Saturday, September 1, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
This photo was taken by Rabindranath Tagore, Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul was probably one of the last real Bauls to walk on earth. Baul is now extinct, who is saying they are from a lineage, only copied this web site, there is no other lineage of Baul.
Being a Baul back then was a very difficult life in Bengal. If anybody is whining saying how difficult it is to be a Baul today they are not Baul, you are only following a road that was preserved, held and brought forward from thousands of years.
Even back in Nabani's time it was super difficult, they survived through the Islamization of India, through pandemics and starvation. Babu Kishan preserved Baul decades ago. The only reason the world knows about Baul is because he has been doing this long before you were even born.
In the past 50 years during Babu kishan time he said, how difficult it is to educate people about Baul back in the 1960’s. They traveled and made arrangements all over the globe by mail. If not for Nabani Das Baul and his son Purna Das Baul and his son Babu Kishan nobody would know anything about Baul, they traveled and sang for the past almost 100 years.
There are very few people today who understand what and who the Bauls are. I often get oh the Bauls do not speak sanskrit, that is completely wrong they did speak Sanskrit and were the biggest Sanskrit Scholars in the Oral Tradition.
The young generation and when I say young I mean the people who have only observed the Bauls for the past 30 or 40 years do not know who the Bauls are because the ones that have come after this time period do not speak Sanskrit, most do not even know who wrote what song or the discourses behind the songs. Instead of saying they do not know, they say Baul does not care, what a lie. If you were indigenous Baul yes you would care.
Baul is really being sold as something it was never meant to be. Sad but True and Cultural appropriation of Baul is real.
Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul was legendary in India, he never left India, it was Purna Das Baul and Laxshman Das Baul his 2 son's who were the first Bauls to leave India on their fathers advice to Sally Grossman and her husband Albert B Grossman and Allen Ginsberg. You have to know that no Baul had ever been out of India expect Purna Das Baul in the 1950's he went to Russia. Then it was Babu Kishan who encouraged others who follow Baul to travel, he brought many along on their trips, but you will not hear this, you will only hear new made up lineages?
Manju Dasi and Babukishan, also worked endlessly trying to preserving this one and only lineag of Baul. They did concerts around the world, teaching at Universities and giving Baul some respectability because of the fake Bauls who denigrated Baul, many were Bangladeshi refugee’s who saw Purna Das Bauls success as a Baul singer, they are the riders on the coat tails of, the ones who presented as tantrics attracting unsuspecting tourists from India and worldwide hippy era.
It may seem like it was easy but it was not as their English was weak and there were no computers or telephones from India to the world. Traveling was very expensive..they gave up their life to preserve the Baul of Bengal, their birth right and lineage. Then came all the others who just used Baul to do something. There is cultural appropriation or cultural appreciation, when you make up a fake lineage that is cultural appropriation.
Others followers of Bauls have followed or tried to follow in their foot steps. Babu and his family opened the doors for all people who follow Baul whether they have tried to do the same and have been successful who knows, today people are more confused about who is real and who is not. This lineage family of Bauls has been traveling for more that 70 years. Babukishan for more than 50 now.
Purna Das Baul was given the title Baul Samarat by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963) he was given the award because he was India's first Vocal singer outside of India to win a Gold Metal for his vocal performance at the Russian Youth Festival which included participants such as Indian Cinema super star Raj Kapoor, Nagis ect.
He was the first Gold Metal for Bengal from a Baul, nobody knew what a Baul was he did not give himself this title, it was an honour bestowed upon him and yes he has it on the outside of his house and he should be proud as he was given many, many titles, awards and honours over his 88 years, he is a great singer.
After this so many politicians he sang to including Russian President, American President and in India at every political function in India.
Purna Das Baul brought Baul to an international platform before this Baul was no where just in the Village. He was very close to Indira Gandhi and he received his second Presidents Award for 'Lifetime Achievement and International Cultural Ambassador for India" from Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, Babukishan knows he was there and was totally dedicated to his father along with his late (2010) mother Manju Das.
No Baul or singers has achieved or come close to what he has achieved. Nabani Das his father was the great illusive Avadhuta Baul who was written about and respected by great Poets and Authors of his time, just because the young people do not know or remember, does not mean it was so.. Nabani Das was not only a Sadhaka he also was a freedom fighter and gave up so much to his country.
Nabani Das Khyapa Baul sitting, Purna Das and a cousin singing.
If any other Baul can accomplish what these Bauls have done on their own merit please let it be so but that does not change history. Babu is preserving this lineage because this is the only Bauls that have made a platform for Bauls and Bengal Culture making an international platform from the village to the World..
They started off so poverty stricken, it was Sitaram Das Omkarnath who suggested to Purna Das Baul to sing on the trains there is a whole story about this, before Purna Das Baul NO Baul sang on the trains of India.
