Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo

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Where the mind is without fear (Bengali: চিত্ত যেথা ভয়শূন্য, romanizedChitto Jetha Bhoyshunno), is a poem written by 1913 Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore before India's independence. It represents Tagore's vision of a new and awakened India. The original poem was published in 1910 and was included in the 1910 collection Gitanjali and, in Tagore's own translation, in its 1912 English edition. Where the mind is without fear is the 35th poem of Gitanjali, and one of Tagore's most anthologised poems.

It is an expression of the poet's reflective spirit and contains a simple prayer for his country, the India of preindependence times.

Original Bengali script[edit]

চিত্ত যেথা ভয়শূন্য, উচ্চ যেথা শির
জ্ঞান যেথা মুক্ত, যেথা গৃহের প্রাচীর,
আপন প্রাঙ্গণতলে দিবসশর্বরী
বসুধারে রাখে নাই খণ্ড ক্ষুদ্র করি,
যেথা বাক্য হৃদয়ের উৎসমুখ হতে
উচ্ছ্বসিয়া উঠে, যেথা নির্বারিত স্রোতে
দেশে দেশে দিশে দিশে কর্মধারা ধায়
অজস্র সহস্রবিধ চরিতার্থতায়,
যেথা তুচ্ছ আচারের মরুবালুরাশি
বিচারের স্রোতঃপথ ফেলে নাই গ্রাসি,
পৌরুষেরে করে নি শতধা, নিত্য যেথা
তুমি সর্ব কর্ম চিন্তা আনন্দের নেতা,
নিজ হস্তে নির্দয় আঘাত করি, পিতঃ;
ভারতেরে সেই স্বর্গে করো জাগরিত৷

English translation[edit]

Tagore's own translation, in the 1912 English edition of Gitanjali:[1]

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 by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father let my country awake

History and translation[edit]

This poem was most likely composed in 1900. It appeared in the volume Naivedya in the poem titled "Prarthona" (July 1901, Bengali 1308 Bangabda). The English translation was composed around 1911 when Tagore was translating some of his work into English after a request from William Rothenstein. It appeared as poem 35 in the English Gitanjali, published by The India Society, London, in 1912.[2][3] In 1917, Tagore read out the English version (then titled 'Indian Prayer') at the Indian National Congress session in Calcutta.[4]

As in most of Tagore's translations for the English Gitanjali, almost every line of the English rendering has been considerably simplified. Line 6 in the English version omits a reference to manliness (পৌরুষ), and the stern ending of the original, where the Father is being enjoined to "strike the sleeping nation without mercy" has been softened.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

This poem often appears in textbooks in India and is also popular in Bangladesh. There is a Sinhala translation of this song by the name "Mage deshaya awadhi karanu mena piyanani" which was translated into Sinhala by Mahagama Sekara. A more recent translation by Niladri Roy (who also translated Sukumar Ray's Abol in its entirety), - much truer, literally, to the original Bengali verse - and which preserves the rhymes in the original Bengali verse, can be found in the attached image (used with permission from the translator) .

Where the mind is without fear; head held high, Knowledge is unfettered and stone walls nigh In their confined cloisters bound, night and day, Have split not this world in little bits of disarray. Where, from the fonts of hearts unconstrained, Gush forth words; endeavors flow unrestrained ’Cross many a land and manifold paths to race, A myriad, many thousand aspirations to grace. Where stifling sands of trifle, worthless custom Have not engulfed the paths of streams of reason, Smashed not manhood in a hundred pieces; lead Where you each day every joy, thought ’n deed. With pitiless blow of thine own hand subjugate Into that heaven, my Father, let my country awake Rabindranath Tagore (Translated by Niladri Roy)
A literally true translation that preserves the rhyme of the original verse, without sacrificing meaning or mood. (By permission from the translator).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tagore, Rabindranath (1915). Gitanjali (Song Offerings). New York: The Macmillan Company. pp. 27-28. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  2. ^ "Gitanjali". The India Society, London / One More Library. 1912. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Sisir Kumar Das, ed. (1994). The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, v.1: Poems. Sahitya Akademi. p. 9
  4. ^ Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, rabIndrajIbanIkathA, 1981, p.104

External links[edit]