Rabindra Nath Tagore Quotes Part-II

Posted by Brian

I am restless. I am athirst for faraway things. My soul goes out in a longing to touch the skirt of the dim distance. O Great Beyond, O the keen call of thy flute! I forget, I ever forget, that I have no wings to fly, that I am bound in this spot evermore.

I believe that there is an ideal hovering over the earth, an ideal of that Paradise which is not the mere outcome of imagination, but the ultimate reality towards which all things are moving. I believe that this vision of Paradise is to be seen in the sunlight, and the green of the earth, in the flowing streams, in the beauty of springtime and the repose of a winter morning. Everywhere in this earth the spirit of Paradise is awake and sending forth its voice.

I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring, one single streak of gold from yonder clouds.

I have become my own version of an optimist. 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.

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

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

I thought that my invincible power would hold the world captive, leaving me in a freedom undisturbed. Thus night and day I worked at the chain with huge fires and cruel hard strokes. When at last the work was done and the links were complete and unbreakable, I found that it held me in its grip.

If anger be the basis of our political activities, the excitement tends to become an end in itself, at the expense of the object to be achieved… side issues then assume an exaggerated importance, and all gravity of thought and action is lost; such excitement is not an exercise of strength, but a display of weakness.

If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed; if I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.

If life’s journey be endless where is its goal? The answer is, it is everywhere. We are in a palace which has no end, but which we have reached. By exploring it and extending our relationship with it we are ever making it more and more our own. The infant is born in the same universe where lives the adult of ripe mind. But its position is not like a schoolboy who has yet to learn his alphabet, finding himself in a college class. The infant has it own joy of life because the world is not a mere road, but a home, of which it will have more and more as it grows up in wisdom. With our road that gain is at every step, for it is the road and the home in one; it leads us on yet gives us shelter.

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

If you shed tears when you miss the sun, you also miss the stars.

If you shut the door to all errors, truth will be shut out.

In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects.

In love all the contradiction of existence merge themselves and are lost. Only in love are unity and duality not at variance. Love must be one and two at the same time. Only love is motion and rest in one. Our heart ever changes its place till it finds love, and then it has its rest… Bondage and liberation are not antagonistic in love, for love is most free and at the same time most bound.

In love, at one of its poles you find the personal, at the other the impersonal. At one you have the positive assertion— Here I am; at the other the equally strong denial— I am not. Without this ego what is love? And again, with only this ego how can love be possible?

In our desire for eternal life we pray for an eternity of our habit and comfort, forgetting that immortality is in repeatedly transcending the definite forms of life in order to pursue the infinite truth of life.

In the dualism of death and life there is a harmony. We know that the life of a soul, which is finite in its expression and infinite in its principle, must go through the portals of death in its journey to realise the infinite. It is death which is monistic, it has no life in it. But life is dualistic; it has an appearance as well as truth; and death is that appearance, that maya, which is an inseparable companion to life.

In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one spring morning, sending its glad voice across a hundred years.

In the night we stumble over things and become acutely conscious of their separateness, but the day reveals the unity which embraces them. And the man whose inner vision is bathed in consciousness at once realizes the spiritual unity which reigns over all racial differences, and his mind no longer stumbles over individual facts, accepting them as final. He realizes that peace is an inner harmony and not an outer adjustment, that beauty carries the assurance of our relationship to reality, which waits for its perfection in the response of our love.

In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play, and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.

It is our desires that limit the scope of our self-realisation, hinder our extension of consciousness, and give rise to sin, which is the innermost barrier that keeps us apart from our God, setting up disunion and arrogance of exclusiveness. For sin is not one mere action, but it is an attitude of life which takes for granted that our goal is finite, that our self is the ultimate truth, and that we are not all essentially one but exist each for his own separate individual existence.

Leave out my name from the gift if it be a burden, but keep my song.

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. 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 hope for the patience to win my freedom. Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone; But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

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

Let this be my last word, that I trust in thy love.

