Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Janamastami, Happy Birthday Krishna

Jai Sri Krishna! To the Lineage Bauls Krishna and Radha are very important as they live in their hearts. It is Krishna's birthday, this Baul Kirtan was writen by Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul, the singer is his "World renowned Music Composer multi talented musical genius" Grandson Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul. Jai Sri Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hari Bol

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baul History traveling oversea's

1985 San Francisco, California

A little bit of Baul history as told by Al Aronowitz who was the father of Rock Journalism in New York City.

1985 "Purna and his family arrived in the States this trip on September 23 to tour with world-renown sitarists Ravi Shankar and Aly Akbar Khan in an Indian music festival that'd camped in L.A., San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, Chicago and New York. It was Allen Ginsberg who'd reminded Purna to look me up when he got to New York. The first time Purna phones me, he stands me up. That's OK. The language barrier. Finally we zero in on each other. First Babu scouts me and then they pick me up and take me to the gig."

Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul, his father Purna Das Baul, and mother Manju Das Baul did many, many world tours with the best of the East and the West. They were a magic trio and super talented musicians. Purna Das Baul was the first Indian voclaist to travel worldwide outside of India. They are all highly regarded, multi award winning. Babukishan for his musical compositions in Bengal, and the Indian Cinema, Purna Das Baul the best Baul singer ever, and Manju as a vocalist and Harmonium player.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baul Mystic Love Bird (Baul Fusion) by Babu Kishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul

This is a Baul fusion style song. In the video you will see pictures of Babukishan's family home in Kolkata, the temple in Shantiniketan where there is a Statue of Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul, Babu's grandfather. The statue was commissioned by Rabindranath Tagore. There is a picture of the statue and the second picture is of Babu standing with the statue. There are photos of his Baul family temple, the alter, tulsi, and his grandparents samadhi. There is a photo of Babu with the Tara Pith Temple peopl from 2007 , photos of Dakinashwar Temple in Kolkata, Babu was a monk for 12 years in the Ramakrishna order. There is also a rare photo of Kali Ma and Lord Shani from a temple in Bengal. This really gives a good depiction of Baul and Bengal. There is no Baul without Bengal, they are from the soil and soul of Bengal and there is no Bengal without the Bauls the two go hand in hand.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Dotara was used for the first time as a Baul instrument in the 1940's.

5. DOTARA - a folk instrument much like it's classical cousin, the sarode, and not unlike it's western relative, the fretless banjo. Plucked with a coconut shell pick, the strings are depressed with the fingernails of the left hand, rather than the finger pads as in a guitar or violin. the finger nail becomes like the slide on a slide guitar. My dotar has an electric pickup built into the bridge, which is normally made of elephant teeth, I am the first Baul to do fusion music, then I made an electric mandolin, and added more instruments... Babukishan

"The first Dotara used by Bauls was by Gopal Das Baul in the early 1940's he was the husband of Radharani Dasi Baul ( Babu's aunt who was the biggest most famous Baul women for her revolutionary firsts as a Baul women, she was a sweet magical Baulini with a voice that is a gift.)  Gopal Das Baul was the disciple of Nabani Das Baul. Nabani asked what Gopal wanted because he was such a wonderful student, of all my students you are the best, and Gopal said I want to marry your daughter, Radharani, he said allow me to be in your family and take care of Radharani all my life.. Gopal Das was pure Vaishnava, a true sadhaka.

Radharani was the first official Baul to record for all India Radio... In 1960's there was movied call Raikamal made about Radharani's life, wrote by one of Bengali's top writers, Tara Shankar. In 1985 a movie called Togori was also made about Radharani's life.. A very historic family Lineage of Bauls....
Gopal Das was the son of the Ekchakra Nityananda Temple, and he was a great sweet maker. Nityananda Mahaprabu was a Baul and from this lineage."

Copyright all rights reserved Babukishan

Saturday, August 13, 2011

All Photos from this lineage, the only oldest living lineage of Bauls of Bengal, India.

Baul Saint Nabani Das Khyappa Baul
John Allen in 1973 Australia with Purna Das Baul and his wife Manju Das, Far right Bhakto Das Baul a T series Baul singer. Nabin Koyal, Jiban Mondol long time associated with Purna Das Baul and Manju Das. Jiban played in Bauls of Bengal in 1967 they have been associated with Purna Das Baul for 40/50 years. Nabin Koyal is one of Bengals top devotional singers. These Bauls and singers have been so devoted to Baul.

Purna Das Baul and group including Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul in Shantiniketan Pous Mela, Purna Das Baul was always the biggest attraction. The Pous Mela was created in honour of Nabani Das Baul by Rabindranath Tagore. What is going on at the Pous Mela today is not what is was meant to be it is completely ruined, the originality it totally gone. Purna Das and group do not show up anymore, and probably other original Baul do not show up because it has become something different.. The days of the orginal are gone.
Manju Dasi, you can call her legendary, she was the first Women Baul to travel over seas starting in the early 60's and unlimited times around the world. She is what legends are made of, she played on the biggest stages around the world.. May she rest in Peace.. Jai maa

Original Bauls of Bengal by Deban Battacharya.
This is a picture of Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul on the cover of The Bauls at Big Pink a recording made in 1967 @ Woodstock New York, with Purna Das Baul and group. This is the picture of a Lineage Baul a "Vaishnava Baul" from Birbhum Bengal India. Nabani Das Baul was a Baul saint who wrote an unlimited amount of Baul poetry, he inspired Rabindranath Tagore. This picture was taken by Rabindranath Tagore himself. Most of the Bauls are singing his songs but do not give credit probably because they do not know and also they are singing Babu's songs from Baul albums that he composed and recorded. It is always funny for Babu to hear these songs being sung because he altered them from the original so that they were more understandable. Most Baul singers also think they are the original songs but they are not.. Baul songs are part of Baul sadhana, they are seed songs of long discourses on Yoga, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Tantra, Shakti Sadhana and Indian Philosophy, so if you want to be a Baul, learn these first. Baul comes from a Baul Guru it does not come from Guru's in other traditions.

