Rabindranath Tagore: A beacon for humanity

Sep 17, 2017 | Views: 1,441

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Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) was an illustrious man of many talents. A prolific writer, poet, songwriter, playwright, actor, and painter, he revolutionised Indian art and literature, and was also a pioneer of the Bengal Renaissance Movement. Rabindranath’s works have influenced numerous writers, artists, painters, activists, humanitarian workers, social workers, the poor and the rich across the globe, and his works have been translated into Dutch, English, Spanish, German, and many other languages.

Rabindranath was the first non-European to have won a Noble Prize in Literature in 1913, and he was granted a knighthood by King George V in 1919. However, he was unattached to honours and accolades and in 1919, Rabindranath renounced his knighthood in protest of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, during which a crowd of non-violent protesters and Sikh pilgrims were brutally fired upon by the British Indian Army.

Rabindranath’s principles, ideals, works, and great deeds garnered admiration from many famous personalities of his time. Not only did he command respect from his fellow writers, but he also maintained relationships and correspondence with the likes of eminent scientist and fellow Nobel laureate Albert Einstein. Rabindranath was also a friend of, and the person who gave Gandhi the name ‘Mahatma’.

After his passing in 1941, Rabindranath continued to inspire a younger generation of artists, writers, and many others to value spiritualism and humanity, and to live their lives to their fullest potentials. You can read more about his life and works below.

Tsem Rinpoche

The Grasp of your Hand

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 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.

– Rabindranath Tagore

Early Life and Family Influence (1861 – 1884)

Rabindranath’s parents: Debendranath Tagore (left) and Sarada Devi (right)

Rabindranath’s parents: Debendranath Tagore (left) and Sarada Devi (right)

Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861 at the Jorasanko Mansion in North Calcutta to the illustrious and wealthy Tagore family. He was the youngest surviving son of Debendranath Tagore (1817 – 1905), a Hindu philosopher, and his wife, Sarada Devi (1830 – 1875). Debendranath sought to reform the Hindu way of life, and adopted the Brahmo religion, also known as Brahmoism. Rabindranath’s grandfather, Dwarkanath Tagore (1794 – 1846), was one of the first Indian industrialists and entrepreneurs.

Rabindranath grew up in an artistic environment and was introduced to the world of music, literature, and theatre from an early age. The Tagore family were known to be ardent art-lovers and patrons of the arts, and they were a dominant force in the development of Bengali literature and culture.

Rabindranath’s grandfather, Dwarkanath Tagore, was one of the first Indian industrialists and entrepreneurs.

Rabindranath’s grandfather, Dwarkanath Tagore, was one of the first Indian industrialists and entrepreneurs.

The Jorasanko Mansion, Rabindranath’s birthplace

The Jorasanko Mansion, Rabindranath’s birthplace

Rabindranath had several distinguished siblings:

  • Dwijendranath (1840 – 1926) was a renowned philosopher and poet
  • Satyendranath (1842 – 1923) was known to be the first ethnically Indian member of the Indian Civil Service
  • Jyotirindranath (1849 – 1925) was a musician and a playwright
  • Swarnakumari Devi (1855 – 1932) was one of the pioneering female novelists in India

Debendranath Tagore was deeply influenced by the Upanishads, a collection of ancient philosophical texts written in Sanskrit regarding the concept of Hinduism; and Vedas, a collection of ancient Hindu scriptures about philosophy, hymns, and guidance on rituals for Vedic priests. In 1839, Debendranath established the Society of the Knowledge of Truth (Tattvabodhini Sabha) and in 1842, he established a well-known Brahmo treatise, the Brahmo Dharma. Debendranath instilled the value of spiritualism in Rabindranath’s mind. As a child, Rabindranath visited the Himalayas three times with his father, and during one of these journeys, they stopped at his father’s ashram and estate, Santiniketan.

Rabindranath as a teenager

Rabindranath as a teenager

As a child, Rabindranath struggled academically. He attended and dropped out from four different schools in quick succession – Oriental Seminary, Normal School, Bengal Academy, and St. Xavier’s School. He disliked the closed classroom environment and found it limiting, so his father arranged for Rabindranath to be tutored privately on Sanskrit, English, Bengali, Geometry, Physics, History, Arithmetic, Physiology, Geography, and Anatomy. He was also trained in gymnastics and wrestling. Rabindranath is said to have written his first poem at the age of eight.

When he was 11 years old, Rabindranath went on a tour across India with his father. During this journey, Rabindranath used the opportunity to read the works of famous literary writers such as Kalidasa, a renowned Sanskrit poet. After his return in 1877, he composed a long poem in the Maithili language.

During his younger days, Rabindranath was especially close to his brother, Jyotirindranath, and his wife, Kadambari Devi. Left – The Beautiful Kadambari Devi; Middle – Jyotirindranath (seated) and his wife, Kadambari Devi (right) with another couple; Right – Rabindranath and Jyotirindranath

During his younger days, Rabindranath was especially close to his brother, Jyotirindranath, and his wife, Kadambari Devi. Left – The Beautiful Kadambari Devi; Middle – Jyotirindranath (seated) and his wife, Kadambari Devi (right) with Sayendranath Tagore (standing) and his wife, Jnanadanandini Devi; Right – Rabindranath and Jyotirindranath

Among his family members, Rabindranath was especially close to his brother, Jyotirindranath, and his wife, Kadambari Devi (1858 – 1884). Kadambari Devi played an important role in refining Rabindranath’s literary talents. Kadambari Devi was nine years younger than her husband, as she was married at the age of 10 on July 5, 1868. Jyotirindranath arranged for his wife to be educated, and since she was only two years older than Rabindranath, they developed a fast friendship. Kadambari Devi inspired the young Rabindranath to pursue his literary talent. When he was older, Rabindranath remembered their relationship affectionately:

Enamelled with melody, that cloudy day on the Ganga shore survives, even now, in the jewel casket of my rain songs. I remember the gusts of wind that assailed the treetops every now and then, causing a great stirring and swaying, among the branches, the dinghies scudding along the river, their white sails tilting in the wind, the splash of tall plunging waves upon the ghat. When Bouthakrun (sister-in-law) returned, I sang the song for her. She listened in silence, without uttering a word of praise. I was 16 or 17 then. We argued about the pettiest of things, but our exchange had lost their sharpness.

Source: ‘She, my Queen, has died’- https://www.telegraphindia.com/1130915/jsp/7days/17345231.jsp

After Rabindranath lost his mother at the age of 14, Kadambari Devi became a mother figure to Rabindranath. She often cooked delicious meals for him; even when he was old and dying, Rabindranath could still remember the taste of mashed chorchori, the tasty mixed vegetables cooked with shrimp and chilies that Kadambari cooked for him.

Rare pictures of the young Rabindranath

Rare pictures of the young Rabindranath

In the evenings, Rabindranath often joined his brother and sister-in-law on the terrace garden of their two-storied house on the bank of the Ganges. Often, the garden was filled with the sweet smell of flowering shrubs of Champa, Chameli, Tuberose, and Oleander, which he remembered fondly.

Debendranath had wanted Rabindranath to become a barrister. In 1878, he sent Rabindranath to study law at the University College London but Rabindranath was not passionate. Instead, he studied the works of Shakespeare. As a result, Rabindranath returned to India in 1880 without a law degree but with many ideas on how to fuse European and Bengali tradition in his writings and art. In 1882, Rabindranath wrote one of his acclaimed nationalist poems, Nirjharer Swapna Bhanga.

University College London where Rabindranath studied for two years

University College London where Rabindranath studied for two years

In 1884, his father arranged for Rabindranath to marry 10-year old Mrinalini Devi (1872 – 1902).

In 1884, his father arranged for Rabindranath to marry 10-year old Mrinalini Devi (1872 – 1902).

In 1884, his father arranged for Rabindranath to marry 10-year old Mrinalini Devi (1872 – 1902). Four months after the wedding took place, Rabindranath encountered a major tragedy that would affect him for the rest of his life. For reasons that are not clear, his beloved sister-in-law, Kadambari Devi, committed suicide. Rabindranath was devastated by her death. For many years after her demise, Rabindranath wrote many poems and songs in her memory.

 

Marriage and Managing the Family Estate in Shelaidaha (1884 – 1901)

Left - Rabindranath and Mrinalini Devi with their first child Madhurilata Devi, 1886. Image credit- Ministry of Culture, Government of India Right - Rabindranath with his son, Rathindranath Tagore, and daughter, Madhurilata Devi

Left – Rabindranath and Mrinalini Devi with their first child Madhurilata Devi, 1886. Image credit- Ministry of Culture, Government of India
Right – Rabindranath with his son, Rathindranath Tagore, and daughter, Madhurilata Devi

Rabindranath and Mrinalini Devi had a relatively happy marriage. Mrinalini Devi was a supportive and devoted wife, and together they had two sons and three daughters: Madhurilata Devi (Bela), Rathindranath Tagore (Rathi), Renuka Devi (Rani), Mira Devi (Atasi), and Samindranath Tagore (Sami).

Tagore house in Shelaidaha

Tagore’s house in Shelaidaha

In addition to pursuing his literary aspirations, Rabindranath began to help his father. He assumed the role of secretary in his father’s Adi Brahmo Samaj (Society of Brahma). In 1891, Rabindranath’s responsibilities in managing the family businesses increased, as his father entrusted him with the management of the family estates in Shajadpur, Patisar, and Shelaidaha. These new responsibilities required Rabindranath to spend a significant amount of time on a houseboat in the Padma River, which allowed him to experience rural life, and be exposed to the life of commoners in Bengal, including their manners, customs, sorrows, sufferings, rituals, and rites.

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Rabindranath established himself as a visionary when he wrote his famous essay Swadeshi Samaj, where he elaborated his ideas on programmes that included village cooperative movements, mass education, and local self-governance to instill the spirit of self-reliance among the Bengali villagers, in order to rejuvenate their lives and give them hope. Unfortunately, his ideas did not get much support, but these challenging circumstances did not deter him, as he experimented with rural reconstruction at his family estate. Later in 1912, Rabindranath bought a large manor and the surrounding land in Surul, approximately three kilometres from Santiniketan where he established the Institute of Rural Reconstruction.

During this period, in the midst of his duties in managing the family estates, Rabindranath wrote some of his best short stories, and published them as Galpaguchcha. He also wrote various letters to his niece about the natural beauty of North Bengal. These letters were later published as Chinnapatra and Chinnapatravali. These two compilations of Rabindranath’s letters were later translated into English, and published with the title Glimpses of Bengal. Rabindranath also proved himself as a talented poet through the publication of several compilations of his poetic work such as Chaitali, Chitra, Kshanika, Sonar Tari, Kalpana, and Katha o Kahini.

Rare pictures of the young Rabindranath

Rare pictures of the young Rabindranath

Rabindranath with his son Rathindranath and daughters Madhurilata Devi, Mira Devi, Renuka Devi

Rabindranath with his son, Rathindranath, and daughters, Madhurilata Devi, Mira Devi, and Renuka Devi

Rabindranath with his newly-wedded son and daughter-in-law, Rathindranath and Pratima Devi.

Rabindranath with his newly-wedded son and daughter-in-law, Rathindranath and Pratima Devi.

Rabindranath and his family

Rabindranath and his family

 

Santiniketan

The green expanse of Santiniketan

The green expanse of Santiniketan

Debendranath Tagore had visited in Santiniketan 1862 while touring his family estates. When he meditated under a Chatim tree and found peace of mind, Debendranath named the place Santiniketan, which means ‘abode of peace’, and established a family estate there. Many years later, his youngest son, Rabindranath, visited the place and experienced the same peace and calm, which inspired him to share Santiniketan and establish a meaningful destination for the world. He reflected this aspiration in a letter to his wife:

Today I arrived in Santiniketan and immersed myself in an ocean of peace. Unless one comes down here, it is not possible to imagine from a distance how much one needs to come here. I feel as if I am alone – surrounded by the boundless sky, wind, and light, seated in the lap of the primal mother…

– Rabindranath Tagore, in a letter to his wife Mrinalini Devi
(Santiniketan, July 20, 1901)

Source: https://happinesshomeandhealth.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/santiniketan-the-soul-of-rabindranath-tagore/

 

Patha Bhavana (Institution of Primary and Secondary Education)

The students of Patha Bhavana

The students of Patha Bhavana

In 1901, Rabindranath established Patha Bhavana, formerly known as Brahmacharya Ashram, with the help of Brahmabandhav Upadhyay, a Roman Catholic, as a school for children. This venture revealed his true mind as a visionary, as his straightforward and path-defying ideas about education embodied the principles of ancient Indian hermitages, and purported to encourage children to grow into responsible, sensible, and mature individuals.

Rabindranath had reservations about teaching students within a crammed four-wall classroom because he believed that the walls represented the conditioning of the mind. He believed that children should be taught beneath the open skies, under the cool shade of trees, that teachers should not limit themselves and not be afraid to borrow ideas from various sources, come up with their own hypotheses, and be forward-thinking, open-minded, and willing to learn new things as they taught. Rabindranath was so passionate about this project that he moved his whole family to Santiniketan and enrolled his son Rathindranath as the first student in this school.

Rabindranath believed that children should be taught beneath the open skies under the cool shade of trees.

Rabindranath believed that children should be taught beneath the open skies under the cool shade of trees.

However, this venture was met with obstacles and funding constraints as initially only a few students were interested to study at Patha Bhavana. In the book, Letters by Tagore Volume I, several letters Rabindranath wrote to his family members, including his wife Mrinalini Devi, reflected his anxiety about the funding constraints to develop this education institution, and his feeling of helplessness.

To meet the growing expenses, Rabindranath sold one of his personal properties in Puri, and Mrinalini Devi voluntarily parted with her jewellery in order to support her husband’s venture. While Rabindranath managed the school, Mrinalini Devi took care of the students in the boarding house. Unfortunately, the ideal family life in Santiniketan did not last for long. In 1902, Mrinalini Devi fell ill and was taken to Calcutta to receive better medical care. Tragically, she passed away. The demise of his wife was the start of a period of grief for Tagore. His married daughter, Renuka, passed away two years later in 1904. His beloved father, Debendranath, passed away in 1905, and his beloved son Shamindranath passed away in 1907. In the midst of personal tragedy, Rabindranath continued his venture to provide others with an education.

 

Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts)

Kala Bhavana

Kala Bhavana

In the process of developing his educational venture, Rabindranath continued to learn from his travels around the world. He learned about local cultures and evaluated how nature influenced the daily lives of local people. Trying to figure out how he could bring the positive influences of these places back to Santiniketan, Rabindranath invited artists, academics, and scholars to share their knowledge with his fellow Indians in Santiniketan.

After his first venture with Patha Bhavana, Rabindranath established the Institution of Education and Research in Visual Arts, Kala Bhavana, in 1919. Rabindranath understood very well that art could be a powerful tool for conveying the message of nationalism. Rabindranath encouraged artists to break away from tradition, preferring them to be inspired by the daily objects used in life, the screen paintings of Japan, and by nature. Rabindranath established Kala Bhavana with these thoughts in mind, and Rabindranath mentored Nandalal Bose (1882 – 1966), one of the pioneers of modern Indian art, who had previously been mentored by Rabindranath’s nephew, Abanindranath Tagore in Calcutta.

