1. 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.

Summary:

Where the Mind is Without Fear is a beautiful poem by R.N. Tagore. This poem is a prayer to God. It is a fantastic lyric taken from Gitanjali. This lyric is replete with patriotism and nationalism. Here the poet ardently longs for freedom, truthfulness and reason. In this poem the poet prays to God to awake his countrymen from the slumber. He again prays to God to make his countrymen bold, fearless, truthful, rational, God-fearing, noble and generous. Here Tagore requests the Almighty to lift his country to a state where freedom could be enjoyed  in the best way possible. For that the poet expects to see some qualities in his countrymen. These qualities are - fearlessness, dignity, knowledge, truthfulness, diligence, rationality and broad - mindedness. These qualities are essential to enjoy the freedom.

Question - Answer

Q1. What is meant by the expression Knowledge is free?

ANS: The expression knowledge is free means that knowledge should be open to all. It should be free from restrictions so that all may acquire it.

Q2. What narrow domestic walls are referred to by the poet?

Ans: By the poet narrow domestic walls are referred to the class, caste, creed, colour, religion and all those elements that are barriers in the way of unity. 

Q3. Why does the poet compare reason with stream?

ANS: The poet compares reason with stream because the reason has the free flow of good sense as the stream has the free flow of water.

Q4. What are two qualities of mind presented in the poem?

Ans: The two qualities of mind presented in the poem are fearless thought and action.

Q5. Why does the poet compare 'dead habit' to 'dreary desert sand'?

ANS: The poet compares dead habit to desert sand because old beliefs are dangerous for reason or good sense as the dreary desert sand is dangerous for the entity of the stream.

Q6. Whom is the poem addressed to?

ANS: The poem is addressed to God.

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