Tagore lived the life of a free spirit. Explain.

The essay ‘Voice of Humanity’ is originally a lecture delivered by Tagore at Milan, during his first visit to Italy under Mussolini. It was an overwhelming experience for him. He loved every moment of his stay, bathing himself in the literary, architectural and scientific heritage of Italy and Europe in general.

Tagore was a free spirit who did not follow any distinctive road-map. He was rather spontaneous and impulsive in his act. Even during the lecture, Tagore tells his listeners in the beginning that he was uncertain of the topic on which he should be addressing them for he was not a speaker, but a poet.

In Tagore’s words, “… What would be my subject this evening I said I did not know; for you must understand that I am not a speaker. I am nothing better than a poet. When I speak, I speak with my surroundings and not to my surroundings.”

Tagore continues and speaks about the reason why he would be required to deliver the speech in English language, explaining further that the listeners as well as Tagore are unaware of each other’s language, which limits them to use English as the medium of conversation, for English has become a world’s language.

Eventually, Tagore also succeeds in deciding upon the topic on which he would address the listeners. This again shows how spontaneous Tagore was, who would speak as the thoughts came to him, rather than following a particular brief.

Tagore’s voyage of pilgrimage to Europe in the year 1921 also happened out of his great desire to visit Europe, which he addresses as ‘the shrine of humanity’. It occurred to him that times then were dominated by the European minds who were at the peak in the fields of literature, art, culture, technology, etc.

Tagore also mentions of how he was blown away by the beauty of Europe during his first visit in the year 1878. The steamers had stopped at Brindisi and Tagore was introduced to the mystic land which appeared like a maiden dreaming of beauty and peace under the moonlight. Tagore’s impulsive affection for a young damsel and then early acceptance of the reality of impossibility of any relationship between the two, also suggests how open Tagore was who flew with the wind.

Even when it came to studies, Tagore despised the culture of class-room teaching. Being free-spirited, he preferred being secluded with only Nature as his companion. Herein, he dreamt, wrote verses, stories and plays while living in solitude on the banks of Ganga. So engrossed he was in his own world that he continued to create spontaneous works of literature, being ignorant of the ongoing movements in the great world.

Free-spirited that Tagore was, he had a change of heart. An inner voice guided him to move out of the secluded world and seek life around people. He then went onto teach children in the lap of Mother Nature with the objective to bring up the children in the spirit of wisdom and love. He did so for he loved children and wanted to serve for their benefit.

Again, after paying heed to his inner voice, he visited Europe for the second time. With time and age, Tagore had learnt about man’s history, read literature, etc. He eventually realized that only man was a threat to another man. No other being was capable of harming man so severely as a man did. Tagore realized that once reveling in the knowledge of creativity, Europe had fallen to the captivity of technology and science. Science was not wrong only till the time its benefits were shared with entire humanity for its betterment. Since, Europe’s minds intended to claim authority over science and its developments, they brought immense danger to humanity.

Hence, it can be said that, Tagore being a free-spirited soul turned out to be the great literary genius that he was. He was not bounded by any rule but explored life and its beauty along with the acknowledgment of the guidance of the inner voice which spoke for the well being of entire humanity.

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