Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

date of birth : 07/05/1861 | date of death : 07/08/1941
Born on 7 May 1861,Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India,Poet, short story writer, song composer, novelist, playwright, essayist, painter,Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali poet, philosopher, social reformer, and dramatist who came into international prominence when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

Tagore was born in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta, India to parents Debendranath Tagore (1817–1905) and Sarada Devi (1830–1875) on 7 May 1861.

Father's name: Debendranath Tagore
Mother's name: Sarada Devi
Brother: Dwijendranath, Satyendranath, Hemendranath, Jyotirindranath, Birendranath, Somendranath
Sister: Soudamini, Sukumari, Saratkumari, Swarnakumari, Barnakumari
Spouse: Mrinalini Devi
Children:Rathindranath Tagore, Madhurilata Tagore, Shamindranath Tagore, Meera Tagore, Renuka Tagore

Personal Information:

Race or Ethnicity: Asian/Indian
Sexual orientation: Straight

Life events:

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which attempted a revival of the ultimate monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads. He was educated at home; and although at seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, he did not finish his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he managed the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity and increased his interest in social reforms. He also started an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education. From time to time he participated in the Indian nationalist movement, though in his own non-sentimental and visionary way; and Gandhi, the political father of modern India, was his devoted friend. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honour as a protest against British policies in India. Tagore had early success as a writer in his native Bengal. With his translations of some of his poems he became rapidly known in the West. In fact his fame attained a luminous height, taking him across continents on lecture tours and tours of friendship. For the world he became the voice of India's spiritual heritage; and for India, especially for Bengal, he became a great living institution.Although Tagore wrote successfully in all literary genres, he was first of all a poet. Among his fifty and odd volumes of poetry are Manasi (1890) [The Ideal One], Sonar Tari (1894) [The Golden Boat], Gitanjali (1910) [Song Offerings], Gitimalya (1914) [Wreath of Songs], and Balaka (1916) [The Flight of Cranes]. The English renderings of his poetry, which include The Gardener (1913), Fruit-Gathering (1916), and The Fugitive (1921), do not generally correspond to particular volumes in the original Bengali; and in spite of its title, Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), the most acclaimed of them, contains poems from other works besides its namesake. Tagore's major plays are Raja (1910) [The King of the Dark Chamber], Dakghar (1912) [The Post Office], Achalayatan (1912) [The Immovable], Muktadhara (1922) [The Waterfall], and Raktakaravi (1926) [Red Oleanders]. He is the author of several volumes of short stories and a number of novels, among them Gora (1910), Ghare-Baire (1916) [The Home and the World], and Yogayog (1929) [Crosscurrents]. Besides these, he wrote musical dramas, dance dramas, essays of all types, travel diaries, and two autobiographies, one in his middle years and the other shortly before his death in 1941. Tagore also left numerous drawings and paintings, and songs for which he wrote the music himself.


Tagore enrolled at a public school in Brighton, East Sussex, England in 1878. He stayed for several months at a house that the Tagore family owned near Brighton and Hove, in Medina Villas; in 1877 his nephew and niece—Suren and Indira Devi, the children of Tagore's brother Satyendranath—were sent together with their mother, Tagore's sister-in-law, to live with him. He briefly read law at University College London, but again left school. He opted instead for independent study of Shakespeare, Religio Medici, Coriolanus, and Antony and Cleopatra.

Occupation and Career:

Rabindranath Tagore was a Poet, short story writer, song composer, novelist, playwright, essayist and painter. He went abroad in 1877 to study law in England but soon returned to India. For a time he managed his father's estates and became involved with the Indian nationalist movement, writing propaganda. His characteristic later style combines natural descriptions with religious and philosophical speculation. Tagore drew on the classical literature of India, especially the ancient Sanskrit scriptures and the writings of Kalidasa. His prodigious output includes approximately 50 dramas, 100 books of verse (much of which he set to music), 40 volumes of novels and shorter fiction, and books of essays and philosophy.In his devotion to peace, Tagore denounced nationalism and violence. He sought to instill in human beings a sense of their unity; he was severely critical of the Indian caste system. His most important philosophical work is Sadhana: The Realization of Life (1913), which echoes the fundamental ideas inherent in sacred Hindu writings. His dramas are filled with lyricism and philosophy, while his poems deal with amorous, mystical, and fabulous themes. In India his appeal was nearly universal. A man of striking appearance, Tagore came to be regarded with the reverence due an ancient teacher. He wrote in Bengali but translated much of his work into English. It attracted attention in the West, and he was awarded the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature, especially for his collection of poetry, Gitanjali (1912). His Janaganamana (Thou Art the Ruler of All Minds) was adopted as the Indian national anthem.Tagore's best-known novels and poetry include The Gardener (1913), The Crescent Moon (1913), Songs of Kabir (1915), Cycle of Spring (1917), Fireflies (1928), and Sheaves (1932). Among his plays are The Post Office (1914), Chitra (1917), and Red Oleanders (1924). Philosophical works include Personality (1917), Nationalism (1917), The Home and the World (1919), The Religion of Man (1931), and Man (1932). In 1915 Tagore was knighted. His travels and lectures took him around the world. He was impressed with the capacity of the West for accomplishing its practical goals, but he deprecated what he considered its spiritual emptiness and waste. In 1922, Santiniketan (abode of peace), the school he had founded at Bolpur in 1901, was expanded into the internationally attended Visva-Bharati Univ. The curriculum stressed social reform, international unity, and rural reconstruction.

Awards /Honors:

Nobel Prize in Literature


  • Manasi (1890, poetry)
  • Sonar Tari (1894, poetry)
  • Gitañjali (1910, poetry)
  • Gora (1910, novel)
  • Gitanjali, Song Offerings (1912, poetry)
  • Ghare-Baire (1916, novel)

Wrote plays:

Chitrangada (1892)

Death, place of death, Time of death, place of burial:

Rabindranath Tagore died on 7 August 1941 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India at the age of 80.

Quotes and Memoirs:

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”
“I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times, in life after life, in age after age forever.”
“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”
“Don't limit a child to your own learning, for she was born in another time.”
“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.”