Rabindranath Tagore sobriquet Gurudev was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music.Rabindranath Tagore was an icon of Indian culture.Rabindranath Tagore became the first Asian to become Nobel laureate when he won Nobel Prize for his collection of poems, Gitanjali, in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric personality, flowing hair, and other-worldly dress earned him a prophet-like reputation in the West.Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of modern India.. He was popularly called as Gurudev and his songs were popularly known as Rabindrasangeet.
Two songs from his Rabindrasangit canon are now the national anthems of India and Bangladesh: the “Jana Gana Mana” and the “Amar Shonar Bangla”.
Rabindranath was born on 7th May, 1861 Brahmin family in Bengal. He was the ninth son of Maharihi Devendranath Tagore was a rich man and an aristocrat and his mother was Sarada Devi.His grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore was a rich landlord and social reformer. Rabindra Nath Tagore had his initial education in Oriental Seminary School. But he did not like the conventional education and started studying at home under several teachers.After undergoing his upanayan (coming-of-age) rite at the age of eleven, Tagore and his father left Calcutta in 1873 to tour India for several months, visiting his father's Santiniketan estate and Amritsar before reaching the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie. There, Tagore read biographies, studied history, astronomy, modern science, and Sanskrit, and examined the classical poetry of Kalidasa. Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. He read biographies of Benjamin Franklin among other figures; they discussed Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and fall of the Roman Empire; and they examined the poetry of Kalidasa.
In 1874, Tagore's poem Abhilaash (Desire) was published anonymously in a magazine called Tattobodhini. Tagore's mother Sarada Devi expired in 1875. Rabindranath's first book of poems, Kabi Kahini (tale of a poet) was published in 1878.In the same year for further studies, he went to England, where he became a student of Prof. Henry Morley whose lectures influenced Rabindranath to take interest in English literature. He developed interest in English culture, traditions and literature. While studying in England, he wrote a poem “Broken Heart” (Bhagna Hriday). In 1880 he returned to Bengal degree-less, resolving to reconcile European novelty with Brahmo traditions, taking the best from each. In 1883 he married Mrinalini DeviRaichaudhuri, with whom he had two sons and three daughters.
In 1884, Tagore wrote a collection of poems Kori-o-Kamal (Sharp and Flats). He also wrote dramas - Raja-o-Rani (King and Queen) and Visarjan (Sacrifice). In 1890, Rabindranath Tagore moved to Shilaidaha (now in Bangladesh) to look after the family estate. Between 1893 and 1900 Tagore wrote seven volumes of poetry, which included Sonar Tari (The Golden Boat) and Khanika. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore became the editor of the magazine Bangadarshan. His Established Bolpur Bramhacharyaashram at Shantiniketan, a school based on the pattern of old Indian Ashrama. In 1902, his wife Mrinalini and two of his children died. Tagore composed Smaran (In Memoriam), a collection of poems, dedicated to his wife. His father died in 1905.He received monthly payments as part of his inheritance and income from the Maharaja of Tripura, sales of his family's jewelry, his seaside bungalow in Puri, and a derisory 2,000 rupees in book royalties. He gained Bengali and foreign readers alike; he published Naivedya (1901) and Kheya (1906) and translated poems into free verse. In November 1913, Tagore learned he had won that year's Nobel Prize in Literature: the Swedish Academy appreciated the idealistic—and for Westerners—accessible nature of a small body of his translated material focused on the 1912 Gitanjali: Song Offerings. In 1915, the British Crown granted Tagore a knighthood. He renounced it after the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He was a supporter of Gandhiji but he stayed out of politics. He was opposed to nationalism and militarism as a matter of principle, and instead promoted spiritual values and the creation of a new world culture founded in multi-culturalism, diversity and tolerance. Unable to gain ideological support to his views, he retired into relative solitude. Between the years 1916 and 1934 he traveled widely.
1n 1921, Rabindranath Tagore established Viswabharati University. He gave all his money from Nobel Prize and royalty money from his books to this University. Tagore was not only a creative genius; he was quite knowledgeable of Western culture, especially Western poetry and science too. Tagore had a good grasp of modern - post-Newtonian - physics, and was well able to hold his own in a debate with Einstein in 1930 on the newly emerging principles of quantum mechanics and chaos. His meetings and tape recorded conversations with his contemporaries such Albert Einstein and H.G. Wells, epitomize his brilliance.
In 1937 he was stricken by a lengthy illness, becoming comatose at times, and never fully recovered. However he did manage to keep writing during these last five years of his life, during which he suffered much; many have said he produced his finest work then. Rabindranath Tagore died on 7 August 1941 at the family estate Jorasanko, where he had been born.In 1940 Oxford University arranged a special ceremony in Santiniketan and awarded Rabindranath Tagore with Doctorate of Literature.