Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which attempted a revival of the ultimate monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads. He was educated at home; and although at seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, he did not finish his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he managed the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity and increased his interest in social reforms. He also started an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education. From time to time he participated in the Indian nationalist movement, though in his own non-sentimental and visionary way; and Gandhi, the political father of modern India, was his devoted friend. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honour as a protest against British policies in India.
A Bengali mystic and artist, Rabindranath Tagore was a great poet, philosopher, music composer and a leader of Brahma Samaj, who took the India culture and tradition to the whole world and became a voice of the Indian heritage. Best known for his poems and short stories, Tagore largely contributed to the Bengali literature in the late 19th and early 20th century and created his masterpieces such as Ghare-Baire, Yogayog, Gitanjali, and Gitimalya. The author extended his contribution during the Indian Independence Movement and wrote songs and poems galvanizing the movement, though he never directly participated in it. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1913 and became the Asia's first Nobel Laureate. Two famous songs composed by him Amar Shonar Bangala and Jana Gana Mana became a part of the national anthem of Bangladesh and India respectively after their independence. He was the only person to have written the national anthems of two countries. Aside from this, the greatest legacy of the poet to his country remains the world renowned institution he founded known as Visva-Bharati University.