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

Life is perpetually creative because it contains in itself that surplus which ever overflows the boundaries of the immediate time and space, restlessly pursuing its adventure of expression in the varied forms of self-realization.

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.

Love adorns itself; it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty.

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.

Love gives beauty to everything it touches. Not greed and utility; they produce offices, but not dwelling houses. To be able to love material things, to clothe them with tender grace, and yet not be attached to them, this is a great service. Providence expects that we should make this world our own, and not live in it as though it were a rented tenement. We can only make it our own through some service, and that service is to lend it love and beauty from our soul. Your own experience shows you the difference between the beautiful, the tender, the hospitable, and the mechanically neat and monotonously useful.

Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.

Love is not a mere impulse, it must contain truth, which is law.

Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.

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

Love’s overbrimming mystery joins death and life. It has filled my cup of pain with joy.

Man goes into the noisy crowd to drown his own clamour of silence.

Man has a fund of emotional energy which is not all occupied with his self-preservation. This surplus seeks its outlet in the creation of art, for man’s civilization is built upon his surplus… In everyday life, when we are mostly moved by our habits, we are economical in our expression, for then our soul-consciousness is at its low level— it has just volume enough to guide on in accustomed grooves. But when our heart is fully awakened in love, or in other great emotions, our personality is in its flood-tide.

Man is immortal; therefore he must die endlessly. For life is a creative idea; it can only find itself in changing forms.

Man is not entirely an animal. He aspires to a spiritual vision, which is the vision of the whole truth. This gives him the highest delight, because it reveals to him the deepest harmony that exists between him and his surroundings. It is our desires that limit the scope of our self-realisation, hinder our extension of consciousness, and give rise to sin, which is the innermost barrier that keeps us apart from our God, setting up disunion and the arrogance of exclusiveness. For sin is not one mere action, but it is an attitude of life which takes for granted that our goal is finite, that our self is the ultimate truth, and that we are not all essentially one but exist each for his own separate individual existence.

Man’s abiding happiness is not in getting anything but in giving himself up to what is greater than himself, to ideas which are larger than his individual life, the idea of his country, of humanity, of God.

Man’s cry is to reach his fullest expression.

Men are cruel, but Man is kind.

Music fills the infinite between two souls. This has been muffled by the mist of our daily habits.

Music is the purest form of art… therefore true poets, they who are seers, seek to express the universe in terms of music… The singer has everything within him. The notes come out from his very life. They are not materials gathered from outside. His idea and his expression are brother and sister; very often they are born as twins. In music the heart reveals itself immediately; it suffers not from any barrier of alien material. Therefore though music has to wait for its completeness like any other art, yet at every step it gives out the beauty of the whole. As the material of expression even words are barriers, for their meaning has to be construed by thought. But music never has to depend upon any obvious meaning; it expresses what no words can ever express. What is more, music and the musician are inseparable. When the singer departs, his singing dies with him; it is in eternal union with the life and joy of the master. This world song is never for a moment separated from its singer. It is not fashioned from any outward material. It is his joy itself taking never-ending form. It is the great heart sending the tremor of its thrill over the sky. There is a perfection in each individual strain of this music, which is the revelation of completion in the incomplete. No one of its notes is final, yet each reflects the infinite. What does it matter if we fail to derive the exact meaning of this great harmony? Is it not like the hand meeting the string and drawing out at once all its tones at the touch? It is the language of beauty, the caress, that comes from the heart of the world and straightway reaches our heart. Last night, in the silence which pervaded the darkness, I stood alone and heard the voice of the singer of eternal melodies. When I went to sleep I closed my eyes with this last thought in mind, that even when I remain unconscious in slumber the dance of life will still go on in the hushed arena of my sleeping body, keeping step wit the stars. The heart will throb, the blood will leap in the veins, and
the millions of living atoms of my body will vibrate in tune with the note of the harp-string that thrills at the touch of the master.

My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.

My heart, the bird of the wilderness, has found its sky in your eyes.


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