'Rabindranath Tagore

A Timeline



(N.B. The biographical information is primarily based upon the most comprehensive chronicles of Rabindranath's eighty years 1861-1941, compiled by Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyaya and Kshitis Roy published in A Centenary Volume: Rabindranath Tagore 1861-1941, New Delhi, Sahitya Akademi, pp. 451-503.) 




Born on May 7, 1861

Born at the Jorasanko House of the Tagore family. He was the 14th child of Devendranath Tagore, the father, and Sarada Devi, the mother.


Rabindranath started learning basic alphabets along with his brothers.


Was admitted to the Oriental Seminary and subsequently to Normal School.


Rabindranath tried his first attempt to write verse and was profoundly impressed by the Bengali translation of Bernardin de saint-Pierr's Paul et Virginie.


Started learning drawing and music along with other subjects and practiced wrestling and gymnastics


Was admitted to the Bengal Academy, an Anglo-Indian School and began to play truant.


His Upanayan (Brahminical in­itiation into Gayatri prayers) is performed and for the first time visited Santiniketan; while being there, he wrote a drama Prithviraj Parajaya (manuscript lost) and took an extensive tour of India.


He prepared a verse-rendering of Macbeth and his poem entitled Abhilasha (Desire) was published anonymously, and was admitted to St. Xavier's School, Calcutta


Recited a patriotic poem at a Hindu fair; lost his mother; took part in literary functions, composed a poem and a song and contributed serially his long narrative poem Banaphul (The Wild Flower); and left St. Xavier's School.


Joined the short-lived Secret Society, supposed to have been modelled after Mazzini's Carbonari and his first literary criticism of a book of Bengali poems Bhuban­mohini Pratibha appeared in Jnanankur.


Wrote and recited a satirical poem on Delhi Durbar arranged by Lord Lytton on January 1, 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria, the Empress of India; appeared for the first time on stage in the principal role in a comedy written by Jyotirindranath, privately per­formed at his house; wrote his first long story Bhikharini (Beggar Maid), and his first unfinished novel, Karuna, and a long poem Kabikahini.


Went to Ahmedabad to study English; composed some lyrics, and contributed a series of articles on English life and letters and also on the romantic love of poets such as Dante, Petrarch and Goethe, to Bharati; embarked on the first foreign tour, September 20, 1878 to February 1880 and went to School at Brighton


Came to London and was admitted to University College; frequently visited The British Museum and contributed a series of letters with laudatory impressions of English society and people published in the Bharati and began to write his first verse-drama Bhagnahriday (The Broken Heart) and wrote one long poem Bhagnatari (The Wrecked Boat).


Returned to India without completing any formal course of study; participated in a privately performed lyrical drama, Manmoyi written by Jyotirindranat


Composed his first set of devotional songs; his first musical play Valmiki - Pratibha with him in a little role, was. staged at Jorasanko; two of his books Rudrachanda and Bhagnahriday were published; wrote several articles and delivered his first public lecture on Music and Feeling with vocal demonstration; again sailed for England on April 20, 1881, but returned home from Madras and embarked on several literary undertakings; started writing his first extent novel, Bauthakuranir Hat (The Young Queen's Market), and also began to write his first poems which bear a real individualistic note; these were later published in Sandhya Sangit (Evening Songs).


Along with Jyotirindranath established Sarasvat Samaj, the precursor of the Academy of Bengali Letters, and had an experience which may be described at the poet's first glimpse of cosmic unity; his first musical play Kalmrigaya (The Fatal Hunt) was performed at Jorasankq; the poem Nirjharer Svapnabhanga (The Awakening of the Fountain) which is the key-poem of his book, Prabhat Sangit, was written about this time.


Wrote his verse drama Prakritir Pratisodh (Sanyasi); started writing the poems: Chhabi 0 Gan (Sketches and Songs); contributed several articles in Bharati and married Mrinalini Devi (born 1873).


Composed the poems: Kadi 0 Koma/ (Sharps and Flats); translated some items by Shelley, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Victor Hugo and others and also began his prose-drama, Nalini originally planned as a co-operative work with other family members; experienced first great sorrow when his sister-in-­law, Kadambari Devi died to whom he dedicated three of his books including an anthology called Saisab Sangit (Songs of Childhood) Was appointed Secretary of the Adi Brahmo Samaj.


Took charge of the Bengali magazine Balak, contributed to it several poems, articles, humorous sketches and essays etc; edited in collaboration with Srish Chandra Majumdar an anthology of Vaish­nava lyrics; his first collection of songs was published and so also a first collection of his series of essays.


Was entangled in controversies over social and socio-religious subjects; composed and sang the inaugural song for the second session of the Indian National Congress; first daughter was born, and received from his father a handsome cheque, his first literary price, for composing devotional songs.


Started composing the Manasi group of poems, having a distinct note of originality and vigour both in theme and technique; under a pseudo name published a series of imaginary letters between an old fashioned grandfather and his modernised grandson; began writing his musical play Mayar Khela (Play of Illusion).


