Rabisarani Rabisarani

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Yagnabhanga

4th January, 1908
Disenchanted poet writes this article on the Surat fiasco for the Prabashi (printed in its Magh issue)
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Letter to Jagadish Chandra

8th January, 1908
In a letter he writes to Jagadish Chandra at this time, his reaction is sharper and more uninhibited -- "…there are now not two, but three sides in the land -- extremists, centrists and Musalmans -- while the fourth side stands at the window in a palace of the government-sniggering... nobody else is needed to demolish us -- neither Kitchener nor Morley -- we will be able to do it on our own. Chanting "vande mataram" we will be able to make each other bite the dust."
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Letter to Ajit Chakrabarty about rural reconstruction

14th January, 1908
Quiet, intensive rural reconstruction at both individual and collective levels free from all internecine feuds and squabbles is Rabindranath's chosen agenda and he states it repeatedly in private and public utterances, for example, in the second Dawn Society lecture. Or, in this letter he writes to Ajit Chakrabarty -- " …I wish to establish real swaraj in village after village -- precisely a miniature of what should take place all over the country -- a very difficult task yet inescapable…"
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Bhupeshchandra Roy gets the responsibility of collecting data in Shilaidaha

14th January, 1908
He has already entrusted Bhupeshchandra Roy with the responsibility of collection of relevant data and rural service in Shilaidaha.
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78th annual Brahma festival

25th January, 1908
Poet on a flying visit to Kolkata to attend the 78th annual Brahma festival. Delivers an address in the morning session. This address is later printed under the title Dukkha in the Bangadarshan (Phalgun issue).
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Songs

25th January, 1908
Fifteen of the twenty one songs sung at the festival are composed by the poet.
  • Aaj booker basan chinre phele 7th February, 1906
  • Ami keman kariya janabo 5th February, 1906
  • Antara mama vikashita kara 13th December, 1907
  • Veena bajao hey mama antarey
  • Sansare kono bhoy nahi
  • Mama anganey swami anande hasey
  • Bipadey morey raksha karo
  • Charana-dhwani shuni taba natha
  • Vipula taranga re
  • Aaji mama jibaney namichhe
  • Prachanda-garjaney asila eki durdina
  • Dukher beshe esechha boley 23rd July, 1905
  • Ami bahu basanaay pranpaney chai
  • Jara kachhe achhey tara
  • Amala Kamala sahajey jaler koley
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Bangiya Pradeshik Sanmelan

February, 1908
(Bengal's Provincial Conference) held in Pabna with more than usual flourish on a big scale from 11th to 13th February.
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More than 5000 delegates attend the conference

February, 1908
More than 5000 delegates including a fair number of women attend.
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Rabindranath accepted as president

11th February, 1908
Rabindranath acceptable to both the moderates and the extremists as president as he has offended neither.
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Surendranath Bandopadhyay proposes the poet's name

11th February, 1908
Surendranath Bandopadhyay proposes the poet's name, Aurobindo Ghosh seconds the proposal. Thus the poet presides and delivers the presidential address in Bengali -- a notable departure from current practice.
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Rural reconstruction comes in poet's address

11th February, 1908
In his address the poet returns with renewed intensity to his familiar themes of rural reconstruction at both the macro and micro levels, imperative necessity of mass participation and the no less imperative necessity of Hindu-Muslim fraternity.
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Sammelan ends with promise of follow-up action

13th February, 1908
Sammelan ends amidst unprecedented enthusiasm and promise of follow-up action. Rift in Swadeshi ranks apparently averted, at least for the time being. Poet gives a lectures at Jatiya Shiksha Parishad.
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A grand send off

13th February, 1908
The leaders and the president given a grand send-off.
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Poet invites Kshitimohan Sen to come and join in developing Santiniketan school

13th February, 1908
Kshitimohan Sen, noted scholar and expert on Vedanta and medieval Bhakti cults and literature and wedded to liberal values. Currently education secretary in the native state of Champa. He's a genuine find brought to the poet's notice by Kalimohan Ghosh -- himself a remarkable personality. The poet writes to Kshitimohan twice (on 13th and 24th February) and invites him to come and join him in developing the Santiniketan School. It is a powerful appeal and Kshitimohan accepts it with the assurance of a monthly remuneration of Rs. 100 and a yearly increment of Rs. 10 from Tagore, though he won't be able to come over till July, 1908. Rabindranath writes another letter at 2nd March to Kshitimohan Sen welcoming him to Santiniketan School.
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Poet impressed by the apparent success of the conference

