Samindranath Tagore (1894-1907); son of Rabindranath by Christine Kupfer

Rabindranath Tagore’s son Samindranath, called Sami, was, as Dutta and Robinson [1] write, “a beautiful boy who had already shown signs of being the child who would take after his father.”

Samindranath Tagore  Image credit: Ministry of Culture, Government of India
Samindranath Tagore Image credit: Ministry of Culture, Government of India

While he was on a visit to Monghyr in Bihar, Samindranath died of cholera when he only was eleven years old – on 23 November 1907, the same day his mother had died five years before. Dutta and Robinson quote Tagore:

“When his last moment was about to come I was sitting alone in the dark in an adjoining room, praying intently for his passing away to his next stage of existence in perfect peace and well-being. At a particular point of time my mind seemed to float in a sky where there was neither darkness nor light, but a profound depth of calm, a boundless sea of consciousness without a ripple or murmur.

I saw the vision of my son lying in the heart of the Infinite and I was about to cry to my friend, who was nursing the boy in the next room, that the child was safe, that he had found his liberation.

I felt like a father who had sent his son across the sea, relieved to learn of his safe arrival and succes in finding his place. I felt at once that the physcial nearness of our dear ones to ourselves is not the final meaning of their protection. It is merely a means of satisfaction to our own selves and not necessarily the best that could be wished for them.”[2]

Even though Rabindranath had suffered many bereavements shortly before, his son Rathindranath writes later that Samindranath’s death had a particularly strong impact on his father and left him more lonely than the previous losses.[3]

 

Bibliographical Notes

  1. Dutta, Krishna, and Andrew Robinson. Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995, p. 148.

  2. Ibid., p. 148-9.

  3. Tagore, Rathindranath. On the Edges of Time. Westport,Ct: Greenwood Press, 1978.