Published Samalochana, the first collection of essays on literary criticism; continued to write the Manasi poems; tries to render into English one of. his own poems; Devendranath, his father, executed the Trust Deed of the Santiniketan Trust on March 8, 1888


Wrote his first five-act drama, Raja 0 Rani (The King and the Queen); appeared in the role of the King in a play and wrote his famous play Visarjan (Sacrifice) which was staged in 1890.


Severely attacked the anti-Indian Policy of Lord Cross; took charge of the management of the Tagore Estate; tried to read Goethe's Faust in the original, and sailed for England; also visited Italy and France and maintained a travel diary published in 1891; returned home on November 4, 1890.


Wrote first six short stories, especially Post Master, and the first of Chitrangada; also with his nephew started a Bengali magazine Sadhana contributing numerous short stories, poems and articles etc; attended the festival connected with the consecration of the prayer hall at Santiniketan on December 22.


Spent the summer at Santiniketan; frequently toured North Bengal; wrote his first criticism on English education system; off and on practised the art of drawing; started to write poems of Sonar Tari (The Golden Barge) which punctuates a land-mark in his poetry; and was associated with Sangit Samaj.


Visited Orissa; commenced writing the diary; Panchabhuter (Diary of the Five Elements), a series of brilliant dialogues on life, literature and art; visited Bihar, Simla hills and went to Santiniketan; read out two papers and wrote his dramatic poem Viday Abhisap (Curse of Farewell).


Wrote poems, read papers and collected folk-rhymes and nursery songs to draw public attention towards this neglected area; was elected Vice-President of Academy of Bengali Letters and became the editor of the magazine Sadhana; also wrote the story: Megh 0 Raudra (The Cloud and the Sun).


Wrote remarkable short stories beginning with Kshudita Pashan (Hungry Stones); read a paper on the future of Bengali literature and attended the anniversary at Santini­ketan; Sadhana, the magazine ceased its publication.


Wrote the poems, Nadi (The River) and Jivandevata (The Muse of Life) and wrote in collaboration with Hemchandra Bhattacharya, Sans­krita Siksha (Sanskrit Primer) in two parts; the first collected edition of his poetical works, Kavyagran­thavali was published; and composed and sang a song for the 12th session of the Indian National Congress; also composed Malini, a lyrical drama.


Wrote his comedy Baikunther Khata (The Manuscript of Baikuntha) and performed the role of Kedar in its stage presentation; and wrote the dramatic poems, Sati.


Became the editor of Bharati and contributed during the course of the year a number of poems, short stories and essays; strongly opposed the reactionary policies of British Government; and Balendranath drew up plans for setting up a School at Santiniketan for imparting religious education, the autobiography of his father was published.


Family moved temporarily to Santi­niketan; assisted Sister Nivedita (Margaret Noble) to organise relief for plague victims in Calcutta, and was involved in family financial matters; delivered his first sermon in the Mandir at Santiniketan at its anniversary.


Published Katha (Lays and Ballads) and Kahini (Story-poems) and a first collection of his short stories, Galpaguchchha was also brought out; performed his play Visarjan, himself appearing in the role of Raghupati.


Started editing Bangadarsan and contributed serially his first psychological novel Chokher Bali (English translation Binodini) and composed the poems of Naivedya (Offerings); deplored a blind imitation of the West; contributed to Bharati, a humorous play Chirakumar Sabha (The Bachelors' Club): established with his father's consent and blessings a School at Santiniketan on December 22, following the model of ancient forest schools (Tapovana) of India and he himself taught sharing students’ life.


Faced severe financial handicaps for running the school at Santiniketan for which he sold personal property including the part of his personal library and his wife's ornaments; wife died on November 23 and composed Smaran (In Memoriam), a series of moving poems in memory of his wife; wrote an article Bharatvarsher ltihas, a thought provoking article giving a new interpretation to the history of India; while reviewing Lowes Dickinson's Letters of John Chinaman, wrote about the unity of life and thought of Asia.


Mostly remained in Santiniketan to attend to the school's, business, continuously interrupting literary and editorial activities; composed the poems of Sisu (some of these were published later in English translation: The Crescent Moon); and regularly contributed installments of his novel Naukadubi (The 'Wreck) to Bangadarsan.


Wrote important essays culminating with Swadeshi Samaj (Indigenous Society) in which the need of rural constructions based on mutual aid was emphasised; along with J .C. Bose and Sister Nivedita visited Bodh Gaya, the seat of Buddha's enlightenment; sold for a small sum to Hitabadi publishing House, the right of limited edition of his works in order to raise funds for the school in Santiniketan; wrote for the book Bangabhashar Lekhar, his first autobiographical article interpreting his life as a poet, which raised a considerable controversy.


His father Devendranath Tagore died at the age of 88; translated from the original Pali into Bengali verse, the first four chapters of the Buddhist scripture Dhammapada; started editing a new Bengali Magazine Bhandar; appealed to the rulers of Indian states to patronise indigenous arts and crafts and took keen interest in the founding of Indian Arts Society, Calcutta; advocated a policy of constructive non-cooperation against the British and immediately after a public speech raised Rs. 5000/- on the spot for a National Fund: took active part in formulating proposals for the establishment of National Council of Education.