Manju Dasi the first and only Baul women to travel the world, Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul and Purna Das Baul.

Brajabala Dasi Babukishan's beloved Grandmother, a Baul women of the highest. She is a legendary Baul women, a lineage Baul and probably one of the last great women Bauls to walk this earth.  She was Nabani Das Bauls wife and mother to Purna Das Baul.
                                   Young Purna Das Baul and his father Nabani Das Baul

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hansraj - 1976 Film of the Life of Purna Das Baul, Babukishan's father.

Note. they are dressed 60's style but it was more like the 1940's, this is a movie about Purna Das Bauls life coming to Kolkata at a very early age, his struggles and bringing Baul out of the village to the world. Part 1  Part 2 Part 3   Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11   Part 12 

There is a film called Tagori 1986, about BabuKishan's aunt, Radharani Dasi. Babukishan was involved in both movies.. This is the oldest living lineage of Baul, there is no comparison with any of the new Bauls who are making up stories about lineages ect.. these made up lineage do not exist it is all story. They are singing songs from this lineage,  therefore they come from this lineage or they are singing Bangladeshi folk songs, and that is not Baul.

Why I say this is because the Bauls dress like this lineage, they sing the songs of this lineage, to make up stories on Baul at this point is a ruining a tradition that is almost extinct. There were so many people wandering around Bengal and they all were lumped together as Baul and this is not so. Baul is different from Fakir, Sai, Aula, Shah, Dervish??? Baul is Das Baul, Dasi Baul and anybody with the name Das Baul comes out of this lineage, Das and Dasi are Vaishnava. They are not Fakir, Sai, Aula, or Dervish those are Sufi... Baul accepts Sufi not the other way around, sufi does not necessarily accept Baul. Sufi is Sufi... Baul is Baul... 

A Baul accepts everybody, it is not necessarily so with Sufi, you do not often see a Sufi singing songs of Krishna and Radha talking about Krishna and Radha and Hinduism but you will see a Baul talking about Sufi, Christianity, Buddhism... Baul is based on Indian Philosophy, not Islam, it is based on the Bhagavad Gita.. and is as old as the Bhagavad Gita.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul and Deben Battacharya

Deben Battacharya and Baul Saint Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul were great friends. Deben Bhattacharya wrote a great article in the London Times 'NABANI DAS KHYAPA BAUL A MILESTONE of BAUL of BENGAL' early 1940's, he also wrote a small book on Nabani Das Baul, which has some inaccuracies in it.. especially the death of Nabani Das Baul.. it is a very simple book.
Baul Saint Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul was a renowned Baul of the "only" oldest living lineage of Baul. Today all Bauls sing his songs but do not even know who he is. It is sad to see Bauls making up stories of lineages, or making Baul about neo tantra and smoking ganja. Baul is ancient they were the original Hare Krishna singers and dancers in West Bengal India. Baul comes from the soul there is no acting. We are in the process of archiving all Nabani Das Baul songs and songs of the ancestors of this lineage to keep Baul in a context and to stop some of this nonsense of making up lineages and then behind the back singing songs from this lineage?? Baul songs are not folk songs, the term folk song became associated with Baul because the Bauls did not understand english and it was the easiest way to describe Baul to a foreigner or outsider, somone who is from outside the tradition. 

Now Bauls have learned english and people have a greater understanding of yoga, so it is not necesssary to describe them as folk singer, they are sadhaka's and spiritual singer of the highest of Indian Philosophies.

When Nabani Das Baul introduced Baul to the world there was only "one" lineage, now everyday a new lineage is born with their new stories of new teachers and lineages, sometimes they will give their teachers name and it usually is not a Baul or it was someone who associated with this lineage and perhaps does not want to be associated anymore so they make up stories or even perhaps they want to create something new. Yet they are still singing the song of this lineage but with no acknowledgment of where they got the information from or who wrote the songs, everything has to come from somewhere, don't sing songs from this lineage then make up new lineage.... this is not in alignment with the soul. Bauls are soul singers, Bhakti Yogi's.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Baul history part 3

"Note"... Baul is a guru tradition, this is the oldest and only living lineage tradition of Baul in Bengal and there is only one ancient oral living tradition left in Bengal, that is the Vaishnava Bauls of Birbhum West Bengal. Wikipedia on Baul is wrong. Baul songs are not folk songs, they are spiritual sadhana's. Baul singers should know who wrote the songs and give credit to the lineage, where the songs came from instead of singing the songs writen by Nabani Das Baul and making up different lineages, but still continuing to sing songs that come from Nabani Das Bauls lineage or in fact were writen by Nabani Das Baul himself. Everything comes from somewhere, this is lineage, where did it come from? Who wrote the song if the song is from this lineage then it is this lineage..

We are working on creating archives that come from inside, "the lineage Bauls" to be preserved correctly by "a Lineage Baul" instead of outsiders who make up stories as they go. There are too many people distorting and making it up as they go, from internet copy and paste or from books that are totally inaccurate as to what Baul is.. Babu will be speaking in India on this very subject very soon. Bauls are unique, they are different from any other group in India or around the world. They are yogi's.
All rights reserved, copyright material 2011 Babukishan Das Baul b289-baul-history-101-part-3