Nabani was a wandering Sadhu and Avadhuta Tantric and gone all the time. The times were different, he did not stay home until Babu was born and left in his care and he named Babu Krishnendu Das Baul, these were the 8 years Babu was attached at Nabani's hip, in some ways it was one of the biggest Grace's of his life.
And may I add that Babukishan is the first Baul to ever be educated with a BA and MA from Calcutta University, the first Baul to be a Music Composer, Film Maker and Producer he is the first Baul to Live in North America.
Babu Kishan made it easier for the new Bauls all the traveling and interviews on TV books and education, he is the first Multi talented Baul and he is a Baul and has done it all on his own merit with no help from his family. His contribution is astronomical time wise and devotion wise, yet his songs, his stories, his legacy is being copied right now.
He still has all the songs of his lineage inside of him as his memory is like a lazer, Babu remembers every story, every detail. Why, I suspect because he learned Sanskrit in the Oral Tradition which is known to give a photographic memory.
The Bauls today do not know this so they say, “oh it is against Baul to know Sanskrit” we just love and talk about Tantric Sex and people flocked to Birbhum to learn tantric sex from these fake Bauls. Baul is very private!
The Bauls spoke Sanskrit, Babu learned oral Sanskrit from his Grandfather Nabani and Brajabala Dasi his Grandmother, then at Ramakrishna Mission and with many other Sanskritist because of interest, today no Bauls who follow Baul speak of know Sanskrit.
There is so much garbage on the internet being spread by internet Bauls. I mean Bengal needs to face it that the Bauls are extinct and appropriating Baul is not helpful.
Monday, July 9, 2012
The Guduri designed by Babu Kishan
Babu created this dress for his dad because in his mind he wanted to preserve Baul and while they were attending all the festival, concert hall, and doing lectures this dress would draw to what Baul was a multi coloured lineage.
Most Baul performers are wearing this dress today without even knowing who the mastermind behind it? Babu kishan aka Krishnendu Das the eldest grandson of Nabani Das Khyapa Baul and son ELDEST son of Purna Das Baul is the creator.
He would go around to all the tailors and collect bright colours and his mother Manju Das would sew them together by hand creating this bright Baul costume.
The patchwork Baul dress is called a Guduri it was created and designed by Babu Kishan in the 1970’s as an attractive dress for his father Purna Das Baul while he performed around the world.
This style of dress, appeared on record covers, magazine covers and festivals around the world.
Babu Kishan created this multi-coloured patchwork dress as a symbol of Unity for all and world peace.
The Gurduri is a symbol of no caste, creed or separate divisive religions as a symbol for humanity, we are different but the one in unity as human beings.
There is a beauty in our differences. Respect all.
If you see any Bauls wearing this colourful dress they most certainly follow this lineage, whether they or not they say or not and they know as they all copy this lineage. In the past decade internet has created a show and many participating in this show have created new fake lineages, that never existed before. To this day they all follow this one and only lineage, they follow their dress, songs, following them around the world to exact place and people.
This patchwork Gurduri has alway be worn by Babu’s father Purna Das Baul all who perform with him. Now you know the history and herstory of this colourful dress.
Another note, if you see any Baul singing Ektara, Baya (little drum) around their wast with Nupoor a metal style bells around their feet, they are copying Nabani Das Khyapa Baul as he is the first and only Baul ever to sing that style and if they are saying they are from a lineage other than this lineage, they are lying.
Nabani Das Baul was a Wild Kheppa Baul, a Sadhaka, A wandering sadhu, yogi, siddha Baul...
A well known sadhaka @ Tarapith...
Yes, also Vaishnava but each and everyone has our own path and in Baul this is allowed.
Bauls are not pedantic, they are lovers of Love, pure Bhakti Yoga....and lovers of all the Divine..
"MEMOIRS OF THE LEGENDARY NABANI KHYAPA. LITTLE KNOWN TO THE WORLD AS THE MAJOR SPIRITUAL GUIDE TO TAGORE."
Nabani Khepa sat in his asana and began his daily ritual: he packed his panchamukhi chillum with a fine mixture of tobacco and hashish. When it was ready, he dabbed it with snake venom, which he kept in a tiny mother of pearl casket. Silence reigned supreme.
Suddenly a morol, an elder with a voice in the village's affairs, burst in on Nabani: "Father, get ready to leave for Bakreswar immediately!" ... "There has been a death in the village. It is our custom that when someone dies on the day of Nabanya, all of us must accompany the body to the cremation in Bakreswar, and then bathe in the Jivanakund to be prified.
So saying, the man left. Nabani turned to his wife, Brajabala : "We are leaving this village this instant".
