# 1. Baul History and Her-story has been Archived and Preserved by Babu Kishan decades ago!
All Bauls follow this One and Only Lineage of Bauls, they dress as they dress, they sing their songs and they go where ever they go, they follow what they do!
Ektara, Baya, Nagpur are only this lineage, they are classic Nabani Das Khyapa Baul that is fact.
I am sorry to say one problem is that scholars or writers on Baul have it wrong, they have either talked to the wrong Bauls or have cut and paste what already has been falsely written in books and articles regarding who the Baul are.
For instance and you can double check every Baul and Baul writer copies what Professor Edward Dimok wrote, Baul means afflicted by the wind and mad. This is not what Baul means and if one was a Baul as they say they are they would know what Baul means.
Baul is 2 Sanskrit Words Vayu and Tula and how that works is a huge discourse but it is related to Vayu and Baul practices, Bengali's always use a B instead of V. Vikram is Bikran, Vrindavan is Brindaban? Vatula = Batula = Baula = simple Baul. No one has ever said this before only Babu has let out these teachings so if you see if copied and pasted now you know where it was copied from/
Some are trying to popularize Bauls by saying that the Bauls are a rootless religion, this is one of the biggest distortions I have ever heard, and completely wrong.
First of all Baul is not a religion.
Baul is Dharma and a path of sadhana. Baul roots are not only deep they are ancient. If you do not know the eternal dharma and proceed on a path without roots how will never understand or gain the depth that is aquired from a strong foundation, one needs to understand the history, the roots of Baul, the eternal dharma called Baul.
This fruit can only grow through sadhana. The juice or rasa of Baul is only alive and drinkable because this lineage has kept the songs alive, the Baul sadhana and Baul philosophy alive for thousands of years through devotion. In my observations the new Bauls are trying to change the unchangeable ocean of the Bauls of Bengal, cutting the roots off, without the roots the tree will not grow for future generations. Baul is mystical tradition of sadhana, a Guru and disciple parampara Oral Living Lineage.
My lineage of Bauls being the oldest living lineage of Baul, we are the original ecstatic devotional singer, we are Tantric Bhakti Yogi's from West Bengal India. In 2011 I am finding the Bauls are at a crossroad, which way will they go?
Nabani Das Baul was the first and last Baul Teacher at Rabindranath Tagore's University 'Viswa Bharti'. He also was Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's Baul Music, Dance and philosophy teacher at Viswa Bharti, this is how Nabani Das Baul had come to Know Jawaharlal Nehru. When India gained independence form the British in 1947 Nehru invited Nabani Das Baul to sing at the inaugaration ceremonies all over India.
Anandamoyi Ma once said to me,"Bauls are complete, they are far advanced to a university degree, they are beyond a PHD." She said, that she wanted to be in touch with my grandfather Nabani Das Baul but for some reason could not, her strongest spiritual guru Sitaram Das Omkarnath who brought her into the spiritual limelight was a very close associate of Nabani Das Baul and it was Sitaram Das Omkarnath who told Ananadmoyi Ma the many stories about my grandfather Sri Nabani Das Baul. At that time in history it was so hard to do what Anandamoyi Ma did, it was a mans world in regards to being a spiritual guru, I loved both Anandamoyi Ma and Sitaram Das Omkarnath.
Bauls accept all, feed all, they even adopt those who are rejected by mainstream society. A Baul is never pedantic, we never say we are better or that Krishna is better than Shiva, that kind of talk is for the spiritually immature. Bauls encourage people, they are not preachers who gather people for the sake of collecting devotee's and money to build temples. Bauls want everybody to be a free bird, to find the divine within. Bauls talk for the people, they show love they do not just talk about it, they already know all the finer points of Bhakti yoga.
Although his father Nabani Das would be have been furious if you gave him money for his singing as he was a Baul Guru, it was automatic that he received Dakshina out of respect for his amazing knowledge and spontaneous healings, it was a way of respect, a way of being grateful.
The Bengali movie Hansraj was based on the life of my father.
In 1985 which featured stories about my aunt Radharani Dasi, an outstanding woman Baul was called Tagori and it should be known I designed her dress for the movie. I provided the story, and was the film project designer, they also made this movie into a Hindi version called Sawan Koaane aane do made by Rajshri Productions.
