There is a huge misunderstanding that Bauls are beggars, they are only beggars for prema, God and Godess's Love in the form of Radha & Krishna. We are all beggars in this world we are all begging for our survival, we are all begging for money, for our temples, our books, to sell our yoga, we all have to support ourselves and our families, it is often easier to pick out a marginalized group and point a finger, however, we are all Beggars.
Bauls are beggars for "Divine Prema" the highest of Loves, they completely forget about their material reality, or artha but we are in this world and all of us whether we need a temple, or to feed people, we all need artha, this is common sense. The world is rapidly changing and the Bauls also need to change. It is easy for someone to live in another country and say Bauls should stay the way they were, but the world is not supporting the way they were. The real authentic traditional Bauls are suffering because Bauls are innocent and trusting, today people are so clever, it is easy to use the Bauls, take their music, or pose as a Baul, while the real Bauls suffer, it is always easier to critize than to help and there are people to blame on all sides of the fence. Our goal is to educate, provide the real history of the Bauls
and to find a remedy for the Bauls, this we will do over the next coming years.
In the old days Bauls were offered dakshina or offerings of gratitude to the Guru. Yes, Bauls were Guru's and high level philosophical teachers who dedicated their lives in an oral tradtition to pass on the most important spiritual knowledge of the Upanishads, Vedas, Yoga and Indian Philosophy, however, they had their own unique way of doing this through song, dance and storytelling. They provided deep inspiration to the people living in the rural villages of Bengal in their own unquie Bhava teaching the do's and don'ts of Yoga, of Prema, their songs are higher seeds of Indian Philosophy. They accepted all, loved all, cared for those who had no one to care for them. This is Love, Love or Prema is not calling others degraded or making oneself intellectually superior. It is difficult to understand what a Baul does because Bauls are illusive, they do not want to be figured out, they specifically act in ways that will distract the insincere, everything is a paradox and the Bauls are masters of this paradox.
It takes at least 12 years living with a Guru 24/7 before one can even understand what Baul is. In days of old this was possible but to the outsider it was easy to pick on this group, they were easy targets of people who were ignorant as to who they were. You can always tell even today, if you see a group writing or calling the Bauls degraded pointing fingers, that there is no love there, it is understood that distinctions must be made but down right character assassination is corrupt. Baul even have to make these disctinctions on who is a Baul and who is not but when it comes down to it the Bauls love even those who call themselves Baul because they are freedom seekers, all the blessings and power to them, they are headed in the right direction. "Hari is the Lover of Love.. and if there is no Love, Hari is not there" People can talk about Love, analyze Love, say they are the only ones who know love but ultimately there is no love there. If you hurt one person, including women or children if you destroy a persons faith on purpose trying to annihilate some 13 sects there is absolutely no love there, run run as fast as you can.
Purna Das Baul was the first Baul that made sure Bauls recieved money for their songs and for their performances. Although his father Nabani Das would be have been furious if you gave him money for his singing as he was a Baul Guru, it was automatic that he received Dakshina out of respect for his amazing knowledge and spontaneous healings, it was a way of respect, a way of being thankful.
Bauls do not build temples nor have they traditionally written books or have they transcribed their songs. This lineage of Bauls is an oral living parampara tradition or sampradaya. They do not preach a doctrine and collect devottee's. Nabani Das Baul took the Gosai (Goswami) part off of their name because he did not want anybody touching his feet, it was touch your own feet, worship your own self because the divine is within you.
The Phd's and scholars who earn their living off of writing and lecturing about the Bauls, I never would have considered mentioning this until recently I read a review how their research was authentic because they interviewed Bauls who were not making a living off of Baul. It is ok for the scholar to earn their living off of the Bauls researching them like they are some sort of specimen but the Bauls are not supposed to earn a living. However the scholar can earn a living by researching, lecturing and teaching. This is a perfect example of how the Bauls have been used. There is very little respect of ancient lineages or indigenous people, do these same scholars give anything back. This is what I am talking about when I talk about British western style education. If there was respect they would also be doing Baul sadhana and giving something back to the Bauls. Not just writing, disecting, and using for their own pride and material existence?