His tone made the children realise the gravity of his statement. As they left, Nabani lit his five-headed pipe and sucked on it, crying "Jai guru!"
After a long time, Brajabala turned to Nabani: "Why did we leave the village?"
The response was simple. "How can a Baul live among people who expect him to run after a corpse?"
Friday, May 18, 2012
Sahajaya, it is beyond Orthodox, Fun-da-mentalism or fake devotion, and it certainly does not mean sex....It means Pure Natural, Spontaneous Sacred, Mystical, Respect and Love all !!
Baul is Sahaja Vaishnavism, there are many who are now just discovering Sahajaya Vaishnavism from Bengal.
Baul is and always has been Sahajaya for thousands of years. The term Sahajaya has been totally misused by modern day orthodox Vaishnava reformers from Bengal.
"Sahaja simply means natural. It not only implies natural on physical and spiritual levels, but on the mystic level of the miraculous.
It means that easy or natural state of living without planning, design, contriving, seeking, wanting, striving or intention. It is that nature which, when once established, brings the state of absolute freedom and peace.
Sahaja is a natural state which balances reality between the pairs of opposites and maintains harmony of the Cosmos.
Thus ‘sahaja’ expresses one who has reverted to his natural state, free from conditioning.
It typifies the outlook which belongs to the natural, spontaneous and uninhibited man, free from innate or inherited defects. As such even nakedness of the sadhus is considered to be ‘sahaja’.
By his own demeanor Datta shows man’s instinct for naturalness and primordial perfection not only of the physical and spiritual level but at the mystical level.
A parallel is made to plants and trees which do not grow according ‘svadharma’ or rules and obligations incurred at birth. Nature only has ‘svabhava’ meaning its own inborn self or essence as its guidance. In other words ‘what is to come must come of itself’ to manifest in a state of absolute freedom.
Taoism speaks of ‘sahaja’ as a highest virtue – the loss of the peculiar naturalness or unselfconsciousness. One finds this state in an innocent child which is always in its ‘sahaja’ state unless interfered to by society.
In his semi-naked state Datta was just as unconscious of others nakedness as he was of his own. “The person who has conquered the baser self and has reached to the level of self mastery: he is at peace, whether it be in cold or hot, pleasure or pain, honoured or dishonoured" – Bhagavad Gita.
It is said that one would only comprehend the Avadhuta Gita after understanding the word ‘samsara’. It is also found in the Upanishads and Tantra scriptures where the sages used the word to mean ‘higher truths’.
What is ‘higher truth?’ It means the essential unity of all things -- of all existence, the equipoise of equanimity, the supreme bliss of harmony, that which is aesthetically balanced, undifferentiated unity, absolute assimilation, the most perfect unification and the highest consummation of Oneness. "
Yoga Ananda Saraswathi
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul is a Vaishnava Baul from Birth born in the village of Suri Birbhum, W Bengal given at birth to his grandparents Nabani Das Kheppa Baul and Brajabala Dasi they named him Krishnendu now KD Babukishan.
Osho knew Babukishan personally because at the time he was working for CBS in Bombay and Osho wanted all his talks ect produced. Along came Babukishan the first Baul Osho had met. Osho did not know any other Bauls, but like most people he was deeply inspired by the Bauls of Bengal. Osho wrote 2 books on Bauls that are not completely accurate, but still in print today. In one of their many converstations Babukishan asked Osho to change the books to make them more accurate, Osho agreed and said he would but he passed away in 1990 at only the age of 58, before these books could be changed. Babukishan spent many, many hours with OSHO talking about the Bauls of Bengal and he produced most of the music and tapes that are for sale today.
The books on Baul Osho wrote are way too simplistic with many assumptions made about who and what the Bauls of Bengal are, you must remember Osho is not a Baul he is not from Bengal.
Osho said Bauls were not philosophers, that is not true they are the biggest of philosophers, they are poets and most Bauls are singing the poetry from this lineage the Lineage of Nabani Das Khyappa Baul or Lalon Fakir's poetry which nobody knew until this family went back to Bangladesh in the 1970's and recorded it thus Baul became associated with Lalon Fakir.
