Tagore bridged both worlds. He would become a mystic who made no distinction between scientific wonder and spiritual awe. Saints were like scientists who journeyed into the unknown and came back to report, through their mystical experiences that God is real.
Referring to a mystical inner journey, he once silo “you cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water” or by measuring the waves in an ocean with a scientific instrument, he might have added, in “Gitanjali songs to God, he wrote:
“Thou hast made me endless, such as thy pleasure.
This frail vessel though emptiest again and again,
And fillets it ever with fresh life. This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dailes,
And hast Breathed through it Melodies eternally new”.
He was the first non- European to receive the Nobel prize for literature, which came in 1913, Just three years after Gitanjali was published and even more Astonishingly, only a year after it appeared in English. If Tagore’s had been an isolated voice, I doubt that Einstein would have taken him seriously or even agreed to meet him. Their talks, over three days in 1930 inside Einstein’s home outside Potsdam, made the world listen. When Tagore met Einstein, he was seventy and Einstein fifty. Tagore made a statement about love that turned into a major quotation.” Love is not a mere impulse; it must contain truth, which is law”. Einstein was too much of a physicist to allow “Truth” and “Law” to be used so loosely. Yet he went Tagore’s part farther than one would have expected, he even went on to say that “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. Both held that God was a mystery beyond complete understanding. To Tagore, mystery was internal, to Einstein, it was external. By 1930 all of these thing turned out to be true, Einstein was not the only quantum pioneer who looked with doubt and a degree of dared, at what he had uncovered. The world of physics itself was in for a shook.
For Einstein, nature existed in an orderly, stable way, even though he could not prove it. He laid out this idea in front of Tagore, and the irony is that the Indian mystical poet held a view that was much closer, to quantum physics. Tagore was a polymath and he had been brought up in a privileged household where children were taught mathematics and the natural sciences. Because consciousness is so central our existence, letting us see, hear, touch, taste and smell the world, we must find out where it came from. The only viable answer was that it came from it self. Tagore when he portrays himself as a tiny speck, it is the infinity of God’s creation. “At the immortal touch of thy hands
My little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.
Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small thou poorest and still there is room to fill”
Every atom fits into a scheme that is innately orderly, not to mention beautiful intelligent, loving.
Tagore never wavered. This was the inner journey of a spiritual seeker. The Vedic sages declared that “The world is as you are”. The one is higher reality.
“Love is the only reality, and it is Not a mere sentiment.
It is the ultimate truth that life at the heart of creation.
– By Siluveru Sudarshan