Was invited to preside over the first session of Bangiya Sahitya Sam­milani (Bengali Literary Con­ference) which could not be held due to magisterial interference; wrote a series of articles on problems of education and spoke at a literary conference in Calcutta, which was held simultaneously with the Congress Exhibition (December).


Withdrew from active politics due to growing differences between Hindus and Muslims and agitational excesses of Swadeshi movement; wrote an article Byadhi 0 Pratikar (The Disease and its Cure); these drew severe criticism from his close friends; for the first time the seasonal festivals-a feature of the community life-were organised at Santiniketan; published an edition of his prose works, the proceeds of which were given to Santiniketan School; and relinquished the editorship of Bangadarsan; began one of the richest and most significant phases of his creative life; his major novel Gora started appearing in Pravasi serially; presided over the adjourned first session of Bangiya Sahitya Sam­milani; due to the death of his youngest son went into a solitary retirement, leaving the Santiniketan School in the charge of a colleague.


Presided over the Annual Bengal Provincial Conference; exhorted Bengali youths to dedicate themselves for constructive work and initiated organised village uplift work in one of the regions of Tagore estates; read a paper Path 0 Patheya (The Way and the Means) des­cribing revolutionary activities as a reaction against the repressive policies of the Government; Parjanya Utsav (Rains Festival) to be followed by performance of seasonal plays and Sarodotsav (Autumn Festival) were organised at Santiniketan; wrote his drama Prayaschitta (Atonement); on December 2, started delivering a series of sermons at Santiniketan Temple day after day for about 6 months, later published in a series of booklets entitled Santiniketan (Some portion translated into English in Thought Relics); presided over the opening of a new premises of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad, Calcutta.


Delivered a sermon entitled. Navajuger Utsav (Festival of the New Age) on the occasion of the anniversary of Brahmo Samaj), upholding the ideal of uni­versal religion and synthesis of cultures; his essays on Bengali philology and semantics were collected and published in a book Sabdatatva; continued monthly contribution from his novel Gora to the Pravasi magazine; the publication of Chayanika, first anthology of his selected poems with illustrations by Nandalal Bose appeared; completed his play Prayaschitta; composed a number of songs later incorporated in Gitanjali; read a paper Tapoban (The Forest School) emphasising that India should achieve unity in the midst of diversity; The Modern Review published the first English translation of his short stories (Samasyapuran or The Riddle Solved); he also translated into Bengali some of his favorite Vedic hymns and addressed the congre­gation on the ideal of Asrama schools of ancient India.


Delivered a sermon on Visvabodh (Realisation of the Infinite in Sadhna) at the anniversary of Brahmo Samaj; The Modern Review published the English translation of his short story. Hungry Stones (Kshudita Pashan); attended and addressed a literary conference at Bhagalpur; the students of the Ashrama at San­tiniketan celebrated his birthday and performed his play Prayas­chitta; the magazine Sahitya pub­lished a series of scurrilous articles severely attacking his literary writings; appeared in the role of the mendicant hero in the repeat performance of Prayaschitta; wrote his well known allegorical play Raja (The King of the Dark Chamber) and for the first time Christmas day was observed in Santiniketan.


Met William Rothenstein, the English portrait painter and Count Harmann Keyserling, the German Philosopher, in Jorasanko; deli­vered the sermon entitled Karma­yog at the anniversary of Brahmo Samaj; Ananda Coomara­swamy who visited him at Santiniketan, translated into English some of his poems with the help of the poet and one of the teachers; The Modern Review published first of these translations (Janmakatha from Sisu); Santi­niketan celebrated his 50th birth­day staging his play Raja in which he played the role of Thakurda; accepted the editorship of Tattva­bodhini Patrika: wrote the play Achalyatan (The Citadel of Im­mobility); faced acute financial problems; Pravasi serialised his reminiscences under the Title Jivansmriti, played the role of Sanyasi at the performance of Sarodotsav at Santiniketan; wrote the play Dakghar (The Post Office) and contributed several short stories to Bharati and Pravasi and compo­sed his famous song Jana-gana­mana-adhinayaka, sung at the 26th session of the Indian National Con­gress, Calcutta, which became the National song after India's independence


191 Bengal's intelligentsia felicitated him on his jubilee; described by The Modern Review as 'an unparalleled ovation the first time that such an honour has been done to a literary man in India; read a paper: Atma­parichay (Introducing Myself) in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj; Santi­niketan was described, as 'alto­gether unsuitable for the education of the sons of Government servants by the Government of East Bengal and Assam; Myron H. Phelps, an American lawyer visited Santi­niketan and wrote a glowing ac­count of the human values in­culcated through the type of educa­tion obtained at Santiniketan; delivered a lecture, its English translation: My Interpretation on Indian History, by Jadunath Sarkar appeared in The Modern Review; his friends urged him to visit England and passage was booked; however, the trip was cancelled as he fell ill; started translating some of his lyrics into English; while departing for England wrote a message Yatrar Purvapatra (On the Eve of My departure) describing that the object of his visit was to acquaint the West with his educa­tion work at Santiniketan, while on board; translated some of his poems into English; while in London met Rothenstein and gave him the notebook containing English trans­lation who sent its typed copies to William Butler Yeats, Stopford Brooke and Andrew Bradley - all of them deeply impressed; visited Cambridge where he met Bertrand Russell; Rothenstein arranged reading of Tagore's poems largely attended and admired by several literary luminaries; one of his short stories Dalia, under the title, The Maharani of Arakan was dramatis­ed by George Calderon and the play was performed at the Royal Albert Hall; met Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and others; his plays Raja and Dak Ghar were translated into English; sailed to U.S.A., October 28, and went to Urbana (Illinois) and delivered a series of discourses on metaphysical topics at the Unity Club (later published in the book Sadhana, Realisation of Life).

