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Nov 20, 2016

THOU hast made me endless: Tagore

"THOU hast made me endless" by Tagore  
By
Bijay Kant Dubey


Theme of Thou Hast Made Me Endless

THOU hast made me endless, such is 
thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou 
emptiest again and again, and fillest it 
ever with fresh life. 

This little flute of a reed thou hast 
carried over hills and dales, and hast 
breathed through it melodies eternally 
new. 

At the immortal touch of thy hands 
my little heart loses its limits in joy 
and gives birth to utterance ineffable. 

Thy infinite gifts come to me only 
on these very small hands of mine. 
Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and 
still there is room to fill. 

Thou has made me endless is the first poem in the series of poems entitled Gitanjali which fetched Rabindranth Tagore the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year 1913, but written in 1910 sets the lyric continuing unto the last with its rhyme and rhythm, song note and word-flow, lyricism and musical tuning.  

A small poem it is in the form of submission and prayer, thanksgiving and acknowledgement of the same. God’s gift of life has been acknowledged with thanks and oblation. Though utterly new for the West and the Occident, it is one drawn from Indian culture and philosophy, thought and tradition, spirituality and ethics, religion and metaphysics. Adi Shankararacharya’s thoughts can be traced as the kernels of the idea. The devotion with which Tagore recalls God is the one of the Vaishnava tradition and the Bhakti marga shown in the Gita. As interpreted in the Gita, discarding the older clothes and leaves as wear we and trees the newer ones so is the case with this body of ours before entering into new.

The poet puts it that this life is His, the Giver and Taker of it all and nothing happens it without the wish of Whose for which we should be thankful to Him. It is You who has made it all, who has given life. As the origin of the universe and life is beyond expiation and we can never know the truths so are the mysteries of life. God has made us endless and such is His pleasure. Again and again we shall take lives and meet lour ends. There is no way out. Everything is but into the hands of the Lord-god the Maker of all. The vessel He fills and empties as well from time to time. 

The little flute of reed He carries over the hills and the dales to sing, to tune it beautifully, submerging it all with the mellifluous music of love and song and the melody of life played.

At the touch of his hands, the joy of his knows no bounds. What can be more elated than to hold the hand of the Divine? The gifts of God come to in their own from time to time, age to age. God keeps giving and man at the receiving end of the bounties.

When Tagore talks of intimate Divine and His fluting, the picture of Krishna dances before the eyes though he prays to a secular God.

Though he uses and applies in Indian imagery and thought-content to base on, the poem is a remarkable specimen of devotion. The high note of lyricism dots and punctuates the poem. As a lyric, he is sentimental and emotional to express the things.

As usually untitled, form one in the series of lyrics embedded, Thou hast made me endless is a superb lyric exquisitely beautiful for its thought and imagery. The poem is one flower embedded in the garland of flowers offered to the Deity.

The song-like content of the lyric is admirable and is rich in imagery. It is devotion which adds beauty to the poem; it is thought and content which strengthen it. The language which the poet uses in is but the Biblical language and he has after reading the Bible. Had it not been, Tagore would not have excelled. Household philosophies of the folks have also given the beauty of thought and idea to the poem. The influences of Kabir, Jayadeva, Shankaracharya and other others hang heavy upon him. 

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