Manju Das, (Babu's birth mother) was from Bangladesh, her fatherJogesh Das was a Sanskrit Professor (With 3 Masters Degree's) at Dhakha University, in 1952 they had to flee for their lives because Jogesh Das spoke Bengali and Sanskrit and at the time Bangladesh was being Islamised by the Pakistani's and if you didn't speak Urdu you were either dead or you had to flee for your life. There were no Bauls in Bangladesh in those day or very few, there however, Dervish, Fakir, Sai,and Shah which somehow got lumped in as Baul but they are not they are all Sufi. Baul for thousand of years has been based on Indian Philosophy, they accepted all people who rejected by other groups including Sufi. and as Sufi and flowed into Bengal the rejected Sufi came to the Bauls they Bauls learned the juice of Sufi but that does not mean they became Sufi, this also happened with the Buddhist's as they flowed into Bengal the Bauls accepted the rejected people and embraced thier philosophical gems but again this does not mean Bauls are Buddhist. Bauls are based on the ancient Sanatana Dhrama of India, I do not like to use the term Hinduism as it is a religion and Baul is a Dharma not a religion, Bauls are Tantric Bhakti Yogi's and this lineage is based on Vaishnava. A Vaishnava based on pure love and respect not the kind that has incarnated to the West of abuse and name calling. Vaishnava Bauls are sweet and humbler that an blade of grass, they have survived the British, the Muslim invaders, disease, famine and now in 2012 are almost extinct because of modern society. Bauls talked about everybody, you will not necessarily find that with Sufi or other groups mostly they talk about Allah or their own God, The Bauls always accepted all, they are the original Peacemakers of the planet and have something to teach the world at this time. In 2005 UNESCO said, The Bauls are an Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible History of Humanity.
Many students at the University of Dhakka were killed during the 1952 student protests Wikipedia only mentions 4 there were many others including Jogesh Das's brother who was beheaded.
Baul is simple if you grew up with the Guru and spoke sanskrit, learning all the philosophy from birth it is really easy if you are from the lineage. It is a Guru parampara tradition, too many people write inaccuracies about he Bauls because Bauls do not give out information easily. Babukishan also knows most of the scholars who have written books about the Bauls and he himself has written 3 books about the Bauls back in the 1980's, the real Bauls are basically extinct they need accurate preservation not speculation and a rewriting of what is already inaccurately written.
This below statement made by Osho is accurate is some ways and in some ways if you take this literally it is totally inaccurate and over simplified. What Osho said regarding the Bauls of Bengal is just fluff he never knew any Bauls other than Babukishan and he had written the books before he met Babu and passed away before he could fulfill his promise to Babukshan to change the books.
Worldwide Copyright all rights reserved 2012 as this is all being written about and will be in our book "Baul Unplugged. The true story of The Bauls of Bengal written by a living lineage holder. by Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul
"To be a Baul nothing is needed. In fact, the moment you need nothing, you become a Baul. The moment you are unburdened and you don't possess anything, any past, you are a Baul. No, things like that are never originated. Nobody creates them; they happen. They are part of nature.
Source - Osho Book "The Beloved, Vol 1"
Friday, April 20, 2012
Setting the Record straight.. A Baul song sang in Hindi for the first time. This is Babu's first film music in Hindi he had composed many times in Bengali since he was about 8 or 9 years of age.
Purna Das Baul did not score this, his eldest son Krishnendu Das aka Babukishan scored the music. On the movie cover it will state Krishnendu Das Baul on the album Babu gave his Dad's name out of Love and Respect to his parents as Purna Das wanted to be known as a Music Director. Babukishan in fact composed this music and arranged the music. (Flute Chandakant Nandi, Dotara and Banjo by Paltan, Khol Babukishan, Percussion Manju Das Khamak and singing Purna Das, lyrics Niraj. Purna Das Baul was the best Baul singer ever.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Babu teaching Levon Indian Drums 2004 @ Levon's house in Woodstock.
Love you Levon.. Babukishan (Levon Helm and Babukishan @ Albert B Grossman's Studio in Woodstock)
Purna Das Baul is an extra ordinary singer. In his early days he was one of Indian's top vocalist to be the first who traveled outside of India. He has been awarded 3 President of India Awards, A prestigious one and only Nada Brahma Award, Padma Shri and many other awards. He has done more for Baul paving a road that never existed before.
This is the one and only Lineage of Vaishnava Baul, there are other Vaishnava but there is only one Lineage of Baul and all other Bauls follow this lineage, they dress as this lineage, they sing their songs and call themselves Das Baul and Dasi. This lineage is from Ekachakra Birbhum Bengal.
All Bauls now try to copy and follow, even making contacts with the people who Babu Kishan and Purna Das Baul had contact with. Doing as Purna Das Baul does, dressing how he dresses but many also, criticize him for making money. I recently said, to someone... if you had attained success as a great vocalist such as the Beatles would you just give it away. Calcutta is known for a saying, 'riding on the coat tail of others' and that is what many of the new Bauls that came to Calcutta in the 1970's did, they called it fake it til you make it. You can not fake Baul it is impossible but yet they follow where this family goes and what they do. However, many have made up stories and lineages that never existed in Baul. They are now fundraising to preserve Baul, but Baul has been preserved by Babu Kishan aka Krishnendu Das decades ago, it has already been done. Stay tuned Babu Kishan will talk about all this.