Where the Mind is Without Fear: Summary & Analysis

Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore

Where the Mind is Without Fear: About the poem


“Where the Mind is Without Fear” by Rabindranath Tagore is one among his vastly read and discussed poems. it had been originally composed in Bengali possibly in 1900 under the title “Prarthana”, meaning prayer. It appeared within the volume called ‘Naibedya’ in 1901. Later in 1911 Tagore himself translated the Bengali poem into English which translation appeared as poem 35 in his Nobel winning anthology “Gitanjali” (Song Offerings) published by the Indian Society, London in 1912.


So when the poem was written, India was under British Rule and other people were eagerly waiting to urge their freedom from British Rule. The poem is written within the sort of a prayer to God, the Almighty for real freedom for his country. And thus Tagore reveals his own concept of freedom throughout the poem, Where the Mind is without worrying.


Where the Mind is Without Fear
Rabindranath Tagore

Where the Mind is Without Fear: Line by line Explanation

Line 1-2

In the very first line, the poet prays to the Almighty that his countrymen should be free from any fear of oppression or forced compulsion. He wishes that everybody in his country has his head held high in dignity. In other words, consistent with him, during a truly free country, everyone should be fearless and will have a way of self-dignity.


In the second line of Where the Mind is without worrying the poet dreams of a nation where knowledge would be free. Education shouldn’t be restricted to the upper crust only but everybody should be allowed to accumulate knowledge. Not only that, but the youngsters should also learn free from the character and therefore the world around them. they ought to not be forced to memorize some predetermined lessons. And this is often Tagore’s typical concept of education


Line 3-4

In the next two lines, the poet emphasizes the unity of not only his countrymen but also of the whole world. He thinks there should be no division among people supported their caste, creed, color, religion or other baseless superstitions. In other words, prejudices and superstitions shouldn’t divide the people into groups and break their unity.


Line 5-6

Inline 5 of Where the Mind is without worrying, Tagore wants a nation where people are truthful. they ought to not be superficial and words should begin from the depth of their hearts.

n the sixth line of the poem, the poet wants everyone to figure hard to succeed in their goal, and within the end of the day to succeed in perfection. He thinks they ought to not be tired by working. People shouldn’t be lazy and ignoring their work.


Line 7-8

Inline 7, the poet compares ‘reason’ or reasoning to a “clear stream’ and within the next line compares ‘dead habits’ or superstitious beliefs to a ‘dreary desert’. He wants the stream of reason to not lose its way into the desert of prejudices. In short, people’s thoughts should be monitored by rational thinking, not by superstition; logic should rule over old baseless beliefs.


Line 9-11

Inline 9 and 10, the poet wishes his countrymen to be progressive and broad-minded. He wants that their minds are “led forward” to “ever-widening thought and action” by the Almighty. In short, we should always be open-minded and do something unusual or extraordinary, overcoming the narrowness of mind.
In the final line of the poem, the poet addresses God as ‘Father’. He asks him to awaken his country into such a ‘heaven of freedom’ where the above conditions meet.

To make it clear, the poet prays to the Almighty (my Father) to boost or lift (awake) his country to such heights where freedom would be realized at its best (heaven of freedom). In turn, he’s actually praying that God awakens his countrymen in order that they are available out from the darkness of ignorance, prejudices, disunity, and everyone other evil.

Here, an excellent addition from our reader Ravi Murti suggests that Rabindranath wants to awaken the God within us to free our mind from shackles and bondage. it’s not invoking God but using it as a metaphor for the upper self within us. This interpretation is gorgeous and that I can’t resist the urge to feature it here.

Where the Mind is Without Fear – Where the Mind is Without Fear – Where the Mind is Without Fear – Where the Mind is Without Fear – Where the Mind is Without Fear