Upagupta Poem Summary

Upagupta” is a beautiful and spiritually charged poem written by the renowned Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. This poetic work delves into themes of spirituality, devotion, and the human connection with the divine. It portrays a conversation between a monk, Upagupta, and the courtesan, Vasavadatta, as they discuss profound matters of the soul. Read More Class 9 English Summaries.

Upagupta Poem Summary

Upagupta Poem Summary in English

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This poem is about the story of Buddhist monk Upagupta, a disciple of Lord Buddha and the dancing girl of Mathura Vasavadatta. She was a famous and beautiful dancer. She was proud of her beauty, youth, and her wealth. Upagupta was an ascetic, and. the epitome of kindness, wisdom and selflessness.

One dark night Upagupta, the disciple of Buddha that slept on the dusty road by the city wall of Mathura city. Everywhere it was calm and quiet, Lamps were all out of light. The doors were all shut. Everyone had slept. It was quite dark everywhere. Above all stars were hidden by dark cloud in the sky.

Vasavadatta, a dancing girl was walking with a lamp in her hand. Without noticing down on the ground, she stumbled over the body of Upagupta who was sleeping on the dusty ground. Suddenly he woke up and was extremely surprised. The light from a woman’s lamp fell on his merciful eyes and he saw a beautiful woman standing before him.

The woman was shining with her jewels, she had put on a blue loose piece of clothing without sleeves. She was young and beautiful. She was proud of her youth and beauty. As she lowered her lamp, she saw a young man whose face was reflecting the charming of a simple and strict way of living.

The young woman begged a pardon for stumbling over his body without noticing him in the darkness. She requested him kindly to come to her home saying the dirty ground was not fit for him. Upagupta told her gently to go on her way back to her home and told her that he would meet her when the time was ripe. Suddenly the black night showed its teeth in a flash of lightning. A terrible storm arose from the corner of the sky and mode a long deep sound. The woman trembled in fear of some unknown danger and hurried towards her home.

A year has not yet passed since Vasavadatta, a dancing woman met Upagupta, a monk. It was the evening of a day in April in spring season. The branches of the trees on the wayside were heavy with flowers. The light-hearted musical tone of a flute came floating in the warm spring air from far away distance.

Upagupta passed through the city gates and stood on the base of city walls built for protection. Suddenly he saw a woman lying at his feet in the shadow of the grove (a group of trees).

She was none other than Vasavadatta, a dancing woman. She was struck with the black deadly epemedic disease. Her body was spotted with sores of small-fox. She was removed (driven out) from the city because the poisonous disease might spread by her contact.

Upagupta sat by her side and took her head on his knees. He applied her body with sandal balm. He made her lips wet with water. The woman asked him who the merciful man was. He replied to her that at the last the time had come to visit her and he was there.


In conclusion, Rabindranath Tagore’s “Upagupta” is a profoundly contemplative poem that delves into the spiritual awakening and the connection between the human soul and the divine. It transcends the boundaries of earthly desires and materialism as it explores the dialogue between Upagupta and Vasavadatta, highlighting the transformative power of spiritual enlightenment and the human quest for a higher, transcendent truth.

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