Another picture of Kala Bhavana

Another picture of Kala Bhavana

Since its establishment, Kala Bhavana has produced many renowned artists, including:

  • Ramkinkar Baij (1906 – 1980) – an award-winning Indian sculptor and painter, considered to be one of the pioneers of modern Indian sculpture
  • Beohar Rammanohar Sinha (1929 – 2007) – an Indian artist best known for his illustrations in the Constitution of India’s original manuscript
  • Raman Siva Kumar (b. 1956) – an internationally-acclaimed contemporary Indian curator, art critic, and art historian
  • Achutan Ramachandran Nair (b. 1935) – an Indian painter awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour for his outstanding service to the nation
  • Satyajit Ray (1921 – 1992) – an Indian author and filmmaker considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century.
Rabanindranath and Satyajit Ray

Rabindranath and Satyajit Ray

 

Visva Bharati University

Visva Bharati University

Visva Bharati University

In 1916 – 1917, during his visit to the United States, Rabindranath was inspired by the diversity of the American population that had a mixture of different cultures, creeds, and nationalities. The experience caused Rabindranath to rethink the relationship between the individual and the world, and to establish an international centre of humanistic studies.

In 1921, Rabindranath established Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan with the Nobel Prize money he received in 1913, and his son, Rathindranath, became the first vice chancellor (upacharya) for the new university. Rabindranath established Visva Bharati with the idea that every individual is a genius, but not all of them bloom at the same time. Therefore, at Visva Bharati, the students were allowed to continue their course until both the teacher and the students were satisfied. If a course demanded by the students was not available, the university would design the course and bring in teachers for that course regardless if there was a commercial demand for it or not. Kala Bhavana became one of the faculties in Visva Bharati, and in 1951, the government of independent India granted the institution the status of a full university.

Visva Bharati University

Visva Bharati University

 

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Rabindranath the Writer, Poet, and Playwright

After he wrote his first poem at the age of 8, Rabindranath’s literary talents continued to blossom. He dedicated the poems he composed between the ages of 13 and 18 to his beloved sister-in-law, Kadambari Devi. Rabindranath wrote most of these poems sitting next to her, and there were many affectionate moments with Kadambari Devi that were immortalised in these poems.

In 1874, his poem Abhilash (Desire) was published anonymously in his father’s weekly newspaper Tattwabodhini Patrika (Truth Searching Newspaper). Rabindranath’s first poem published under his name was Banaphul (Wild Flower), in the Jnanankar Magazine in 1876. Around this time, he also composed several poems under the pseudonym ‘Bhanusinha Thakur’.

Although Rabindranath was a renowned poet, he was also an accomplished short story writer, novelist, playwright, lyricist, and essayist. Most of his writings reflected his love of nature and brought awareness to social issues, customs, and tenets, such as child marriage, rigid customs and norms, his criticism of societal dogmas, and the role of women in a male dominated society

In 1877, Dwijendranath Tagore, one of Rabindranath’s brothers, established Bharati, a monthly magazine. Rabindranath made regular contributions to the magazine by writing essays, poems, and literary criticisms. In 1878, his first book containing a collection of his poems, Kabi-Kahini, was published.

In 1878, when he attended University College London, Rabindranath took time to study European music and English literature. He also contributed a series of Letters from Europe (Prabasir Patra) to Bharati that recorded his impression of the English people and England. Around this time, Rabindranath started to write his first play, Bhagna Hriday (Broken Heart) that would later be published in 1881.

Rabindranath played the lead role in the premier of his first Bengali opera, Valmiki Pratibha

Rabindranath played the lead role in the premier of his first Bengali opera, Valmiki Pratibha

Although he returned from London without his degree in law, Rabindranath returned to India as a man with a refined taste in music. In 1881, he wrote Valmiki Pratibha (Genius of Valmiki), his first Bengali opera with a fusion of Western and Indian music. Valmiki Pratibha was performed for the first time at the Tagore family home, the Jorasanko Mansion, in the presence of distinguished personalities such as Indian author Bankimchandra Chatterjee. Rabindranath played the lead role in the premiere, which marked the start of his career in theatrical performances.

In 1882, Rabindranath published another compilation of poems that included the iconic Nirjharer Swapnabhanga, about his mystic vision where men and nature bathed together in streams of joy, which unleashed and liberated his poetic genius. After this event, Rabindranath published his plays, poetry complications, essays, and novels one after another, in quick succession:

No. Title Year
1. Bouthakuranir Hat 1883
2. Chhabi o Gan 1884
3. Prakritir Pratishodh 1884
4. Kodi o Komal 1886
5. Rajarshi 1887
6. Mayar Khala 1888
7. Manasi 1890

In 1901, after he moved to Santiniketan, Rabindranath composed Naivedra and Khenya, which were published in 1901 and 1906 respectively. Around that time, Rabindranath was immensely popular amongst Bengali readers.

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Rabindranath continued his career as a prolific writer. In 1910, he published his most notable work, Gitanjali (the Songs of Offering), a collection of 157 poems on themes of spirituality, nature, complicated human emotions, and suffering. Gitanjali was translated into English in 1912 and brought Rabindranath much success, acclaim, and earned him a Nobel Prize in 1913. One year after the India Society published the English version of Gitanjali, the book would be reprinted over a dozen times in the subsequent 12 months alone. Another of his notable and popular works is Galpaguchchha, a collection of 61 short stories on illiteracy, femininity, marriage, and poverty.

Ghare Baire (The Home and the World)

Ghare Baire (The Home and the World)

When the opportunity came to have his work translated into foreign languages, Rabindranath chose to translate his works that had mystical and spiritual themes. These themes appealed to Western readers, and established his reputation as a mystic in the Western world. In 1912, Rabindranath went to England and showed his translated works to prominent European writers such as William Butler Yeats, Robert Bridges, Thomas Sturge Moore, Ezra Pound, and Ernest Rhys. His works were well-received and won critical acclaim from these writers.

In 1916, Rabindranath infused the idea of dynamism in his writings which were later collected in his works titled Balaka, Chaturanga, and Ghare Baire. Throughout his life, Rabindranath continued to write prolifically. Some of his other well-known works include novels such as Sesher Kabita and Jogagog, plays such as Tapati and Seshraksha, compilations of poetry such as Mahua, and musical dramas such as Rituranga.

 

Rabindranath the Songwriter

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Rabindranath composed over 2,230 songs during his lifetime, including the national anthem of India, ‘Jana Gana Mana’, and the national anthem of Bangladesh ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’.

A collection of his songs, called Rabindra Sangeet, covered various topics from introspection, psychology, yearning, romance, nostalgia, reflection, modernism, humanism, and even structuralism. Rabindra Sangeet appealed to all social strata and backgrounds, as they were filled with beauty and emotive strength. Through his songs, Rabindranath sought to give voice to all, rich and poor. Rabindranath primarily worked with two subjects: human beings, and how nature affected the expression and behaviour of human beings.

Through his travels around the world, Rabindranath became familiar with the musical styles and narratives of South India and the West. Although Rabindranath never classified his songs, after his passing, those who wanted to preserve his work felt the need to categorise them. In general, his songs are classified as follows:

  • Devotional (Puja Porjaay)
  • Romantic (Prem Porjaay)
  • Seasonal (Prokriti Porjaay) – Spring (Boshonto), Monsoon (Borsha), Summer (Grishho), Autumn (Shorot), Early winter (Hemonto), Winter (Sheet)
  • Diverse (Bichitro)
  • Patriotic (Deshattobodhok)
  • Songs for certain occasions (Aanushtthanik)
  • Songs for dance-dramas and plays

What music critics said about Rabindra Sangeet:

[Rabindra Sangeet] transcend the mundane to the aesthetic and express all ranges and categories of human emotion. The poet gave voice to all – big or small, rich or poor. The poor Ganges boatman and the rich landlord air their emotions in them. They birthed a distinctive school of music whose practitioners can be fiercely traditional.

– Dhan Gopal Mukerji, the first successful Indian Man of Letters

[t]here is in Bengal no cultured home where Rabindranath’s songs are not sung or at least attempted to be sung… Even illiterate villagers sing his songs.

– Modern Review, a Calcutta based magazine

[Rabindra Sangeet is a] vehicle of a personality … [that] go behind this or that system of music to that beauty of sound which all systems put out their hands to seize.

– A.H. Fox Strangways (1859 – 1948), Chief Music Critic for the Observer

In 1931 and 1932, three volumes of Gitabitan (Garden of Songs), the books that contain the collection of all 2,233 songs written by Rabindranath, were published.

 

Bangladesh National Anthem


Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/BangladeshAnthem.mp4

 

Indian National Anthem


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https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/IndianAnthem.mp4

 

Selected Popular Songs from Rabindra Sangeet


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https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/RabindraSangeet.mp4

 

Rabindranath the Actor, Producer, and Choreographer

Rabindranath was a talented actor, producer, and choreographer

Rabindranath was a talented actor, producer, and choreographer

After his 1881 debut as an actor in his first musical drama Valmiki Pratibha, Rabindranath continued to act in his own plays. He was a talented actor with a powerful tenor voice, which could reach the furthest corners of the auditorium when he sang or spoke, and he could turn his voice into a powerful tool to communicate his art.

Rabindranath was not satisfied just to have his writings printed. As soon as he composed his writings, he would hunt for an audience. According to Sisirkumar Bhaduri, a Bengali stage personality, he was amazed with the way Rabindranath used his arms on stage ‘in gestures that lay a spell on the whole audience’ at a time when most actors thought that the use of arms were an embarrassment or simply did not know how to use them.

In addition to being a talented actor, Rabindranath was a competent, imaginative, meticulous, and conscientious producer and choreographer. All the plays he produced were preceded by long periods of rehearsals where he spared no one, including himself. In the dance dramas that he wrote, Rabindranath was not merely satisfied with writing the tune and the play, but he would also make sure that the dance would interpret his songs appropriately.

Rabindranath with Tasher Desh drama group

Rabindranath with Tasher Desh drama group

Rabindranath with a group of girls in costume for a Drama Performance

Rabindranath with a group of girls in costume for a Drama Performance

Rabindranath on stage as Raghupati

Rabindranath on stage as Raghupati

 

Rabindranath the Painter

Left - Rabindranath at his painting desk, Government School of Art, Calcutta 1932 Right - One of Rabindranath's paintings

Left – Rabindranath at his painting desk, Government School of Art, Calcutta 1932
Right – One of Rabindranath’s paintings, Veiled Woman – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Rabindranath only began exploring the visual arts in the form of paintings and drawings in his late 60s, but even though he started painting late in life, he was still very prolific. He produced 2,500 drawings and paintings during his lifetime, and became the first Indian artist whose works were exhibited in the United States, Russia, and across Europe. His first exhibition was held at the Pigalle Gallery in Paris, followed by England, Germany, and Denmark. His admirers around the world were amazed at this new display of creativity.

Rabindranath’s painting style was characterised by a rhythmic quality and simple bold forms, and have since inspired modern Indian artists. His paintings revolved around the following themes:

  • Animals or imaginary creatures imbued with vitality and humour
  • Human figures with expressive gestures
  • Human faces
  • Landscapes

 

Awards and Accolades

Rabindranath’s Nobel Prize in Literature

Rabindranath’s Nobel Prize in Literature

Rabindranath’s accomplishments as an artist was further confirmed by the awards and accolades that he received during his lifetime. In 1913, Rabindranath became the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize in Literature for Gitanjali. He won the award due to “his profoundly sensitive, fresh, and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.”

In 1915, George V of England granted Rabindranath a knighthood, and the West Bengal government, Indian government, and many private firms showed their reverence to Rabindranath by opening many charitable organisations, health centres, and institutions in the name of Rabindranath. One of these institutions is the Rabindra Bharati University, which is currently located at Jorasanko Mansion, the Tagore family home in Calcutta.

In 1931, Rabindranath’s 70th birthday was celebrated on a grand scale, marked by the publication of The Golden Book of Tagore, which contains glowing tributes from great women and men of the world. In 1940, Oxford University awarded Rabindranath with the title Doctorate of Literature, and in 1961, the Indian Postal Department released a stamp in the name of Rabindranath as a tribute to the great poet.

On Rabindranath’s 70th birthday in 1931, The Golden Book of Tagore which contains the glowing tributes to the poet from the great women and men of the world was published.

On Rabindranath’s 70th birthday in 1931, The Golden Book of Tagore which contains the glowing tributes to the poet from the great women and men of the world was published.

In 1940, Oxford University awarded Rabindranath with the title Doctorate of Literature

In 1940, Oxford University awarded Rabindranath with the title Doctorate of Literature

In 1961, Indian Postal Department released stamps in the name of Rabindranath as a tribute to the great poet.

In 1961, the Indian Postal Department released stamps with the likeness and name of Rabindranath as a tribute to the great poet.

 

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Rabindranath and Politics

Rabin035

Between the late 1890s and the first decade of the 20th century, the nationalist movement was rampant in India. Although he was not a politician and did not hold any official position in the government, Rabindranath was a patriot and an astute political analyst. He contributed articles on the subject of politics in various periodicals, such as Bharati, Bangadarshan, and Sadhana. In 1896, Rabindranath sang Vande Mataram, a poem composed by Bankin Chandra Chattopadhyay that is synonymous with the Indian independence movement at the Congress Session inauguration in Calcutta.

In July 1905, when the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, announced the Separation of Bengal which divided the eastern Muslim area from the western Hindu area, Rabindranath became involved with the Swadeshi Movement, which took the form of an economic strategy that was aimed at removing the British Empire from power and improving India’s economic condition.

Rabindranath and Mahatma Gandhi

Rabindranath and Mahatma Gandhi

Nationalism contains Rabindranath’s opinion on the nationalism in the West, Japan, and India

Nationalism contains Rabindranath’s opinion on the nationalism in the West, Japan, and India

In 1914, Rabindranath met with Mahatma Gandhi for the first time when one of Rabindranath’s best friends, C.F. Andrews, brought students from Phoenix School in South Africa to Santiniketan. Upon observing the life in Santiniketan, Gandhi suggested that the daily chores were to be done by the students, and not by the servants. Rabindranath agreed with the idea, and since then, Gandhi Punyaha is celebrated in Santiniketan through self-service on March 10. Since the first fateful meeting, Rabindranath and Gandhi became lifelong friends, with Gandhi referring to Rabindranath as Gurudev.

During his journey to Japan and the United States in 1916 – 1917, Rabindranath gave a series of lectures in Japan, and warned against the militarism and fanatic nationalism in Japan, reminding the Japanese of their noble culture. It seems that Rabindranath had predicted that Japanese fanatic nationalism would contribute to the disasters of World War II. In the United States, Rabindranath continued to give lectures on Nationalism, which were later compiled into the book Personality that was published in 1917.

