Tagore mentioned Bhanusingha Thakur in several of his writings, describing him as an “ancient Vaishnav saint”. But he would express his inability to share more details about him — which he once sarcastically blamed on the “absence of documented Indian history”, an issue that he felt strongly about.
“This writer accepts complete ignorance about him [Thakur],” he wrote in his Bangla essay, Bhanusingha Thakurer Jibani, in 1884. The essay, written in Tagore’s characteristic playful style, detailed his “extensive research” to find Bhanusingha’s antecedents, almost giving it away that there was no such person in history, but at the same time leaving the question of authorship open for wider examination and speculation.
It has been since established that Bhanusingha was only the result of Tagore’s imagination. Bhanusingha and Rabindranath are heteronyms — both Ravi (pronounced ‘Rabi’ in Bangla) and Bhanu mean the sun.