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Books > Hindu > Bhajan And Kirtan > Rabindranath Tagore: Songs of Prayer
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Rabindranath Tagore: Songs of Prayer
Rabindranath Tagore: Songs of Prayer
Description
A Note on Translation

To translate Tagore’s songs is a challenging task. It is perhaps more challenging because it demands, and rightly so, all care and caution, involvement and attention to be justified to the original. I have tried my best to maintain every possible consistency and judicious approach to addressing the finer nuances expressed in his songs of prayer.

In selecting Tagore’s songs of prayer, primarily three dimensions have been chosen: one, his association with Nature; two, his dealings with serene sensibilities; and three, his prayer in and through love. Again, Tagore’s departure from the usual course of involvements in prayer has been highlighted in identifying-the religion of prayer in terms of aesthetics and mystic revelations. In fact, some of the selected songs of prayer create an altar of the finest imageries of whatever is encountered in the day-to-day world of ours and convey a catholic panorama of Truth, Goodness and Beauty in all poignance of mysticism.

The selected songs of prayer also include a few ones where, Tagore is very precise but poignant, categorical and vibrant. These songs not only appeal to the heart but also address the intellect so much so that in delineating with these in association with other human sensibilities one finds a magnificent aura of synchronized vision of life in all variations and suggestive- ness. Moreover, one is also thrilled with the prayer of a different kind where one visualizes oneself alone in the language of silence and calmness. The passions are controlled and crystallised in the poignance of prayer where devotion is an ever welcome elegance in fullness of life."

In translating some of Tagore’s songs of prayer, the ‘refrains at times may create constraints in the normal flow of imagination, but these are negotiated in such a manner as to remain justified to the original as far as possible. Naturally, one ought to be literal in some cases where the songs necessitate to be translated for better understanding and appreciation in the light of typical forms of manifestation. However, no compromise has been made anywhere in maintaining the essence and kernels of thoughts and expressions in all catholicity of grandeur and excellence

Introduction

The songs of Rabindranath Tagore bring forth an eternal treasure of the human mind. His songs of prayer in particular create an everlasting web of human life and experience where the heart aches, breathes heavily and points towards the endless horizon of the mystery of life and death, joy and sorrow, emptiness and fullness in an exquisite panorama of loneliness and desolation, aspiration and contentment.

Prayer in Tagore, therefore, is a perennial self-askance and self-dedication, involvement and inspiration. What prompts one to muse in Tagore’s songs of prayer is one’s very kinship, the very depth of emotions and sensibilities-caressed‘ and crystallised, encountered and encompassed in all finer visions and telling transparencies. In the assembly of all ukase, the tunes of prayer mellow the bereaved mind in all promise and poignance of future.

What makes Tagore’s prayer so vibrant and arresting, living and pulsating? How does he come closest to our diverse thoughts and emotions through his songs of prayer? How does he remain an eternal iconoclast in dealing with the prayers of the human heart? Perhaps love is the only key to negotiate, all these and other allied questions as Tagore marvellously spells out in his exquisite songs of prayer. Here is a creator of songs par? Excellence who unfolds the glory of love in course of prayer of an enviably inimitable manner. In fact, love opens the unknown vista of the human heart that never yields to desolation, disappointment, dullness, depression, dissociation or death. At the same time, Tagore unfolds a new horizon of human prayer where the heart is not in quest of the unknown alone but is also enchanted with the beauty of the world with all its flora and fauna. A sort of kindred relationship born of compassion and affection, kindness and conciliation is expressed in the words r of prayer that tell a new truth: man is never alone. The joys and sorrows, agonies and ecstasies of the human mind seek consolation not merely within oneself but also in an intimate association with all in and around one. Therefore, Tagore unfolds a new chapter of prayer where Nature becomes a living and abiding partner. The phoenix of human love is, as it were, born afresh in the prayer of the All Serene in love that knows no absence, no holiday from the lover or the beloved. What a gift from Tagore!

In translating Tagore’s songs of prayer, I recall in tears Pranati Chakrabarti, my partner of life beyond life and polestar of perfection, who has prematurely bid eternal farewell. I dedicate this book to her as her angel of love that inspires me to be in serene unison with her every moment everywhere.

I am grateful to Sobdo Chakrabarti, my son, who has taken all care `for computer processing of the manuscript.