The India Society of London published a limited edition of Gitan­jali or Song Offerings with an in­troduction by Yeats; it was hailed by the English Literary public as the greatest literary event of the day; the journal Poetry (Chicago) published six poems from Gitanjali; C. F. An­drews returned to India and wrote about Tagore in Civil and Military Gazette of Lahore.


Reached Chicago and lectured at the University on the Ideals of Ancient Civilization of India and on The Problem of Evil at the Unitarian Hall of Chicago; attended the Con­gress of religious Liberals and spoke on Race Conflict at Rochester; visited Boston and delivered a course of lectures at the Emerson Hall of Harvard Univer­sity; visited New York; The Mac­millan & Co, London, published a popular edition of Gitanjali follow­ed by The Gardner, The Crescent Moon and Chitra; reached London on April 14; his play The Post Office was performed at the Irish Theatre; delivered a series of lec­tures at Caxton Hall; returned to Santiniketan in November; Univer­sity of Calcutta resolved to confer on him the Honorary Degree of D. Litt. on November 13, news reached Santiniketan about the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to the Poet; University of Calcutta awarded him D. Litt. Degree on December 26.


At the special reception in Calcutta, received Nobel Prize Diploma and Medal on behalf of the Swedish Academy; dedicated his book of poems Utsarga to C.F. Andrews; accorded an impressive ceremonial welcome to Nandalal Bose who for the first time visited Santiniketan; the Literary monthly, Sabujpatra (Green Leaves) started its publica­tion on May 8, the poet's birth date and the same day Achalayatan (The Citadel of Immobility) was staged with the poet in the role of a Guru; regularly contributed essays, stories and poems to Sabujaptra; his poems took on a new sense of dark foreboding character both in form and content; his literary work- were translated in principal European languages and some also into Arabic; composed the poems Chhabi and Shahjahan while at Allahabad; his premonition about a global disaster came true with a declaration of war in Europe; delivered an enlightened sermon Ma Ma Rimsi (Thou shalt not hate) at Santiniketan; composed 108, songs for Gitali, visited Bodh Gaya and welcomed a group of students and teachers of Phoenix Settlement, (started by Mahatma Gandhi in Natal South Africa) known for their austere living and hard manual labour; started writing a cycle of four stories, later published under the title Chaturanga (Eng. tr. Broken Ties) and addressed the congregation at Santiniketan.


Delivered inaugural address at the Bengal Social Service League on Karmayajna (The Worship by Labour): this talk presaged the-theme of his play Phalguni; Mahatma Gandhi visited Santiniketan to meet the members of the Phoenix party; by the time Tagore reached Santiniketan, Mahatma Gandhi had to go to Poona, however, on March 6, the two met at Santiniketan; started writing Phalguni (The Cycle of Spring); wrote songs and poems and one of his major novels Ghare­ Bahire (The Home and The World); the play Phalguni was staged at San­tiniketan with the poet as a blind Baul; composed several poems of the Balaka series while at Kashmir, contributed a sonnet on the English poet in Bengali to the Shakes­peare Tercentenary Commemora­tion Volume at the request of the Shakespeare Society, England; delivered a lecture on Sikshar Bahan (Medium of Education) emphasis­ing the adoption of mother tongue along with English as a medium of instruction; the Indian Press, Allahabad published his collected works in Bengali in ten volumes.


Phalguni was staged at Jorasanko House, the poet appearing in the dual role of the young Kabisekhar and the old blind Baul; organised a service camp against Cholera epidemic; advised village workers for systematic tea planting and cautioned against the growing estrangement between the English and Indians and wrote an article Chatra-Sasan (Student Discipline). Sailed for U .S.A. on a lecture tour accompanied by Mukul Dey, the painter, along with others, stopping at Rangoon, Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kobe; delivered his first lecture in Japan at the Imperial University, Tokyo; his two lectures The Nation and The Spirit of Japan in which he condemned Japan's imperialist policy towards China, roused a considerable resentment; did not accept the invitation to visit Canada as a protest against Canada's discriminating immi­gration laws; in the U .S.A. he visited Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Iowa, Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and Boston etc.; delivered numerous lectures to the extent that he terminated the contract to lecture any further, being fully exhausted; his lecture on Nationalism delivered at Detroit was bitterly criticised.


