Humanist Spirituality and Poetry: Rabindranath Tagore & George Herbert

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Kitty Scoular Datta


This paper concentrates on how the growth of Rabindranath’s spiritual awareness is gradually revealed in his poetry from 1882 onwards, and in his prose lectures and novels, especially Gora and Chaturanga. Comparison of his devotional outlook with George Herbert’s (already present in the review of the English Gitanjali, Times Literary Supplement, 7 November, 1912) is further explored for the present. His sense of divine presence in the natural world and in the heart (jivan devata) is related to his social consciousness and his moderation, and transcended the ordinary thinking of his conflict-ridden times in both East and West, to present a continuing challenge to both religions and secularity in the post-colonial world.

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