An artist illustration of Jallianwala Bagh massacre

An artist’s illustration of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre

Back in India in 1918, Rabindranath was caught in more political turmoil. While activists under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi were negotiating to gain swaraj (self-rule) from the British, a group of youths was initiating an armed revolution to gain their freedom from Britain. The British established the Rowlatt Committee to investigate and report on the subject, which resulted in the Rowlatt Act that allowed certain political cases to be tried without a jury and/or imprisonment of the subjects without trial.

The Rowlatt Act provoked dissatisfaction amongst Indians, and resulted in strong protests from all over India. On April 13, 1919, a crowd of non-violent protesters gathered in Jallianwala Bagh to protest the Rowlatt Act. The British Indian Army, under the leadership of Colonel Reginald Dyer, fired mercilessly at the protesters and killed hundreds of people in the process. In protest of this unimaginable cruelty, Rabindranath chose to renounce the knighthood that was conferred upon him by the British crown in 1915 in a famous letter to Lord Chelmsford:

Your Excellency,

The enormity of the measures taken by the Government in the Punjab for quelling some local disturbances has, with a rude shock, revealed to our minds the helplessness of our position as British subjects in India. The disproportionate severity of the punishments inflicted upon the unfortunate people and the methods of carrying them out, we are convinced, are without parallel in the history of civilised governments, barring some conspicuous exceptions, recent and remote. Considering that such treatment has been meted out to a population, disarmed and resourceless, by a power which has the most terribly efficient organisation for destruction of human lives, we must strongly assert that it can claim no political expediency, far less moral justification. The accounts of the insults and sufferings by our brothers in Punjab have trickled through the gagged silence, reaching every corner of India, and the universal agony of indignation roused in the hearts of our people has been ignored by our rulers—possibly congratulating themselves for what they imagine as salutary lessons. This callousness has been praised by most of the Anglo-Indian papers, which have in some cases gone to the brutal length of making fun of our sufferings, without receiving the least check from the same authority—relentlessly careful in smothering every cry of pain and expression of judgement from the organs representing the sufferers. Knowing that our appeals have been in vain and that the passion of vengeance is blinding the nobler vision of statesmanship in our Government, which could so easily afford to be magnanimous as befitting its physical strength and moral tradition, the very least that I can do for my country is to take all consequences upon myself in giving voice to the protest of the millions of my countrymen, surprised into a dumb anguish of terror. The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in the incongruous context of humiliation, and I for my part wish to stand, shorn of all special distinctions, by the side of those of my countrymen, who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradation not fit for human beings.

These are the reasons which have painfully compelled me to ask Your Excellency, with due reference and regret, to relieve me of my title of Knighthood, which I had the honour to accept from His Majesty the King at the hands of your predecessor, for whose nobleness of heart I still entertain great admiration.

Yours faithfully,
Rabindranath Tagore

Source: Selected Letters of Rabindranath Tagore
Letter published in Modern Review (Calcutta monthly), July 1919

In 1922, Rabindranath staged his first play that carried themes of nationalism, Muktadhara. In 1924, Rabindranath went to China together with Kalidas Nag (1892 – 1966), an Indian historian, parliamentarian, and author. Rabindranath was attracted to the leadership of Sun Yat-sen (1866 – 1925), the founding father of the Republic of China. In China, Rabindranath delivered a series of lectures about Eastern ideals and the disadvantages of excessive materialism in various universities in Hangchow, Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing.

Rabindranath in China with Chinese academics at Tsinghua University in 1924.

Rabindranath in China with Chinese academics at Tsinghua University in 1924.

In 1932, Mahatma Gandhi undertook a fast unto death in protest of the caste separation in Jarbeda Prison imposed by the British government in India. Rabindranath wrote a letter to Gandhi to express his solidarity and respect to him. He also went to Jarbeda Prison to be at Mahatma Gandhi’s side. When a deal was reached with the British Government and Mahatma Gandhi ended his fast, Rabindranath sang his famous song, ‘When the Heart is Hard and Parched Up.’

In 1940, one year before Rabindranath’s passing, Mahatma Gandhi visited him in Santiniketan. During this time, Rabindranath expressed his wish for Mahatma Gandhi to look after his beloved Visva Bharati.

Another picture of Rabindranath and Mahatma Gandhi

Another picture of Rabindranath and Mahatma Gandhi

Rabindranath and Jawaharlal Nehru. The picture was taken in Bolpur, Bengal on November 4, 1936.

Rabindranath and Jawaharlal Nehru. The picture was taken in Bolpur, Bengal on November 4, 1936.

 

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Rabindranath and Buddhism

Left - Buddha statue at Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan Right - Rabindranath with William Pearson and Paul Risher and wife in front of the Great Buddha of Kamakura in Japan

Left – Buddha statue at Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan
Right – Rabindranath with William Pearson and Paul Risher and wife in front of the Great Buddha of Kamakura in Japan

Although Rabindranath played an important role in the development of Brahmoism, he had a deep respect and admiration for Lord Buddha Shakyamuni and the Buddhist doctrines. Rabindranath admired the spirit of compassion and mercy of Lord Buddha.

Rabindranath delivered a lecture at the Mahabodhi Society in Calcutta during the anniversary of Lord Buddha’s birth, where he expressed his personal feelings on Lord Buddha. The lecture was later published in Provasi, a Bengali journal, under the title Buddhadeva (Lord Buddha). In his various poems, essays, lectures, and novel, Rabindranath used superlative words to describe Lord Buddha such as “an eminent or distinguished personage” (mahäpuruSah), “the most excellent human being” (sarvasresthamänava), “great serene” (mahäsänta), “the chief of men” (narottama), “most sacred” (mahäpunya), “most peaceful (mahäkSema), “the compassionate one” (karunämaya), “the illimitable light” (amitäbha), “the greatest monk” (mahäbhikSu), and so forth.

Rabindranath’s affection and admiration for Lord Buddha was apparent in his presidential address on the anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment (Buddha Purnima) on May 18, 1935:

On this full-moon day of Vaisakha I have come to join in the birthday celebrations of the Lord Buddha and to bow my head in reverence to him whom I regard in my inmost being as the greatest man ever born on this earth. This is no formal demonstration of adoration on my part, befitting the occasion. I offer him here, today, the homage I have offered him again and again in the deep privacy of my soul.

– Rabindranath Tagore
May 18, 1935

Another reference to Rabindranath’s admiration for Lord Buddha can be seen in his poem titled Siam:

Still on his lotus seat!
Lord Buddha is ever there –
Whose silence imparts infinite peace?
Whose speech is the soothing flow of forgiveness?
In another poem, Mülyapräpti, we have a similar description:
In the hushed shade of the mango grove beyond the city wall Sudas stood before
Lord Buddha, on whose lips sat the silence of love and whose eyes beamed peace
like the morning star of the dew-washed autumn.

– Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath’s nephew, Abanindranath Tagore (1871 – 1951) shared his reverence for Lord Buddha. Abanindranath was a famous painter. During his lifetime, he painted several paintings on Buddhism.

Paintings of Lord Buddha by Abanindranath Tagore. Left - Buddha as Medicant (1914) Right - The Victory of Buddha (1914)

Paintings of Lord Buddha by Abanindranath Tagore. Left – Buddha as Medicant (1914); Right – The Victory of Buddha (1914)

 

Selected poems on Lord Buddha composed by Rabindranath

THE DUE PRICE

It was a wintry night in the month of Agrahayan
There was a heavy fall of dew
All the lotus flowers were destroyed
Save one that somehow survived
In the pond of Sudas, the florist.
He plucked it and went to the palace gate
Seeking to see the king.
A passer-by saw the flower
He was filled with joy and said,
‘I want to buy this off-season lotus
What is its price?
It will be my offering to Lord Buddha
Who is now staying in the city ‘.
‘I expect one grain of gold’, said Sudas,
Which the man agreed to pay.
At that very moment king Prasenjit
Suddenly came out of his palace
He was on his way to see Lord Buddha
Carrying many offerings
And singing the Lord’s praise.
He also offered to buy that flower
To present it to the Lord
And asked its price.
The florist told the king
‘It has already been sold to this man
At a price of one grain of gold’.
‘I shall pay ten grains’, says the king.
The man says, ‘I shall pay twenty’.
None was ready to give up,
They went on bidding
And the price went higher and higher.
The florist thought
His flower must fetch much much more
From the man for whom these two want it to buy.
So he told them I won’t sell the flower
I have changed my mind.
He rushed to the grove
Which was filled with light
By Buddha’s presence.
Seated in the posture of a lotus,
Smiling and calm,
The Lord was an embodiment of joy
Peace was raining from his look
And mercy from his face.
Sudas kept on gazing at the Lord
With his eyes wide open
And he was speechless.
Suddenly he fell himself down on the floor
And placed the flower on Buddha’s feet.
The Lord smiled and asked him in a sweet voice,
‘What is it that you want, my son?’
Choked with emotion Sudas said, ‘My Lord,
Nothing more than a grain of dust of your feet’.

– Transcreation of the poem Mulyaprapti from the collection Katha by Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath at Borobudur Temple, one of the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage places in Indonesia

Rabindranath at Borobudur Temple, one of the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage places in Indonesia

BORO-BUDUR

THE SUN shone on a far-away morning, while the forest murmured its hymn of praise to light; and the hills, veiled in vapour, dimly glimmered like earth’s dream in purple.
The King sat alone in the coconut grove, his eyes drowned in a vision, his heart exultant with the rapturous hope of spreading the chant of adoration along the unending path of time:
‘Let Buddha be my refuge.’
His words found utterance in a deathless speech of delight, in an ecstasy of forms.
The island took it upon her heart; her hill raised it to the sky.
Age after age, the morning sun daily illumined its great meaning.
While the harvest was sown and reaped in the near-by fields by the stream, and life, with its chequered light, made pictured shadows on its epochs of changing screen, the prayer, once Uttered in the quiet green of an ancient morning, ever rose in the midst of the hide-and-seek of tumultuous time:
‘Let Buddha be my refuge.’
The King, at the end of his days, is merged in the shadow of a nameless night among the unremembered, leaving his salutation in an imperishable rhythm of stone which ever cries:
‘Let Buddha be my refuge.’
Generations of pilgrims came on the quest of an immortal voice for their worship; and this sculptured hymn, in a grand symphony of gestures, took up their lowly names and uttered for them:
‘Let Buddha be my refuge.’
The spirit of those words has been muffled in mist in this mocking age of unbelief, and the curious crowds gather here to gloat in the gluttony of an irreverent sight.
Man to-day has no peace,his heart arid with pride. He clamours for an ever-increasing speed in a fury of chase for objects that ceaselessly run, but never reach a meaning.
And now is the time when he must come groping at last to the sacred silence, which stands still in the midst of surging centuries of noise, till he feels assured that in an immeasurable love dwells the final meaning of Freedom, whose prayer is:
‘Let Buddha be my refuge.’

– Rabindranath Tagore

 

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Travels and Meetings with Other Famous Personalities

Rabindranath was a widely-travelled man. During his lifetime, he visited over 30 countries on five continents.

In 1912, Rabindranath visited England with his son and daughter-in-law. During this visit, he brought the English version of Gitanjali, which he had translated, and showed it to William Rothenstein (1872 –1945), an English painter and printmaker whom he had previously met during the latter’s visit to Calcutta in 1911. Rothenstein introduced Rabindranath to renowned writers such as C.F. Andrews (1871 – 1940) and W.B. Yeats (1865 – 1939). They became lifelong friends and would later sometimes travel together. Many Europeans regarded Rabindranath as a great visionary and poet from the East.

Rabindranath and William Rothenstein

Rabindranath and William Rothenstein

After his successful visit to England, Rabindranath went to the United States to deliver a series of lectures on human relationships and the cosmos. This series of lectures were later published as a book titled Sadhana (1913). One month after Rabindranath returned to India in October 1913, he received the happy news that he had won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Between May 1916 and April 1917, Rabindranath visited Japan and the United States to deliver a series of lectures on Nationalism and Personality. Rabindranath’s good friends, William Pearson (1881 – 1923) and C.F. Andrews accompanied him during his visit to Japan.

Rabindranath in Japan in 1916

Rabindranath in Japan in 1916

Rabindranath at Tomitaro Hara’s Sankeien, Yokohama 1916 Mukul Dey Archives

Rabindranath at Tomitaro Hara’s Sankeien, Yokohama (1916). Photo: Mukul Dey Archives

Rabindranath during his tour to the West in 1921

Rabindranath during his tour to the West in 1921

Between the 1920s and 1930s, Rabindranath travelled extensively, visiting various places around the world including Europe, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. In each of the places he visited, he gained large followings and countless admirers.

Rabindranath visited Germany after World War I in 1921 to infuse the spirit of courage and consolation that were very much needed by the Germans who had just suffered from a humiliating defeat. Prior to visiting Germany, Rabindranath expressed his sympathy for the Germans and his intention to visit for the purpose of giving them strength. During his month-long visit from one city to another, Rabindranath managed to fascinate his German audiences. The German press reported his every movement, and the halls where he was scheduled to speak were always packed. There were some reports of fights among those who were refused entry.

Rabindranath revisited Germany again in 1926 and 1930. Rabindranath continued to enthuse German audiences and readers until the Nazi Germany viewed him as an anathema and suppressed his popularity.

In addition to Europe, India and the United States, Rabindranath enjoyed immense popularity in Russia as attested by Nicholas Roerich and Anatoly Lunacharsky, The Soviet Minister of Education:

Gitanjali came like a revelation. The poems were read at gatherings and a private ‘at homes.’ Only true talent could create such a precious mutual understanding. Now everyone at once became imbued with love for Tagore. It was evident how most contradictory people, the most irreconcilable psychologists were united by the call of the poet.

– Nicholas Roerich on Rabindranath Tagore

Tagore’s works are so full of colour, subtle spiritual experiences and truly noble ideas that they now constitute a treasure of human culture.

– Anatoly Lunacharsky in his article ‘The Indian Tolstoy’

Rabindranath visited the Soviet Union in September 1930 at the invitation of Anatoly Lunacharsky. In Moscow, his paintings were exhibited, and he had the opportunity to discuss about post-czarist Russia with distinguished citizens of that country. These discussions were later collected and published in a book titled Russiar Chithi.

Rabindranath with the school children in the Soviet Union

Rabindranath with school children in the Soviet Union

Rabindranath in front of Hotel Gellert, Budapest On his right are Prashanta and Nirmal Kumari (Rani) Mahalanobis

Rabindranath in front of Hotel Gellert, Budapest. On his right are Prashanta and Nirmal Kumari (Rani) Mahalanobis

From Russia, Rabindranath travelled to the United States to exhibit his paintings and returned to India in January 1931. This was his last journey to the West.

During his travels around the world to deliver various lectures to express his ideas of humanity, Rabindranath had the opportunity to meet with famous personalities to discuss various topics and issues. The following are some of the personalities that he met during his travels.

 

W.B. Yeats

W.B. Yeats

W.B. Yeats

On July 7, 1912, Sir William Rothenstein introduced Rabindranath to W.B. Yeats. Prior to this meeting, William Rothenstein had passed the English translation of Gitanjali to the Irish poet, who immediately burst into praise. He was known to have said:

If someone were to say he could improve this piece of writing, that person did not understand literature.