Reached Calcutta via Honolulu and Japan; Vichitra School of Art and Craft at the J orasanko house was fully organised under the guidance of Abanindranath and Gaganendra­nath Tagore; as an adjunct to it, a literary and cultural organisation Vichitra was set up by his son Rathindranath in which the poet took keen interest; encouraged attempts to popularise spoken Bengali as a vehicle of literary expression and himself wrote stories in colloquial Bengali; Sadharan Brahmo Samaj felicitated him; read his famous political paper Kartar Ichchay Karma (As the Master Wills) in Calcutta to be followed by the singing of one of his national songs; supported the candidature of Anne Besant for the Presidentship of the Indian National Congress session in Calcutta; his play Dak Ghar (The Post Office) was staged at the Vichitra Hall, the poet himself appearing as Thakurda; returned to Santiniketan and received Sir Michael Sadler and other members of Calcutta University Commission; attended the Calcutta Congress Session on the opening day; received great ovation and read the poem India's Prayer.


Acknowledged Hindi as the only possible national language; started writing a series of story-poems, later published as Palataka (The Flitting One); contributed his paper on Samavya (Co-operation); during the autumn he conceived the idea of Inter Cultural Centre at Santi­niketan and became acquainted with South Indian Music parti­cularly Veena during his trip to South India; formulated his idea about creating an institution which could be a true centre for the different cultures of the East; the formal foundation stone of Visva­ Bharati was laid.


Supported Patel's Inter-Caste Marriage Bill in an open letter; lectured on The Message of the Forest at Bangalore and received a purse from students of Mysore for Visva-Bharati; visited and lectured at various cities in South India; started a new monthly Santiniketan Patra after returning from South and was busy writing prose sketches of Lipika; cautioned Mahatma Gandhi against the use of ‘passive resistance’ as a political weapon without first preparing the minds of the masses; in protest of Jalian­wallah Bagh renounced his Knight­hood and at the request of Romain Rolland he signed La declaration pout I' Independence de I' esprit on June 26; the nucleus of Visva­ Bharati was formed on July 3 when a new department (Vidya Bhavan) was opened; Mahatma Gandhi invited him to attend the Gujarati Literary Conference at Ahmedabad. Nandalal Bose joined Santiniketan and in collaboration with Asit Kumar Haldar and Surendranath Kar started a department of fine arts under the name of Kala Bhavan; took up residence in a mud cottage in the Uttaryan area.


After spending .early part of the year at Santiniketan, took a tour of Western India; Presided over the Gujarati Literary Conference, Ahmedabad; spent the night at Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram and visited Bhavnagar, Limbdi and Nadiad; sent a message at the request of Mohammad Ali Jinnah for the anniversary of Jalianwallah Bagh.

Left for England on a lecture tour to raise funds for Visva-Bharati; discussed Sufism with Agha Khan while on ship; translated during the voyage some of his Santiniketan sermons later published as Thought Relics; although made several new friends in England, was somewhat surprised due to the aloofness of several English friends who resented his outspoken criticism of British rule and renunciation of his Knighthood; the Union of East and West Society gave reception at Caxton Hall in his honour, visited France and stayed at the guest house of Albert Kahn; met Le Brun, Sylvain Levi, Bergson and other French Scholars; was accorded reception at Musee Guimet and witnessed the performance. of Goethe's Faust; visited Rotterdam, the Hague, Leiden, Utrecht, Brussels, Antwerp and back to Paris; returned to London and reached New York on October 28, and lectured at Brooklyn on November 10, on the topic The Meeting of the East and the West; lectured at the Bryn Bawr College and the American League of Political Educationist, on the topic The Poet’s Religion; conveyed in his letter to Andrews his feeling of disappointment towards the cold reception received in England and America.


Visited Helen Keller on January 4 at her home; lectured at Harvard University; at a farewell meeting organised by the Poetry Society of New York, he expressed his feeling of frustration and went to Chicago; on his way he also stopped at Paris, met Romain Rolland and Fatrick Geddes and lectured at Musee Guimet; received the valuable library collection for Santiniketan from Sridhar Rana, an Indian settled in Paris; witnessed the performance of Wagner's Opera Valkyrie; went to Strassbourg and lectured on The Message of the Forest; from there he went to Geneva; on the occasion of his 61st birthday, a German Committee presented a magnificent collection of the classics of German literature for Visva-Bharati; visited several cities in Germany, Denmark and Sweden and addressed the Members of the Swedish Academy at Stockholm under the terms of the Nobel Awards; visited and lectured at Berlin, Munich, Darmstadt and Frankfurt; later he went to Vienna and Prague; returned to Santi­niketan in July; wrote the poems of Sisu Bholanath series and received Professor Sylvain Levi who organised the Tibetan and Chinese studies; on December 23, Visva Bharati was formally inaugurated.


Completed his drama Muktadhara (The Waterfall); disapproved the spirit of violence as contrary to the non-cooperation movement; the Rural Reconstruction Institute at Santiniketan was formally inau­gurated; Visva - Bharati Society started a local Committee at Calcutta; his play Barsha-Mangal (The Rain Festival) was performed for the first time in Calcutta and the play Sarodotsav. was performed, the poet in the role of Sanyasi, in aid of Visva-Bharati; visited Poona and again went for tour in South India and Ceylon; later delivered a series of lectures at Colombo and Galle; Moritz Winternitz joined Visva­ Bharati as visiting professor along with other visiting scholars; V. Lesny, Stella Kramrisch, Shlomit Flaum, Fernand Benoit, Mark Collins, L. Bogdanov, Arthur Geddes and Stanley Jones.


