Babu Kishan aka Krishnendu Das Musings:
Without even knowing Baul History, many are talking, writing and making up stories. Then many of the younger people are following the wrong people, who are misleading, society through Social Media and gathering people through their acting and drama, there is 'no other lineage of Baul', this is made up and false.
Some of my older friends who are very intellectual are waking me up, they want me to write about the #Bauls again. I was disturbed by my Calcutta family, and they are not and never my 'well wisher', actively working against every step I made. They wanted all of me, they wanted me only to work for them, however, there was nothing in return, no love, only disturbance and greed, money money money. I gave them everything even when I had my own family in Mumbai, there was nothing but constant disturbance, my mom was my bank account and that was not enough for them. I had to work to support their luxury lifestyle.
Who will know about Bauls more than me, even my fathers book on Baul was all based on my research, my name was not even mentioned. I composed, released through big labels, all my Dad's albums, promoted with my own money through my own contacts, with not even a thank you. My family talked nasty behind my back and honestly I was really hurt, even my own father was not kind to me.
I worked tirelessly and with great energy, my nic name was energetic fire, I was a fire and I created a concrete platform for Bauls throughout the World. It was my intention that the world know about Baul. I wrote letters, making my own contacts.
I arranged for both my parents to meet Bob Dylan, after 18 years (I brought my father along to Dylan's birthday at Madison Square Gardens in New York) this was his 2nd time my father met Bob Dylan. I accomplished this through my good friends Allen Ginsberg and Al Aronowitz the Godfather of Rock Journalism.
My Dad had nothing to do with this, it was a gift from me through my associations and friends, including Bob Dylan, Albert B Groosman, Al Aronowitz and The Band.
My Dad never kept in touch with any of them after 1967. These people were my friends, not my Dad’s, he did not associate with them other than the first meeting in 1967, he did not even know he and his brother Laxshman Das Baul were on the cover of John Westley Harding. My Dad (Purna Das Baul) could not speak English. I did all the translations for him. He knows a few words now.
Huge Stories and all real not the made up stories, the ones who are speaking about Baul were not even born when I had already preserved Baul.
People in the west and most of India can not distinguish who is Baul and who is not. I have found if you look exotic everybody will think you are the real deal, no one understands the language, yet they get to decide what is real and what is not. Nothing is wrong and I highly recommend people who sing Baul songs. Do not misunderstand, I am talking about people who are using Baul and making up Lineages, who are acting, trying to be Baba or Ma. I am talking about the people who are making up stories and new narratives but cherry picking from my lineage.
Rabindranath Tagore had an interest in Baul philosophy, poetry and songs. So did Nazrul Islam, writers, film directors, music directors, photographers only because of my Grandfather Nabani Das Khyapa Baul. Tagore was initiated into Baul by my Grandfather who was his close associate. Tagore gave Nabani Das Khyapa Baul property at Vishva Bharti to keep Nabani close, Nabani taught Baul song and dance at Vishva Bharti Tagore’s University but you could not tie Nabani down, he belonged to the divine.
Deben Bhattacharya was a cultural collector who worked for public and Government organizations. He wrote a book called 'Mirror of the Sky' which originally had a huge photo of Nabani on it. Tagore gave Nabani the name 'Mirror of the Sky' the book is now owned by the western Bauls out of Arizona and they have taken Nabani's photo off even though the whole book is about Nabani and our lineage. He took interesting pictures and recorded some music, which released in Europe.
That’s it !!
People from overseas (scholars) were searching for new subject so they can take academic level PHD, and few of them found Baul, I met many of them personally and tried to help them as much as possible, little did I know they twisted what I told them. This is why everybody is writing about Baul and mostly all wrong, (some misleading too), they collected here and there talking to the wrong people and made a thesis which they submitted for a PHD Doctorate which is not accurate.
I used to qualify them at the Universities I would lecture at and oh boy they do not like to be questioned because they have no answers. Unfortunately, academic people do this, without knowing anything, no real knowledge, all from articles to books.They would say they are Sanskrit Scholars or Bengali Scholars, I used to question them and never did I meet one that could even answer my questions, they would say oh well we are only teaching basic. They were advanced professors, I tell you I was so disappointed.
No one has a complete book released from a lineage Baul academically Western or Even Indian writers on Baul are 99% assuming, speculations and imaginary. Nobody even knew about Baul, it was Tagore who was inspired by my Grandfather, Nabani Das Khyapa Baul. When we traveled all over India and the World there were not Baul, so what you see today, the Baul singers you see today were all inspired by our family.
My journey has been long and complicated, there are many reasons why I have stopped talking and teaching, and I will write about that later.
Most people who want to know about Baul can not or could not get to the real Bauls.