– W.B. Yeats on Rabindranath’s Gitanjali

W.B. Yeats agreed to write an introduction to Rabindranath’s Gitanjali where he wrote about how moved he was by the lyrics of the poems:

I have carried the manuscript of these translations about with me for days, reading it in railway trains, or on the top of omnibuses and in restaurants, and I have often had to close it lest some stranger would see how much it moved me. These lyrics… display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my live [sic] long… a tradition, where poetry and religion are the same thing.

– W.B. Yeats on Gitanjali

Just like others of Rabindranath’s Western admirers, W.B. Yeats was drawn to the devotional and religious nature of the Rabindranath’s poetry that pervaded all class distinctions, backgrounds, and nationalities. After this fateful meeting, Rabindranath went to the United States to deliver a series of lectures at Harvard University. During his absence, W.B. Yeats, who was by then an established poet in London cultural’s scene, praised Rabindranath in the circles where he had influence. By the time Rabindranath returned to Britain, he had become “the latest epitome of all stereotypes oriental”.

Rabindranath enjoyed immense popularity in Europe. This picture was taken during one of his visits to London.

Rabindranath enjoyed immense popularity in Europe. This picture was taken during one of his visits to London.

 

Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig (1881 – 1941) was a novelist and a humanitarian who lived in Salzburg, Austria. In the summer of 1921, Kurt Wolff, the German publisher of Rabindranath’s books, introduced Stefan Zweig to Rabindranath when the latter visited Austria.

Stefan Zweig was an altruistic humanitarian who had had the opportunity to visit India in the winter of 1908 – 1909. He was deeply affected by the misery and poverty that he saw in that country. Upon his return to Austria, Zweig remained interested in India’s intellectual life and struggle for freedom, and observed Rabindranath’s rise to fame in Europe. Zweig discussed and exchanged views on Rabindranath with another European intellectual, Romain Rolland (1866 – 1944), and in the process developed an admiration for the Indian poet. Therefore, when Kurt Wolff informed him that Rabindranath was to transit in Salzburg on the way to Vienna, Zweig jumped at a chance to meet with him. The short meeting made a deep impression on Zweig, and he wrote to Kurt Wolff:

Thank you very much for the information regarding Tagore’s travel programme. This enabled me to spend half an hour in his company today at Salzburg railway station while he changed trains. Thanks to you, I have encountered this great personality, of whom I formed a strong and profound impression.

– Stefan Zweig

After the meeting, Stefan Zweig continued to observe the growth of Rabindranath’s influence in Europe. While he appreciated Rabindranath’s message of humanism, he was not particularly fond of Rabindranath’s penchant to seek publicity.

Rabindranath and Romain Rolland

Rabindranath and Romain Rolland

Rabindranath and Kurt Wolff

Rabindranath and Kurt Wolff

 

Victoria Ocampo

Rabindranath and Victoria Ocampo

Rabindranath and Victoria Ocampo

While travelling to Peru by invitation from the Peruvian government to celebrate the country’s independence, Rabindranath fell ill and had to recuperate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Victoria Ocampo (1890 – 1979), a distinguished female intellectual, poet, and Argentine aristocrat, offered her care and hospitality to Rabindranath. This fateful encounter was the start of a lifelong relationship. Rabindranath immortalised Victoria Ocampo in his poems that were included in the book compilation of his poems, titled Purabi.

 

Albert Einstein

Rabindranath and Albert Einstein

Rabindranath and Albert Einstein

On July 14, 1930, Rabindranath met with the famous scientist Albert Einstein in the latter’s house in Caputh, near Berlin. The two great men discussed and explored the fundamental questions of existence, and touched on the subjects of science, consciousness, beauty, and philosophy. The exchange was recorded and published in the 1931 issue of Modern Review.

This exchange more than 80 years ago still resonates with us today because despite the advances in science, the questions of fundamental truth, the nature of the universe are still relevant to modern lives.

 

When Einstein Met Tagore: A Remarkable Meeting of Minds on the Edge of Science and Spirituality

Collision and convergence in Truth and Beauty.

BY MARIA POPOVA

On July 14, 1930, Albert Einstein welcomed into his home on the outskirts of Berlin the Indian philosopher, musician, and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The two proceeded to have one of the most stimulating, intellectually riveting conversations in history, exploring the age-old friction between science and religion. Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore (public library) recounts the historic encounter, amidst a broader discussion of the intellectual renaissance that swept India in the early twentieth century, germinating a curious osmosis of Indian traditions and secular Western scientific doctrine.

The following excerpt from one of Einstein and Tagore’s conversations dances between previously examined definitions of science, beauty, consciousness, and philosophy in a masterful meditation on the most fundamental questions of human existence.

EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine as isolated from the world?

TAGORE: Not isolated. The infinite personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is human Truth.

I have taken a scientific fact to explain this — Matter is composed of protons and electrons, with gaps between them; but matter may seem to be solid. Similarly humanity is composed of individuals, yet they have their interconnection of human relationship, which gives living unity to man’s world. The entire universe is linked up with us in a similar manner, it is a human universe. I have pursued this thought through art, literature and the religious consciousness of man.

EINSTEIN: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe: (1) The world as a unity dependent on humanity. (2) The world as a reality independent of the human factor.

TAGORE: When our universe is in harmony with Man, the eternal, we know it as Truth, we feel it as beauty.

EINSTEIN: This is the purely human conception of the universe.

TAGORE: There can be no other conception. This world is a human world — the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man. There is some standard of reason and enjoyment which gives it Truth, the standard of the Eternal Man whose experiences are through our experiences.

EINSTEIN: This is a realization of the human entity.

TAGORE: Yes, one eternal entity. We have to realize it through our emotions and activities. We realized the Supreme Man who has no individual limitations through our limitations. Science is concerned with that which is not confined to individuals; it is the impersonal human world of Truths. Religion realizes these Truths and links them up with our deeper needs; our individual consciousness of Truth gains universal significance. Religion applies values to Truth, and we know this Truth as good through our own harmony with it.

EINSTEIN: Truth, then, or Beauty is not independent of Man?

TAGORE: No.

EINSTEIN: If there would be no human beings any more, the Apollo of Belvedere would no longer be beautiful.

TAGORE: No.

EINSTEIN: I agree with regard to this conception of Beauty, but not with regard to Truth.

TAGORE: Why not? Truth is realized through man.

EINSTEIN: I cannot prove that my conception is right, but that is my religion.

TAGORE: Beauty is in the ideal of perfect harmony which is in the Universal Being; Truth the perfect comprehension of the Universal Mind. We individuals approach it through our own mistakes and blunders, through our accumulated experiences, through our illumined consciousness — how, otherwise, can we know Truth?

EINSTEIN: I cannot prove scientifically that Truth must be conceived as a Truth that is valid independent of humanity; but I believe it firmly. I believe, for instance, that the Pythagorean theorem in geometry states something that is approximately true, independent of the existence of man. Anyway, if there is a reality independent of man, there is also a Truth relative to this reality; and in the same way the negation of the first engenders a negation of the existence of the latter.

TAGORE: Truth, which is one with the Universal Being, must essentially be human, otherwise whatever we individuals realize as true can never be called truth – at least the Truth which is described as scientific and which only can be reached through the process of logic, in other words, by an organ of thoughts which is human. According to Indian Philosophy there is Brahman, the absolute Truth, which cannot be conceived by the isolation of the individual mind or described by words but can only be realized by completely merging the individual in its infinity. But such a Truth cannot belong to Science. The nature of Truth which we are discussing is an appearance – that is to say, what appears to be true to the human mind and therefore is human, and may be called maya or illusion.

EINSTEIN: So according to your conception, which may be the Indian conception, it is not the illusion of the individual, but of humanity as a whole.

TAGORE: The species also belongs to a unity, to humanity. Therefore the entire human mind realizes Truth; the Indian or the European mind meet in a common realization.

EINSTEIN: The word species is used in German for all human beings, as a matter of fact, even the apes and the frogs would belong to it.

TAGORE: In science we go through the discipline of eliminating the personal limitations of our individual minds and thus reach that comprehension of Truth which is in the mind of the Universal Man.

EINSTEIN: The problem begins whether Truth is independent of our consciousness.

TAGORE: What we call truth lies in the rational harmony between the subjective and objective aspects of reality, both of which belong to the super-personal man.

EINSTEIN: Even in our everyday life we feel compelled to ascribe a reality independent of man to the objects we use. We do this to connect the experiences of our senses in a reasonable way. For instance, if nobody is in this house, yet that table remains where it is.

TAGORE: Yes, it remains outside the individual mind, but not the universal mind. The table which I perceive is perceptible by the same kind of consciousness which I possess.

EINSTEIN: If nobody would be in the house the table would exist all the same — but this is already illegitimate from your point of view — because we cannot explain what it means that the table is there, independently of us.

Our natural point of view in regard to the existence of truth apart from humanity cannot be explained or proved, but it is a belief which nobody can lack — no primitive beings even. We attribute to Truth a super-human objectivity; it is indispensable for us, this reality which is independent of our existence and our experience and our mind — though we cannot say what it means.

TAGORE: Science has proved that the table as a solid object is an appearance and therefore that which the human mind perceives as a table would not exist if that mind were naught. At the same time it must be admitted that the fact, that the ultimate physical reality is nothing but a multitude of separate revolving centres of electric force, also belongs to the human mind.

In the apprehension of Truth there is an eternal conflict between the universal human mind and the same mind confined in the individual. The perpetual process of reconciliation is being carried on in our science, philosophy, in our ethics. In any case, if there be any Truth absolutely unrelated to humanity then for us it is absolutely non-existing.

It is not difficult to imagine a mind to which the sequence of things happens not in space but only in time like the sequence of notes in music. For such a mind such conception of reality is akin to the musical reality in which Pythagorean geometry can have no meaning. There is the reality of paper, infinitely different from the reality of literature. For the kind of mind possessed by the moth which eats that paper literature is absolutely non-existent, yet for Man’s mind literature has a greater value of Truth than the paper itself. In a similar manner if there be some Truth which has no sensuous or rational relation to the human mind, it will ever remain as nothing so long as we remain human beings.

EINSTEIN: Then I am more religious than you are!

TAGORE: My religion is in the reconciliation of the Super-personal Man, the universal human spirit, in my own individual being.

Source: https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/04/27/when-einstein-met-tagore/

Another picture of Rabindranath and Albert Einstein

Another picture of Rabindranath and Albert Einstein

 

Tomito Hara

Left - Tomito Hara, a successful Japanese silk merchant and an ardent art lover Right - Mukul Dey, Kiyo-san and Rabindrath Tagore at Tomitaro Hara’s Sankeien. August 1916 Photo: Mukul Dey Archives

Left – Tomito Hara, a successful Japanese silk merchant and an ardent art lover
Right – Mukul Dey, Kiyo-san and Rabindrath Tagore at Tomitaro Hara’s Sankeien. August 1916 – Photo: Mukul Dey Archives

Tomito Hara built a beautiful Japanese garden called Sankeien in Honmoku, Japan.

Tomito Hara built a beautiful Japanese garden called Sankeien in Honmoku, Japan.

Tomito Hara was a successful silk merchant in Japan who built a magnificent mansion and Japanese garden called Sankeien in Honmoku. Hara transported and reconstructed buildings of historic importance from Kamakura and Kyoto to this garden. The garden was opened to the public in 1906.

At the request of a famous Japanese painter, Yokoyama Taikan (1868 – 1958), Hara hosted Rabindranath and his three travelling companions, C.F. Andrews, William Pearson, and Mukul Dey, in his mansion from mid-June to August 1916. During this stay, Rabindranath developed an appreciation for traditional Japanese landscaping and architecture. Several unique houses in Santiniketan such as Udayan, Shyamali, Konarka, Udichi, Chitrabhanu, and Punashcha were the result of his stay in Sankeien. In addition, Rabindranath had a lily pond with an artificial island, weeping willows, and a Japanese lantern built in the backyard of his Uttarayan in Santiniketan.

Uttarayan in Santiniketan

Uttarayan in Santiniketan

 

Meetings with Other Famous Personalities and Leaders Around the World

Rabindranath met members of Iran's parliament. The image is from early 1930s in Tehran's Parliament. (Fabienkhan/ Wikimedia Commons)

Rabindranath met members of Iran’s parliament. The image is from early 1930s in Tehran’s Parliament. (Fabienkhan/ Wikimedia Commons)

Rabindranath met Helen Keller in 1930s

Rabindranath met Helen Keller in 1930s (click to enlarge)

Another picture of Rabindranath and Helen Keller

Another picture of Rabindranath and Helen Keller (click to enlarge)

Rabindranath with Ramananda Chattopadhyay and C.F. Andrews

Rabindranath with Ramananda Chattopadhyay and C.F. Andrews

Rabindranath with King Faisal of Iraq and King Ali of Hejaz

Rabindranath with King Faisal of Iraq and King Ali of Hejaz

Rabindranath with Maharaja Virchandra of Tripura

Rabindranath with Maharaja Virchandra of Tripura

Go to Later Life, Death, & Legacies >>

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Later Life and Death

Professor Tan Yun Shan presented Chinese Books to Rabindranath.

Professor Tan Yun Shan presented Chinese Books to Rabindranath.

Old age was not a deterrent for Rabindranath to continue his work. His last decade was filled with constructive works. He inaugurated two new departments at Visva Bharati: Cheena Bhavana or the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture in 1937, and Hindi Bhavana, or the Institute of Hindi Language in 1938.

The first Director of Cheena Bhavana was Professor Tan Yun Shan, whom Rabindranath had met during his visit to China, and had raised funds for the establishment of Cheena Bhavana. The Hindi Bhavana was funded by Hindi-speaking wealthy merchants, and Hazariprasad Dwivedi, the eminent Hindi litterateur, became the first director of Hindi Bhavana. Towards the end of Rabindranath’s life, Santiniketan had evolved into the centre of learning that attracted teachers and students from all over the world.

Rabindranath on his last birthday function

Rabindranath on his last birthday function

In the field of literature, Rabindranath published three novels, 15 volumes of poetry, dance dramas, reflective and critical essays, travelogues, and songs. He created dance dramas from his old poems such as Chitrangada, Shyama and Chandalika. He experimented with free verse in Punascha (1932), Sesh Saptak (1934), Patraput (1936), and Shyamali (1936).

As his last days approached, Rabindranath’s mind became restless. He could foresee a crisis in human civilisation. Japan had invaded China, and Russia dropped a bomb in Finland. His last message was published in the form of Crisis in Civilization (1941). Rabindranath became physically weak in the last years of his life. In September 1940, he fell ill during a visit to Kalimpong and he never fully recovered. On July 25, 1941, he was moved from Santiniketan to his childhood home of Jorasanko, where he passed away peacefully at the age of 80 on August 7, 1941.

Rabindranath in his bed in a railway compartment at Howrah Station (Calcutta) on November 22,1940.

