Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”

“Love’s gift cannot be given, it waits to be accepted.”

“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times, in life after life, in age after age forever.”

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.”

“It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.”

“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for she was born in another time.”

“The small wisdom is like water in a glass: clear, transparent, pure.
The great wisdom is like the water in the sea: dark, mysterious, impenetrable.”

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”

“Most people believe the mind to be a mirror, more or less accurately reflecting the world outside them, not realizing on the contrary that the mind is itself the principal element of creation.”

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

“If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door- or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.”

“By plucking her petals you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”

“A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.”

“We live in the world when we love it.”

“The smile that flickers on a baby’s lips when he sleeps – does anyone know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumor 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.”

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”

“Love is an endless mystery, because there is no reasonable cause that could explain it.”

“I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.”

“Men are cruel, but man is kind. ”

“We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.”

“Music fills the infinite between two souls”

“Patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter; my refuge is humanity. I will not buy glass for the price of diamonds, and I will never allow patriotism to triumph over humanity as long as I live. ”

“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.”

“You smiled and talked to me of nothing and I felt that for this I had been waiting long.”

“Those who are near me do not know that you are nearer to me than they are
Those who speak to me do not know that my heart is full with your unspoken words
Those who crowd in my path do not know that I am walking alone with you
Those who love me do not know that their love brings you to my heart”

“The song I came to sing
remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing
and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true,
the words have not been rightly set;
only there is the agony
of wishing in my heart . . .”

“You are the big drop of dew under the lotus leaf,
I am the smaller one on its upper side,’
said the dewdrop to the lake.”

“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!”

“Only Thee
That I want thee, only thee — let my heart repeat without end.
All desires that distract me, day and night, are false and empty to the core.

As the night keeps hidden in its gloom the petition for light, even thus in
the depth of my unconsciousness rings the cry
—`I want thee, only thee’.

As the storm still seeks its end in peace when it strikes against peace with all its might, even thus my rebellion strikes against thy love and still its cry is
—`I want thee, only thee’.”

“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.”

“Children are living beings – more living than grown-up people who have built shells of habit around themselves. Therefore it is absolutely necessary for their mental health and development that they should not have mere schools for their lessons, but a world whose guiding spirit is personal love.”

“Age considers; youth ventures.”

“Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”

“The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence.”

“Give Me Strength

This is my prayer to thee, my lord—strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart.

Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.

Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.

Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.

Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.

And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.”

“Death belongs to life as birth does
The walk is in the raising of the
foot as in the laying of it down”

“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”

“Power said to the world,
“You are mine.”
The world kept it prisoner on her throne.
Love said to the world, “I am thine.”
The world gave it the freedom of her house.”

“Once we dreamt that we were strangers. We wake up to find that we were dear to each other.”

“The biggest changes in a women’s nature are brought by love; in man, by ambition”

“The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.”

“I will sit in the pupil of your eyes and that will carry your sight into the heart of the things”

“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.”

“Not hammer-strokes, but dance of the water, sings the pebbles into perfection.”

“God waits to win back his own flowers as gifts from man’s hands. ”

“The stars are not afraid to appear like fireflies.”

“We cross infinity with every step; we meet eternity in every second.”

“When you came you cried and everybody smiled with joy; when you go smile and let the world cry for you.”

“Stray birds of summer come to my window to sing and fly away. And yellow leaves of autumn, which have no songs, flutter and fall there with a sigh.”

“Nirvana is not the blowing out of the candle. It is the extinguishing of the flame because day is come. ”

“The roots below the earth claim no rewards for making the branches fruitful.”

“Inspiration follows aspiration.”

“That which is eternal within the moment only becomes shallow if spread out in time.”

“Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.”

“Let only that little be left of me whereby I may name thee my all.
Let only that little be left of my will whereby I may feel thee on every side, and come to thee in everything, and offer to thee my love every moment.
Let only that little be left of me whereby I may never hide thee.
Let only that little of my fetters be left whereby I am bound with thy will, and thy purpose is carried out in my life–and that is the fetter of thy love.”

“Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!

“The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.”
“Religion is not a fractional thing that can be doled out in fixed weekly or daily measures as one among various subjects in the school syllabus. It is the truth of our complete being, the consciousness of our personal relationship with the infinite; it is the true center of gravity of our life. This we can attain during our childhood by daily living in a place where the truth of the spiritual world is not obscured by a crowd of necessities assuming artificial importance; where life is simple, surrounded by fullness of leisure, by ample space and pure air and profound peace of nature; and where men live with a perfect faith in the eternal life before them.”