If the book becomes an all-time companion of the revered readers in their solemn moments of prayer, I would pray in Tagore’s words of prayer: "Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows."

Back of the Book

Tagore unfolds a new horizon of human prayer where the heart is not in quest of the unknown alone but is also enchanted with the beauty of the world with all its flora and fauna. A sort of the kindred relationship born of compassion and affection, kindness and conciliation is expressed in the words of prayer that tell a new truth: man is never alone. The joys and sorrows, agonies and ecstasies of the human mind seek consolation not merely within oneself but in an intimate association with all in and around one.

What makes Tagore’s prayer so vibrant and arresting, living and pulsating? How does he come closest to our diverse thoughts and emotions through his songs of prayer? How does he remain an eternal iconoclast in dealing with the prayers of the human heart? Perhaps love is the only key to negotiate all these and other allied questions as Tagore marvelously spells out in his exquisite songs of prayer. Here is a creator of songs par excellence who unfolds the glory of love in course of prayer of an enviably inimitable manner. In fact, love opens the unknown vista of the human heart that never yields to desolation, disappointment, dullness, depression, dissociation or death.

Mohit Chakrabarti, D. Litt.: Teaches Education and English at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, Indian. Honoured with National Award as Teacher Educator. Credited with participation/presentation/acceptance of papers in international/national conferences/symposia/seminars etc. Associated with different universities, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) and educational institutions, etc. a consistent and prolific contributor to studies and researches on Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda.

A Note on Translation xi
Rabindranath Tagore: A Biographical Sketch xiii
Introduction xvii
Songs
Please accept me now, O Lord 1
Amidst the world, shower drops of peace 2
Sing shall I with thy tune 3
With they own hands enkindle the lamp 4
Thou hast come, O Light 5
Beneath that seat 6
Awake, my mind, in the world of goodness 7
I could not offer thee all I have 8
In the temple of the heart 9
In thunder your flute plays on 10
Stealthily do thou comet 11
Give a touch in life 12
More and more, my Lord 13
You remained hidden in my heart 14
O with kindness 15
With joy of love 16
How long shall I remain seated 17
Everyday shall I sing thy pleasant song 18
True, good and full of love 19
Unite me with them 20
My voice beckons Him 21
Time and again did you turn me away 22
Alas, who else would console me 23
Poor am I, very poor 24
With what utterance shall I submit 25
With the light of the new sun 26
Much have you given, Lord 27
Seated am I at the door 28
Keep, O keep the friend of life 29
Friend, I have come 30
Lord, many a play have I played 31
In the journey of new life 32
On the shores of life, O Lord 33
Take, take the silent 34
Pardon me, too 35
I know in thy love 36
Filled today is the desire of the heart 37
Lord of life, the vacant life always weeps 38
The orphan and the distressed 39
When I was bereft of vision 40
Thus have I received 41
Blessed am I 42
Thou hast come in lovely apparel 43
In the distressed heart, O Lord 44
Take, take, take up from the ground 45
My message touches my heart 46
O with great hopes 47
Every time I put on the light 48
Lord, ever confer thy auspicious blessings 49
If like the cloud of a storm 50
Amid the serene night 51
In vain, O Lord 52
O Lord of life 53
Bless me with the gift of life 54
If you wish 55
All around the world 56
No, no slumber 57
Take me to the heaven 58
In joy my Lord laughs 59
O Friend, remain in my heart 60
O make me thy servant 61
In wealth and people 62
O keep me close to the door 63
Treading on the way 64
O Great Life 65
Let thy very desire 66
Judge me according to my own will 67
Effulge my heart 68
Give strength 69
O if this door of my heart 70
Stand before my eyes 71
Where you are 72
I seek Him alone 73
If thou dost not give love 74
That sweet countenance flashes 75
What a hesitation 76
With sorrow shall I appease 77
Why the eye itself is flooded 78
My day ends 79
I know Him 80
If you save me not 81
Day and night do I remain 82
My lamp is put out 83
Know I that you won’t return 84
In silence would you remain 85
Who is that intoxicator 86
At her doors did I come 87
What a tune plays on 88
Return not, go not back 89
When all the flowers withered away 90
With thy love 91
Drown this darkness 92
When life is dried up 93
O Lord of the world 94
All my love 95
Whatever assignment thou hast given 96
O Mind, see Him with eyes open 97
O Lord, break all barriers 98
How far more away 99
What would I offer thee 100
Complete Works of Rabindranath Tagore 109

Rabindranath Tagore: Songs of Prayer

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A Note on Translation

To translate Tagore’s songs is a challenging task. It is perhaps more challenging because it demands, and rightly so, all care and caution, involvement and attention to be justified to the original. I have tried my best to maintain every possible consistency and judicious approach to addressing the finer nuances expressed in his songs of prayer.