Rabindranath in his bed in a railway compartment at Howrah Station (Calcutta) on November 22,1940.

The funeral procession of Rabindranath Tagore

The funeral procession of Rabindranath Tagore

 

Legacy

Tagore Residence Heritage Complex

Tagore Residence Heritage Complex

Today, almost 80 years after his death, Rabindranath’s legacy can be felt around the world. In Berlin, there is a street named after him, and busts resembling his likeness can be seen in notable places around the world. Many people are still inspired by his ideas of humanity and nationalism, and his writings have been reprinted countless times.

One of his most notable legacies is perhaps the university complex at Santiniketan that continues to produce many distinguished artists, writers, and humanitarians.

Visitors to Santiniketan can visit the Tagore Residence Heritage Complex (the five houses where Rabindranath would write, read or stay, depending on his mood). There is also a museum where various family objects are exhibited, including the replica of Rabindranath’s Nobel Prize (the original medal was stolen from the museum premise in 2004).

A sign by London County Council marking a property that Rabindranath had stayed in during his visit

A sign by London County Council marking a property that Rabindranath had stayed in during his visit

Rabindranath’s bust in Thakurova area of Prague, the Czech Republic

Rabindranath’s bust in Thakurova area of Prague, the Czech Republic

Rabindranath’s bust in the garden at Shakespeare’s birthplace

Rabindranath’s bust in the garden at Shakespeare’s birthplace

Monument to Rabindranath in Gordon Square next to University College London where he studied in 1879

Monument to Rabindranath in Gordon Square next to University College London where he studied in 1879

Rabindranath’s statue in Moscow, Russia

Rabindranath’s statue in Moscow, Russia

Left - A street named after Rabindranath in Berlin; Right – A lane named after Rabindranath Tagore in Tel Aviv, Israel

Left – A street named after Rabindranath in Berlin; Right – A lane named after Rabindranath Tagore in Tel Aviv, Israel

Rabin077

 

Rabindranath Tagore (1961, Documentary)
By Satyajit Ray


Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/RabindranathDocumentary.mp4

 

Go to Download >>

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Selected Writings by Rabindranath Tagore for Download

Chitra (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Creative Unity (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Fruit-Gathering (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Gitanjali (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Glimpses of Bengal (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Mashi and Other Stories (click on the image to download in PDF form)

My Reminiscences (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Nationalism (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Selected Short Stories (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Sadhana (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Songs of Kabir (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Stories from Tagore (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Stray Birds (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Crescent Moon (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Cycle of Spring (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Fugitive (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Gardener (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Home and the World (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Hungry Stones and Other Stories (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The King of the Dark Chamber (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Post Office (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The Spirit of Japan (click on the image to download in PDF form)

Poems (click on the image to download in PDF form)

The texts above were sourced from legitimate book-hosting services offering these texts for free download. They are made available here for purely educational, non-commercial purposes.

 

Go to Painting Gallery >>

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Selected Paintings by Rabindranath

Bird Fantastic - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Bird Fantastic – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Brooding - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Brooding – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Face - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Face – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Face - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Face – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Face - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Face – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Figure - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Figure – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Head Study - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Head Study – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Head Study - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Head Study – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Man and Woman - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Man and Woman – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Seven Figures - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Seven Figures – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

On Being

On Being

Standing Figure - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Standing Figure – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Study in Face - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Study in Face – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Landscape

Landscape

Two Figures - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Two Figures – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Two Figures - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Two Figures – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Vase - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Vase – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Veiled Woman - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Veiled Woman – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Woman - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Woman – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Woman Face - National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Woman Face – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

 

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Known Published Works of Rabindranath Tagore in English

  • The Beggar Woman or The Beggar Girl
  • The Tale of the Poet
  • Letters from an expatriate in Europe, Letters of a sojourner in Europe, Letters of a visitor to Europe, Letters of an exile in Europe
  • The Flower of the Woods
  • The Genius of Valmiki
  • Music and Feeling
  • The Broken Heart
  • Evening Songs
  • Morning Songs
  • The Fatal Hunt
  • The Young Queen’s Market
  • Miscellaneous Topics
  • Nature’s Revenge
  • The Songs of Bhanushingho Thakur
  • Poems of Childhood
  • Pictures and Songs
  • The Shadow of the Sun
  • Discussions
  • A pamphlet on Ram Mohan Roy
  • Sharps and Flats
  • The River Stairs or The Ghat’s Story
  • The Royal Sage
  • Reviews
  • The Play of Illusions
  • King and Queen
  • Sacrifice
  • The Heart’s Desire or Mental Images
  • Lecture on Lord Cross’s India Bill
  • Diary of a traveller to Europe
  • The Rift or The Divide
  • Exercise-book, The Copybook, The Notebook
  • The Matronly Boy or The Housewife
  • Little Master’s Return, Return of the Little Master, The Return of Khokababu, The Child’s Return [stories 4), or My Lord, the Baby[Stories 5]
  • The Postmaster
  • The Matrimonial Deal, Profit and Loss, Debts and Dues
  • Taraprasanna’s Achievement, Taraprasanna’s Fame, Taraprasanna’s Masterpiece
  • A Bequest of Property, Wealth Surrendered, The Trust Property
  • Dalia
  • A Tale of Fantasy, A Fanciful Story, An Absurd Story, The Kingdom of Cards[Stories 5]
  • The Golden Deer, Fool’s Gold, The Golden Mirage, The Fugitive Gold
  • The Pedlar from Kabul, Kabuliwallah, Kabuliwala, Kabuli, The Fruitseller
  • The Living and the Dead, Alive and Dead, Living or Dead?
  • A Single Night, The Supreme Night, One Night
  • The Skeleton, A Study in Anatomy
  • The Victory
  • The Silent Girl, Subha, The Dumb Girl
  • The Renunciation, Outcast, Sacrifice
  • Holiday, The School Closes, The Home-Coming
  • Wrong at the Start
  • Emancipation
  • Diary of a traveller to Europe
  • The Englishmen and the Indians
  • The Ending, The Conclusion
  • The Editor
  • A Problem Solved, The Solution of the Problem, The Riddle Solved
  • Punishment or The Sentence
  • Once there was a King
  • Reciprocation
  • Gift and Return
  • The Intervening Woman, The Girl Between, or The In-between Girl
  • Collection of songs incorporating Valmiki Pratibha
  • Forbidden Entry, Trespass, The Trespass
  • At Dead of Night, In the Middle of the Night, or At Midnight, In the Night
  • Judge
  • Atonement
  • Farewell Curse
  • The Golden Boat
  • Hungry Stones, Hungry Stone, The Hunger of Stones, The Hungry Stones, or The Spirit of the Marble Palace
  • Elder Sister, The Elder Sister
  • Resentment Appeased, Fury Appeased, Appeasement, Giribala
  • The Visitor, Visitor, Guest, The Guest, The Wandering Guest, or The Runaway
  • Grandfather, Thakurda, The Babus of Nayanjore
  • Nuisance, The Nuisance, Unwanted, The Troublemaker, or The Castaway
  • Wish-fulfilment, Wishes Granted
  • Malini
  • River
  • Five Elements
  • Manuscripts of Baikuntha
  • The Trial
  • Professor
  • The Detective
  • Woman Bereft of Jewels, The Lost Jewels, or Missing My Bejeweled
  • Forlorn Hope, False Hope, False Hopes, A Shattered Dream
  • The Royal Mark[7]
  • Royal Mark, The Raj Seal, or We Crown Thee King
  • Fertility Sacrifice or Son-sacrifice
  • The Gift of Sight or The Gift of Vision
  • A collection of short poems and epigrams
  • The Auspicious Vision
  • Raja and Rani
  • Saved
  • Folly, Thoughtlessness or A Lapse of Judgement
  • Failure, Fail, F is for Fail
  • My Fair Neighbour
  • Tales
  • The Fleeting One
  • Imagination
  • Stories
  • A religious essay – Brahma Upanishad
  • A religious essay – Aupanishad Brahma
  • A religious essay – Brahma-mantra
  • The Broken Nest
  • A Grain of Sand, Speck in the Eye, Eye Sore
  • Offerings
  • List of Bengali verbs
  • Child
  • Hero
  • Pride Surrendered
  • Nemesis
  • The Bachelor’s Club
  • My Golden Bengal
  • If no one responds to your call, then go your own way alone
  • Collection of political essays and lectures
  • The Wreck, Ship Wreck, Boat Accident
  • Ferry
  • India (collection of political essays and lectures)
  • Political essay – Deshnayak
  • Political essay – Rajbhakti
  • Hidden Treasure, The Hidden Treasure, Buried Treasure
  • Master Mashai or Mr. Teacher
  • Literature
  • Ancient Literature
  • Modern Literature
  • Literature of the People
  • Tributes to Great Lives
  • The King and his Subjects (collection of political essays)
  • Collection of political essays
  • My Country (collection of political and sociological essays)
  • Society
  • Ends and Means
  • Autumn Festival
  • The Crown
  • Two essays on Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar printed before in Charitrapuja
  • On Bengali philology
  • Penance
  • An anthology of poems
  • Fair-Faced
  • Rasmani’s Son, Rashmoni’s Son, or The Son of Rashmani
  • The King of the Dark Chamber
  • Where the Mind is Without Fear
  • Dispenser of the Destiny of India
  • My Reminiscences
  • The Post Office
  • The Immovable
  • Gitanjali (Song Offerings)
  • Glimpses of Bengal
  • Torn Leaves
  • Sadhana: The Realisation of Life
  • The Gardener
  • The Crescent Moon
  • Chitra (translation of Chitrangada)
  • A Garland of Songs
  • Dedication
  • The Devotee, The Baishnav Woman
  • Haimanti: Of Autumn
  • Last Night,or Mashi
  • A Wife’s Letter or The Wife’s Letter
  • Songs of Kabir
  • Ten volumes
  • Selection for the use of students
  • The Inscrutable Woman, The Unknown Woman, or Woman Unknown
  • The Flight of Cranes, A Flight of Swans, Wild Geese, or The Swan
  • Fruit-Gathering
  • Stray Birds (325 epigrams)
  • Chaturanga, Quartet, or Broken Ties
  • The Home and the World
  • Cycle of Spring
  • The Spirit of Japan
  • In Quest of a Bride or Bride and Bridegroom
  • The Austere Woman or The Austere Wife
  • As the Master Wills
  • Personality (lectures delivered in America)
  • The Parrot’s Training
  • The Trial of the Horse
  • Old Man’s Ghost
  • The Runaway (stories in verse)
  • Crossing (poetry from Naivedya, Kheya, Gitanjali, Gitimalya and Gitali)
  • Lover’s Gift[Poetry 7] (from Naivedya, Kheya, Gitanjali, Gitimalya and Gitali)
  • Stage version of Achalayatan
  • Nationalism (in the West, Japan and India)
  • The Centre of Indian Culture
  • Travel in Japan
  • House Number One
  • Stage version of Raja
  • Stage version of Saradotsav
  • New Doll
  • The Wrong Heaven
  • Fugitive
  • Thought Relics (short meditative texts)
  • Greater India (four lectures 1902-1908)
  • Meeting of Cultures
  • Call of Truth
  • Rain Festival
  • Welcome to the Rains
  • Letter
  • The Waterfall
  • Creative Unity
  • Spring
  • Red Oleanders (or Blood Oleanders)
  • The Cult of the Charkha
  • The Last Shower
  • Fireflies or Autographs
  • All Square
  • Stage version of Prajapatir Nirbandha
  • The Dancing Girl’s Worship
  • The King of Dance
  • The Play of the Seasons
  • Stage version of Goray Galad (The Last-Ditch Dave or Saved at Last)
  • Letters from Java
  • The Patriot, Purification, or Ritual and Reform
  • Nature’s Child, Balai, or Bolai
  • On the anniversary of Sriniketan
  • The Artist
  • Relationships, Crosscurrents, or Nexus
  • Farewell Song, Farewell, My Friend, The Last Poem
  • Stage version of Prayaschitta
  • Sheaves
  • Traveller
  • The Philosophy of Leisure
  • The Religion of Man
  • Garden of Songs
  • Letters from Russia
  • Journey to Persia
  • The Dancing Girl’s Worship
  • Man the Artist
  • The Stolen Treasure
  • Land of Cards (based on the 1892 short story Ekti Ashare Golpo)
  • Kingdom of Cards
  • The Flute
  • The Untouchable Woman
  • Two Sisters
  • The Garden[
  • The Arbour
  • Four Chapters
  • Avenue
  • Essays on Bengali prosody
  • Article on modern astronomy
  • The Smiling One
  • The Newly Born
  • The Pipe
  • My Boyhood Days
  • The Laboratory or Laboratory
  • Sunday
  • The Epilogue or The Final Word
  • From the Sick Bed
  • Recovery
  • Ill-repute
  • The Story of a Mussalmani or The Story of a Muslim Woman
  • Great News
  • Garden of Songs
  • Crisis in Civilization
  • Birthday
  • Last Writings
  • The Ascetic
  • Autumn-Festival
  • King and Rebel
  • Talks in China
  • Vision
  • The Haldar Family
  • Feast for Rats
  • Jajneshwar’s Offering
  • Mahamaya
  • The Wedding Garland, The Garlanding, or Exchange of Garlands
  • Master Ji or Master Zi
  • Cloud and Sunshine or Clouds and Sunshine
  • Means of Freedom
  • An Unapproved Story, The Unapproved Story, or The Rejected Story
  • Throttling Progress
  • Retaliation or Revenge
  • Ramkanai’s Folly
  • Yagneswar’s Ceremony
  • Finally
  • Inheritance
  • The Middle One

 

