Alhough it is not from any of Rabindranath's well known works like
Gitanjali, it seems to be based on Sufism - specifically Kabir's poems
which were translated by Tagore in 1915. It is referred to in a Govt
of India website (page 56) as being from a poem called "True Worship"
It is also interesting that many religious websites of Christians and
Saibabists contain this poem without attributing it in any way to
Rabindranath. A Saibaba website even claims it is by Satya Sai
The "Temple of God" of God the poet speaks of refers in microcosm to
the human body and in macrocosm to the Universe/Multiverse.
Kabir's 4th poem translated by RNT (1915)
"Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus,
and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty."
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Shymal Dutta
> Dear Debanjan Ray
> This poem is widely circulated on the Internet as Tagore's, but I am
> unable to locate the precise work it is from. Can anyone help me
> to trace its source.
> Warmly Shymal
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 10:57 PM, Debanjan Ray <debanjan.ray@...>wrote:
> > Just wanted to share the following quote from Rabindranath Tagore:
> > -------------------
> > "Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
> > First fill your own house with the Fragrance of love...
> > Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God,
> > First remove the darkness of sin from your heart...
> > Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,
> > First learn to bow in humility before your fellowmen...
> > Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,
> > First bend down to lift someone who is down-trodden. ..
> > Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,
> > First forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you."
> > - Rabindranath Tagore