Gitanjali Poem no. 67 || Summary and Analysis

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Thou art the sky and thou art the nest as well.

O thou beautiful, there in the nest it is thy love that encloses the soul with colours and sounds and odours.

There comes the morning with the golden basket in her right hand bearing the wreath of beauty, silently to crown the earth.

And there comes the evening over the lonely meadows deserted by herds, through trackless paths, carrying cool draughts of peace in her golden pitcher from the western ocean of rest.

But there, where spreads the infinite sky for the soul to take her flight in, reigns the stainless white radiance. There is no day nor night, nor form nor colour, and never, never a word.

Thou art the sky and thou art the nest as well.  O thou beautiful, there in the nest it is thy love that encloses the soul with colours and sounds and odours.
Gitanjali Poem no. 67

Summary

      God manifest Himself through His creation, including inanimate Nature. The poet has depicted His two different aspects beautiful like flower and terrible like the sword. In this lyric this Infinite power has another aspect also that is the finite one. The sky here symbolizes the infinite and the nest is representing the finite aspect.

      The man searches for the spiritual power. His quest of God is endless. He cries for Union with divine Soul but he isn't aware of the fact that he, himself is a part of creation. He is a part of that Infinite power. He can never be far away from this creation. The world of illusion, maya makes him forget the ultimate truth and he runs behind Him, craves to meet him, cries to merge with His soul. The mystic concept of Tagore is different from the mysticism of other mystics. They think the oneness with Divine is achieved only through the renunciation of this maya, the illusionary world which is irrational but Tagore is full of the joy of living. He doesn't reject sense experience but makes it a medium of spiritual experience. He says that the earth, an abode of man, the nest or human soul has your presence. The first dwelling of man, the earth nurtures the human soul like the birds nurtures its younger ones. The beautiful shelter of God encloses the soul with colours, sounds and pleasant smell. The beautiful morning which is compared with a beautiful girl with a golden basket embellished with sweet flowers comes to the earth to garland it. Similarly the another creation of God, the evening over the lonely pastures, deserted by the flocks comes through unknown paths, carrying cool draughts of peace in her golden pitcher from the western ocean where it has been resting. The poet respects and loves His creation. The human birth is an elevated one. He is least concerned with asceticism but believes in humanism.

      He says that if the God resides in the heaven, the zenith, His blue sky which is infinite, boundless, radiant and stainless. He is there on the earth and the poet feels his presence here. Like a bird the human soul is maturing in the nest of God under His kind shelter and love and it will fly high in the sky later on when it is fully mature, developed and full of divine wisdom. Where, there, is no day, no night, no form, no colour and never a word.

Critical Analysis

      According to Tagore the oneness with this Immanent will is achieved through this world of Nature that is not a illusionary one. He believes earth is a finite aspect of God. He has manifested Himself in different aspects. This is a tender, loving, kind and charitable aspect of Him to upbringing His young ones, the man. When they are matured with divine wisdom after being entertained by His creation He calls them up in the blue zenith to merge with his another aspect, infinite one. If He is a symbol of Death, He is a symbol of life first.

"But there, where spreads the infinite sky for the soul to take her flight in, reigns the stainless white radiance This is no day nor night nor form nor colour, and never, never a word."

      The poem in question is based on the view point of ancient Indian philosophy that God and His creation are inseparable. The external world may be illusory, but this illusion or maya is a manifestation of God. That is why Tagore says in the very first line of his poem: "Thou art the sky and thou art the nest as well."

      In these lines the poet suggests that God is both infinite and finite. The infinite aspect of God is symbolised by the sky and the finite one by the nest. God is the nest in which the man's soul develops. As a finite being God objectifies Himself in the countless objects of nature. The morning and evening with their respective charms and beauties, are so many different manifestations of God. In the visible world the morning comes bearing the wreath of beauty to crown the earth. Evening comess from over the meadows carrying cool draughts of air. But in the inner World of spirit there is radiance which is different firom morning or evening. It is neither day nor night, neither form nor colour. It is pure resplendence. There is unblemished white radiance which illuminates that region, and an infinite sky that spreads itself before the soul which can take unrestrained flights there. The poem goes from the finite too infinite.

Annotations

      Encloses: surrounds. Odours: sweet smells. Herds: flocks of sheep. Trackless: aimless; pathless Draughts: breaths. Infinite: boundless. Stainless: pure, markless. Radiance: brightness, glow.

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