SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI >  VOL. IV - SELECTED LETTERS > SECTION ONE : SELECTED LETTERS > From Rabindranath Tagore
32. From Rabindranath Tagore
'Uttrayan"
Santiniketan, Bengal
19-2-'40
DEAR MAHATMAJI,
You have just had a bird's-eye view this morning of our Visva-Bharati centre of activities. I do not know what estimate you have formed of its merit. You know that though this institution is national in its immediate aspect it is international in its spirit, offering according to the best of its means India's hospitality of culture to the rest of the world.
At one of its critical moments you have saved it from an utter breakdown and helped it to its legs. We are ever thankful to you for this act of friendliness.
And, now before you take your leave of Santiniketan I make my fervent appeal to you. Accept this institution under your protection, giving it an assurance of permanence if you consider it to be a national asset. Visva-Bharati is like a vessel which is carrying the cargo of my life's best treasure, and I hope it may claim special care from my countrymen for its preservation.
I hope we shall be able to keep close to a reticent expression of love and reverence in welcoming you into our Ashram and never allow it to overflow into any extravagant display of phrases. Homage to the great naturally seeks its manifestation in the language of simplicity, and we offer you these few words to let you know that we accept you as our own and as one who belongs to all humanity.
Just at this moment there are problems that darken our destiny. These, we know are crowding your path and none of us is free from their attack. Let us for a while pass beyond the bounds of this turmoil and make our meeting today a simple meeting of hearts whose memory will remain when all the moral confusions of our distracted politics will be allayed and the eternal value of all our true endeavours will be revealed.
With love,
RABINDRANATH TAGORE

From a photostat: S.N. 1536-37