“Where is heaven? you ask me, my child,- the sages tell us it is
beyond the limits of birth and death, unswayed by the rhythm of day
and night; it is not of the earth.
But your poet knows that its eternal hunger is for time and
space, and it strives evermore to be born in the fruitful dust.
Heaven is fulfilled in your sweet body, my child, in your
palpitating heart.
The sea is beating its drums in joy, the flowers are a-tiptoe
to kiss you. For heaven is born in you, in the arms of the mother-
dust.”

“My dearest life, I know you are not mine forever; but do love me even if it’s for this moment. After that I shall vanish into the forest where you cast me, I won’t ask anyone for anything again. Give me something that can last me till I die.”

“The greed for fruit misses the flower.”

“Poems On Life:

Life is given to us,
we earn it by giving it.

Let the dead have the immortality of fame,
but the living the immortality of love.

Life’s errors cry for the merciful beauty
that can modulate their isolation into a
harmony with the whole.

Life, like a child, laughs,
shaking its rattle of death as it runs.”

“He who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good.”

“… for we women are not only the deities of the household fire, but the flame of the soul itself.”

“A message came from my youth of vanished days, saying, ‘I wait for you among the quivering of unborn May, where smiles ripen for tears and hours ache with songs unsung.’

“Never be afraid of the moments — thus sings the voice of the everlasting.”

“Whatever we understand and enjoy in human products instantly becomes ours, wherever they might have their origin… Let me feel with unalloyed gladness that all the great glories of man are mine. ”

“Some day I shall sing to thee in the sunrise of some other world, I have seen thee before in the light of the earth, in the love of man.”

“In art, man reveals himself and not his objects.”

“Perhaps the new dawn will come from this horizon, from the East where the sun rises; and then, unvanquished Man will retrace his path of conquest, despite all barriers, to win back his lost heritage. ”

“Let me light my lamp”, says the star, “And never debate if it will help to remove the darkness”

“The singer alone does not make a song, there has to be someone who hears.”

“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.”

“I have on my table a violin string. It is free to move in any direction I like. If I twist one end, it responds; it is free.
But it is not free to sing. So I take it and fix it into my violin. I bind it and when it is bound, it is free for the first time to sing.”

“If thou speakest not I will fill my heart with thy silence and endure it. I will keep still and wait like the night with starry vigil and its head bent low with patience.

The morning will surely come, the darkness will vanish, and thy voice pour down in golden streams breaking through the sky.

Then thy words will take wing in songs from every one of my birds’ nests,
and thy melodies will break forth in flowers in all my forest groves.”
“Yes, this is the logic of the Nation. And it
will never heed the voice of truth and goodness.
It will go on in its ring-dance of moral corruption,
linking steel unto steel, and machine unto
machine; trampling under its tread all the sweet
flowers of simple faith and the living ideals of
man.”

“The touch of an infinite mystery passes over the trivial and the familiar, making it break out into ineffable music… The trees, the stars, and the blue hills ache with a meaning which can never be uttered in words.”

“Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict.”

“Come oh come ye tea-thirsty restless ones — the kettle boils, bubbles and sings, musically.”

“Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it.”

“I am willing to serve my country, but my worship I reserve for right which is far greater than my country. To worship my country as a god is to bring a curse upon it.”

“Ah, thou hast made my heart captive in the endless meshes of thy music, my master!”

“Today I feel that I shall win through. I have come to the gateway of the simple; I am now content to see things as they are. I have gained freedom myself; I shall allow freedom to others. In my work will be my salvation.”

“Perhaps the crescent moon smiles in doubt at being told that it is a fragment
awaiting perfection.”

“Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield,
But to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
But for the patience to win my freedom.”

“The real friendship is like fluorescence, it shines better when everything has darken.”

“I thought that my voyage had come to its end at the last limit of my power, that the path before me was closed, that provisions were exhausted, and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity, but I find that thy will knows no end in me, and when old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart, and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders.”

“He alone may chastise who loves.”

“The fish in the water is silent, the animals on the earth is noisy, the bird in the air is singing. But man has in him the silence of the sea, the noise of the earth and the music of the air.”

“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.”

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broked up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;…
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;…
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

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