight? When in the morning I looked upon the light I felt in a moment that I was no stranger in this world, that the inscrutable without name and form had taken me in irs arms in the form of my own mother. Even so, in death the same unknown will appear as ever known to me. And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well. The child cries out when from the right breast the mother takes it away, in the very next moment to find in the left one its consolation.”
“In the deep shadows of the rainy July, with secret steps, thou walkest, silent as night, eluding all watchers.
Today the morning has closed its eyes, heedless of the insistent calls of the loud east wind, and a thick veil has been drawn over the ever-wakeful blue sky.
The woodlands have hushed their songs, and doors are all shut at every house. Thou art the solitary wayfarer in this deserted street. Oh my only friend, my best beloved, the gates are open in my house---do not pass by like a dream.”
“I must launch out my boat. The languid hours pass by on the shore---Alas for me!
The spring has done its flowering and taken leave. And now with the burden of faded futile flowers I wait and linger.
The waves have become clamorous, and upon the bank in the shady lane the yellow leaves flutter and fall.
What emptiness do you gaze upon! Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air with the notes of the far-away song floating from the other shore?”
“Better not to start down a wrong path at all than head down it in the hope of making a detour when something better came along.”
“Oh hell. A warm, lush, naked woman coming on to him? Nothing in the military had prepared him for an onslaught like this. The never-surrender thing went right out the window, and he started waving the white flag like a dog wagging his tail.”
“I felt a crack in my defenses—a weak place where truth knifed and twisted and pried for an opening”
“She offered no explanation for them, and it seemed to Yrene that the girl wore her scars the way some women wore their finest jewelry.”
“I can give her no greater power than she has already, said the woman; don't you see how strong that is? How men and animals are obliged to serve her, and how well she has got through the world, barefooted as she is. She cannot receive any power from me greater than she now has, which consists in her own purity and innocence of heart. If she cannot herself obtain access to the Snow Queen, and remove the glass fragments from little Kay, we can do nothing to help her.”
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