Leave This Chanting. Rabindranath Tagore Poem. Appreciation

PSRemeshChandra By PSRemeshChandra, 22nd Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Poetry, Drama & Criticism

God was the most beautiful creation of mankind, created in his exact image- man’s own image- playful, lovely and comely, so that he can easily identify himself with God. So why not love him ardently and affectionately, and respect him beyond everything? After creating mankind, God did not wish to leave them alone but decided to stay with them, which was a great sacrifice on His part. Leave This Chanting is one of the most read poems of Rabindranath Tagore, with the most universal message.

A house in Bengal where veena, thabala and mridangam resounded day and night.

Rabindranath Tagore was an educationalist, poet and social reformer of India. He wrote hundreds of poems, plays, novels and short stories in English which enjoy universal appeal and esteem. He was a noted painter also. In a house where Thabala, Veena and Mridangam resounded day and night, it was no wonder music and rhythm found their way into his heart. Only the immovable things in Tagore’s House did not sing, dance or write. Santhinikethan was a model educational institution founded by him where all fine arts faculties enjoyed privileges. Educated in England and in India, he himself was an educational visionary with exceptional dreams. His hundreds of poems and songs written in the Bengali language brought renaissance to Bengal. He himself tuned his songs and rarely translated these songs to English himself, a very unfortunate affair.

A poem which exposed the pseudo-zeal of worshippers everywhere.

Politics also seemed to fit him well. Along with Mahathma Gandhi, Nehru and Sarojini Naidu- all writers- he served as one of the leading lights and sources of inspiration for the Independence Movement of India. His poem ‘Where The Mind Is Without Fear’ was a world famous creation in which he mixed fact and fancy, reality and dream and politics and poetry. Without telling it directly and plainly, he skillfully portrayed in this poem the wretched position into which the British Administration pushed India into, a country with a longer and richer heritage than England. Another famous poem, ‘Govinda’s Disciple’, was a satire on the greed for material wealth manifest even in supposedly spiritual people. This poem Leave This Chanting exposed the pseudo-zeal of worshippers everywhere and gained an important place in world literature for this reason. Just as 'Where The Mind Is Without Fear' contained his vision of a Free India, and Govinda’s Disciple the need for Renouncement of Material Wealth for Enlightenment, 'Leave This Chanting' contains his vision of Uncontaminated Worship.

External Links to Tagore’s works by the author.

1. Leave This Chanting: Poem
Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/03/010-leave-this-chanting-rabindranath.html March 2012
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHnjSnH1qa8 June 2015

2. Where The Mind Is Without Fear: Poem
Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2014/10/066-where-mind-is-without-fear.html October 2014
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwQWwZsiDI4 May 2015

3. Govinda’s Disciple: Poem
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxgGvw5SIqk June 2015

4. The Home Coming: Short Story
Article http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2014/09/060-home-coming-rabindranath-tagore.html September 2014

5. Awakening: Poem Lyrics
http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2010/09/awakening-poem-from-bengal-recast-by.html September 2010

First Published: 22nd Mar 2011
Last Edited.....: 29 March 2017

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Picture Credits:

01. A Tagore Portrait 1886 By Unknown.
02. Tagore In 1925 By Unknown.
03. Close Family of Rabindranath Tagore By Unknown.
04. Born Brought Up Passed Away Here By Mark Kobayashi-Hillary.
05. Tagore Reading To Others 1925 By Unknown.
06. Tagore With Gandhi And Kasturba 1940 By Unknown.
07. Tagore And Jawaharlal Nehru 1940 By Unknown.
08. Tagore Portrait 1909 By Anonymous.
09. Tagore With Einstein In Berlin 1930 By Unknown.
10. Tagore At His Painting Desk 1932 By Unknown.
11. Leave This Chanting Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.
12. Where The Mind Is Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.
13. Govinda's Disciple Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.
14. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives

Meet the author: About the author and accessing his other literary works.

Due to technical reasons, I am unable to post the full article with pictures here. Sorry. But substitute arrangements have been made for you read it in full with pictures in my blog Sahyadri Books Trivandrum absolutely free, with permission to download or copy. Thanking you, P. S. Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

If you cannot access all pages of P S Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:

Visit author's Sahyadri Books Trivandrum in Blogger at
http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/ and his Bloom Books Channel in You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/user/bloombooks/videos


Bloom Books Trivandrum, English Songs, Free Student Notes, Indian Poems, Indian Poets, Indian Writers In English, Leave This Chanting, P S Remesh Chandran, Poem Reviews, Poetry, Poetry Appreciations, Poets, Rabindranath Tagore, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Tagore Poems

Meet the author

author avatar PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author in English and Malayalam. Unmarried, single. Mother University educated, father British Council-trained Teacher. Lives in Trivandrum.