In selecting Tagore’s songs of prayer, primarily three dimensions have been chosen: one, his association with Nature; two, his dealings with serene sensibilities; and three, his prayer in and through love. Again, Tagore’s departure from the usual course of involvements in prayer has been highlighted in identifying-the religion of prayer in terms of aesthetics and mystic revelations. In fact, some of the selected songs of prayer create an altar of the finest imageries of whatever is encountered in the day-to-day world of ours and convey a catholic panorama of Truth, Goodness and Beauty in all poignance of mysticism.

The selected songs of prayer also include a few ones where, Tagore is very precise but poignant, categorical and vibrant. These songs not only appeal to the heart but also address the intellect so much so that in delineating with these in association with other human sensibilities one finds a magnificent aura of synchronized vision of life in all variations and suggestive- ness. Moreover, one is also thrilled with the prayer of a different kind where one visualizes oneself alone in the language of silence and calmness. The passions are controlled and crystallised in the poignance of prayer where devotion is an ever welcome elegance in fullness of life."

In translating some of Tagore’s songs of prayer, the ‘refrains at times may create constraints in the normal flow of imagination, but these are negotiated in such a manner as to remain justified to the original as far as possible. Naturally, one ought to be literal in some cases where the songs necessitate to be translated for better understanding and appreciation in the light of typical forms of manifestation. However, no compromise has been made anywhere in maintaining the essence and kernels of thoughts and expressions in all catholicity of grandeur and excellence

Introduction

The songs of Rabindranath Tagore bring forth an eternal treasure of the human mind. His songs of prayer in particular create an everlasting web of human life and experience where the heart aches, breathes heavily and points towards the endless horizon of the mystery of life and death, joy and sorrow, emptiness and fullness in an exquisite panorama of loneliness and desolation, aspiration and contentment.

Prayer in Tagore, therefore, is a perennial self-askance and self-dedication, involvement and inspiration. What prompts one to muse in Tagore’s songs of prayer is one’s very kinship, the very depth of emotions and sensibilities-caressed‘ and crystallised, encountered and encompassed in all finer visions and telling transparencies. In the assembly of all ukase, the tunes of prayer mellow the bereaved mind in all promise and poignance of future.

What makes Tagore’s prayer so vibrant and arresting, living and pulsating? How does he come closest to our diverse thoughts and emotions through his songs of prayer? How does he remain an eternal iconoclast in dealing with the prayers of the human heart? Perhaps love is the only key to negotiate, all these and other allied questions as Tagore marvellously spells out in his exquisite songs of prayer. Here is a creator of songs par? Excellence who unfolds the glory of love in course of prayer of an enviably inimitable manner. In fact, love opens the unknown vista of the human heart that never yields to desolation, disappointment, dullness, depression, dissociation or death. At the same time, Tagore unfolds a new horizon of human prayer where the heart is not in quest of the unknown alone but is also enchanted with the beauty of the world with all its flora and fauna. A sort of kindred relationship born of compassion and affection, kindness and conciliation is expressed in the words r of prayer that tell a new truth: man is never alone. The joys and sorrows, agonies and ecstasies of the human mind seek consolation not merely within oneself but also in an intimate association with all in and around one. Therefore, Tagore unfolds a new chapter of prayer where Nature becomes a living and abiding partner. The phoenix of human love is, as it were, born afresh in the prayer of the All Serene in love that knows no absence, no holiday from the lover or the beloved. What a gift from Tagore!

In translating Tagore’s songs of prayer, I recall in tears Pranati Chakrabarti, my partner of life beyond life and polestar of perfection, who has prematurely bid eternal farewell. I dedicate this book to her as her angel of love that inspires me to be in serene unison with her every moment everywhere.

I am grateful to Sobdo Chakrabarti, my son, who has taken all care `for computer processing of the manuscript.

If the book becomes an all-time companion of the revered readers in their solemn moments of prayer, I would pray in Tagore’s words of prayer: "Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows."

