Chandalika, Dr. Rabindranath Tagore.

International Journal of Humanities and PeaceVol. 22 Nbr. 1, January 2006

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Chandalika, Dr. Rabindranath Tagore.

Introduction to Chandalika

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a major voice of awakening in the Indian Renaissance. Besides being a prolific poet, novelist, playwright, journalist, musician, and mystic, Tagore was an innovative educator. He founded "Shantiniketan" - 'Abode of Peace' an educational institution modeled on the ancient Indian hermitage but relevant to India of his time. The school developed into Visva Bharati, a university of Global Consciousness, drawing stalwart minds--philosophers, thinkers, artists--from Europe and Asia. Tagore was the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his book of poems, Gitanjali, translated by him from Bengali into English. Two of his Bengali poems have become national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

In Chandalika, Tagore interfaces Love's manifold forms creating a conflict verging on violence. The characters' names - Prakriti, Mother and Ananda - are unmistakable symbols unraveling the action of the play. Prakriti (lit. 'Nature,' 'innate human nature') catalyzes the conflict. In Vedic cosmology Prakriti is the female principle (Purusha being the male), one of the two elements of life. Mother, with her power of casting spell, is the pri...

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