Excerpts from Tagore’s Letters & Diaries.
Written to Manoranjan Bandopadhaya, from Selaidah, 3 Febtuary, 1916
If you look at the world, you will see, though ages are flowing over it, yet it is not decrepit – bright is the light in the sky, its azure immaculate, the earth has no penury, its greenery is un-blighted. Yet, when my observation is in fragments, I find flowers drooping, leaves drying and the twigs dying. The assault of senility and death is continuous all around; yet, the youth of the world is perennial. On facts I find wear and tear and death, but eternal life and youth on Truth. The very moment the treasures of the wood appear bankrupt in winter, the massive grandeur of spring floods the wilderness. If I try to hold on to weariness and mortality, they shed off their disguise to hold high the banner of life. What appears as senility from the rear, I find that as youth from the front. Had it not been so, this primordial world would infirm to its every bit and would collapse wherever I would step on.
This re-incarnation in every spring of the ever old as ever new in earthly Nature plays within human nature too. It is the vigour of life that perceives itself repeatedly through death. You lose perception of that eternal unless you miss it at intervals to get it anew.
Originally published in the Bulletin (May 2010) of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture.
Translation by the author.
References and Source
The January-June 2003 issue of “Shrayan” a compilation from Tagore’s letters and diaries. by the editor of the magazine Mr. Pathik Basu.