Abanindranath visited Santiniketan and was given a formal reception; the Governor of Bengal also visited Santiniketan; he dedicated his musical drama Basanta to Qazi Nazrul Islam which was staged in Calcutta; presided over the first session of Pravasi Banga Sahitya Sammelan, Benaras; visited several parts of India including Sindh; foundation stone of Ratan Kuthi was laid and the journal Visva-Bharati Quarterly started publication under his editorship; wrote the first draft of his drama Raktakaravi (Red Oleanders); showed interest in the newly formed Swaraj Party and took interest in strengthening Hindu Muslim relations; his drama Visarjan was staged in Calcutta and he appeared in the role of young Jayasinha; issued an appeal to raise funds for a hospital in memory of Pearson at Santiniketan; during his tour to Western India raised funds for the Kala-Bhavan.


Lived in a cottage perched on a tree, designed by a Japanese Craftsman, Kasahara; delivered a course of three lectures at the University of Calcutta, later incorporated in Sahityer Pathe; visited China accompanied by Kshitimohan Sen, Nandalal Bose, Elmhirst and Kalidas Nag at the invitation of Liang-Chi­Chao, trip financed by G.D. Birla; visited Rangoon, Penang, Kuala­lampur, Singapore and Hong Kong, reaching Shanghai on April 12; addressed several meetings and also the meeting of the Japanese community deprecating Japan's imperialist tendency; lectured at Nanking and Shantung and was accorded a reception by the Tagore Reception Committee in Beijing, his outspoken address on East-West Relations provoked a bitter criticism from the leftist press; he was received by Ex-Emperor at the Imperial Palace; and on the occasion of his birthday was given a Chinese name Chu-Chen- Tan (Thundering Morn of India); on May 30, he left China for Japan and visited several cities; he met Rashbehary Bose, a well-known Indian revolutionary in exile; the culmination of his far-eastern tour resulted in the organisation of an Asiatic Association at Shanghai; after returning to Calcutta took part in Tableaux performance of Arupratan; visited Peru to attend the centenary celebrations of her independence, on board the ship he started writing his diary Yatri and also the poem of Puravi, could not proceed beyond Buenos Aires due to his illness and became the guest of Madam Victoria Ocampo; conti­nued composing poems of Puravi, dedicated to his hostess whom he called Vijaya when the book was published in 1925; met the President of the Argentine Republic on the eve of his departure on December 30.


On way to India visited Geneva and Milan where he gave a discourse on music in a public meeting, presided over by the Duke of Milan; visited Venice and reached India on February 17; Mahatma Gandhi visited him to discuss the ethics of Khadi; wrote a paper on the Ideals of Indian Marriage for the book by Count Keyserling; his play Chirakumar Sabha (The Bachelors' Club) was performed in Calcutta and also dramatised two of his stories in order to make them suitable for stage; Carlo Formichi arrived at Santiniketan as a Visiting Professor with a gift of valuable Italian books from Mussolini, to be followed by Giuseppe Tucci; presided over the first Indian Philosophical Congress in Calcutta speaking on deeper truths of folk culture and folk religions of India.


Attended the All India Music Conference at Lucknow; accepted the invitation of the University of Dacca, lectured there and addressed several public meetings; visited several towns of East Bengal; representative men of different nations offered him felicitations on his 65th Birthday; Maharaja of Porbunder sent a handsome dona­tion for Kala Bhavan; Natir Puja (Worship of the Dancing Girl) was also staged at this occasion; visited Naples where he was welcomed by city officials bearing a message from Mussolini whom he met in Rome and delivered a lecture on The Meaning of Art attended by Mussolini and others; attended the performance of his play Chitra in Italian and was also received by the King Benedetto Croce, who was virtually home-interned was brought to Rome so that Tagore could meet him; visited Florence and read a paper, My School at the University; visited Turin and was invited by Romain Rolland to visit Switzerland; reached Villeneuve via Montreaux and stayed at Hotel Byrone, occupying the same room in which Victor Hugo lived a long time; Romain Rolland visited him often and showed him his state­ments appeared in the Italian press, quoted out of the context which upset him deeply; delivered a lecture; recited poem and became acquainted with the Fascist high­handedness which made him write a letter in the Manchester Guardian against Fascism; after being in Vienna he passed through Paris and reached London to give a sitting to Jacob Epstein for a head study; addressed the Oriental Academy, Oslo; lectured at the University hall and visited the studio of Gustav Vigeland; visited Stockholm; met the members of Swedish Academy; delivered a lecture on September 10 in Hamburg on Culture and Progress and in Berlin on Indian Philosophies; met Albert Einstein; visited Munich, Nurenburg, Stuttgart, Cologne, Dusseldorf and Dresdon where he lectured and recited his poems and plays; visited Prague where he saw the Czech version of his play The Post Office; visited Budapest, Sofia and Bukharest where he lectured and received great honours; in Athens, the Greek Government decorated him with the "Order of the Redeemer", visited Egypt and on board the ship started writing a series of letters to Nirmal-Kumari Mahalanobis later published as Pathe 0 Pather Prane; reached Santiniketan on December 19.


