Gitanjali Poem No. 10 - Summary and Analysis

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Here is thy footstool and there rest thy feet where live the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

When I try to bow to thee, my obeisance  cannot reach down to the depth where thy feet rest among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

Pride can never approach to where thou walkest in the clothes of the humble among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

My heart can never find its way to where thou keepest company with the companionless among the poorest, the lowliest, and the lost.

Here is thy footstool and there rest thy feet where live the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.
Gitanjali Poem no. 10


      In this poem Tagore sings the praise of the lord who dwells among the poorest and humblest and bewails at his inability to be as humble as God is in his humility in living amongst the lowliest. Tagore sings of the greatness of God that he rests his foot on footstool placed in the dwelling of the poorest, lowliest and the last. He says, in bowing and praying to God, in paying his obeisance, he cannot bow as low as where God's feet rest in the depths of the poorest, humblest and people whom society has abandoned.

      Those who are proud can never hope to reach where God walks, for He walks amongst the poorest, lowliest and lost in the most humble cloths of these men. The poet then cries that at such a place where God walks he cannot hope that his heart would ever reach. His heart would never reach this place where God keeps company with the companionless.

Critical Analysis

      In this lyric Tagore makes an earnest plea that since God Himself dwells among the humblest and the poor, man should try to live closer to them. One can reach God's feet only by serving the poorest, lowliest and those who are lost and abandoned by society. True piety means that one should mingle with the low and poor humanity. Those who are rich and proud can never truly serve God, their heart cannot truly reach God because they cannot reach that plane among the poor and the lowly when God rest. God is a companion to the friendless and loves even the poorest and the lowliest. To love God means to love them.

"Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!"

      The lines are enough criticising, humanistic and have a reforming approach. The tone is criticizing for those who adopt the hollow trivial rituals and traditions of Hinduism. The worship of idols in temples, the chanting and telling of beads in the corner of a closed room is useless. This isolation is an escapism. The evasiveness from the world, society and mankind is futile because this is not a way to the God. God himself is bound with the world and mankind then how His creation can aloof itself from itself. The poet laughs and mocks at these stereotype devotees and ask them to open their eyes and behold that there is no God in front of them. The poet makes a disparagement of life of renunciation and praises the life of action. Here the tone is humanistic, or Marxist. As Gita says:

"Who sitteth, controlling the organs of action but dwelling in his mind on the objects on the senses that bewildered man is called a hypocrite."


      Obeisance: prayer, worship, deep salutation. Lost: those who ever separated from society, who have no meaning in life.

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