Some people who came recorded 3/4 Songs of my Grandpa’s and released without knowing anyone, or asking our family for permission.
Some one recorded an album with so many different singers, including Grandpa’s (no name only Baul singer) using our family as random Baul is inappropriate.
I have seen my Grandfathers picture his stories used in books, magazines, newspapers and alot on Academia.com as a random Baul. Their stories, wrong narratives saying Bauls did this and that with my Grandfather's picture, no name included??
No thank you, please if you are going to write about my family do not use other random Baul photo’s or use picture of my grandfather Nabani Das Khyapa Baul without using his name.
This is running at toxic proportions and do not hash tag my name to promote your fake Baul lineage.
I found a Osho ashram in Nepal, they have a picture of my Grandpa who met OSHO long long ago before Osho was OSHO or Bhagavan Rajnesh and had traveled to Bengal. A picture of Nabani, no name random Baul?? I did write to them and they would not take the picture down but they did write his name.
Osho wrote 3 books on Baul all wrong and I met Osho and had long conversations with him as I was releasing his CD while I worked for CBS in Mumbai, I asked him to change the books but he passed before this was done. Now what can anybody do??
American Hippy King or Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg read one of the book and was not impressed.
Real Bauls are Poet, Storyteller, Dancers, Singers and Sadhak, my Grandfather was huge big name as ‘Tantric Baul Sadhak‘ at Tarapith initiated by many including Bama Khyepa, he brought me there and initiated me when I was a baby, I used to be on the Tarapith Mandir board of directors, so who would know more.
Since the internet many new agers have showed up at Tarapith taking pictures making like they are the ones who did sadhana there?? I talk about Tarapith now I am seeing my brothers post pictures of Tarapith, they had nothing to do with Tarapith. I talk about Tarapith now all the new Baul comers are talking about Tarapith offering to do tours.
Let me tell you the Tarapith of my time is gone, it is completely different today.
Nabani was the last ‘Mystical Baul’ in History, don’t even try with all the drama and acting and my lineage is the lineage of Ektara, Baya and Nupoor ankle Bells, this is Nabani Das Khyapa Baul style, stop all this fakery, using our lineage and making up a fake lineage, shame.
Allen Ginsberg planned to visit Tagore University and a tour whatever possible to go around India, he found some youngest, newcomers writers, poets including Shakti Chatterjee and Sunil Ganguli both were very new that time, but introduced by an young guy Ashok Sarkar a guy from American Embassy’s interpretardant.
After Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and other places, Ginsberg planned to meet his Mystical Man Nabani at Shantiniketan, couple days took to meet my Grandfather, Sunil and Shakti both took him to Adivasi village, they enjoyed in everyway, they both drank a lots so Ashok took a bus to Suri to meet the most unique personality Nabani Das Khyapa Baul.
Allen Ginsberg (who I was a personal friend with for decades) read and heard the outstanding singing voice) at Ashok’s house.
That was so exciting for Ginsberg, he told in an article, he couldn’t keep eyes on Nabani’s eyes, so powerful moment, they spent couple days together, with Music and his wild dance, simple life style. Nabani would never demand any money from any one, he did not fundraise, or take any advantage or used anyone, he only helped others.
Ginsberg asked Nabani, I had a dream that I became your disciple can I initiate?
Nabani smiled which his another asset and pulled him and kept his hands on Ginsberg’s forhead, As Ginsberg told that he lost himself in samadhi during those moments. Ginsberg touched me Babu as I was 24/7 Nabani’s lap from birth until I was 8 in 1969 when the only person I knew as my father Nabani Das Khyapa Baul passed into another world. I was with him when he passed, it was like lightening and I was in a deep samadhi at age 8, no one could retrieve me. I will explain later.
I am so lucky, even Allen told me all his experiences which not only history but unique moments with real BaulLineage and a Finest ‘#BaulGuru’ !!
#ShantidevGhosh told Allen that Nabani was his friend and last authentic mystical Baul, also Gurudev’s (Rabindra Nath Tagores) BaulGuru. That is why when Santi Dev Ghosh met other people who called themselves Baul, he would not allow them on the stage or even in Paush Mela. But I pleaded and begged him to allow them all in. Now thinking back I did wrong because so many were just takers and jealous, many started to appropriate our Baul lineage right then and there.
I have always lived in a Baul trance with Nabani and Brajabala at the centre of heart, even while I was composing music and film making in Mumbai, everything I have done to now has been with a deep connection to my roots of Baul.
No matter how many terrorist attacks, wars, tsunami’s or how many countries Baul is my soul, it is my birth right, I can never go very far from my ancestry. To those who are making up stories I will qualify all, it may take time but what has gone on and what is going on is bizarre.