They say,"Ingesting menstrual blood is the focal point of Vaishnava Baul ideology, a tradition sustained by means of recruitment. Yet many converts continue to reside in their natal village, thus maintaining daily contact with their kin and neighbors. This fact has been insufficiently emphasized"??? This is not true.
"The traditional Vaishnava Bauls are not sustained by way of recruitment," this is also is not true.
Baul is an oral tradition that was passed word of mouth between from father to son, and mother to daughter within family blood lines. They accepted everybody but to be a Baul you would have spent at least 12 years with your Guru a family member learning sanskrit and in sadhana.
Baul is almost extinct this is misleading scholarship. There are very few Bauls left in this world.
Again they state,This fact has been insufficiently empahsized (of ingesting mentral blood)" because it is not true.
It is true Bauls do not follow rules and regulations and they are not orthodox in the traditional sense but what that means is they are spontaneous, natural and they have a tradition, I have explained that Bauls are not beginners, they already know the rules of Yoga, so they do not follow the rules of the beginners hearing Indian philosophy for the first time.
There perhaps are some people who were associated witht the Bauls or are new Baul singer who emphasize this. This is definetly not a focual point of Vaishnava Baul, what this is is a great way to sell a book, to make money off the Bauls again a way to create some kind of attraction, a way to attract the curious, again this is not the emphasis of what the Bauls are.
Vaishnava Baul is an incredibly beautiful oral tradition, why not write about this beauty, the love. There are maybe only a few real Bauls left who can pass on the tradition and preserve what is left of the magic.
"Ingesting menstrual blood is the focal point of Vaishnava Baul ideology, a tradition sustained by means of recruitment. Yet many converts continue to reside in their natal village, thus maintaining daily contact with their kin and neighbors. This fact has been insufficiently emphasized. Instead, previous accounts have tended to describe the adherents as marginal wanderers, "renouncers," opposed to society at large (Capwell 1974; Dimock 1989; Salomon 1995:187)." Again NO this is not the focial point,neither is recruitment, Bauls never recruit anybody, if they did they would not be on the verge of extinction.
Bauls do not beg, if they do they are not a Baul, Bauls are were given Dakshina, they were the spiritual newspapser before the newspaper... Bauls are not beggars, perhaps new Bauls singers are But not authentic tradition Vaishnava Bauls. They are beggars only for God/dess.
Railway station singing is a new phenomena, Purna Das Bauls was the first Bauls to start this if other have followed it is new, Baul is ancient going back thousands of years. Baul caste is not that of the untouchables.. leatherworkers, they were farmers, they are Jat Gosai. Please understand what you are seeing today is not what it had been for the past thousands of years. In the past 30 years the Bauls have become extinct, only the ones who hold the oral tradition within them know what Baul is. There are many people calling themselves Baul who beg but this is not Baul. Vaishnava Bauls have never been leatherworkers, if you know the culture of Bengal you would Bauls are never, ever leatherworkers. These people may call themselves Baul but Vaishnava Baul never does leatherwork.
This is another piece of mixed up scholarship, patchy work, copy and pasted and then copyrighted. I know it is all well menaing but the Bauls have been used by scholars, record producers, movie makers, by religious groups for fundraising. The whole culture has been stolen and revamped and relabled and twisted. Babukishan knows this all to well, the last scholar mentioned in the list of scholars above, God rest her soul, used Babu by getting him to sign grant papers, ect.. and then cut him out and used some so called new Baul singers.