Can some one help me to prepare a flow chart on major events of the story "The Devotee" by Rabindranath Tagore?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In constructing a flow chart, keep in mind that the second part of the story is told in flashback, so you may want to place what occurs in it on the left of the other events, or above, if you arrange things in chronological order. 
Provided here are the major events only in the order that they are presented in the story; so, you can arrange them on your flow chart as you see fit.

Major events of "The Devotee"

  • The narrator moves to a house some miles from Calcutta where he can live in privacy while he writes and contemplates the beauty and peace of nature.
  • One day as he sits watching a grazing cow and admiring the beauty of its patterned hide, a woman approaches, bows and kisses his feet, then as she offers him flowers, she tells him, "This is an offering to my God."
  • After she departs, the narrator is so moved that he offers his "worship to the pure joy of living, which is God's own life" by offering the cow a tender shoot from a mango tree. 
  • Having returned to his home, the narrator returns to the village the next year, and the Devotee visits him again, this time inside his house where he notices the intensity of her eyes. She asks him for "some words of good."
  • The narrator learns that she is from a good family, but she has chosen to become a mendicant and beg for her food. She explains her reasons for begging to the narrator:  
    When we get our food precariously as alms, we remember God the giver. 
  • When the narrator asks the devotee why she does not go among the "godless" rich and lead them toward a better life, she replies,"My God is not there....I seek Him where I can find him.... Where I can see Him, there is His reality in my soul."
  • She continues to visit and advise the narrator spiritually.


  • The Devotee tells the narrator about her personal life. She explains that her husband has always needed someone to be "over him," so he used to view her as a superior. He also venerated the Guru Thakur, a boyhood friend--even paying his college expenses.
  • She gave birth to their son when she was only fifteen, but she was too young to take the responsibility of caring for him. Instead, she wanted to be with friends. When she went with friends, though, her husband did not chastise her.
  • One day she left the boy in the care of the maid so she could join friends at the river. The boy got out of the maid's sight and came down to the river, calling to his mother. She shouted for him not to enter the water, but he tried to reach her, anyway. Tragically, the boy drowned before she could reach him.
  • The boy's memory and her guilt haunts her; however, her husband merely endures his grief in silence.
  • Guru Thukur returned after the accident, and the husband has revered him even more.
  • One day, as she was returning from her bath in the river, she passed by the guru in her wet, clinging clothes. When the guru saw her, this holy man exclaimed, "How beautiful is your body!"
  • After this encounter, the Devotee tried to avoid him whenever he came to their home as she understood his sin of lust.
  • One day she told her husband that she must leave; he asked her why and she replied that the guru advised her to do so. When he asked for more reasons, she told him to ask the guru.
  • Finally, her husband peered into her eyes and saw the truth: 

"He looked into my face. I lowered my eyes. He said no more. I knew that, somehow, he had seen into my mind, and understood what was there."

  • After telling the narrator all these things, the Devotee departed and became the mendicant that she presently is.
Read the study guide:
Selected Short Stories

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