Notes on the Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath was a philosopher, poet, dramatist, teacher, essayist and painter of outstanding repute. His philosophy of life was based on the ideals of dedication, patriotism and naturalism. Although he was an ideal philosopher, but the thoughts of naturalism, pragmatism and individualism are also reflected in his philosophy.

The values which contributed a lot towards enrichment of his life are discussed as follow:

(1) Idealist:

Tagore believes that man should realize the "ultimate truth" which will liberate him from the worldly bondage. Experience according to him is within the world of illusion (Maya). He thoughts the world is the place of both truth and illusion (Maya).

In Tagore's view man is born with enormous surplus force which is excess of his physical need. This surplus is the limitless potentiality of human personality and creativity. In this lies the infinite future of man. The surplus potentiality manifests itself in man's religious spiritual and moral activities. As an idealist he was an ardent supporter of truth, virtues and values. According to Tagore, "By art man can experience the wholeness of life. The fine arts were nothing but intellectual and spiritual discipline. He said Bhakti can spiritualize Kama.

(2) Humanist:

Tagore said nature and man are created by supreme power. There is a strong link between man and nature. So man should act naturally to feel the presence of superpower within him. Love fellowmen in a natural way. Realization of self is the essence to realize the Godhood.

(3) Naturalist:

Tagore said nature is the great teacher which is not hostile to man. Nature is kind,generous and benevolent like mother. In his view, "Education diverted from nature has brought untold harm to young children." Man should develop his relation with the nature as his fellowmen.

(4) Patriotism:

Tagore was a great poet and patriot. His writings were filled with patriotic values. He had joined in freedom movement to make the country free from foreign yoke. Sense of national service, patriotic feeling, dedication etc. was fostered through his writings. "Jana Gana Mana Adlii Nayak Jai Hai" is the famous National song which elicited a strong sense of integration.

(5) Internationalist:

Rabindranath Tagore was in favour of one world creation of unit amidst cultural, colour and religious diversities is the need of the time for peaceful co-existence in the globe. Forgetting selfishness one we should work to establish world culture based on love, affection fellow feeling and mutual understanding. Cosmopolitan feelings are explicit in his writings and paintings. Tagore's internationalist thought and attempt for making united world is appreciated all over the world.

(6) Vedantist:

Tagore's philosophy reveals that he was a vedantist in true sense of terms. He had faith in one Supreme Being that is the Brahma. He finds unity in diversities in the world and a spiritual unity between man and man, man and nature. The relationship between god and man must be like the relationship between love and joy. He believes both the presence of God in all manifestation of matter and spirit.

Therefore he says "It will not to reject the impersonal aspect of truth altogether". He believes in the concept that "Presence of Brahma in all being. True salvation takes place when individual realises presence of Brahma within him. Tagore was an ardent follower of Anand yoga.