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
10th Apr 2011 (#)

Jungle shrines are common in almost all states of India where anyone can light a lamp at any time of the day or night. In Kerala in the Trivandrum-Scencottah route, turning right at Vencollah we will reach the Saasthaam Nada Marsh where there is one such shrine. It is situated in the middle of dense forests but close to inner-going forest road and is devoted to Saastha or Ayyappan, the son and manifestation of Lord Vishnu, himself a forest and mountain dweller headquartered in Sabarimala. Lorries will stop there on their way to take in bamboo and reed loads, to pray for their safety during the precarious hill tract climbs and descends. They will dumb many oil bottles, cloth, incense sticks and match boxes nearby under rocks to protect them from rain and flash floods, so that the materials are available to anyone handy and free any time. I myself was a frequenter of this jungle spot inhabited by aborigins and have liberally made use of these materials. After bathing in the fresh and cold stream and reposing for a while lying on the shaded rocks or foliages I would light a lamp. Once we light the lamp in this cool sequestered wilderness,
we will feel the sublimity and pleasure of God embracing us from our back.
This spot had the stone statue of a baby elephant. One day a lone real elephant, one among a herd who usually passed that way gave the baby elephant a blow with its trumpet and broke the statute's trumpet. It did not like the way the baby stone elephant's
trumpet looked.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
17th Apr 2011 (#)

I love reading into the musings of Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali.

There is always an unknown and revealing space in the inner sanctum of a poet with such a meditative composition of a divine song.

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

Tagore's family background of all in a large family being artists, litterateurs and musicians and his national background of all geniuses being optimistic about the future of mankind contributed much to the molding of his mind which thrilled at the prospect of creating music for a generation just like touching a tightened sitar string. This 'unknown and revealing space in the inner sanctum of his mind' as Rathnashikamani phrases it, he attributed to the centuries-old light of thought enveloping the heritage of India. Tagore composing his songs of the soul at the same time as Sarojini Naidu pouring out her heart through her melodious songs both in English marks an immortal phase in the history of the world's literature. Thank you Rathnashikamani by adding the beauty of your words to this simple page.

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author avatar Retired
29th Apr 2011 (#)

Ah yes, Gitanjali is one of my favorites by Tagore. You may have heard of Parameshwaraji, a famous person in Kerala. I used to visit his and share long discussions when he was admitted as a patient in Amma's hospital in Cochin (where I do seva). He read my poems and then gifted me with Gitanjali. My favorite quote from tagore (may not be exact--from memory)

"I slept and dreamt that life is joy.
I awoke and saw that it was service;
I acted, and behold! service was joy."

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

I do know about the person if it is Mr. P.Parameshwaran whom sister Rama Devi Nina refers to here. He is a person dedicated to the spiritual upliftment of India and keeps alive the interest of Indian society in religious awareness. Him presenting a gifted poetess like you with a copy of Tagore's Gitanjali is indeed a symbolic tribute to your singing soul. The line you quoted from Gitanjali, 'I slept and dreamt that life is joy.....I awoke and saw that it was service.....' reminds me of the famous lines of another poet of his same caliber: Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Song Of The Ancient Mariner has exactly similar lines. Perhaps Tagore might have been inspired by the exhilarating musical content of Coleridge's lines or two great souls in two different countries might have thought the same way. Do you still find time to do voluntary service in Amrithanandamayi Hospital at Ernakulam?

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
19th May 2011 (#)

Tagore did not translate many of his beautiful Bengali Songs into English. His Udbodhan was translated into English by Mr. Rabindranath Chowdhury which has now been recast in the true poetic form, making it an exquisite piece of poetry that can be sung tunefully. The link to this recast poem is http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.com/2010/09/awakening-poem-from-bengal-recast-by.html

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author avatar Divya
11th Jun 2012 (#)

dear Remesh sir
i liked the way you have given the beautiful explanation of God and his ways while analyzing this poem. the way you related Tagore's understanding of life with apt photos is great. congrats and thanks sir.

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

When we sing, the playful god stands behind us. We will actually wonder who is singing actually, we or him. When we write about a person, imagine that person whom we write about, standing close behind us, watching what we write. It is like a little school girl writing an essay for her class, describing the 'role model of her life' which is actually her mother, and the mother secretly reading it later. Surely she will want to kiss and embrace her daughter. When we write about bygone person, remember this always - they read it all.

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

Do not think about god as a revengeful person. He is as playful as us all. When we see tiny little children, we see him; when we hold them, we hold him. He has a child's mind. The radiance we see in the face and body of all little children is his feature. Their character is his character. He is our early childhood, and it is out duty not to fail him ever. Thank you dear Divya for enjoying the article. From the flow of your words it is only evident that you intended to write more things. So please do write.

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author avatar sakshi narang
26th Jun 2012 (#)

A very nice interpretation....one of my favorite poems

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author avatar PSRemeshChandra
26th Jun 2012 (#)

Do you like to sing it dear Sakshi Narang? Leave This Chanting is one of the most musical poems of Tagore, with admirable lyrical perfection. He himself was a music composer who not only wrote but composed music also for hundreds of songs in the Bengali language which collectively is termed as Rabindra Sangeet. His English songs like Where The Mind Is Without Fear, Govinda's Disciple and Leave This Chanting also are equally exotical musical creations. As all talented poets of the past did, like Kahlil Gibran and many others, he locked his lines to the reader, by arranging the lines in continuous prose flow, without marking or suggesting where the line should end and begin. He knew a persevering reader and singer will struggle for days and one day, at one blessed moment, will find out the real music hidden in it, which would the greatest thrill for the diligent and persevering reader. So, Tagore's poems including this Leave This Chanting provide double delight: we delight in its meaning and sense, and later we delight in its music.

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author avatar Dharini
19th Jul 2018 (#)

Leave this chanting

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