Back of the Book

Tagore unfolds a new horizon of human prayer where the heart is not in quest of the unknown alone but is also enchanted with the beauty of the world with all its flora and fauna. A sort of the kindred relationship born of compassion and affection, kindness and conciliation is expressed in the words of prayer that tell a new truth: man is never alone. The joys and sorrows, agonies and ecstasies of the human mind seek consolation not merely within oneself but in an intimate association with all in and around one.

What makes Tagore’s prayer so vibrant and arresting, living and pulsating? How does he come closest to our diverse thoughts and emotions through his songs of prayer? How does he remain an eternal iconoclast in dealing with the prayers of the human heart? Perhaps love is the only key to negotiate all these and other allied questions as Tagore marvelously spells out in his exquisite songs of prayer. Here is a creator of songs par excellence who unfolds the glory of love in course of prayer of an enviably inimitable manner. In fact, love opens the unknown vista of the human heart that never yields to desolation, disappointment, dullness, depression, dissociation or death.

Mohit Chakrabarti, D. Litt.: Teaches Education and English at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, Indian. Honoured with National Award as Teacher Educator. Credited with participation/presentation/acceptance of papers in international/national conferences/symposia/seminars etc. Associated with different universities, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) and educational institutions, etc. a consistent and prolific contributor to studies and researches on Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda.

A Note on Translation xi
Rabindranath Tagore: A Biographical Sketch xiii
Introduction xvii
Songs
Please accept me now, O Lord 1
Amidst the world, shower drops of peace 2
Sing shall I with thy tune 3
With they own hands enkindle the lamp 4
Thou hast come, O Light 5
Beneath that seat 6
Awake, my mind, in the world of goodness 7
I could not offer thee all I have 8
In the temple of the heart 9
In thunder your flute plays on 10
Stealthily do thou comet 11
Give a touch in life 12
More and more, my Lord 13
You remained hidden in my heart 14
O with kindness 15
With joy of love 16
How long shall I remain seated 17
Everyday shall I sing thy pleasant song 18
True, good and full of love 19
Unite me with them 20
My voice beckons Him 21
Time and again did you turn me away 22
Alas, who else would console me 23
Poor am I, very poor 24
With what utterance shall I submit 25
With the light of the new sun 26
Much have you given, Lord 27
Seated am I at the door 28
Keep, O keep the friend of life 29
Friend, I have come 30
Lord, many a play have I played 31
In the journey of new life 32
On the shores of life, O Lord 33
Take, take the silent 34
Pardon me, too 35
I know in thy love 36
Filled today is the desire of the heart 37
Lord of life, the vacant life always weeps 38
The orphan and the distressed 39
When I was bereft of vision 40
Thus have I received 41
Blessed am I 42
Thou hast come in lovely apparel 43
In the distressed heart, O Lord 44
Take, take, take up from the ground 45
My message touches my heart 46
O with great hopes 47
Every time I put on the light 48
Lord, ever confer thy auspicious blessings 49
If like the cloud of a storm 50
Amid the serene night 51
In vain, O Lord 52
O Lord of life 53
Bless me with the gift of life 54
If you wish 55
All around the world 56
No, no slumber 57
Take me to the heaven 58
In joy my Lord laughs 59
O Friend, remain in my heart 60
O make me thy servant 61
In wealth and people 62
O keep me close to the door 63
Treading on the way 64
O Great Life 65
Let thy very desire 66
Judge me according to my own will 67
Effulge my heart 68
Give strength 69
O if this door of my heart 70
Stand before my eyes 71
Where you are 72
I seek Him alone 73
If thou dost not give love 74
That sweet countenance flashes 75
What a hesitation 76
With sorrow shall I appease 77
Why the eye itself is flooded 78
My day ends 79
I know Him 80
If you save me not 81
Day and night do I remain 82
My lamp is put out 83
Know I that you won’t return 84
In silence would you remain 85
Who is that intoxicator 86
At her doors did I come 87
What a tune plays on 88
Return not, go not back 89
When all the flowers withered away 90
With thy love 91
Drown this darkness 92
When life is dried up 93
O Lord of the world 94
All my love 95
Whatever assignment thou hast given 96
O Mind, see Him with eyes open 97
O Lord, break all barriers 98
How far more away 99
What would I offer thee 100
Complete Works of Rabindranath Tagore 109
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