Collections of Short Stories

  • Collection of fifteen short stories
  • Collection of four short stories
  • Collection of ten short stories
  • Lores and Legends
  • A Bouquet of Stories
  • Stories (part II of Galpoguchha)
  • Collection of eight short stories
  • Collection of four short stories
  • Glimpses of Bengal. Includes 13 stories: The Fruit-Seller, The School Closes, A Resolve Accomplished, The Dumb Girl, The Wandering Guest, The Look Auspicious, A Study in Anatomy, The Landing Stairway, The Sentence, The Expiation, The Golden Mirage, The Trespass, The Hungry Stone.
  • The Hungry Stones and other stories. Includes 13 stories: The Hungry Stones, The Victory, Once There Was a King, The Home-Coming, My Lord, The Baby, The Kingdom of Cards, The Devotee, Vision, The Babus of Nayanjore, Living or Dead?, “We Crown Thee King”, The Renunciation, The Cabuliwallah)
  • Mashi and Other Stories. Includes 14 stories: Mashi, The Skeleton, The Auspicious Vision, The Supreme Night, Raja and Rani, The Trust Property, The Riddle solved, The Elder Sister, Subha, The Postmaster, The River Stairs, The Castaway, Saved, My Fair Neighbour.
  • Stories from Tagore. Includes 10 stories: The Cabuliwallah, The Home-Coming, Once there was a King, The Child’s Return, Master Mashai, Subha, The Postmaster, The Castaway, The Son of Rashmani, The Babus of Nayanjore.
  • Broken Ties and Other Stories. Includes the novel Broken Ties (Chaturanga) and 6 stories: In the Night, The Fugitive Gold, The Editor, Giribala, The Lost Jewels, Emancipation.
  • He
  • Three Stories (Laboratory, Rabibar, Shesh Katha)
  • The Parrot’s Training and Other Stories Includes 4 stories The Parrot’s Training, The Trial of the Horse, Old Man’s Ghost, Great News.
  • The Runaway and Other Stories.[18] Translated by Somnath Maitra.
  • The Housewarming and Other Selected Writings. Translated by Mary Lago, Amiya Chakravarty and Tarun Gupta.
  • Selected Short Stories. Translated by William Radice; includes 30 stories from the 1890’s: The Living and the Dead, The Postmaster, Profit and Loss, Housewife, Little Master’s Return, The Divide, Taraprasanna’s Fame, Wealth Surrendered, Skeleton, A Single Night, Fool’s Gold, Holiday, Kabuliwallah, The Editor, Punishment, A Problem Solved, Exercise-Book, Forbidden Entry, In the Middle of the Night, Unwanted, Elder Sister, Fury Appeased, Thakurda, Guest, Wishes Granted, False Hope, Son-sacrifice, The Hungry Stones, Thoughtlessness, The Gift of Sight.
  • Selected Stories[11] Translated by Krishna Dutta and Mary Lago; includes 14 stories: The Girl Between, The Broken Nest, The Atonement, The Punishment, The Notebook, The Postmaster, The Return of Khokababu, The Conclusion, The Nuisance, A Lapse of Judgment, Rashmoni’s Son, The Austere Wife, Bride and Bridegroom, The Rejected Story.
  • The Hidden Treasure & Other Stories[17] Includes 8 stories: The Hidden Treasure, Cloud and Sun, Mahamaya, The Conclusion, The Parrot’s Training, The Trial of the Horse, Old Man’s Ghost and Great News.
  • Selected Short Stories.[8] Various translators; ed. Sukanta Chaudhuri; includes 26 stories: The Ghat’s Story, Ramkanai’s Folly, The Exercise-Book, Inheritance, A Single Night, A Fanciful Story, The Living and the Dead, The Golden Deer, Kabuliwala, Subha, Punishment, Trespass, Grandfather, Hungry Stone, The Visitor, The Royal Mark, Folly, The Wedding Garland, The Haldar Family, The Wife’s Letter, Woman Unknown, House Number One, The Unapproved Story, Balai, The Laboratory, The Story of a Mussalmani.
  • Galpaguchchha Volume 1: The Postmaster, Return of the Little Master, Chhuti, the Visitor, The Exercise Book, The Pedlar from Kabul, The Living and the Dead, The Golden Deer, A Bequest of Property, Trespass, Punishment, Means of Freedom, The Austere Woman, The Silent Girl, A Single Night, Jajneshwar’s Offering, Taraprasanna’s Achievement, A Tale of Fantasy, Forlorn Hope, Broken Nest.
  • Galpaguchchha Volume 2: Cloud and Sunshine, The Ghat’s Story, The Matrimonial Deal, Ramkanai’s Folly, Grandfather, Nuisance, The Matronly Boy, The Skeleton, Folly, Wish-fulfilment, The Rift, Reciprocation, Retaliation, Resentment Appeased, The Wedding Garland, The Intervening Woman, The Haldar Family, Rasmani’s Son, Fertility Sacrifice, Nature’s Child, Woman Bereft of Jewels, The Ending.
  • Galpaguchchha Volume 3: Hungry Stones, Hidden Treasure, The Editor, The Gift of Sight, Elder Sister, At Dead of Night, A Problem Solved, Atonement, The Inscrutable Woman, The Royal Mark, The Wife’s Letter, An Unapproved Story, House Number One, In Quest of a Bride, The Laboratory, Throttling Progress, Sunday, The Story of a Muslim Woman, The Epilogue.

 

Sources:

  • Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Rabindranath Tagore: A Centenary, Volumes 1861-1961. Sahitya Akademi, 1992, http://books.google.com
  • https://happinesshomeandhealth.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/santiniketan-the-soul-of-rabindranath-tagore/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorasanko_Thakur_Bari
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debendranath_Tagore
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyotirindranath_Tagore
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadambari_Devi
  • https://www.telegraphindia.com/1130915/jsp/7days/17345231.jsp
  • https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/einstein_tagore.pdf
  • https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/the-historic-einstein-tagore-meeting-is-truth-independent-of-us/
  • http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/literature-mythologising-a-mysticw-b-yeats-on-the-poetry-of-rabindranath-tagore/
  • http://www.chitralekha.org/articles/tomitaro-hara/remembering-tomitaro-hara
  • https://what-buddha-said.net/library/Leaves/bl010.pdf
  • http://www.merepix.com/2013/01/rabindranath-tagore-rare-photos.html
  • https://www.parabaas.com/rabindranath/articles/pMartin1.html
  • http://www.online-literature.com/tagore-rabindranath/4393/
  • http://www.bengalspider.com/resources/3144-Rabindranath-Tagore-Awards-Achievements-Honors.aspx
  • https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/rabindranath-tagore-42.php
  • https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rabindranath-Tagore
  • https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/rabindranath-tagore
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabindra_Sangeet
  • http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/r/rabindranath-tagore-poet-and-painter/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Rabindranath_Tagore
  • http://creative.sulekha.com/a-tagore-poem-on-lord-buddha_88400_blog
  • http://tagoreweb.in/Render/ShowContent.aspx?ct=Verses&bi=72EE92F5-BE50-40C7-5E6E-0F7410664DA3&ti=72EE92F5-BE50-4A27-9E6E-0F7410664DA3

 

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24 Responses to Rabindranath Tagore: A beacon for humanity

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  1. Pastor Antoinette on Oct 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Rabindranath Tagore is for a sure a beacon for humanity! His many talents such as poetry, writing, painting and much more, have inspired many people and his works are still well-known. I am inspired to read some works from Rabindranath Tagore as he wrote many short stories which are for sure worthwhile to read.

    Thank you for sharing about inspiring people always!

  2. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Dear friends,

    This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    d96b47a2-387a-4d07-8ae1-6b4ad910aed2

  3. wan wai meng on Oct 6, 2017 at 1:29 am

    I studied at one of the ‘branded’ schools of Ipoh, it is called the Anglo Chinese School, and we had our sports team delineated by various names, there was Tagore, Abdul Aziz, Horley, Eu Tong Sen and Oldham then a smart alec Head master decided to break with tradition and removed all these sport houses.

    I knew Reverend as the pioneer of Methodist faith in Malaya, Eu Tong Sen was a famous Chinese miner, I didn’t know much about Abdul Aziz, Tagore and Oldham. I was in the Tagore house for quite some years, but without the internet I did not find out much about who Tagore was. It is interesting that Tagore this spiritual man found is way to a former missionary school in Ipoh.

    Of all the qualities of Tagore I felt his role as an educator is impressive, I wonder if there is modern day Tagore, such a person could make such an impact on the world’s education. yes he advocated teaching outside the classroom, that people should learn not surrounded by the 4 walls.

  4. Yau Mun on Oct 2, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Rabindranath is highly attained, his wisdom is comparable with a lot of high lamas or spiritual teacher. Reading his biography is really inspiring, during his time is not easy to travel, I am not able to imagine the time that he spend on travelling. It showed how comparison he was traveling all over the world to teach.

    I have been hearing a lot of Mahatma Gandhi, now I know who his great teacher was.

    Rabindranath was granted a knighthood by King George V in 1915, he renounced his knighthood in protest of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919, during which a crowd of non-violent protesters and Sikh pilgrims were brutally fired upon by the British Indian Army. This really amazed me and show how he was not attached to fame and honor.

    Rabindranath meeting with Albert Einstein, their discussion was so profound. It took me a few round of reading before can get some of the meaning of their discussion. The discussion of existence and spiritually.

    His achievement in one life time is amazing…

  5. Jennifer Yuen on Oct 1, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the article Rinpoche. Rabindranath’s life story is inspiring. He had achieved so much in his life in many different areas. Even when he was at the lowest point in his life with many of his loved ones passing away, he continued to care for others. Though not much was written about him and Buddhism, but his poems spoke it all. He had such deep understanding and realisation of Buddha’s teaching. His conversation with the great scientist Albert Einstein revealed his understanding of the fundamental truth of existence and consciousness. He really was an exceptional person. I would like to get a copy of Rabindranath’s Gitanjali and read 😊

  6. Samfoonheei on Sep 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Interesting …. Rabindranath Tagore wrote his first poem at the tender age of eight!. He was someone who was jacks of all trades. Rabindranath Tagore, a great Indian poet and writer and was one of the most revered literary figures in Indian history. He was the most admired Indian writer who introduced India’s rich cultural heritage to the West. Amazingly due to his achievement he ws awarded for his work and became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.. RabindranathTagore has since influenced a whole generation of writers. His impact is far beyond many countries and his works have been translated to many languages including English, Dutch, German, Spanish and so forth. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting and inspiring article .

  7. Pastor David Lai on Sep 28, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Wow! What a great poet and philosopher! I enjoyed reading about his life and his incredible ability in writing and eloquence. He is quite the renaissance man in terms of writing, poetry and so forth. He was indeed prolific with his voluminous output and its just amazing and it makes me wonder where does he find the inspiration for his incredible body of written works.

    From this article I can see that a lot of what he writes is his commentary on social issues prevalent in British India at that time. I felt proud that he made it big in Europe at a time when India was merely a colony of the British Empire. I can see that he has a way of endearing himself with the literati of Europe and makes good use of his fame to spread a cultural message about India to the West. It gives a whole new dimension of eastern civilisation to a skewed view of Westerners.

    In a way, I am glad that today as a lasting legacy of British India occupation, a sizeable population of South Asians are slowly overwhelming the population. Its a kind of a poetic justice for India to reverse the colonization of England. It would be neat to see an Indian PM and perhaps an Indian member of the royal family.

  8. Esther Goh on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Rabindranath Tagore, a name that had left a legacy that people will never forget. A multi talented man who had inspired and touched so many hearts through his great works and sacrifices. He also reminded me of the qualities that Rinpoche possesses, selfless, wise and kind besides being talented. A great article to inspire us to follow our passion and never to give up even if we are faced with a lot of difficulties.

  9. Pastor Chia on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Rabinranath Tagore extraordinary multi talents inteligent person i never know until i reading through this article.What he can acheive and his determination brought him great knowledge to understand what people need and willing to help people who are suffering. He can talk to all level people in the world and connect with them and share knowledge with humanity. I hope more leader in the world can inspire by him and bring harmony, humanity world people to the world.

  10. June Kang on Sep 27, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Rabindranath Tagore has shown us that there is no limit of our capability. He has achieved so much in one lifetime. His work was not only quantitative but also very much qualitative. He inspired me is not because he was the first Non- European to win the Noble Prize but is his profound thinking on human welfare which has been reflected in every corner of his lifelong. I read some of his book and feel that you can always relate your life with his writings. Thank you for sharing this article.

  11. Mingwen on Sep 27, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Such a great century that individuals who have make use their lives and make great impacts on the world have been borned. Rabindranath Tagor, Alber Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi, 3 great hero have met ! They have different contributions to the world but they equipped the same components of to be success, which ‘re passion, determination and positive motivations.

    Nothing is impossible, it’s just difficult. 🏋️

  12. Tek Lee on Sep 27, 2017 at 2:35 am

    Rabindranath Tagore was truly a man of everything. He touched everyone in every field, from his song, his poem, his books, his play, his teachings etc. He was the man that able to communicate with people from different level and different background. What more can I use to describe him?
    Like everybody said, which I am also thinking the same, he really remind me of Rinpoche while I was reading this article. A man with great wisdom and great compassion, who can touch and reach every individual from different angle and different ways. For example, we can get information of all sources from Rinpoche’s blog. We’ve seen and experienced how Rinpoche gave teaching which can reach one from various direction, various ways, yet very logical. It strikes my mind, was he a reincarnation of a great being too?
    Another thing from the article that strike me was, arranged marriage. Even the great Rabindranath Tagore also couldn’t escape from this. Even his father who was rich and well educated followed this “tradition”. As far as I know in this modern age, some countries and even some families in our country still carry this “tradition”. One of my Indian friends nearly became the “victim” of arrange marriage.
    In conclusion, a great man whose name is remembered until now, because of Indian National Anthem and Bangladesh National Anthem. Maybe people don’t always hear about his name now, but people who knows Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein will know about him, Rabindranath Tagore.

  13. Justin Cheah on Sep 27, 2017 at 1:20 am

    What a great master we are reading of. I likened hi with the quality of our Rinpoche possesses. Always creative and a very fast learner and multi talented. This is what I gathered when i was reading more and more into the article. He uses creative ways of teaching and we just have to read up the list of people he actually rubbed shoulders with and the successful people he taught before. His passion lies into teaching and his perseverance and tenacity is for all to see, selling off his property just to continue funding his passion to teach. Inspiring person, just like our Rinpoche. Thank You Rinpoche for leading the way showing what ingredients are required for one to be successful.

  14. Vivian Ong on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Rabindranath is such a skilled and capable person.

    He learned Sanskrit, English, Bengali, Geometry, Physics, History, Arithmetic, Physiology, Geography and Anatomy. He was also trained in gymnastics and wrestling.

    It is amazing that at the age of 8 he already wrote his first poem.

    It is admirable that his family was one of the first Indian industrialists and entrepreneurs in the early days.

    I notice Rabindranath is not the bookworm type of person. Instead he is more of an arts person.

    Rabindranath is such a simple and kind person. He also explores new ideas and encourage people to do so and not be afraid to explore. He is the kind of person who will express what he see and feel in his poems and writings for eg the poor, the rich, poverty, sufferings. All these not many will take time to notice.

    His works is so famous that even the illiterate sing his songs. So, you can see that he is able to touch the lives of the people. His works also reaches until the Western countries.

    Although he himself was down with personal tragedies like his loved ones passed away but he still put others before him. For example the tragedy that happen in India whereby the British Indian Army killed some of the protestors, Rabindranath chose to give up the knighthood title that was conferred to him by King George V.

    Rabindranath also has affinity with Buddhism and he strongly respect Lord Buddha for his qualities.

  15. Pastor Albert on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Rabindranath, a man who is beyond intelligent and his wisdom is comparable with the many noble and high lamas, reading his bio is really inspiring, he travel around the world and he is able to benefit every people he met, he dislike classroom education but he has tremendous knowledge to speak to all the people at different level, and many more that he has done in his life, he does not has an easy life but he never give up whenever he face obstacles. Rabindranath has used his life to teach us about consistency and never give up, as long as we persist on doing what we believe, we will gain great achievement.

  16. Julia Tan on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:15 am

    A boy that doesn’t like to go to school turned out to be a wise man who influenced the world with his humanity philosophy. He loves life. He saw the important of art which connected each other. He promoted harmony and peace. He predicted the downfall of civilisation. He went all the way to promote what he believed. People who listened to his talk and read about his books or peoms became his followers. He worked very hard, he’s every where. The war made broke his heart but never harden. He continued to influence others until his last breath.

