Tagore’s Letter To Bertrand Russell

37 Alfred Place W, South Kensington, London 13 October 1912

Dear Mr Russell

Thanks for your kind letter. I will ask Dr Seal to pay you a visit at Cambridge, when you will have an opportunity to know him. I read your article on the Essence of Religion in the last issue of the Hibbert Journal with very great interest. It reminded me of a verse in the Upanishad which runs thus-

Yato veiche nivartante aprapya manasa saha Anandam Brahmano Vidvan na vibheti Kutushchama.

‘From him words, as well as mind, come back baffled. Yet he who knows the joy of Brahman (the Infinite) is free from all fear.’

Through knowledge you cannot apprehend him; yet when you live the life of the Infinite and are not bound within the limits of the finite self you realize that great joy which is above all the pleasures and pains of our selfish life and so you are free from all fear.

This joy itself is the positive perception of Brahman. It is not a greed which authority imposes on us but an absolute realization of the Infinite which we can only attain by breaking through the bonds of the narrow self and setting our will and love free.

Yours sincerely

Rabindranath Tagore

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