Essentially a mystic, Rabindranath Tagore tried to bridge the diverse manifestations of the Absolute with the formless Infinite.”I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, hoping to gain the perfect pearl of the formless”, he wrote. He wedded the traditional dualism of Bhakti-cult to the non-dualism of the Upanishads through the alchemy of his mystic experiences. His mysticism came spontaneously, from the depths of his soul – as an affirmation of life with its colour and abundance, melancholy and mystery, despondency and joy. His was an all-inclusive divine romance with the intangible transcendental. Tagore was passionately in love with life; there was no room for negation. “Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in thousand bonds of delight.” Followers of Vedanta will find such mundane indulgence in sensuousness illusory, however ecstatic the feeling. But for the poet, all illusions were burnt into illumination of divine light and all desires ripened into fruits of divine love. Infinite joy in the miracle of existence is foreign to a fragmented sense of self or ego.
Expansion of self is a precondition for divine emancipation and absolute surrender to the will of the Almighty in elevated ecstasy of love:”Thou hast taken me as partner of all this wealth. In my heart is the endless play of thy delight. In my life thy will is ever taking shape.”Tagore is conscious of a divine inheritance. Mundane desires are there to be overcome – he is annoyed with them yet hugs in love.This frank acceptance of human frailty – failure to wholeheartedly accept divine love – characterises his mystic march. Tagore accepts that his worldly desires are false and empty to the core but is conscious that he is incapable of eradicating them. He cries from the depth of consciousness:’ I want thee, only thee.’
Divine love has its perfect flow in the world as well.Apart from the love for humanity,he felt the same stream of life running through the grass,stars,and oceans in rhythmic measures for ages. The spirit of grand unity is prevalent in the search for the Divine.Tagore was sceptical of chanting and other rituals. He preferred to find Him in the toiling man who worked the field. Seclusion behind closed doors is no more the refuge of the modern mystic. His God is omnipresent across Creation. An intimate relation with the cosmic beloved is the hallmark of mysticism.
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