Gitanjali Poem No. 73 - Summary and Analysis

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Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.

Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colours and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim.

My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple.

No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight.

Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, and all my desires ripen into fruits of 

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.
Gitanjali Poem no. 73


      Renunciation is not what the poet desires for himself. He searches joy in the manifold pleasures with which God has blessed him. Tagore feels that real freedom isn't the renunciation of this world. Real spiritual bliss and freedom lies in accepting a thousand bonds of joy. A mystic believes that the ordinary world of senses perception is not real and that behind this visible world there is more real world which can be apprehended spiritually and not through the medium of senses. They belive in asceticism and complete renunciation of world of appearances and senses. But Tagore doesn't advocate a dissociation from everyday life. On the other hand, he is full of joy of living. He doesn't reject sense experience but makes it a medium of spiritual experience. Nor is Tagore ignorant of asceticism. Tagore's mysticism is thus counterbalanced and kept in check by his intense humanism. The God has filled the life of man with His fragrance and sweet smelling wine and not to drink it, wouldn't be a way to salvation. The God has given many pleasures for the enjoyment of man. His joy has filled this world with enlightenment as if the universal flame has lightened the lamps on the earth. The illusions and desires of man have their own value, for the former will burn into joyful illuminations and the latter will ripen into the fruits of love.

Critical Analysis

      A man who is detached from the worldly things but who is at the same time active is more courageous than the man who merely renounces the world. Tagore enjoys the creation of God but also he is not flown in the sensual desires. He doesn't want to get ensnared by sensual desires. According to the Gita desires are the enemies of man. "As a flame is enveloped by smoke, as a mirror by dust, an embryo is wrapped by the amnion so this universe is enveloped by desire. Enveloped is the wisdom by this constant enemy of wise in the form of desire which is insatiable as a flame. The senses, the mind and the reason are said to be the seat of it; by these enveloping wisdom, it bewilders the dweller in the body" (III. 38, 39, 40).

      The poet therefore, lives in the sensual world, enjoys these sensuous pleasures to full, for such sensuous delight is an expression of God's own delight in His creation. But altogether wants to burn such illusions into illumination of joy and ripen all his desires into fruits of love. That is how he feels "the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight." Poet doesn't advocate a life of gross sensuality. Sensuous enjoyment must be sublimated and spiritualised.


      Deliverance: freedom. Renunciation: the act of giving up; detachment from worldly pleasures. The earthen vessel: human body. Brim: top. Altar: sacred platform in a religious place. Illusions: false impression. Illumination: bright light.

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