Think about it, it is the same with Das and Dasi, yes there were others who used this name but not the same way the Bauls have because the Bauls had been known traditonally to use Das and Dasi for thousands of years. Now we have a whole new phenomena of New Age orthodox Vaishnava's using this name with no mention of the "Bauls of Bengal", and then calling the Bauls degraded but still taking their names.
Das and Dasi were not names traditionally used by Gaudiya Math and Baul has been around thousands of years before Gaudiya Math? Think about it how would you feel if everybody took your last name and walked around "proudly" calling yourself Das and Dasi and then calling you degraded?? With Love there is always respect and one could say, oh perhaps we were given the wrong information because of the time, but do you try to understand or have any concept of what an oral tradition is, and that perhaps before the books that are translations of personal opinion a person understands how the new system of education is being changed everyday.
Bauls are indigenous people of West Bengal, they spoke sanskrit but in an oral tradition, they were not illiterate beggars or degraded people, they were way more intelligent that any British educated Phd, they did not have to look inside of book for knowledge, the knowledge is inside their head by memory. Are you just repeating cut and paste or do you actually know the oral tradition or are you just repeating a translation of perhaps one persons opinion?..The Bauls do not care but I having done alot of research want to bring this up because no one has ever talked obout it on the Bauls behalf.
In my opionion the lineage Bauls have mor love in their hearts and are pure devotee's rather than the orthodox Vaishnava religious reformers of the past century. Vaishnava religious reformers were British-ized in their way of thinking they were educated by the British and then learned sanskrit as a secondary language. To the book educated Bengali reformers the Bauls may have appeared to be degraded in their minds because they had British minds. Honestly at Bengal of the days when these men were speaking and translating the scriptures? From what point of veiw did they come from? Why did they call devata, demi Gods.
These men called degraded some 13 sects of the time, they denounced the Bauls and wrote some poetry under the name Chand Baul degrading the Bauls and the funny thing is through my research they did not even have the right gotra of the lineage Bauls when they so hastily started to degrade the Bauls and they keep parroting the same thing over and over. I ask you what would be the purpose in this, to harm another, fear monger, male power tripping, revenge?? I think perhaps revenge, tell me is there love in revenge, no there is only destruction and hate. The feminine is nuturing, protecting, and believes in co-operation of all beings in all this negativity there is a lack of repsect for the feminine, a lack of understanding and compassion. In the days of old there were many groups wandering around India and all these groups were lumped together under one name Baul and this is not so, Baul is Baul and it belongs to no other group. Baul is not Sufi although they also included aspects of Sufi but you can not say the same with Sufi, you will not find Sufi's singing love songs of Krishna and Radha. Baul is not Fakir, Sai, Aula, Dervish, Shah although you find some similarities they are not the same, again do you ever hear these groups singing about Indian Philosophy or Radha and Kirshna? But you may here Bauls talking and singing about them. A Baul includes everybody but is based on Hinduism, and this is perhaps were the walls of understanding have broken down, and eveybody became included as Baul, however, now is the time to preserve the Bauls and these distinctions must be made.
This is why we have problem in the world, a lack of balanced thinking, there has to be a balance between the masculine and the feminine. The Bauls believe Radha is more powerful than Krishna and one can not function without the other. This is how we create balance in the world not by rejecting the feminine or calling a group degraded out of revenge. I have to ask is it working for you, calling people degraded, are you doing more damage than good, are you maintaining or destroying, is that a sattvic activity?
If they truely understood Bauls the original they would have understood that this was their original parampara or sampradaya in West Bengal India. If they were trained in the oral tradition or could even understand the oral tradition they would know it is about Love, ok PREMA. One can analyze love with rhetoric, but real love, pure love has nothing to do with making fun or degrading others or spreading harshly.
