Rabindranath Thakur (Tagore)

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

(Rabindranath Thakur, from Gitanjali, Trans. from Bengali by Thakur himself)


If there is no-one responding to your call – then go on all alone
If no-one speaks (to you), don’t think you are unfortunate, if no-one speaks (to you),
If everyone turns away, if everyone fears (to speak), then with an open heart without hesitation speak your mind alone
If everyone walks away, O unlucky one, everyone walks away
If no-one looks back towards the (your) unpredictable path, then with thorn pricked (of the path) bloodied feet, walk alone
If no-one heeds your call – then walk alone
If no-one shines a light (on the path), O unlucky one,
If the dark night brings thunder and storm at the door – then let the lightning ignite the light in you alone to shine on the path
If no-one heeds your call – then walk alone

(Rabindranath Thakur, Gandhi’s favourite song, Prose translation from Bengali by Thakur himself)