prayers was more than a liturgy with them. The poet would himself take the classes, teach
singing and sing himself the devotional songs he composed. The poet gathered round him a
band of men and women who were all attracted by a strange religious fervor and
inspiration. The poet gradually expanded the school into various sections of specia- lized
education through Ashram principles did not take him away from the original idea of
Maharshi Debendra Nath which was emphasize the preaching of religion at the
Brahmovidyalaya and the chapel. The poet used to hold regular prayer meetings everyday.
Rabindra Nath's school has now expanded into Viswa Bharati University, which is entirely
maintained by the Central Government.
The environs have changed tremendously. Huge buildings for accommodating the students,
scholars, foreign visitors, home tourists, libraries, craft centers, painting galleries,
etc., have replaced a lot of the original huts and gardens. But the Chattim tree is still
there and religious prayers
are regularly held emphasizing the unity of God.
most significant feature of Shantiniketan is to celebrate various festivals connected with
the manifestations of nature or agricultural operations. For example, the advent of the
spring, the rainy season, the dol utsab, the planting of a tree (briksha- ropana), the
first ploughing after the rains have come (hala-karshan) etc., are celebrated with
religious songs, prayers and chanting of hymns is Sanskrit and other languages. Reading of
scriptures of different religious along with devotional song mark the prayers, which are
offered by men of different castes and creeds.