Purna Das Baul being the eldest saw how his mother Brajobala Dasi struggled to feed her children because Nabani Das was off wandering India healing others and feeding other children on his travels, he was really a wandering sadhu stuck in a culture that dictated he marry, he also took care of his family don't get me wrong, it is just some or a very few rare individuals are actually wandering sadhu's. His eldest son Purna Das Baul had a huge responsiblity on his shoulders at 7 or 8 he noticed everybody making money off of the Bauls, and said why should the Bauls not be paid for what they do, they have families and the old ways of survival no longer work. Purna was an advocate of lifting the Bauls up. Bauls should be the only ones gaining from Baul, other people are making money by using the Bauls, he felt only Bauls should be profitting off of Baul. Bauls are wandering spiritual messengers they were the newspaper before they newspaper, they taught the science of life, how to achieve God while being in the human body, they had to know about all of life, how to be human and still be divine. Yes times have changed and now we have facebook but just imagine how difficult it is for the Bauls.
Purna Das Baul is the first Baul to sing on the trains in Bengal India. Now we see Bauls singing on trains in Bengal and all the credit for this goes to Purna Das Baul, he was the first before him no Bauls did this. This is history and how Purna Das came to Calcutta, one train stop, next train stop.
Purna Das Baul got milk from Gopal Das Baul who married his sister Radharani Dasi, Gopal was the first Baul to play the Dotara and was the son of the Head Pujari of the Nityananda Temple in Ekkchaka. Purna Das Baul was given the milk by Gopal Das for free and served milk to the tea stall attendants, this was the only way he could enter the train station, otherwise he did not even have a ruppee to purchase a ticket to get into the train station. Purna Das Baul struggled unbelievably to make a platform for the Bauls. He had to help his mother, he was the type of son who would not allow his mother to suffer, so he thought of ways to help her.. His father the Great Baul Saint Nabani Das Baul was of wandering helping to heal and feed everybody but as a Baul he sometimes forgot he had a family.
Purna Das never asked for money or begged for money, it was his friends that collected for him. Then he sang, this is Baul history, this is what legends are, and he did this when he was 7 or 8 years old. He soon realized by singing the songs from his lineage, the more than 5,000 songs he had laboured to learn he could give something back to his mother and his village. It is not that he sang songs to beg, he had done his sadhana from birth, he knew his lineage, he had already labored long years learning sanskrit, learning his oral parampara, sampradaya or tradition.
Today we pay for books, newspapers, magazines, TV and the Internet, we pay to get certified in just about every aspect of Indian spirituality, we pay to keep the temples. Bauls provided these services through song, dance and Pure Love way before people even had books, they taught lessons in Indian spirituality, in the art and science of life, how to cooperate with nature, how to reach the highest, deep love by removing the shackles that bind us, for this they were given dakshina. Bauls have always been a major part of life in rural Bengal, they an integral part of Bengali culture.
Bauls are the spiritual Guru's, bards, spiritual musical mystical minstrels from West Bengal India, although there are only a few authentic real Baul Guru's alive today, who can pass on this lineage, many have bits and pieces but the original Bauls from the roots of Bauls that is thousands of years old are almost extinct, there are perhaps only a few left. Bauls are the magical removers of darkness, they awaken the soul. These few Bauls have been holding the key to the unseen magical world for thousands of years, there is a flow of magical lineage flowing through their blood. Bauls are simple but it is not simple to just call oneself a Baul, you must have done years and years of sadhana under a Guru, who also has the gift or the key, and can pass the gift on.
Copyright 2011 all rights reserved, story by Babukishan edited by Trishula Das.
Jai Nita Sri Nityanada was a Baul, there is such a misunderstanding of the who lineage due to the distortions and of the New Age Vaishnava Reformers... more to come. Don't get me wrong they did alot of good but the truth should be told and there needs to be a balance...
None of us has a Permanent Resident Visa or Permanent Citizenship.. Quote by Babu Kishan
Copyright 2011 all rights reserved Babukishan