The Religion of Man


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Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was born in Calcutta, India, the son of a wealthy Bengali family. He was privately tutored until the age of 17, when he first went abroad to study law in England. However, he soon returned to his native country and, for a time, managed his father's estates and devoted himself to the Indian nationalist movement. He gradually abandoned this work although he always retained a strong interest in politics. Sir Rabindranath wrote approximately 50 dramas, 100 books of verse (many of which he set to music), 40 volumes of novels and shorter fiction and books of essays and philosophy. In 1913 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first Asian to receive this honor. Two years later he was knighted. He traveled widely and admired Western practicality but deprecated what he considered its spiritual emptiness and waste. In line with these views, he had earlier established a school, which later became the internationally-attended Visva-Bharati University, dedicated to Sino-Indian studies, fine arts, crafts and rural reconstruction.

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