I probably should have worded my comment more carefully, Indra, as in that I may well “better understand,” rather than “I know.” I cannot know. I can think- or have an opinion. but I cannot know your mind.
You hail from a very well-educated family, and India has right to be proud of their Laureate. I would imagine that you have at least explored some of Tagore’s work if for no other reason than he is a native son of India, and brought his country a lot of honor with his prize. As a student of literature- any literature- you are a lover of words. Tagore’s rate, for me, among the best. I have a piece from him that I have carried in my Daytimer for probably three decades now.
How each of us experiences God, a Higher Power, the Universe, is unique. I’m no scholar, not by a long shot. But I am a student of religious history, and I am curious about religions, and very interested in how faith touches us and moves us. For some it twists, others it uplifts. It can imbue great power but with that comes immense resonsibility, which far too many misuse for base purposes. For my part, Tagore spoke to the deeply humble role of man to his Higher. Far too many of us of lesser stuff use what we believe is given us as agency by our Higher to manipulate-but that’s another topic.
My absolute favorite of Tagore’s, which is what I carry in my Daytimer is this piece,
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain
but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield
but to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved
but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant that I may not be a coward,
feeling Your mercy in my success alone;
But let me find the grasp of Your hand in my failure.
I have a number of his books but they are in storage right now for my move. Meanwhile, this acts as my guide.
Finding courage is a rather large theme in my life, and Tagore speaks directly to that for me. As he does for all of us.
I would argue that most Americans have no clue who he is. Which is a pity. I also wonder how many other potential Tagores we lose each day, due to illness, poverty, ignorance, caste systems all over the world. But at least we have this one.