Raikamal (Bengali, 1955) was adapted from a story by the Bengali author Tarashankar Banerjee who wrote about Sri Nabani Das Baul. The movie stared Uttam Kumar, Kaberi Bose, Nitish Mukherjee, Sabitri Chatterjee, Chandrabati Devi, Jiben Bose, Namita Sinha and others with music directed by Pankaj Mullick.
In my opinion this is a blatant distortion of this most beautiful ancient oral living lineage. They are painting a picture, making up stories so fantastic, to be Baul is to be humble.
The original Bauls of Bengal are extinct and it is a tragedy making up stories, making up lineages, I mean why? Baul is not your family, what is the purpose Baul has already been Archived and Preserved decades ago.
Bauls are free birds, they are flexible but that does not mean anything goes. Today Baul is being misrepresented being made out to be about folk songs, smoking ganja, and tantric sex, is this the only topic the new Bauls can use to draw people in, oh yes a new method dread locks and endless twirling if that does not work they will think of something else? This is not Baul. If you read about Baul or hear about Baul and this is the first subject and only subject you can know you are hanging with the wrong Bauls or the fake it til you make it growp.
Teaching, talking about Baul is simple, learning Baul sadhana is arduous. There are at the very least 5,000 songs to memorize as seeds of higher philosophy. There should be some recognition of boundaries, even though a Baul always says they have no boundaries, a Baul must be able to understand the paradox in all things. A Baul must have a Guru whom they study under for many years if not their whole life, they basically live with this guru every day for years and years, and this Guru should at least be a Baul Guru, a legitimate Baul Guru who teaches the lineage, the history of the Bauls of Bengal not omitting anything, a Guru who is honest and not afraid to tell the truth, this guru should have mastered Indian Philosophy.
Myself I had to stand back for years and do seva to my guru before I went out on my own, and I certainly never called myself legendary, this is the sign of a immature ego.
I myself have traveled the world for 40 years representing Baul and my lineage, my dharma, or my duty, it is in my blood, I am a lineage Baul of Bengal from a legendary family of Bauls, but blood aside I am a Baul, I have put in years and years of Sadhana and seva. If you want to help by preserving Baul first learn the history of what you are preserving.
A Baul always has an ocean of deep knowledge, real wisdom, as a Baul you are a Guru not just a performer, you must be able to teach, to argue philosophy, you must be able to provide the knowledge of all things regarding Indian philosophy, and you must be able to help people heal. Bauls are master of energetics, a Baul is never about just a preformer.
Baul is not just about saying a few words, smiling and acting sweet, to be a Baul, the lineage must be active within you, meaning you have spent years learning yoga, tantra, vedanta, Indian philosophy, you should have real life experience, with a level of maturity and some connection to the a real Baul?? You can only make people stupid for a little while. Baul is the most beautiful heart filled divine way of reaching heaven and realizing God/dess within you. It is Indian Bhakti Yoga, originating back to the beginning of the story the Bhagavad Gita.
Baul is always based on Indian Philosophy, Indian scriptures transmitted orally through the ages and distilled into simple songs in Bengali for the rural Bengali's who lived in the village.
Bauls do sadhana they are yogi's, mantra, japa, nada yoga, pranayama, yoga, and they are accomplished tantric musicians who know the technique to awaken their intended deity, they are magic bringers, they make magic happen, Bauls know the technique to awaken the forces of nature and the divine the heart of everyone.
Bauls are not just regular singer and dancers. Just as a master of the Sitar who is accomplished knows the technique which awakens the divine that will fill the room with the perfume of a divine bhava, it is the same with the Baul there is a technique, the tantra of Baul awakens the perfume of the Gods and Goddess's, you must have completed your sadhana for this to be alive.
Baul is not about just singing a song, or sitting around chanting a mantra in a group, as a Baul you must have mastered the tantra of Baul or have the siddhi of Baul. Baul is not just about shouting out a song and swinging in a circle, there is a technique, a Tantra a Baul sings from the heart. A Baul is a soul singer not a shouter and I can tell because I am a master of Baul, classical, folk and bollywood I can hear who is singing what? Most new Bauls are singing folk songs, and to my surprise I have even heard a few sing a bollywood songs, calling it a Baul song??
The accept all who were rejected, a Bauls loves everybody, is respectful of everybody, they helped people grind themselves to be lovers of the divine. Baul originated way before Sufi or Buddhism. Bauls are ancient, they are a mystical path to reach God, they grind the rasa, the juice of the heart to wake up. Krishna and Radha live in the hearts of the lineage Bauls.
