Unworthy Gift, Poem By Rabindranath Tagore
The poem ‘Unworthy Gift’ by Rabindranath Tagore expresses the importance of spirituality
over materialism. The poem conveys this idea throughout the incidents which takes place near Jumna river between the great Sikh teacher Govinda and his disciple Ragunath.
Far below flowed the Jumna, swift and clear,
Above frowned the jutting bank.
Hills dark with the woods and scarred
With the torrents were gathered around.
Govinda, the great Sikh teacher, sat on the rock
Reading scriptures, when Raghunath, his disciple, proud
of his wealth, came and bowed to him and said, I have
brought my poor present unworthy of your acceptance.’
Thus saying he displayed before the teacher a pair of
Gold bangles wrought with costly stones.
The master took up one of them, twirling it round
His finger, and the diamonds darted shafts of light.
Suddenly it slipped from his hand and rolled down
the bank into the water.
‘Alas,’ screamed Raghunath and jumped into the stream.
The teacher set his eyes upon his book, and the water
held and hid what it stole and went its way.
The daylight faded when Raghunath came back to
the teacher tired and dripping.
He panted and said, I can still get it back if you
Show me where it fell.’
The teacher took up the remaining bangle and throwing it
Into the water said, It is there.’