Prakritir Pratisodh (প্রকৃতির প্রতিশোধ, literally The Ascetic, translated as Nature's Revenge[1]) is a Bengali drama by Rabindranath Tagore written in 1884.[2] In his memoirs, Tagore described the play's themes as "an introduction to the whole of my future literary work; or, rather this has been the subject on which all my writings have dwelt—the joy of attaining the Infinite within the finite."[3] Though an early work, Tagore considered it mature enough to be included in the first volume of his collected poetry.[4]



An ascetic renounces nature, viewing it as a barrier to wisdom, but gives aid to an orphaned girl whose death reminds him that wisdom is not achieved through renunciation, but by recognising the cyclical natural processes in which humans are situated.[4][5]

Critical response


Amrit Sen reads the play as a representation of humanity's intrinsic attachment to natural phenomena, and an illustration of Tagore's thesis "that human salvation does not lie in an ascetic segregation from Nature; it lies in acknowledging humanity as part of Nature and sharing its creative joy."[2] Arnab Bhattacharya comments on the metaphorical significance of the cave in which the ascetic lives, identifying it as a reconfiguration of Plato's allegory of the cave and noting that it suggests both the fulness of the soul and its ignorance.[6]


  1. ^ Bhattacharya 2015, p. 28.
  2. ^ a b Sen 2012, p. 93.
  3. ^ Sen 2012, p. 94.
  4. ^ a b Sanyal 1961, p. 234.
  5. ^ Sen 2012, pp. 93–4.
  6. ^ Bhattacharya 2015, pp. 28–9.


  • Bhattacharya, Arnab (2015). "The Paradox of Knowledge and the Problem of the Self: The Critique of Enlightenment Epistemology in Rabindranath Tagore's Play The Ascetic". In Bhattacharya, Arnab; Renganathan, Mala (eds.). The Politics and Reception of Rabindranath Tagore's Drama: The Bard on the Stage. Routledge. ISBN 9781317619413.
  • Sanyal, Hirankumar (1961). "The Plays of Rabindranath Tagore". Rabindranath Tagore: A Centenary Volume 1861–1961. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 233–242. ISBN 9788172013325.
  • Sen, Amrit (2012). "Our Bond with the World: Nature in the Poetry of Rabindranath Tagore". In Mitra, Zinia (ed.). Indian Poetry in English: Critical Essays. PHI Learning. pp. 92–102. ISBN 9788120345713.