Aesthetics of Ancient Indian Sylvan Colonies and Gardens: Tagore’s Reflexions

  • Sitansu Ray
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 78)


Dao phire se aranya,lao e nagar” (give us back the sylvan past, take away today’s cities), is Rabindranath Tagore’s (1861–1941) earnest prayer as expressed in the poem “Sabhyatar Prati” (to modern civilization) of his poetical work Chaitali.1


Mute Heart Poetical Work Moonlit Night Conjugal Love Sylvan Environment 
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  1. 1.
    Rabindranath Tagore, “Sabhyatar-Prati” (to modern civilization), Chaitali, Rabindra Rachanabali (collected works of Tagore), henceforth abbreviated as R.R., Birth Centenary Edition, Govt. of West Bengal, 1961, Vol. I, 550. Chaitali is the adjectival noun form of Chaitra, the last month of the Bengali year. Chaitra spreads from the middle of March to the middle of April. Chaitali also signifies the harvest-rich end of spring. A bunch of Chaitali poems was composed in Chaitra of the Bengali era 1302 (i.e. 1896 ).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ibid., p. 551.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., p. 551. All of the above three poems were written by Tagore on the same day, i.e., the 19th of Chaitra 1302 B.S. (Bengal sal or Era).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., p. 552.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Prachin Bharate Ekah,” Dharma (religion), R.R. 12, pp. 28–36.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., p. 28.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vanavani, R.R. 2, p. 837.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kathopanishad 2.3.2.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shwetashwatara Upanishad 2.17.Google Scholar
  10. Quoted and explained by Tagore in the essay “Tapovana,” Siksha (education), R.R. 11, p. 598.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ibid., p. 599.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    There are various editions in the libraries.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Translated into English and Bengali by renowned professors and published by various publishers from time to time.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Several editions are in the libraries.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rabindranath Tagore, “Tapovana,” op. cit., R.R. 11, pp. 592–3.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    R.R. 1, p. 552.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Along with the original Sanskrit, there are various translations in English as well as Bengali and other Indian languages. Tagore refers to Kalidasa’s Kumarasambhavam in “Tapovana,” R.R. 11, p. 593.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kalidasa’s Meghadutamis extremely popular among educated Indians. Tagore’s elder brother Dwijendranath Tagore translated it into Bengali verse. Tagore refers to Meghadutam in “Tapovana,” R.R. 11, p. 600. Kalidasa and his Meghadutam are eulogized in Tagore’s poem “Meghdut” in Chaitali, R.R. 1, p. 552.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    R.R. 11, p. 592 and R.R. 11, p. 600.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Varshamangal,” Kalpana, R.R. 1, pp. 696–7.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Swapna,” ibid., pp. 699–701.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bithika, R.R. 3, pp. 241–346.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ibid., pp. 254–5.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid., pp. 300–301.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid., p. 301.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Vanaspati,” Puravi, R.R. 2, pp. 719–20. This poem, like some others in Puravi, was composed by Tagore during his voyage and visit to Argentina in 1924–25.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mahuya, R.R. 2, pp. 755–834.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Even before reaching the age of twenty, Tagore had composed and staged Valmiki Pratibha (February 26, 1881).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kalmrigaya (1882).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Vasanta (1329 B.S., 1923 ) R.R. 5, pp. 585–601.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Phalguni (1916), R.R. 6, pp. 441–488.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sheshvarshan (1922), R.R. 5, pp. 603–617.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Netaraj Riturangashala (1926), R.R. 5, pp. 619–663.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Vanavani (1926), R.R. 2, pp. 835–867. The “Bhumika” (preface) of the book was written on October 23, 1926 while Tagore was in the Hotel Imperial in Vienna. The book was dedicated to the famous scientist Jagadishchandra Basu, who worked intensively on the life of trees.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ibid., pp. 842–3.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ibid., p. 843.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ibid., pp. 855–8.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ibid., pp. 864–867, dated Santiniketan, July 13, 1928.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rabindranath Tagore, Personality (lectures delivered in America) (first edition 1917), Macmillan Indian edition 1985, pp. 118–9.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ibid., p. 127.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ibid., p. 133.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ibid., p. 147–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sitansu Ray
    • 1
  1. 1.Visva-Bharati (World University)SantiniketanIndia

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