A Baul is a title such as 'Acharya, Guru, or Adept' it is not a radom title for all, there was a way of life. Baul is an adept in Pranayama, Vaishnava and Tantra, a true Baul has spend a lifetime learning all shastra and doing sadhana. Without sadhana there is no Baul, but just because a person does sadhana (practice) does not make them a Baul either.
For instance Nabani Das Khyapa Baul could meditate under water for 12 hours or more, he could be buried under the earth for 12 hours or more. Perhaps this will help you understand why Baul is extinct, Nabani was the last authentic Baul who carried the Essence of Baul.
If one says, Baul means 'afflicted by the wind' they do not understand, they have copied and pasted it from Edward Dimock who was an American early Bengali scholar, in his Book "The Places of the Hidden Moon" he did a great job describing Sahajiya Vaishnavism which by the way is Baul.
Baul is NOT Afflicted by the wind, and people use 'Edward Dimock' as the bench mark on what Baul is? He did the best he could at the time but the repeated scholarly copy and paste of this is an insult to the real authentic Baul. To the Bau who has archived his lineage over decades and who is from this lineage, an expert Sanskritist oral and classical at the highest levels.
Most of the PHD's from over the world used to come to Babu Kishan aka Krishnendu Das to learn both Sanskrit, Bengali and yes of course about Baul because his house in Calcutta was a Cultural Hub.
Babu Kishan, asked Lila Roy, (the best ever Bengali translator) and the most (under recorded) American Bengali Translator for Rabindranath Tagore. When Babu asked her if this person or that person was very good at doing Bengali to English translations, she just shrugged her shoulders in none agreement way. However, Lila Roy would never say anything bad about anybody. All scholars pat each other on the back but do they ever talk about Lila Roy, I am pretty sure they all met her!
*Note*, The Vaishnava Bauls were Sanskritists as Babu Kishan was born into. None speak Sanskrit anymore and have twisted the story to suit their narrative.
The Bauls sang their songs in Bengali, just as Tulsi Das composed the Hanuman Chalisa in the vernacular language of the villagers, so did the Bauls because their job was to educate the villagers, they were the Guru's.
Bauls are known as the 'Wind Catchers'. Babu Kishan is the first person to explain this, just saying because now you will see others change their story and attribute it to their fake lineages.
More will be written about this in his new book. Baul = Vayu Dharma = the Wind Catchers, yes the Honey catchers and there is a long explanation because they are the Pied Pipers of Vaishnava (a term I used long ago) the Vaishnava Bauls are "The Rasa Lila Mystics" another term coming from Babu Kishan.
If they are this how can they be Fakir, Aul, Sai, Dervish and Shah those of Muslim Sufi if you want to categorize Baul one could say they are 'Hindu Sufi' Sufi as a term to describe the original people of planet earth the people of music, dance and love, who accepted all.
Bauls are from the soil and soul of Birbhum Bengal India. The people (Bauls who say) that Bauls are from the above places are confused, they are 'riding on the coat tails of this lineage' and at the same destroying the legacy that Babu Kishan and his family created around the world. We know who they are, you copy everything and follow this lineage around the world. Strangely enough the term, 'riding on the coat tails' was coined in Calcutta, this is nothing new.
In the past many different groups were wandering around Bengal and they were lumped together under 'Baul', they were not Baul. The British had a huge disdain for all wandering people, they were treated badly and they all lumped together and called Baul and this Aul Baul Sai Dervish comes from Bhaktivinode Thakur who has a huge distain for indigenous Bengali's, he was not even born a Vaishnava or Sanskritist, he was a meat eater. This is where this came from??
Baul is educated in the oral tradition and this Oral tradition is Sanskrit not just random Bangladeshi Bengali, there is a difference from 'Birbhum Bengali' and Bangladeshi Bengali, Babu will often tell me where people are from just based on how they sound.
Bhaktivinde Thakur met someone but he did not meet a Baul. Gosai is added to Bhaktivinode's list too, this lineage is Gosai, he never liked Gosai is aka Gosain, Goswami.
When one mentions Baul, the orthodox and Western fundamental Vaishnava come out in hate of Bauls displaying a type of apa-sampradaya that is far from what Vaishnava was meant, far from what the real Vaishnava who are about and being, 'humbler than a blade of grass'.
A little respect please, this One and Only lineage are the ancestor of Sri Nityananda of Ekachakra. Vaishnava Baul the path of the Avadhuta going back for thousands of years before Sri Nityananda.
It is said, the Pandava's were exiled in 'Ekachakra' in the Mahabharata War , which can be calculated using Jyotish the eyes of the Veda's.
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