    Ravindranath reminded me of Rinpoche, wise and compassionate. Selfless and determine. Working hard for the welfare of all beings. Promote peace and freedom every where restlessly. Followers all over the world.

    I enjoy reading this article very much. A man who can achieved so much in one life time due to his believe.

  17. Andrea Lai on Sep 26, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Mr. Rabindranath is a very spiritual type of person and his passion on helping educate people into better life really inspired me. Though he not really into religion understanding, his determination on achieving his goal was far beyond and his nature habit of exploring other countries gain him more knowledge that could benefit others. He is superb, intuitive, creative and smart. His great work of Dharma by established schools, institution, university, arts and agriculture with only purposed to encourage more people into education. His philosophy is by education, people will gain more knowledge to survive themselves.

  18. Pastor Henry Ooi on Sep 26, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    I find Rabindranath a very intelligent and a spiritual man, and he is such an inspiration for aspiring talents to pursue what they wanted regardless of what their parents wanted them to do and to become. Coupled with his tenacious passion for the arts, he worked relentlessly to achieve his ambition resulting in a legacy that left present day artists to emulate. His career life shines like a beacon for other aspirants to follow, to go all the way and never to give up regardless of personal hardships, financial and physical obstacles.

  19. pammie yap on Sep 26, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Truly an inspirational man who is also intelligent, spiritual and talented! He spoke up when others would not and the best part is, he didn’t do all those things without knowledge, he did it with profound wisdom. He could tap into any subjects and ‘win’ the other person’s respect and admiration.
    And all these reminded me of our Rinpoche, who is also super talented in many ways, knowledgeable, spoke up and stood on His ground, full of wisdom and he knows how to ‘win’ the other person. One can see from Rinpoche’s various blog posts with different topics to choose from, no matter what was written, Rinpoche could always tap into our mind and make us learn and think further.

  20. nicholas on Sep 26, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Rabindranath Tagore is a creative and highly intelligent person. I strongly admire his courage and his passion. He struggled and despite all the personally tragedy he continue his venture to provide education to others with great determination and he became a legend which many people remembered him and his legacy continue up to now.

    Rabindranath admiration for Lord Buddha Shakyamuni and the Buddhist doctrines made him introduced Buddhism as a special course of study for the students of Santiniketan.

    He also inspired me that at the age of 60s he took up painting and produced works that won him a place among India’s foremost contemporary artists. Learning never determined by age but by our passion & determination.

  21. Eric kksiow on Sep 26, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    After read about this article and my opinions regarding of Rabindranath Tagore :

    He’s a talented man in many ways ( A prolific writer, poet, songwriter, playwright, actor, and painter, he revolutionised Indian art and literature, and was also a pioneer of the Bengal Renaissance Movement. ) and Rabindranath Tagore fully used all of his talented
    ways to bring people into spiritual practices.

    He wrote a very good quotes that’s i read it from above and it’s touched my heart :
    The Grasp of your Hand

    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 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.

    – Rabindranath Tagore

    ————————————————————————————————————————
    A very passion-ed guy hwo never give up his own path to bring peoples into spiritual path.
    Salute and respect
    Eric kksiow

  22. Stella Cheang on Sep 23, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Rabindranath Tagore is an extraordinary individual. He expounds humanity through the many arts, literature, drama, songs, education and etc. I believe it is his sensitive and sentimental nature that gives rise to his many creative writings and artwork. However, he is also determined in his approach, as we can see how he ensures that his drama get executed to the dot, and this approach in politics.

    Rabindranath Tagore is well respected around the world. It can be seen by him being a Nobel award winner, and having monument, bust, street names and marking of him in Moscow, Prague London, Berlin and the birth place of Shakespeare. He is the only non-European who is without contemperory when it comes to art and culture during that era.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this sharing.

  23. Datuk May on Sep 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    It is mind blowing to read about the life and legacy of Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath had such an expansive and international OPEN mind whereby he was able to absorb so much about humanity and the need and circumstances for humanity to grow and realise the truth.

    His embrace of Buddhism was because his thoughts about life and the unlimitedness of the mind is so similar to what the Buddha taught.

    Rabindranath was so talented that not only was he accorded many awards including the Noble Prize for literature (the first Indian and non westerner) it was his ability to appreciate differences in culture and tradition that made him such a well respected human being.

    He is truly a beacon for humanity and it is joyful to read and have acknowledge of such a great human being.

  24. Anne Ong on Sep 19, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Very impressed and truly inspired about Rabindranath Tagore. I have been curiously waiting for this article to be published since Rinpoche tweeted about it on May, 22. I was very interested to know what is so special about this man? True enough he is a multi talented man and his story is very inspiring. He can learn and do so many things in the olden days. And his paintings are very simple and beautiful. Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for this very inspiring story . Makes one feel that there is nothing that we cannot achieve if we really put our heart in it. 🙏😍

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  • Yee Yin
    Sunday, Dec 16. 2018 06:28 AM
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    Sunday, Dec 16. 2018 06:12 AM
    The guard in Kechara Forest Retreat is sensitive to unseen beings. He often sees spirits walking up and down the road outside of the gate of Kechara Forest Retreat but could not get in. One particular spirit he saw is 7 feet tall without a head but with a pair of red eyes on the chest. He said he is not afraid of the spirits because he is protected by Dorje Shugden. Kechara Forest Retreat is the mandala of Vajrayogini and is highly blessed. No spirits or negative energy can enter unless permission is given. From what the guard has said, this is proven to be true.

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  • Yee Yin
    Sunday, Dec 16. 2018 06:00 AM
    22 years ago, a ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden was imposed by the Tibetan leadership, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala. Since the ban was imposed, the Tibetan community is split into groups and Dorje Shugden practitioners are segregated. The CTA said Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit and he is harmful, he will jeopardise the Tibet Cause and shorten the Dalai Lama’s life. Many people are misled by the CTA and believe what they said. Fortunately, Tsem Rinpoche and Kecharians have created videos to address all the lies the CTA has been telling to clear Dorje Shugden’s name. Please watch the videos to learn more about the issues and not to be misled.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/videos-redressing-the-misinformation-about-dorje-shugden-and-the-tibetan-situation.html
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  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 10:29 AM
    The mystery of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, a mummy whose body defies time has amazed the world. Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov was a Buryat Buddhist lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. According to his last will and testament he requested to be buried as he was at the time of his death, sitting in lotus posture Only that he asked to be exhumed after 30 years Later. His body was exhumed and examined by Buddhist monks, discovered surprisingly that there is no signs of decay of his body after so many years. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/hambo-lama-itygelovs-body-after-75-years
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 10:28 AM
    Stupas were built in ancient times serving as tombs for important figures, but has since been renewed by the Buddha to represent the heart of Enlightenment. Since then , many Dorje Shugden stupas have built in every Buddhist country in the world and by Buddhists of all traditions especially inTibet . Every corner over Tibet many Dorje Shugden stupas have been erected then. This is a sign that the magnificent Protector and its practice is spreading far and wide.
    Due to the power of its blessings to practitioners, stupas are often a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists and many will circumambulate the stupa as it is a very meritorious. One such place is the famous Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal and our very own Kechara Forest Retreat at Bentong ,Pahang Malaysia.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/why-construct-a-dorje-shugden-stupa
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    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 04:39 AM
    Videos Redressing the Misinformation About Dorje Shugden and the Tibetan Situation

    Please do watch these enlightening videos that serves to clarify the truth about the Tibetan situation. You owe it to yourself to understand the disinformation that the Tibetan Leaders are dispensing to their people to divert attention away from their failures. Very disgraceful!

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  • Sofi
    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 04:35 AM
    Dr. Ambedkar: Supreme Champion of Human Rights

    Dr. Ambedkar is a hero and icon for the Dalits of India who were once called ‘Untouchables.’ He fought to eradicate the discrimination and inequality that he knew all too well because he, too, was an Untouchable by birth. He was a leader of the Dalits and the Law Minister of the Government of India from 1947 to 1951.

    Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for freedom involved uniting India to rise against an external enemy – the colonial British regime that ravaged the country – but Dr. Ambedkar’s struggle was a far more challenging one as he was fighting against his own people. He was fighting the oppression and inequality that has been deeply entrenched for thousands of years as part of his society’s religious and cultural dogma.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/dr-ambedkar-supreme-champion-of-human-rights.html
  • Sofi
    Saturday, Dec 15. 2018 04:33 AM
    Huge outdoor Tsongkapa!

    Both Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche prophesied Tsongkhapa’s birth and attainments. At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, a young boy who was a previous incarnation of Tsongkhapa presented a crystal rosary to Buddha and received a conch shell in return. Buddha prophesied Manjushri would be born as a boy in Tibet, would found Ganden monastery, and would present a crown to my statue. Buddha gave the boy the future name Sumati-kirti (Blo-bzang grags-pa, Lozang-dragpa). Guru Rinpoche also prophesied a monk named Lozang-dragpa would be born near China, would be regarded as an emanation of a great bodhisattva, and would make a Buddha-statue into a Sambhogakaya representation.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tsongkhapa/huge-outdoor-tsongkapa.html
  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 09:23 PM
    Wow, this young boy could paint like an experienced painter with a style that is so unique. He is very talented since young. But where does the talent come from? How come some people have a special talent since birth but some do not? For Buddhists, we believe that the talent is actually the imprint from the previous life. It is something that the person has done so much in their previous life that when they take rebirth in another body, they still have the tendency to do the same thing if the condition is right.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/kid-painter-is-mini-monet.html
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  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 07:31 PM
    This special post “Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s Advice on Dorje Shugden’s Practice” contains His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche’s actual speech and the accompanying English translation on the benefits of Dorje Shugden’s practice and lineage. Fantastic! We all know Kyabje Zong Rinpoche is the same nature as Heruka-Chakrasamvara. To hear his voice is a tremendous blessing as he was an erudite Pandit, master artist, supreme debater, historian, Mahasiddha and highly attained yogi. He was also extremely kind, loving, caring and he dedicated his whole life to teaching the Dharma to thousands. He was a beautiful human being. He was also my spiritual father and root guru.

    I came across his beautiful speech on the World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden and I have blogged his holy speech so that many around the world can listen to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche explain the benefits of this supreme protector. There can be no doubts after this.

    Who dare say that Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was wrong, errant, without knowledge or evil? No one can say this as it is untrue. So far this blog post has garnered over 134k (one hundred thirty-four thousand views)!! It has reached a vast amount of people so they can hear first hand from an enlightened lama how beneficial Dorje Shugden is!! Many wonderful people who seek knowledge and wisdom will benefit from this and I rejoice.

    In his love for me, over 30 years ago Kyabje Zong Rinpoche personally instructed me to practice Dorje Shugden and I know he would never give me anything that would harm me or anyone else. As such, I have great confidence and I share Dorje Shugden with thousands including family, close friends, benefactors and so many others who need help because I know he will benefit others as he did me. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche was a Bodhisattva who lived his life only to benefit others. Whatever promises I have made to him, I will never abandon. I will forever bow to his holy feet.

    Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche

    Click here to see this beautiful post with many vintage photos- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=122352

    P.S. To this post I have recently added translations of these speeches into Japanese, Nepalese and Spanish.
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 12:44 PM
    Queen Genepil, the last queen of Mongolia and last wife of the last Mongol Khan. Interesting short biography of this Mongol queen. At age 33 in her 5 months pregnancy , she was executed with her father because of her involvement with the Japanese forces . Queen Genepil had in fact concealed many mystery and past secrets in the palace unknown to many. She looked pretty in the queen costumes with a beautiful head gear, just wondering if nowadays the Mongolian Queen wear this . We are considered fortunate able to see this rare costumes. Interesting history to read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/last-queen-of-mongolia
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 12:43 PM
    Interesting news …… Oklahoma Supreme Court had decide to separate religion and politics. The history of the world, we can see clearly how the involvement of government in religious matters has caused great discrimination among the communities. An example in the Tibetan Leardership , because of the ban on Dorje Shugen practice it cause hardships, suffering ,discrimination, disharmony, and many more. For the past decades , many of the Tibetans in exiles had suffered badly. Where religion is concern ,politics should not comes in. Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, and so forth without government influence and intervention. It also includes the freedom to change one’s religion or beliefs. No government should speak against another religion or any religion. Peace, harmony and happiness can only materialised with respect among and within all people. Everyone of us should be given the choice to what we want to pray.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-ten-commandments-monument.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 08:38 AM
    Dorje Shugden Gyenze to Increase Life, Merits and Wealth

    In one of our private sessions, I asked Kensur Rinpoche, “If we fully rely on Dorje Shugden, and focus on Dorje Shugden, technically can we become fully enlightened?” And Kensur Rinpoche thought about it and he said, “Yes, we definitely can become fully enlightened because Dorje Shugden is a fully enlightened being.”

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/dorje-shugden-gyenze-to-increase-life-merits-and-wealth.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 08:25 AM
    Bodhi Tree Vajra Yogini

    All of Rinpoche’s Buddha statues are beautiful and yet, what is so special about this particular Buddha Vajra Yogini? Did she perform some miracle? Well to me this beautiful Lady Vajra Yogini gave us the best miracle! Find out what and share with us your thoughts.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/bodhi-tree-vajra-yogini.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Dec 14. 2018 08:21 AM
    THIS IS ME IN HOLLYWOOD IN THE 80′S

    Rinpoche in his youth enjoying Hollywood, yet never giving up on any of his duties and practices. Read of Rinpoche’s survival after he left home to pursue his dream.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/this-is-me-in-hollywood-in-the-80s.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA) offers a comprehensive statue and tsa tsa painting service. We are able to paint both the face and body, using traditional Tibetan techniques and materials.

KSA can transform a ‘bare’ or ‘raw’ object of art into a living masterpiece through a variety of painting techniques. There are several ‘finishes’ to choose from. Be it an ‘antique’ look, a fully-painted colourful finish or a simple ‘gold dusted look’, your imagination and heart’s wishes are fulfilled through KSA’s mastery and artistry in action.

