Rabindranath Tagore was a Nobel laureate poet, writer, and philosopher from India. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest literary figures of the 20th century. His works include novels, short stories, plays, essays, songs, and paintings. He was also a social reformer, an educator, and a patriot.
One of his poems, titled \"Unworthy Gift\", explores the theme of spirituality versus materialism. The poem tells the story of a Sikh teacher named Govinda and his disciple Raghunath, who brings him a pair of gold bangles as a gift. Govinda, however, does not value the material gift and accidentally drops one of the bangles into the river. Raghunath, who is proud of his wealth, jumps into the water to retrieve it, but fails. Govinda then throws the other bangle into the river and tells Raghunath that it is there. The poem implies that Govinda wants to teach Raghunath a lesson about the futility of worldly possessions and the importance of spiritual wisdom.
The poem can be found in PDF format online[^1^] [^2^]. It is also available in audio format on YouTube[^4^]. The poem has been translated into several languages, including English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, and Urdu.
The poem has been praised for its poetic beauty, its moral message, and its depiction of Indian culture and landscape. It has also been analyzed by various critics and scholars for its literary devices, such as irony, symbolism, imagery, and rhyme. The poem is considered to be one of Tagore's masterpieces and a classic example of his style and philosophy.
The second stanza shows the contrast between Govinda and Raghunath. Govinda is a great Sikh teacher who is devoted to reading scriptures and seeking spiritual enlightenment. He is not interested in worldly pleasures or possessions. Raghunath, on the other hand, is his disciple who is proud of his wealth and wants to impress his teacher with a lavish gift. He brings a pair of gold bangles studded with diamonds, which are very expensive and rare. He pretends to be humble and says that his gift is poor and unworthy of Govinda's acceptance, but he actually expects Govinda to appreciate and praise his generosity.
The third stanza reveals Govinda's indifference and detachment towards the material gift. He takes one of the bangles and twirls it around his finger, as if he is playing with a toy. He does not admire or value the bangles, nor does he thank or compliment Raghunath for his gift. He simply observes how the diamonds reflect light and sparkle. He does not care about the cost or the beauty of the bangles. He treats them as insignificant objects that have no meaning or purpose for him.
The fourth stanza depicts the dramatic turn of events that changes the situation. Govinda accidentally drops one of the bangles into the river, which flows swiftly and clearly below them. The bangle sinks into the water and disappears from sight. Raghunath, who is shocked and dismayed by this loss, screams and jumps into the water to retrieve his precious gift. He values the bangle more than his own life and safety. He does not care about Govinda's reaction or feelings. He only cares about his own wealth and pride. Govinda, meanwhile, does not show any emotion or concern for Raghunath or the bangle. He sets his eyes upon his book and continues reading scriptures. He does not try to stop or help Raghunath. He lets the water take away what it stole and go its way.
The fifth stanza describes the aftermath of the incident. Raghunath comes back to Govinda after a long time, tired and dripping wet. He has failed to find the bangle in the river. He still hopes to get it back if Govinda can show him where it fell. He does not realize that Govinda does not care about the bangle or its location. He does not understand that Govinda has deliberately thrown away his gift as a way of teaching him a lesson. Govinda then takes up the remaining bangle and throws it into the water as well. He tells Raghunath that it is there, implying that both bangles are now in the river and out of their reach. aa16f39245