Problems of Translating “Where the mind is without fear”

Where the mind is without fear …


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.


Rabindranath Tagore


The Bangla Original and literal translation


 চিত্ত যেথা ভয়শূন্য, উচ্চ যেথা শির,

(Where intellect/consciousness is without fear, where head is high)

জ্ঞান যেথা মুক্ত, যেথা গৃহের প্রাচীর

(Where knowledge is free, where walls of the house)

আপন প্রাঙ্গণতলে দিবসশর্বরী

(Day and night in its own courtyard)

বসুধারে রাখে নাই খণ্ড ক্ষুদ্র করি,

(Do not separate in tiny little parts the earth)

যেথা বাক্য হৃদয়ের উত্‍‌সমুখ হতে

(Where sentence from the core of heart arises)

উচ্ছ্বসিয়া উঠে, যেথা নির্বারিত স্রোতে

(It springs from there, where unhindered current)

দেশে দেশে দিশে দিশে কর্মধারা ধায়

(Of the stream of actions runs in all directions, to all places/states/nations)

অজস্র সহস্রবিধ চরিতার্থতায়,

(Unstopped, realizing itself in thousand ways)

যেথা তুচ্ছ আচারের মরুবালুরাশি

(Where the desert sand masses of petty norms/traditions/dogmas)

বিচারের স্রোতঃপথ ফেলে নাই গ্রাসি—

(Has not dried up the spring of thought on its way)

পৌরুষেরে করে নি শতধা, নিত্য যেথা

(Where will/power/virility has not been always weakened to its hundredth part)

তুমি সর্ব কর্ম চিন্তা আনন্দের নেতা,

(You are the leader of all action, thought and joys)

নিজ হস্তে নির্দয় আঘাত করি, পিতঃ,

(Deliver a pitiless blow of your hand, o Father)

ভারতেরে সেই স্বর্গে করো জাগরিত॥

(Wake India up in that very heaven)



My Verse Translation from Bangla


 Self sure,proud; pure intellect sans fear,

Knowledge liberated, where walls do not tear

The courtyard, our earth, in petty, in puny,

Night and day part it in parts poor many.


Rise where words from heart, actions flow

In hundred unhindered streams that go

From fonts direct in currents strong,

Place to place, path to path, short or long.


Huge sand dunes of dogmas tiny

Suck not spring of thoughts all dry.

Manhood and will, shattered indeed

In parts hundred on ground don’t lie.


Thou molder of actions and thoughts and joys,

Strike stern, sure, strong strokes such thine,

O Father, my nation may rise in land divine!



Rajnish Mishra

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