4. Two vision-eyes

Tagore was the first one to declare Mahatma Gandhi a great soul. Tagore was the one who first called him ‘Mahatma’. And then again, Mahatma called Tagore ‘Gurudev’. Tagore became Gandhi’s Gurudev, and then everybody started saying “Gurudev, Gurudev.”

These two great luminaries were so close. They loved each other deeply; they admired each other unreservedly. Once, however, they entered into a very unpleasant conversation, a terribly heated argument. Indeed, it was a shocking experience for their followers and admirers. Some took Tagore’s side, while others took Gandhi’s side.

A follower of Gandhi pleaded with the great artist Nandalal Bose to take one side. He immediately expressed his utter incapacity: “I am an artist. I like all colours deeply and equally. To me, these two supremely great souls are like two Vision-Eyes. I cannot prefer one Eye to the other. I love them deeply and need them equally.”1

  1. RTM 146. Originally published in Jhama-Kala Art Quarterly, Jan-Feb-Mar 1980, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 17. Reprinted in: Sri Chinmoy, Transfiguration, New York: Agni Press, 2007, p. 98.