These new Bauls are taking all the credit, selling themselves on our stories, our songs they do not mention anything about the lineage or the people who have walked before them. We have been running around the world, dedicating our lives to sadhana, making a platform for these Bauls and yet they are using our life stories, our lineage and they do not even mention the legendary Nabani Das Baul and his family, which by the way is quite large. This lineage is based on Guru, there should be respect, if there is no respect then one has not learned the first lesson of being a Baul. The Baul students today like to be Baul, they hang out with a some Bauls, they call their Guru’s respected, that is all fine, but that also does not constitute what a Baul is.. It is not easy to be a Baul and certainly taking pictures of oneself with Bauls and dressing like a Baul, copying my father, does not constitute being a Baul.
Promoting yourself in magazines, websites, changing the story day by day does not mean you are a Baul. Baul songs are not folk songs, sadhana is Baul. The maturity of this sadhana must show. Everybody is messing up what Baul is, changing the story, watering down the songs to make them easier to sing. Western Bauls are not Bauls, they have no association with the Bauls of Bengal, even their Guru’s, guru was not a Baul. One of the first tenents of Baul is having respect and by using Baul as a way to create something for yourself is not about respect or respect for the Baul.
All the above Music composed, produced, recorded, arranged and promoted by Babu Kishan.
All of lives we have brought Baul out of the village it is surprising to me that even back in the 70's when I started to tour outside of India it was very rare to see an Indian let alone a Bangladeshi who knew about Bauls, even when we traveled to Bangladesh trying to help preserve Lalon Fakir songs, there were no Bauls in Bangladesh, there were a few and they were not singing Baul songs they were singing Bangladeshi folk songs and I brought them to Kolkata and had them recorded. Being Baul now all of a sudden I see Bangladeshi folk singers holding the ektara up high, but singing folk songs and becoming Baul and we are proud that they are embracing Baul, this is a very new thing.
My mother Manju Das Baul traveled around the world over and over since 1962, she played on some of the biggest stages of the world including the Royal Albert Hall in London, Carnagie Hall in New York, Nitaji Indoor stadium in Kolkata, and she never once called herself legendary. My grandmother Brajabala Dasi and Aunt Radharani, and many more who are born and raised into the Baul way of life never once called themselves legendary. What is going on…? I know there are many Baul women who are not getting a chance, Baul women tend to be shy, they are not aggressive.
I am going to make it my mission to promote these authentic Baul women, they need my help now. The stories are encoded in our songs, Gosai Das Baul. I have read the writings of modern day Vaishnava reformers it is all wrong, all I see is cut and paste, the stories are so far fetched and they believe this to be truth because their Guru said, there is no basis for over half of the stories, no where in Bengal have we ever heard these made up stories.
My aunt Radharani Dasi was the first woman Baul and belive me she nothing like the female Baul singers today shouting out songs, she was completely a deep spiritual soul singer, one must remember my ears are so trained, I am a composer, I can hear what is Baul and what is not Baul. The record Company's owner contracted my dad every year, and one album after one album he became a super star. I composed all of the music for my dad and mom, and did all the promotion ect.. I worked day and night like a good little servant eldest son.
Whoever met Rabindranath Tagore, used to say Khyapa Nabani Das Baul was the last original authentic Baul, now today what I see I almost want to weep, at the lack of Baul history, how everybody is saying they are legendary, I am not sure these new Baul really know what it is to be a Baul.
However, I do have hope that they can be trained authentically and my dream is to create a Baul ashram to do just that to preserve my lineage, to tell the stories as they should be told, to help the Bauls remain on the world stage with their heads held high. I realize I have to come back to Bengal to make this happen, is it possible, will the Bengal people support Baul, a major part of Bengali Culture or are the Baul a thing of the past, now just to be a tourist attraction? I want to create a legacy for the Bauls of Bengal, a place for them to do sahana, for all the new Bauls to learn the history of Baul. To be a Baul is an honour now is the time the world needs to learn about these gentle peace keepers, the way of the Baul perhaps is the way of a new world full of peace, acceptance, and divine love, including all, helping all.
cturer at Kolkata University, he met a man names Abhay and became good friends with this man he met at Tollygunge who later became a modern spiritual leader, his name was Abhay Charan Dey who later became known as Srila Prabhupada of Iskcon.