Rabindranath Tagore birth anniversary: Unknown facts about 'Gurudev' which will inspire you!

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 09, 2017, 09:48 AM IST
Rabindranath Tagore birth anniversary: Unknown facts about 'Gurudev' which will inspire you!

One of the most celebrated polymaths India has ever had, Rabindranath Tagore has a rich legacy of work inspiring generations across the globe. Tagore, also known as Gurudev played a pivotal role in shaping the Bengali literature, art and music.

The great thinker worked towards making this society a better place by educating the younger lot and breathed his last at the age of 80. He was born as Rabindranath Thakur on May 7, 1861, and passed away on August 7, 1941.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and paid tribute to the great visionary on his birth anniversary. He wrote:

Today, let's take a look at some of the unknown facts which we bet you didn't know:

--Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest of thirteen surviving children. He was born in the Jorasanko mansion in Calcutta to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi. Unfortunately, his mother died at an early age and father travelled widely for work. He was nicknamed as Rabi.

--Interestingly, the Tagore family was at the forefront of the Bengal renaissance. Their family published literary magazines; theatre and recitals of Bengali and Western classical music featured regularly.

--Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. It was for the beautifully written Gitanjali.

--The Bard of Bengal's compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla. Also, the Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work.

--Tagore had a unique vision for school training which he conceptualised and named the school Visva-Bharati. Tagore employed a brahmacharya system: gurus gave pupils personal guidance—emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Teaching was often done under trees. He staffed the school, contributed his Nobel Prize monies, and his duties as steward-mentor at Santiniketan kept him busy: mornings he taught classes; afternoons and evenings he wrote the students' textbooks. He fundraised widely for the school in Europe and the United States between 1919 and 1921.

--Tagore's Nobel Prize was stolen from the safety vault of the Visva-Bharati University, along with several other of his belongings on March 25, 2004. However, on December 7, 2004, the Swedish Academy decided to present two replicas of Tagore's Nobel Prize, one made of gold and the other made of bronze, to the Visva-Bharati University. It inspired the fictional film Nobel Chor.