जहां मन है निर्भय / Where the Mind is Without Fear

Who doesn’t know Tagore, the Bard of Bengal, writer, composer, playwright and painter? Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore was born on this day in 1861.

At 16, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym “Bhanusimha” (Sun Lion), and in 1913, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature for his collection Gitanjali (Song Offerings).

His compositions were chosen by two nations as their national anthems – “Jana Gana Mana” by India and “Amar Shonar Bangla” by Bangladesh. The Sri Lankan national anthem was also inspired by his work.

One of his famous quotes is- “It’s very simple to be happy, but it’s very difficult to be simple.”

Today I’m going to share Hindi and English translations of one of his most popular poems. Here it is:

जहां मन है निर्भय / Where the Mind is Without Fear

जहां मन है निर्भय
और मस्तक है ऊंचा,
जहां ज्ञान है मुक्त,
जहां पृथ्वी खंडित नहीं हुई है
छोटे छोटे खंडों में,
जहाँ शब्द निकलते हैं
सत्य की गभीरता से,
जहाँ अविश्रांत प्रयास बढ़ा रहा है
उसका हाथ परिपूर्णता की ओर
जहां स्पष्ट न्याय का झरना
खोया नहीं है अपना मार्ग
निर्जन मरुभूमि के मृत्यु सदृश
सुनसान रेत के अभ्यास में,
जहाँ मन को नेतृत्व दे रहे हो तुम
निरंतर विस्तारित विचार और गति को,
उस स्वतन्त्रता के स्वर्ग में,
हे मेरे प्रभु, मेरे देश को जागृत होने दो!


Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high,
Where knowledge is free,
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments
Where words emerge
from the depth of truth,
Where tireless striving stretches
its arms towards perfection,
Where the clear stream
of reason has not been lost its way
into the dreary desert sand
of dead habit,
Where the mind is led forward
by you into ever-widening
thought and action,
Into that heaven of freedom,
my God, let my country awake!

–Kaushal Kishore



  1. I cannot thank you enough, Kaushal, for writing about my beloved writer Rabindra Nah Tagore.
    I had his book from my childhood, and this book traveled from Poland to live on my desk
    next to The Secret Garden. He was the first writer I devoted to my series The Greatest Books Of The World. I can only thank you with his words, from my favorite poem;
    “My heart is touching your feet…”


    Liked by 4 people

    1. What a lovely reflection, Joanna! It shows how much you are in love with this great man. Right from Poland to England! It gives a pleasant feeling. I had visited Shantiniketan in 2019, where I saw a lot of things related to his life, family and work. The photo of this post is an artwork I had purchased from there. Thank you, Joanna for quoting his words that I use for you now after reading your touching words.


  2. I am so excited to read your post that I cannot type properly!
    It should be Rabindra Nath Tagore.
    Also, I should have made it clear where his book resides now – from Poland it traveled
    to England. He is so far the only Indian writer to receive The Nobel Prize for Literature.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, he is the only Indian to win Nobel Prize in Literature. Thank you, Joanna for your interest in Tagore and his country.


  3. It’s a sage and lovely piece of writing, KK, and I’m grateful to you for making it available to us. It resonates with me here in the US more profoundly than I could ever before have imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a delight that the piece resonates well with you. Thank you, Annie for such a lovely comment. Much appreciated!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s