His play Natir Puja was performed in Calcutta in which he played the role of Upali, a Buddhist monk; a song and dance sequence entitled Natraja Riturangasala was produced at Santiniketan; contri­buted the poem of the same name to the inaugural issue of the magazine Vichitra; went to Bharatpur to preside over the Hindi Literary Conference; started writing his novel Tin Purush (Three Generations, later named Yogayog);went on a South-East Asian tour visiting Singapore, Malacca, Kualalampur, Ipoh, Taiping and Penang where he lectured and appealed for financial support for Visva-Bharati; he also visited Java, Bali where the Balinese dance and drama were of much interest to him; went to Djakarta where he visited a school modelled after Santiniketan; visited Borobudur, stayed at Bandung and reached Bangkok where he lectured on Education; returned to Calcutta where he recasted his play Natraja, produced under the title of Rituranga.


Delegates of the Indian Science Congress visited Visva-Bharati; tried to reconcile the differences between two sections of Bengali literary men over the issue of ultra modernism in literature; received invitation from Oxford to deliver Hibbert lectures which he could not do so due to illness; visited Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry and reached Colombo; however, as he was not well, he returned to the main land, stayed in Bangalore and started writing the novel Sesher Kavita (English translation Farewell, My Friend) and continued contributing to the Yogayog; at Santiniketan he introduced two seasonal festivals: Vriksharopana (Tree-Planting) and Halakarshana (Ploughing); was the guest of Mukul Dey in Calcutta and on September 10 onward assumed full administrative responsibility for all institutions at Santiniketan; devoted much time to the new medium of creative self-expression, painting.


A song sequence, Sundar (The Beautiful) at Jorasanko; presided over the Conference of the Inter­national Religions and also the Cooperative Conference of the Burdwan Division, delivering a forceful speech on the "Principles of Co-operation". Participated in the Triennial Conference, Canada, travelling by way of Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kobe and Tokyo; delivered a lecture on The Philosophy of Leisure at Victoria, and The Principles of Literature at Vancouver; was invited by the University of California, U.S.A.; visited Detroit, Harvard, Columbia and Washington, terminating his tour at Los Angeles as a protest against the derogatory remark by the Passport Officer.

After returning to Santiniketan recasted his play Raja 0 Rani as Tapati; delivered two lectures Sahityer Svarup (Nature of Literature) and Sahityer Vichar (Judgement of Literature) at Calcutta; Tapati staged in Calcutta in which he played the role of young king Vikram.


About this time painting is pursued very seriously devoting much time; delivered a lecture, Man the Artist at Baroda and discussed the problem of Education at the Teachers Training College; Sriniketan received three-year grant from the Government which attracted public criticism.

Visited Oxford University to deliver the Hibbert Lecture; arrived it Marseilles via Colombo and finally to Paris to exhibit his paintings. at Gallery Pigalle; after the Hibbert Lecture, he also gave a lecture at the Chapel of Manchester College; broadcast a talk in Berlin and also met Einstein; visited Dresden and Munich where he visited Deutsches Museum; completed the only one original English poem; The Child; visited Frankfurt, Marburg and Coblenz and went to Denmark; visited Geneva and went to Moscow via Warsaw; at Moscow he met leading writers and artists; visited Central Ethnographic State Museum and the Museum of Handi­crafts etc.; from Soviet Union he went to Germany and later to U .S.A.; he was greatly honoured and met Will Durant.


Was in London where he had a long talk with Bernard Shaw; reached Calcutta on January 31; wrote a review on Will Durant's book: The Case for India; his letters from Russia were collected and published as a Russiar Chithi on his 70th Birthday; citizens of Calcutta celebrated his birthday by way of a week long festival during Christ­mas; Sisutirtha, the Bengali adaptation of The Child was presented at Calcutta; The Sanskrit College, Calcutta conferred on him the title of Kavi-Sarvabhauma (The Poet Paramount); celebrated the 50th birthday anniversary of Nandalal Bose on October 25 at Santiniketan and visited Calcutta to attend the Rabindra Jayanti Celebrations, during which an exhibition of his drawings and paintings was also arranged for the first time in India; The Golden Book of Tagore was presented to him by its editor Ramananda Chatterji.


Wrote a number of poems illustrating some of them and others by the well known artists of the Bengal School. (These poems were later collected in the book Vichitrita dedicated to Nandlal Bose).

Visited Persia on an invitation from the King; went to Shiraz passed through Persepolis (Herzfeld received him and showed selected specimens of Iranian art and archaeology); reached Ispahan and Tehran receiving much honour and affection; on his way visited Baghdad and spent a day at Bedouin; accepted the Calcutta University Chair of Bengali and also the invitation to deliver the Kamala Lectures; was involved in several conciliatory political activities.


Presided over the inaugural meeting of the Rammohan Centenary and delivered a lecture on Rammohan Roy; also gave a second University lecture on Sikshar Bikiran (Diffusion of Education); his dance­ drama Sapmochan (Redemption) was staged in Calcutta; organised the work for compiling a glossary of technical terms in Bengali; received Uday Shankar at Santiniketan who gave a performance of dance before the poet; his play Taser Des (The Kingdom of Cards) and Chandalika (The Untouchable Maid) were staged with poet on the stage in Calcutta; Bombay celebrated a Tagore week with performance of his plays by students of Santi­niketan, exhibition of his paintings and those of other artists of Kala Bhavan; lectured at Bombay, Hyderabad, Secunderabad and finally delivered his address on the death anniversary of Raja Ram­mohan Roy in Calcutta.


