Friday, June 03, 2005

Reflections on an Indian Poet

Thoughts on Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore

Who is this Bengali poet? He’s a Hindu, I’m told. Yet at times, I found myself wondering if he wasn’t a follower of Jesus for his words reflect the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount and he's devoted to God (not just to gods). He’s an inspiration. Tagore calls his readers to stand in the awe of God, to behold the tenderness of a lover and to embrace life and death. We’re encouraged to expunge corrupt thoughts for they lead to evil deeds and to recognize that luxuries enslave us in bondage. As we come to the end of his words, visions of death are seen, but it is not something to dread for there is the promise we’ll finally stand face to face with our creator. Until then, we’re to nourish such Truth as seeds in our hearts where they’ll sprout. From these seeds, “buds [turn] into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.” His writings are beautiful and encourage the reader to cherish and treat life as a gift.

In 1913, Tagore became the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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