“Where the Mind is Without Fear” is a short lyric taken from “Gitanjali”. Here, the poet prays to God to awaken his country from darkness and slavery into a state of ideal freedom. In this inspiring poem, the poet prays God for the spiritual emancipation of his country and countrymen. True freedom lies in a full and virtuous living. Therefore the poet prays to God that his countrymen should be fearless, truthful, rational, God-fearing, noble and generous. Knowledge should be free and there should be no divisions of caste, creed and nationality.
The poet prays to God to give perfection to those who are working hard to achieve perfection without taking rest. Rabindranath Tagore prays to God to help his countrymen to follow the path of logical thinking and not to indulge their mind in antique and outdated customs and traditions. According to Rabindranath Tagore, the outdated customs and traditions close the ways of progress. Hence his countrymen should leave behind all the outdated customs and traditions and should fill their minds with logical thinking to lead themselves on the path of progress.
Rabindranath Tagore prays God that his countrymen should follow the divine way of progress and must involve themselves in right action and thinking. His countrymen should possess the universal mind and should leave behind the narrow thinking. Their mind should be liberated from all the narrow thinking and should accept the broad outlook. It is to be noted that the “heaven of freedom” for which the poet prays is not a heaven of political and economic freedom but of spiritual freedom from fear, narrow-mindedness and evil desires. Where the mind is without fear’ is a beautiful lyric taken from the collection of poems ‘Gitanjali’ originally written in Bengali but translated into English by Rabindranath himself. In 1913 he received a Nobel prize for literature for ‘Gitanjali’, the only Indian who is honoured with a prestigious prize for literature. The lyric ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’ is a devotional poem, in which Rabindranath Tagore prays God to liberate his countrymen from the age-old customs which mar the progress of his nation. He also prays to God to inculcate the habit of logical thinking and should relieve them from the mentality of slavery of customs.
He seeks complete freedom, a political and spiritual freedom. 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.