London: Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore`s work especially his emphasis on harmony and preservation of nature and environment is very relevant today, Prince Charles has said as he unveiled a bust of the poet in London to mark the Nobel laureate`s 150th birth anniversary.
"One-hundred-and-fifty-years on from his birth, I find Tagore`s work very relevant to our time, particularly, if I may say so, his understanding of the importance of a principle which is dear to me - harmony," the heir to the British Throne has said after unveiling the bust at Gordon Square.
Quoting Tagore, Prince Charles said: "The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence."
Charles, quoting another poem of Tagore, said, "He warns us - no, it is not yours to open buds into blossoms, shake the bud, strike it; it is beyond your power to make it blossom.
"Your touch soils it, you tear its petals to pieces and strew them in the dust, and yet, blinded by our conceit, it would seem that we are still unable to see the consequences of our foolishness, even though it is becoming more and more obvious - in the way the climate is being disrupted, or the way resources are being dangerously depleted, or that the skies, rivers and seas are all being polluted."
Noting that Tagore has always been regarded as exceptional in the breadth and depth of his work - as a philosopher and the writer of songs, as poet and playwrite, Prince Charles said, "I am in no doubt that we actually cannot deny great teachers like Tagore any longer.
And yet we do! I sometimes wonder how long it will be before we, quite literally, come to our senses and see the damage and the hurt, and hear Earth`s cry."
Prince Charles observed that "in all that he did, in his songs and poetry, in his work of education and rural renewal, Tagore urged us to accept that we must bring to our work not just science and rational thought, but also the life of the spirit; that without this we are incomplete and vulnerable to a dangerous hubris."
"Perhaps, more than anything else, it is the message from Tagore that we need to hear, attend to and, with great urgency, act upon," he said.
The bust was commissioned by the Tagore Centre UK, an organisation dedicated to promoting the important work of Tagore in Britain and abroad.