(Paurosh Pathor )Philosopher’s Stone By Tagore Translation – Ranu

Philosopher's stone

Philosopher’s stone (Photo credit: tv)

(Paurosh Pathor)  Philosopher’s Stone  —Rabindranath Tagore

The lunatic moves around in search of ‘The Philosopher’s stone.’

Head full of tangled hair                      covered with dust and muck all over,

lean and thin body looks like a shadow.

Lips tightly closed                             he stays within himself

he depicts himself as a picture of pain and suffering.

His two eyes seemingly looking for something in his mind’s eye.

He has no family,no home,he’s covered with dust all over,

he is poorer than the beggar on the street,

he has so much pride____ he does not value gold or silver,

he does not care for the wealth of the king__

his condition makes one smile,  he does not want anything,

His only desire is the ‘Philosopher’s Stone,’


Lying in front is the  vast roaring ocean.

The rolling waves ,     are giggling

at the crazy creation of the world.

The sky is glancing,    without a break,

the howling wind is blowing unhindered.

The sun rises early morning             in the eastern sky,

The moon slowly shows up in the evening.

Continuous rain      is making a sweet sound,

the deep mystery wants to say___

where is the desired wealth             he   knows everything,

one who understands the language will be able to find it.

It pays no attention,           singing its own strung song

the sea listens to its own voice.

Some are leaving, others  coming,         some are crying, some laughing,

the lunatic moves around looking for the,’Philosopher’s Stone.’


Long ago ,in  history ____

a ray of gold was visible on the touchstone  at that moment.

All eyes were on it out of curiosity

they gingerly treaded the path leading to the bank of the ocean___

quietly stood with heads lowered.

Were stunned for a while       closed their eyes and listened

the song of this vast ocean which existed from time immemorial.

Then out of curiosity   jumped in this deep ocean

solved the mystery of this eternal   ocean.

After long sad toil       goddess Lakshmi appeared

in this beautiful world.

On the banks of this sea         the lean and thin lunatic,

was still looking for the,’Philosopher’s Stone.’


After all this time,perhaps he has given up hope.

Still he keeps on looking,     he knows not what is rest___

hope is gone, he still did not give up the habit of looking.

The separated bird calls her partner,all night from the branch of the tree,

the unfortunate bird cannot find her mate.

still she calls all day,   hopeless,  untiring___

her only work is to stay awake and continue calling.

And forgetting everything   sending waves up to the sky

one doesn’t know who the sea is constantly looking for.

The more he cries   he cannot get it ever he knows,

Still he extends his arms up in the sky___  this is his solemn vow.

By the side of the ocean       in his matted hair

the lunatic looks around for the,’Philosopher’s Stone.’


Once the village boy asked him,

‘What are you carrying, o Devotee ,o let me see ?

Where did you find the gold fetter?’

The devotee was surprised,      the fetter sure is gold

when and how the iron turned to gold he did not know.

Wonderful how amazing!     he kept looking at it,

he rubbed his eyes and looked___ it’s not a dream.

he touched his forehead         sat down on the ground,

he wanted to curse himself__

in a crazy fit he looks around___    alas where did it go.

I had my desired wish but it ran away.

He habitually                 gathered so many pebbles,

he hit the fetters with them___

he did not bother to look ,he threw them far away,

he has no idea when he threw the ,’Philosopher’s Stone.’


The sun was setting.

The sky was golden colour,     the sea was melted gold,

on the west the bride was dreaming of gold.

The Devotee was slowly             going back to the previous path

looking for the lost gem once again.

He has lost his strength___  and is unable to carry the body’s weight,

like a tree his inner self is broken to pieces.

Old long path                     lying around are dead plants

how far will he travel  on this endless path.

The vast desert is deserted

Impending danger of nocturnal animals is keeping everyone in.

I looked for half my life           when will I close my eyes

the touch I felt for a moment,

the rest of my broken body    I am dedicating again

to go back and look for the same ,’Philosopher’s Stone.’

6 thoughts on “(Paurosh Pathor )Philosopher’s Stone By Tagore Translation – Ranu

  1. Dear Ranu,

    Thank you for this.

    This is beautiful…

    “The separated bird calls her partner,all night from the branch of the tree,

    the unfortunate bird cannot find her mate.

    still she calls all day, hopeless, untiring___

    her only work is to stay awake and continue calling.

    And forgetting everything sending waves up to the sky

    one doesn’t know who the sea is constantly looking for.

    The more he cries he cannot get it ever he knows,

    Still he extends his arms up in the sky___ this is his solemn vow.”

    All good wishes,

    robert

    • It was a long poem.I almost decided not to translate it.The part of the lunatic persuaded me
      to do it.Thank you Akhtar Bhai. You always see through what Tagore is trying to portray.
      I felt bad for the guy in the end,he was so eager to find the stone,he didn’t realize he may have
      tossed it away with the rest of the pebbles.
      Regards,
      Chaman

  2. Hello Ranu, Thanks for this. I have been looking for this poem, the original, as my father used to recite it… i knew the gist and enjoyed the words. My search led to this.. and the English done by you is also very beautiful. Best wishes.
    Sabir

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