Our team have learnt the techniques of traditional statue painting from the finest artists of India, Tibet and Nepal. Through months of intense training and practice, our talented artists have mastered the art of painting both peaceful and wrathful features.
2 days ago
Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA) offers a comprehensive statue and tsa tsa painting service. We are able to paint both the face and body, using traditional Tibetan techniques and materials. KSA can transform a ‘bare’ or ‘raw’ object of art into a living masterpiece through a variety of painting techniques. There are several ‘finishes’ to choose from. Be it an ‘antique’ look, a fully-painted colourful finish or a simple ‘gold dusted look’, your imagination and heart’s wishes are fulfilled through KSA’s mastery and artistry in action. Our team have learnt the techniques of traditional statue painting from the finest artists of India, Tibet and Nepal. Through months of intense training and practice, our talented artists have mastered the art of painting both peaceful and wrathful features.
Unusual depiction of Lord Manjushri. I like it.
2 days ago
Unusual depiction of Lord Manjushri. I like it.
Stunning!!!
3 days ago
Stunning!!!
If we have eye problems, this is a good practice and it\'s simple- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=180488
3 days ago
If we have eye problems, this is a good practice and it's simple- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=180488
Many times in the morning my Oser girl will go sunbathe. She really enjoys it. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
Many times in the morning my Oser girl will go sunbathe. She really enjoys it. Tsem Rinpoche
My Oser girl is very photogenic. Tsem Rinpoche
3 days ago
My Oser girl is very photogenic. Tsem Rinpoche
Vintage stunning thangka of Lord Tsongkapa with many other enlightened beings.
3 days ago
Vintage stunning thangka of Lord Tsongkapa with many other enlightened beings.
Beautiful antique thangka of Sakya Pandita
3 days ago
Beautiful antique thangka of Sakya Pandita
The last Lama-Ruler of Mongolia was 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu. He did not have a good ending as Mongolia \'fell\'. Read about him- https://bit.ly/2UD83oa
4 days ago
The last Lama-Ruler of Mongolia was 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu. He did not have a good ending as Mongolia 'fell'. Read about him- https://bit.ly/2UD83oa
Last Queen of Mongolia-Very interesting what happened to her and tragic too- https://bit.ly/2GcfhfF
4 days ago
Last Queen of Mongolia-Very interesting what happened to her and tragic too- https://bit.ly/2GcfhfF
The famous and powerful state oracle of Mongolia- Interesting and must read- 
 https://bit.ly/2Py3QhI
4 days ago
The famous and powerful state oracle of Mongolia- Interesting and must read- https://bit.ly/2Py3QhI
1984 Los Angeles-Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination. Read more-  https://bit.ly/2C5OM7l
4 days ago
1984 Los Angeles-Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination. Read more- https://bit.ly/2C5OM7l
Nice to see Blog Chat going on
4 days ago
Nice to see Blog Chat going on
In the middle of the metropolitan city of Bangkok near the upmarket shopping district is a chapel dedicated to Tara right in the centre of town. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
In the middle of the metropolitan city of Bangkok near the upmarket shopping district is a chapel dedicated to Tara right in the centre of town. Lovely. Tsem Rinpoche
Cheeky and cute little He Wei is telling you to get a Dorje Shugden pamphlet now!!!
4 days ago
Cheeky and cute little He Wei is telling you to get a Dorje Shugden pamphlet now!!!
My little cute Oser girl doggie is always nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
My little cute Oser girl doggie is always nearby. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche\'s father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is his brother\'s daughter. Her name is Tara.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is his brother's daughter. Her name is Tara.
Our Gyenze Chapel in Kechara Forest Retreat is visited by people from all over Malaysia now. Many have had their wishes fulfilled.
4 days ago
Our Gyenze Chapel in Kechara Forest Retreat is visited by people from all over Malaysia now. Many have had their wishes fulfilled.
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
4 days ago
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
In Gaden Monastery.

Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
4 days ago
In Gaden Monastery. Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery
My father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and myself. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit me. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
My father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and myself. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit me. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan. Tsem Rinpoche
The most precious Buddha Shakyamuni of Tibet. He is called Jowo Rinpoche and He is in the central Cathedral of Lhasa, Tibet. All the crowns, earrings, necklaces and jewels were constructed and offered by Je Tsongkapa onto this Buddha 600 years ago. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
The most precious Buddha Shakyamuni of Tibet. He is called Jowo Rinpoche and He is in the central Cathedral of Lhasa, Tibet. All the crowns, earrings, necklaces and jewels were constructed and offered by Je Tsongkapa onto this Buddha 600 years ago. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on picture to enlarge, I have something to share.
5 days ago
Click on picture to enlarge, I have something to share.
This is how you can practice Tantric Buddhas without initiation or commitment- https://bit.ly/2PstN28
5 days ago
This is how you can practice Tantric Buddhas without initiation or commitment- https://bit.ly/2PstN28
Many great lamas are pictured here together. I have met many of them and they are very learned and holy. Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
Many great lamas are pictured here together. I have met many of them and they are very learned and holy. Tsem Rinpoche
Do share this picture message with friends.
6 days ago
Do share this picture message with friends.
Faster, Faster!!! Can\'t you go any faster! We are late for our puja! Read on- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179695
6 days ago
Faster, Faster!!! Can't you go any faster! We are late for our puja! Read on- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179695
Has Pastor David achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree?
6 days ago
Has Pastor David achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree?
Very nice. Pastor Seng Piow\'s beautiful Kalarupa statue has finally arrived.
6 days ago
Very nice. Pastor Seng Piow's beautiful Kalarupa statue has finally arrived.
Animals are made to suffer so much. We should never add to their sufferings. We should never beat, abuse, use, kill or eat them. We should be loving with them or just leave them to live their lives.~Tsem Rinpoche
6 days ago
Animals are made to suffer so much. We should never add to their sufferings. We should never beat, abuse, use, kill or eat them. We should be loving with them or just leave them to live their lives.~Tsem Rinpoche
It will break your heart, but you need to see this- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179733



Thank you, Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
It will break your heart, but you need to see this- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179733 Thank you, Tsem Rinpoche
Find out what happened to this baby- https://bit.ly/2RdxM4o
1 week ago
Find out what happened to this baby- https://bit.ly/2RdxM4o
A very sad true story

Please sign to help end animal experimentation:
https://www.change.org/p/tell-neutrogena-to-stop-all-animal-testing
1 week ago
A very sad true story Please sign to help end animal experimentation: https://www.change.org/p/tell-neutrogena-to-stop-all-animal-testing
My grandaunt Nirgidma whom I have never met but learning more about her now. She lived and died in France. Tsem Rinpoche
1 week ago
My grandaunt Nirgidma whom I have never met but learning more about her now. She lived and died in France. Tsem Rinpoche
Did you know we can grow vegetables under water contrary to need the bright sun, earth and on the surface? Very interesting- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179595
1 week ago
Did you know we can grow vegetables under water contrary to need the bright sun, earth and on the surface? Very interesting- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179595
A very rare Buddha hardly seen. He is said to help us overcome laziness. Understand more- https://bit.ly/2EaEtk3
1 week ago
A very rare Buddha hardly seen. He is said to help us overcome laziness. Understand more- https://bit.ly/2EaEtk3
 
 
When you are sleeping, do you get disturbed by supernatural entities or re-occurring dreams that are frightening? Do you sometimes feel a presence in the room with you when sleeping? I have something here that might help you as I have been asked many times about these occurrences. - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179116
2 weeks ago
When you are sleeping, do you get disturbed by supernatural entities or re-occurring dreams that are frightening? Do you sometimes feel a presence in the room with you when sleeping? I have something here that might help you as I have been asked many times about these occurrences. - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179116
Foretelling the future in the Tibetan tradition- https://bit.ly/2AKzSl8
2 weeks ago
Foretelling the future in the Tibetan tradition- https://bit.ly/2AKzSl8
Malaysian Brickfields Chief Monk Sri Dhammaratana Fosters Harmony with Tibetan Buddhism- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=178837
2 weeks ago
Malaysian Brickfields Chief Monk Sri Dhammaratana Fosters Harmony with Tibetan Buddhism- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=178837
马来西亚十五碑锡兰佛寺达摩拉达纳长老与藏传佛教界建交- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179077
2 weeks ago
马来西亚十五碑锡兰佛寺达摩拉达纳长老与藏传佛教界建交- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=179077
For high resolution download of this beautiful artwork of Dorje Shugden, please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
2 weeks ago
For high resolution download of this beautiful artwork of Dorje Shugden, please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
A stupa built dedicated to Dorje Shugden in Tibet.
2 weeks ago
A stupa built dedicated to Dorje Shugden in Tibet.
Repetitive Bad Dreams Disturbing Your Sleep?This might help you- https://bit.ly/2TTp8tw
2 weeks ago
Repetitive Bad Dreams Disturbing Your Sleep?This might help you- https://bit.ly/2TTp8tw
My sacred and ancient Bodhgaya Vajra Yogini immersed in red lights in her casing. So fortunate to even hear her name in this Kaliyuga times. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
My sacred and ancient Bodhgaya Vajra Yogini immersed in red lights in her casing. So fortunate to even hear her name in this Kaliyuga times. Tsem Rinpoche
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    yesterday
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    3 days ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 days ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    4 days ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    6 days ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    2 weeks ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    3 weeks ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    3 weeks ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    3 weeks ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia   |  黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
    3 weeks ago
    Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia | 黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    1 month ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    2 months ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
    2 months ago
    Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
  • In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
    2 months ago
    In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
  • Neat little video
    2 months ago
    Neat little video
  • It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    It is nice to see sangha release animals into the wild. Gen Kunchok Palden and Chodrak contributed to releasing of frogs back into the wild. This is wonderful. Compassion is the mainstay of all spirituality. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    This is a special ‘carpet’ for dogs that you hide their snacks and they have to go digging for it. It is challenging and fun where they use their nose, paws and all to dig and find the snacks in between. This dog play carpet is ordered online. You can see little Zopa baby who is a Kechara resident doggie looking for the snacks in this cute video. She is kept busy and entertained! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
    3 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat in Bentong, Malaysia’s dog Pema is super adorable and cute. Everyone loves her. She is wearing a Manjushri blessing pendant.
  • Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
    3 months ago
    Spontaneous trance in Tibet by powerful healing Protector Dorje Shugden of a monk who usually takes trance.
  • 喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    3 months ago
    喀切玛波向詹杜固仁波切献供养
    喀切玛波护法降神,向詹杜固仁波切献供曼扎及身语意之供养,同时也加持马来西亚克切拉禅修林道场。喀切玛波护法乃古时候的紫玛护法,他是藏地首座佛教寺院桑耶寺的护法神
  • Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
    3 months ago
    Huge Chenresig statue being built. Very beautiful.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    1 years ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Wow! JB Kechara office is receiving 5 desktop computers from our sponsors. Now the urban poor children can learn to use computers. Now the passionate volunteers can burn the mid night oil in the office planning, coordinating and review events. Thanks to our sponsors, Style Vision, Meadow IT, KS IT, Grex Multimedia, New Century, Ascentouch, Softcom, E cube, Via Global, Edmond, Nelly, Jasmine, Bill Kee, DML Beauty, Goh and Team for providing us with such an awesome convenience and cool facilities. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
13 hours ago
Wow! JB Kechara office is receiving 5 desktop computers from our sponsors. Now the urban poor children can learn to use computers. Now the passionate volunteers can burn the mid night oil in the office planning, coordinating and review events. Thanks to our sponsors, Style Vision, Meadow IT, KS IT, Grex Multimedia, New Century, Ascentouch, Softcom, E cube, Via Global, Edmond, Nelly, Jasmine, Bill Kee, DML Beauty, Goh and Team for providing us with such an awesome convenience and cool facilities. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
1984 Los Angeles- Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination.
4 days ago
1984 Los Angeles- Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination.
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
Very nice class going on in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Learning Dharma is the key to overcoming our mind that is unsettled. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche holding the young incarnation of Zong Rinpoche in Gaden Shartse Monastery.
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
4 days ago
Left to right: 103rd Gaden Tripa Lobsang Tenzin, Gaden Shartse Kensur Jampa Yeshe Rinpoche and Tsem Rinpoche.
In Gaden Monastery. Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
4 days ago
In Gaden Monastery. Left to right: Tenzin Trinley Rinpoche, Kari Kentrul Rinpoche, Zong Rinpoche, Tsem Rinpoche, Gyalkhangtse Rinpoche, Kating Rinpoche and Genpa Rinpoche. Extreme right is the senior Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Monastery, Choyang Dulzin Kuten.
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the Abbots of Gaden Jangtse Monastery and Gaden Shartse Monastery escorting a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is in the main prayer hall of Gaden Monastery.
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Gaden Monastery.
Tsem Rinpoche's father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and Rinpoche. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit Rinpoche. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's father Mr. Lobsang Gyatso and Rinpoche. He came to Gaden Monastery to visit Rinpoche. While he was alive he lived in Taiwan.
Tsem Rinpoche's father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is Rinpoche's brother's daughter. Her name is Tara.
4 days ago
Tsem Rinpoche's father with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The little girl is Rinpoche's brother's daughter. Her name is Tara.
5 days ago
Thanks to Yong Soo Chin for sponsoring today's lunch ingredients and also donation to Kechara Food Bank in memorial of her father-in-law Mr Ng Seng Kee. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
Thanks to Yong Soo Chin for sponsoring today's lunch ingredients and also donation to Kechara Food Bank in memorial of her father-in-law Mr Ng Seng Kee. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Efforts to feed the poor are nothing new. Kechara Soup Kitchen practices of collecting food waste and turning it into meals for the hungry. The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 days ago
Efforts to feed the poor are nothing new. Kechara Soup Kitchen practices of collecting food waste and turning it into meals for the hungry. The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! #Kechara #foodbank #hungerknowsnobarriers - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Lovely DIY candle made to offer to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Lovely DIY candle made to offer to Buddha. Lin Mun KSDS
Isn’t it great to see family engaging in pilgrimage & dharma work together. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Isn’t it great to see family engaging in pilgrimage & dharma work together. Lin Mun KSDS
Pastor Gim Lee gave an interesting introduction to Green Tara during the recentl pilgrimage cum camp event. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Pastor Gim Lee gave an interesting introduction to Green Tara during the recentl pilgrimage cum camp event. Lin Mun KSDS
So glad to see family doing light offering to Buddha together. Great bonding. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
So glad to see family doing light offering to Buddha together. Great bonding. Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS pilgrimage cum camp 2018 - Prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
KSDS pilgrimage cum camp 2018 - Prostration to Lama Tsongkhapa. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Melinda & teacher Asyley guided the youngest children to take refuge & do prostration to Dzambala. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Teacher Melinda & teacher Asyley guided the youngest children to take refuge & do prostration to Dzambala. Lin Mun KSDS
Zoey is a happy girl & enjoy coming to dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Zoey is a happy girl & enjoy coming to dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Video recording for KSDS Graduation 2018. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Video recording for KSDS Graduation 2018. Lin Mun KSDS
1 week ago
Rain or shine we will be there to distribute surplus food to the needy families living around Jlns Sungai. Thank you to all volunteers for turning up on a wet afternoon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Rain or shine we will be there to distribute surplus food to the needy families living around Jlns Sungai. Thank you to all volunteers for turning up on a wet afternoon. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
A visit was paid to this family from Petaling Jaya. Our client’s wife has admitted to hospital due to stroke. Therefore, client has to stop working temporarily because he needs to take care of the young daughter who has learning disabilities. Let’s send best wishes to the wife for a speedy recovery! ❤️ #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
A visit was paid to this family from Petaling Jaya. Our client’s wife has admitted to hospital due to stroke. Therefore, client has to stop working temporarily because he needs to take care of the young daughter who has learning disabilities. Let’s send best wishes to the wife for a speedy recovery! ❤️ #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The Promise
  These books will change your life
  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
Lamps For Life
  Robe Offerings
  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
  Dana Offerings
  Soup Kitchen Project
 
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