Strongly protested against anti­ Gandhi agitation and fulfilled one of his lecture engagements as University Professor at Calcutta; started writing the poem of Bithika series and spoke at the International Relations Club; went to Ceylon and delivered lecture on Visva-Bharati at Colombo; an exhibition of his own paintings and those of other artists of Kala Bhavan was held and also performance of Sapmochan; laid the foundation stone at Horana, of an Institution modelled after Santiniketan which he called Sripalli; witnessed Kandyan dance and mask dances; while in Kandy completed his novel Char Adhayay (Four Chapters); also visited Anuradhapur; made some admini­strative changes at Santiniketan and offered the hospitality of Visva­Bharati for the establishment of Headquarters of Sino Indian Cultural Society; on October 24, an exhibition of his painting and the paintings of Santiniketan School was held at Madras and he lectured on Myself and Bengal Renaissance; visited Banaras, later returned to Calcutta where he inaugurated the session of a Pravasi Banga Sahitya Sammilani and also that of All ­Bengal Music Conference.


The Banaras Hindu University conferred on him the Degree of D. Litt. (Honoris Causa); the journal Visva-Bharati Quarterly which had ceased publication after 1931, reappeared in its new series; Sarodotsav was staged at Santi­niketan with the poet as a role of Sanyasi. Japanese poet, Yone Neguchi visited Santiniketan; his play Arupratan was staged at Calcutta with the poet in the role of Thakurda; in a letter to Mukul Dey he outlined his scheme for the establishment of National Gallery of Art.


Delivered lectures in Calcutta on Ideals of Education, Place of Music in Education and Education Naturalised; was engaged in preparing a new version of Chitrangada as a dance-drama produced in Calcutta in aid of Visva-Bharati; this play was also performed in Patna, Allahabad, Lahore and Delhi; the University of Dacca conferred on him the Degree of D.Litt.; dramatised his poem Parisodh (Retribution) and set it to music; a new dance-drama Syama was staged at Calcutta, the poet being present on stage.


Delivered the Convocation address in Bengali in Calcutta University and addressed Ramkrishna Cent­enary Parliament of Religions in Calcutta on the subject: Religion of the Spirit and Sectarianism; China Bhavan was opened in Visva ­Bharati on April 14; was busy in writing Visvaparichay at Almorah and received the title of Kavi­ Samrat (Prince of Poets) from the Bharati-tirtha of Andhra; while preparing to go to Gwalior, fell ill, was shifted to Calcutta and received intensive medical treatment; the text of his address Pralayer Srishti (Creation of Chaos) to the congregation at the Prayer Hall, Visva-Bharati, reflected his agony at Japan's aggression in China; wrote a number of poems with an under­tone of mystic realisation, later published as Praritik (Borderland).


C.F. Andrews laid the foundation of Hindi Bhavan at Visva-Bharati; Osmania University conferred a Degree of D.Litt. on him; attended the performance of his dance-drama Chandalika at Calcutta; Expressed great dismay toward Japanese and Nazi's aggression; Lord Zetland opened an exhibition of his paintings at the Calmann Gallery, London on November 18; he inau­gurated the Havell Hall at Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati on December 19.


Inaugurated Visva-Bharati Sam­milani at Calcutta as a literary and cultural centre after the example of Vichitra Club; attended the performances of his plays Syama, Chandalika and Taser Des; Vallatholi, the leading poet of Kerala visited Santiniketan and gave a performance of Kathakali; the Raja of Puri honoured him with the title of 'Paramaguru' (The Great Preceptor); laid the foundation stone of Mahajati Sadan at Calcutta; the first Volume of the Visva-Bharati edition of his comp­lete work (Rabindra Rachanavali) appeared in September; on the Christmas Day wrote a song on the martyrdom of Jesus Christ; Ju Peon, the well known Chinese artist came to Santiniketan as a Visting Professor of Fine Art.


Condemned Soviet Russia's aggression in Finland; spoke on village service on the anniversary of Sriniketan; visited Bankura to inaugurate the Bankura Exhibition; inaugurated Gitali, an organisation for propagation of music in Calcutta on June 29; on August 7, the Oxford University held a special convocation at Santiniketan to confer on him the Degree of D.Litt.; was taken seriously ill on September 26; was shifted to Calcutta and returned to Santiniketan on November 18; dictated an address entitled Arogya (Recovery) dealing with the theme of sick world slowly returning to wholeness. 


His last address on Rammohan Roy was read on January 24; his message Sabhyatar Samkat (Crisis in Civilization) was read on the occasion of his birthday' anni­versary; the Maharaja of Tripura conferred on him the title of Bharat-Bhashkar; on July 30, he dictated his last poem which contained the following lines:

"... the last reward he carries to his treasure-house...

the unwasting right to peace"


Died on August 7, 1941