Bauls are India wandering spiritual minstrels of West Bengal whose ecstatic songs and dance reflect their joy, love and longing for mystical union with the Divine. To them the human body is the holiest of holies wherein the Divine is intimately enshrined as the "Moner Manush",the person of the heart. Baul philosophy emphasises love for all human beings as the path leading to the Divine Love. Romantic love to the Baul is the link between the human being and God. In fact, they believe that God is the eternal lover of the eternal woman which is the human soul. The word "Baul" is derived from the Sanskrit word "Baul" which means "mad". Bauls are free thinkers who openly declare themselves to be mad for the God who dwells within us all. Among others, Bauls use the following instruments:
"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 ever.) 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."
12. GOPI CHAND Yantra- this one string instrument allows you to change the pitch by squeezing the bamboo sides. The tighter you squeeze, the lower the note gets, until the instrument breaks and you have to get a new one at the corner gopi chand store. The name Gopi Chand came from Babu's lineage, The Vaishnava Lineage Bauls of Bengal.
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Written..by Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul