THE LIGHT REFLECTED FROM KEBIR ON TAGORE?S BREATH: MEVLANA / RUM

Abstract

Author(s): Nuray ├ľZEN├ç

The purpose of existence or gaining existence for a thinking man is undoubtedly undergo a process of maturation and get nearer to the point of being a perfect human being. Our purpose in this study is to make mention of concurrence in discourse between Rabindranath Tagore of Bengal, who dedicated his life from early ages on to a goal, namely ‘Sarvamevavisbanti’, which could be defined as reaching a state of being a perfect human being by interpenetrating/understanding the real meaning of everything, and Rumi, who with his light illuminated all corners of the whole world and reveal the findings that we found indicating that the source of inspiration that constitutes the foundation of this concurrence of ideas is tasavvuf, or Islamic mysticism. Just as it is impossible to think that being a poet of a high level of awareness, Tagore was unaware of the light of Rumi, who illuminated the world from nearby lands about seven centuries before him, so it would be unfair to deny his artistic uniqueness blended with his own culture. Tagore, who seems to have been inspired by English poetry, notably Shelly, who voiced his desire for freedom in his lyrical poems, Browning, who took an interest in mysticism, and Wordsworth, who was a nature-lover, explained his personal views in his book entitled ‘Religion of the Poet’ but he made allusions to the Indian Sufi Kebir, who deeply influenced him, only in passing while he made no mention of Rumi. Yet, in 1915 Tagore had translated the poems of Sufi Kebir into English under the title of "One Hundred Poems of Kabir”. Tagore was al so introduced to Rumi and Sufism/mysticism, which probably entered through a different channel via Indian Sufi Kabir because “Sufism”, which is reflected in his poems and novels, can be clearly seen in this article. In any case influence of Rumi and Kebir’s understanding of unity of existence, or vahdet-i vucûd, can be clearly seen in Tagore’s works. In this study, only a portion of the examples proving that ideas and discourses of Tagore and Rumi over laphas been presented. Seeing reflections of the belief system of a monotheistic religion in the words of a Hindu poet could be found strange by many. This should be attributed to the effects of Upanishad-based‘ Brahmo Samac (1828), in other words Brahmaism, which arose in the early 19th century and blends monotheistic belief systems and values of Hinduism rather than being a reformist belief system. The single ultimate monist Upanishad-based truth on the other hand helped Tagore easily internalize the concept of “unity” as proposed by Sufis like Kebir and Rum

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