by Trishula Das on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 4:47pm
Baul is a Guru Parampara tradition, Guru is the highest, this is a strange thing in the west because we either pay for things and then get something in exchange, like we will pay a university to get a PHD but the ones who study Baul give nothing back to the Bauls where we took the information from, they are just a speciman to be researched taken apart and studied, then another book written and lectures given I have a PHD did field study and now lecture the world on what a Baul is. Yet the Bauls have been dedicating their lives to preserve their wisdom for thousands of years, or as in Yoga you can get certified to teach, you pay for your classes and you get a certificate but the Yogi's in India, well lets just say I could not do it, it is much more than being certified and teaching postures. Remember Bauls do not have temples so they do not collect money for temples, there used to be 22 Baul ashrams not long ago, today there are maybe 2, they do not print books Baul is an oral tradition. Most are actually extremely poor, Babu knows how privilaged he is and understands his duty to give back and preserve his lineage but after 40 years of giving freely to all and fundraising for temples he is a little bit more careful.
Baul can only be learned in a Guru, disciple relationship over a long period of time, not from interviews, Bauls have safegarded themselves from this over thousands of years, however, because their are not many qualified students, Baul is one step closer to extinction. Everybody wants something very easily for their own personal benefit, real Bauls do not give out information easily because they do not care. The only person who can be an authority on Baul is a real Baul and they do not necessarily just live in the village anymore or are impossible to find, they do not just sing Baul songs they have an energy that you must be prepared to be around, they are like a lightening bolt of love and energy. No energy no Baul. The ones that hang around have found Baul a great way to earn a living and mislead foreigners looking for something exotic or those wanting to learn about this so called Tantric sex.
There are some scholars who act as if they are the authority on Baul because they have a PHD. Babukishan has been traveling for 40 years and he has lectured at Universities around the world on Baul, there is no Baul scholar who is a Baul or has put themselves under a Baul Guru as a disciple.
Baul can only be learned by a Guru which there are very few left and at that it takes at least 12 years. Once a wellknown PHD Baul scholar from North America tried to tell Babukishan about Baul, so Babu asked him 5 basic questions regarding Baul which the scholar could not answer nor did he have any understanding of, he could not even speak the language properly, yet he states he is a bengali and sanskrit scholar.
Babukishan is thinking who is giving thesis and who is taking thesis is completely wrong. Babukishan is actually really pissed off because lots of people do their thesis on Baul and what they print totally does not make sense....
Also, he has been used by another professor to obtain grants for research with the assurance that she would include him only when the grant is obtained was he disregarded. To learn Baul there is a procedure... he has asked so many PHD's who did their thesis on Baul and they do not know anything but they got their PHD and wrote books on Baul?? It does not make any sense....this is just one factor in the destruction of the this ancient oral living lineage.
I also find it funny when people who know nothing try to tell us what Baul is, when all they have done is read about Baul in books, as I said what is written is wrong. Baul is not different from Yoga or Tantra in this modern world full of misconceptions, distortions and fabrications.
It seems when it comes to most things Indian it is a free for all to twist, disregard the Indian peoples feelings and just do whatever you want. I mean I have heard of someone calling them self a Baul Master here in the west when they have never had a Baul Guru. A Baul always has a Baul Guru, they must tell you who this is. and you need to know whether that Guru is actually a Baul... What their lineage is and what songs they are singing, are they actually Baul songs or folk songs or Bollywood songs, Babu has heard it all on youtube listed as Baul.... You must have a basic understanding of the language or live with a Baul .
A Baul always is a poet, therefore you need to know what poetry did that Baul produce, and they should know in detail who wrote the songs, .. Most Bauls are singing Nabani Das Baul or his lineage songs but they can not tell you where they got the song from, they have shortened the song and give no respect to the Guru's of that lineage but yet they say they are from a lineage.. who the Guru's of the lineage should be listed... and there should be more than one or two stories of the lineage.
It is a jungle out there when it comes to Baul and the biggest mistake one can make is not understanding who the person is who is calling themselves a Baul. When they say they are from a lineage, get them to give the names of the Bauls from their lineage have it verified.
We have a copyright on all of our material and only a small part is on the net I find it interesting to see my writings being reprinted and things like Lineage being used, and other wording like the oldest living lineage, Baul had never used these terms in writing before.... I am just watching to see how what I have written will be used by others and who are the people copying my material. Babukishan was the first Baul or person to have a web site with information about Baul, it was www.babukishan.com it is a long story but the web site went down in 2006 but everything had been copied and pasted from his web site.
There is only one lineage Baul and that is the Vaishnava Lineage of Sri Nityananda of Ekkchakra Bengal India, it either comes out of this lineage or came from this lineage if one is singing Baul songs from this lineage it comes from this lineage. There maybe others who have sprung out from the original Baul lineage but this needs to be verified, there are so many making up stories to getting funding.
If you want to learn and write about Baul the best thing to do is bow down, it is a 5000 year old tradition that has been abused for sure over the past 150 years by othodox vaishnavism, othodox society, it is a tradition indigenous to Bengal, an oral tradition of sanskrit speaking people of all Indian Philosophy, Buddhism, Tantra, Yoga, Bhakti Yogi's, baul song, baul kirtan.. be perpared to have your mind twisted in every direction.
Yes you need a Baul Guru and most are reluctant to even take on a student....Baul is not about smoking ganja and neo tantric sex...