17th February, 1908
Even the poet himself is impressed by the apparent success of the conference, hopes it will usher in a new phase of meaningful activities (letter to Nagendranath dated 17th February.)
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Letter to son-in-law Nagendranath about his interest in establishing a technical department in Santiniketan School

17th February, 1908
The poet is increasingly keen to set up a technical department in Santiniketan School. The establishment of Bengal Technical Institute in Kolkata in 1906 heightens this keenness. The Buddhist monk Anagarik Dharmapal, Maharaja of Tripura and Jagadish Chandra (now abroad) evince willingness to help. Poet explains this in a Letter to his son-in-law Nagendranath. But the project is deferred most probably due to lack of suitable teachers.
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Prajapatir Nirbandha

26th February, 1908
8th volume of collected prose works published.
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Aghor Prakash

1908
Rabindranath reads Aghor Prakash -- the autobiography of Prakashchandra and Aghorkamini Roy (parent of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy). Profoundly moved.
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Letter to Priyambada Devi

8th March, 1908
Writes to poet Priyambada Devi , asks her to read the book.
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Letter to Ajit Chakrabarty about Kalimohan Ghosh

24th March, 1908
Kalimohan Ghosh, who is a former revolutionary, has already come under the poet's spell and dedicated to rural reconstruction of Rabindranath's vision for the rest of his life. Poet pins high hopes on Kalimohan, entrusts to him the task of rural reconstruction in his estates (letter to Ajitkumar Chakraborty, dated 24th March.)
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Back in Santiniketan

11th April, 1908
After four months spent in Shilaidaha, the poet is back in Santiniketan and keen to resume school work.
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Down with influenza

15th April, 1908
He is down with influenza, anxious too about Meera's frail state of health.
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Prahasan

16th April, 1908
9th volume of collected prose works published.
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Back in Kolkata for Meera's illness

21st April, 1908
Poet leaves Santiniketan even before the commencement of the summer vacation and stays put in Kolkata for a couple of months chiefly because of Meera's illness.
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Bharati

April, 1908
This magazine resumes publication from April, 1908.
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Swarnakumari Devi

April, 1908
Swarnakumari Devi is again the editor of the Bharati.
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Gora

April, 1908
Rabindranath's most ambitious and arguably the greatest novel continues to be serialised in the Prabashi (Baisakh issue).
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Vera Segonova

28th April, 1908
Nagendranath (the poet's son-in-law studying in the USA) writes a short account of the life and martyrdom of the young Russian revolutionary -- Vera Segonova. However, it is drastically edited by Rabindranath for publication in the Prabashi (Baisakh issue). The poet's comments sent to the editor as well as his letter to Nagendranath (dt 28th April.) reveal his profound opposition to and critique of revolutionary violence and terrorism.
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Letter to Nagendranath

28th April, 1908
In this letter he writes, ” Out here rumors are rife that groups of Indians in the USA are secretly shipping weapons to India for an uprising. This write-up of yours might create the impression that you too belong to those groups. The government could have concluded from this article of yours that the underlying purpose of the activities undertaken by us in the villages was to spread revolutionary propaganda by copying Russian methods. Therefore I have had to express my views on the subject."
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Letter to Ramananda Chattrejee

1908
To Ramananda Chattrejee, editor, Prabashi, he writes, " if someone in our country gets the idea in their head to copy for the greater part the methods which have brought on revolution in Russia, I do not consider it to be good and salutary… we will have to devote all our energy to strengthening our bondings through mutual service and constant application of common good sense -- it is harmful to waste that energy by inciting opposition to others."
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Gathering storm

1908
Most probably, he is somewhat aware of the efforts increasingly made by revolutionary terrorists (attacks on Fraser, Allen etc) through Surendranath and Gaganendranath who are at this time helping the rebels with arms and money at considerable personal risk. It has the effect of stiffening his antipathy and opposition to violent methods of all kinds including boycott.
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Prayers

4th May, 1908
Conducts the evening prayers in a new temple founded by Sashipada Banerjee on Cornwallis Street.
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14th annual meeting of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad

10th May, 1908
14th annual meeting held. Rabindranath is one of the three vice-presidents elected.
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Reaction of poet

25th May, 1908
Rabindranath's reaction to and intervention in the polemic then raging in the political discourse of Bengal comes in the shape of the famous essay -- Path o Patheya. He reads the essay as his address at a meeting held by Chaitanya Library at Minerva Theatre and presided over by Hirendranath Dutta.
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Condemn violence and murder

25th May, 1908
Although not unmindful of the heroic sacrifice of the revolutionaries, he pulls no punches in condemning violence and murder and unveils for them an alternative path of patient, tenacious, constructive service and meaningful cohesive action aimed at wining the hearts of all people.
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Welcomes the youths of the nation

25th May, 1908
He welcomes the youths of the nation as "…descend in the midst of all the races, all the people of the country, enmesh the land by all means with a vast network of multi-faceted welfare programmes, expand your field of action everywhere--so liberally and so widely that both the high and low of the land, Hindus Muslims and Christians-all of them can assemble there and unite heart with heart, endeavour with endeavour...win we must--not by dementedly dashing our heads upon the obstacles--(but) by slowly overcoming them with unflinching perseverance..."
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Vande Mataram

1908
In a series of articles, the revolutionary mouthpiece challenges the poet's views and it is not alone in doing so. Polemic continues.
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Response

1908
Poet responds to this criticism in two articles--Samasya and Sadupaya in which he reiterates the fundamentals of his vision--unity in diversity, communal, racial harmony and mutual tolerance and acceptance.
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Samasya

1908
Here he bluntly poses the question-"…Freedom, whose freedom? If the Bengalees become free in India, the Nayars of the Deccan will not consider themselves free and if the Jatt-s of western India gain freedom, the Assamis of the east will not pride themselves on the fact that they have gained the same results. In Bengal itself there is no evidence yet to show that the Muslims are ready to throw in their lot with the Hindus. Then who will become free....” This is published in the July issues of Prabashi, Bangadarshan.
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Sadupaya

1908
He follows this up in Sadupaya (published in the Sravan issues of Prabashi , Bharati ) a month later with prophetic observations on the need to maintain and promote inter-provincial and Hindu-Muslim harmony--"The Biharis are the neighbours of the Bengalees and the latter have been interacting with the Biharis for a long time but every Bengalee resident in Bihar knows that there is no amity between Bengalees and Biharis. Educated Oriyas are keen to project themselves as completely distinct from Bengalees and the same applies to Assamis,too...". He continues--"…In these circumstances if the Bengal of the Bengalees is also so divided that Muslim-Bangla and Hindu-Bangla are hived off from each other, no other province in India will be so dismembered as Bangladesh." Even today these words, penned more than a century ago, continue to ring with acute appositeness.
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Different views

1908
Not only the revolutionaries and their ideologues, but personalities like Abala Basu, Nivedita,etc. have different views and the poet is aware of the differences which, however, do not affect the stance he has taken.
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Wednesday prayers

1908
After his return to Kolkata, he delivers an oral address every Wednesday at the Adi Brahmasamaj Temple.
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Swadeshi enterprise

1908
In a deliberate effort to promote indigenous business and industry, Rabindranath associates himself with such ventures as Hindustan Cooperative Insurance Society and Mohini Mills Ltd.
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Plans to divide Birahimpur and Kaligram parganas into 5 mandali-s

1908
On the other hand, pursuing his vision of rural reconstruction on his zamindari estates, he plans to divide Birahimpur and Kaligram parganas into 5 mandali-s each, for the welfare of the tenants.
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Returns to Santiniketan

23rd June, 1908
Returns to Santiniketan with daughters after a long spell in Kolkata.
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Kshitimohan Sen joins the Brahmacharyasram

June, 1908
Joins the Brahmacharyasram around the middle of June and very soon becomes the principal of the institution in view of his erudition and universal acceptability.
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Kshitimohan Sen forgoes a major part of his salary

June, 1908
Forgoes a major part of his salary in view of the straitened circumstances through which the school is passing. In the days ahead he will draw the poet's attention to the Bhakti literature and philosophy of saints like Kabir, Rajjab, Dadu, etc. And it will have an important bearing on the poet's writings.
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Raja o Praja

30th June, 1908
10th volume of the collected prose works published.
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Samuha

25th July, 1908
11th volume of the collected prose works published.
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Arrives at Patisar

30th July, 1908
Poet arrives in Patisar. The purpose of his visit is to divide Kaligram into a few mandali -s to facilitate rural reconstruction as he has already done in Birahimpur.
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Swadesh

12th August, 1908
12th volume of the collected prose works published.
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Purva o Paschim

12th August, 1908
Back in Kolkata for a week,he reads this article (East and West) before an audience of students in the Sadharan Brahmasamaj Temple.
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Beginning of a new direction

12th August, 1908
It signals the beginning of a new direction in the poet's thoughts which leads increasingly to an innovative world view of the synthesis of the best of east and west and lays stress on the syncretic nature of India's living civilisation, its ability to interiorise diverse elements.
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Bhupendranath Sanyal

August, 1908
Leaves Santiniketan owing to his deteriorating health.
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Saradotsava

23rd August, 1908
Rabindranath writes Saradotsava (Autumnal festival) in a single day (18 hours at a stretch) to celebrate the arrival of Sarat (autumn) and inaugurate the cycle of seasonal festivals as a cultural activity in Santiniketan. It's an intensely lyrical play, breaks new ground with regard to form and genre and contains great songs which distil the peculiar serene rapture lighting up the fluid landscape of rural Bengal at this time of the year in all its moods.
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Samaj

7th September, 1908
13th volume of the collected prose works published.
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katha o kahini

10th September, 1908
Combined edition containing 31 poems published.
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Gaan

20th September, 1908
5th collection of songs published.
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Saradotsava published

20th September, 1908
The play is published.
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Saradotsava performed

24th September, 1908
Saradotsava is performed in Santiniketan, cast consists of teachers and students, Rabindranath himself sings certain songs in the play.
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Back from Shilaidaha

4th November, 1908
Poet is back in Kolkata after spending a month in Shilaidaha.
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Arrives at Santiniketan

12th November, 1908
Rabindranath arrives in Santiniketan.
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Siksha

17th November, 1908
14th volume of the collected prose works published.
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Poet is busy at school

21st November, 1908
He is busy, the school claims most of his time. Writes to Manoranjan Bandopadhyay--"A new session has begun in the school. It keeps me very busy. I am also taking classes…it is devouring all my leisure."
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Santiniketan lectures

December, 1908
Series of lectures rich in mystic undertones delivered at dawn almost everyday to select inmates of the ashram in the temple at Santiniketan from December, 1908 to April, 1909.
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Case of Hiralal Sen

4th December, 1908
Case of Hiralal Sen, who is a teacher of Senhati Jatiya Vidyalaya, starts, which is related to the writing of the allegedly seditious Hunkar --a booklet of patriotic songs dedicated to Rabindranath.
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Poet as a witness

4th December, 1908
Rabindranath is summoned as a witness and goes to Khulna. In his deposition he says it's not at all unnatural for a freedom-loving young man to write exciting songs or poems. Since he is not a lawyer, he doesn't know anything about the degree of excitability which renders writing a song or poem punishable under the law of the land.
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Hiralal Sen is sentenced to 18 months' rigorous imprisonment

8th December, 1908
Hiralal Sen is sentenced to 18 months' rigorous imprisonment. After his release from jail, Hiralal will be employed by the poet first in the Bolpur school and later in the zamidari estate.
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New building for Bangiya Sahitya Parishad

6th December, 1908
The poet arrives in Kolkata, inaugurates the new building on Upper Circular Road (now Acharya Prafulla Chandra Sarani) in which the Parishad will henceforth be located.
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Rajanikanta Sen is present in the occasion

6th December, 1908
Rabindranath and Rajanikanta -- an old acquaintance and a poet and writer of songs of considerable stature-meet on this occasion. Rajanikanta sings a couple of songs.
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Rajanikanta Sen goes to meet the poet

7th December, 1908
Goes to see the poet at his Jorasanko residence the next day with Dineshchandra Sen.
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18th annual festival at Santiniketan

22nd December, 1908
18th annual festival held in Santiniketan. Rabindranath delivers two lectures on the occasion.
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Mukut

31st December, 1908
The play Mukut is published.
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