Many people will say, why is Babu Kishan not teaching as much? He has lived through war, terrorist attacks, and other disasters. The biggest disaster was the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, he was there and saw the worst aftermath in Banda Ache that any person can imagine. Although he grew up going the burning grounds of Tarapith with his Maha Tantric Grandfather Nabani Das Khyapa Baul, nothing can prepare one for the devastation of the amount of human destruction he saw in 2004. He evaluated his life and completely changed his world. It has taken him a very long time to put his life back together again, he is strong and healthy now.
Canada and the Punjabi community has taught him some very important lessons that will never be forgotten and this has rounded out his life, Canada has rounded out his life and healed all the trauma of the past. The Punjabi community here in Vancouver has been really helpful and accepting of Babu Kishan. His creativity is stronger than ever. He is a stronger deeper Baul (Baul signifies a (Tantric technique Master, in the world and not of the world, one who experiences all of human and spiritual life) than one can imagine and has experienced many things others never experience in one life, he has lived many, many lives in one life. You must go through to come out the other side.
This lineage is indigenous to this area of Birbhum the land or Rarh (Red Soil) and they have been doing the Hari Krishna Maha Mantra chanting and dancing going from village to village for thousands of years. They are not from anywhere else. They are from the soul and soil of Birbhum and they are the Lineage of Baul and hold the secrets of what and who Baul is and these secrets are not given out.
Babu is legendary and from a legendary family. He has performed on the biggest stages in India and around the world, I mean he really has. His Mother, Grandmother and ancestor women are Legendary and they have brought Baul to all stages and stadiums in India around the world. If I were to list what a big stage or a stadium I would need a whole chapter to give examples.
His mother Manju Das is the most legendary ‘Baul Women’ ever of our modern time, no one can close or even compare and she was an #1 Indian singer, she learned Baul singing and sang it the way it is to be sung. She traveled around the world for more than 50 years. Her pictures with Indira Gandhi and many Presidents and Prime Ministers of India including just about every famous singer in India were not a quick photo opportunity. She was best friends with Indira Gandhi. Manju knew the whole family personally including Sanjay, Rajiv, Sonja Gandhi ect... these were not just photo opps, they were best friends and long long time associates. There is no need to copy Manju or anybody in this family and then write that it was you are the one who played on the biggest stages, internet is insanity.
If you mention Legendary Baul women and do not mention Brajabala Dasi who was the Guru to all Baul Women you are cheating. If you do not mention Radharani Dasi she was also, a Guru to many. There are so many it is a sin to make up stories about Bangladeshi and Pakistani Women as Baul Women, you see this is what happens when you have outsiders culturally appropriating a whole lineage of Baul. All will be qualified who is who and who is writing about Baul. Babu Kishan Knows the story of everyone and who is saying they are Baul. He will tell all and he holds no punches back about his own family. This needs to be clarified for once and for all.
This family of Bauls starting with Nabani Das Khyapa Baul were state singers for the Freedom movement of India, their story is huge and historical. Babu Kishan recalls hundreds of times he sang and played his khol at Rajiv and Indira Gandhi’s feet. He sat at Indira Gandhi’s feet at her last speech, days before she was assassinated, he went to her funeral, he remembers, they stayed at Pranab Mukerjee’s (The last President of India) house in Delhi because his mother is related to Pranab’s late wife whom he called Aunt Gita.
There is no need to follow Babu Kishan’s style unless you say that you follow him and are a student of his. We have seen everybody taking his writings and stories and writing the same story but taking his name out of the story. He was the first and only Baul in the history of Bollywood because Baul had never been involved in Indian Cinema until Babu Kishan. I mean if you were a Baul and did sing a song or two in a film you followed Babu Kishan, you were inspired by him. Of course you followed him. Are you an Indian Music Composer?
Did you personally go to the Ramakrishna Mission but yet you mention Baul and how you are related to the Ramakrishna but you were not, until I write about it?
Did you get your degree in Indian Music and hang out with all the legendary Indian Composers, singers and artist of India? Did you write all the Baul poetry you are singing today? Was it your ancestors, your Grandfather, who was best friends with Rabindranath Tagore?
Yet you do not talk about this lineage it is left out of your writing but you talk about Baul as if you were the Baul associated with Tagore you were not. Tagore only associated with Nabani Das Khapa Baul, he liked Lalon Fakir (Shah’s) poetry Lalon was not a Baul and Baul does not consider him a Baul.
Baul has great appreciation for Lalon Fakir note his name is not Baul it is Fakir (they are not the same). Baul considers Lalon a fabulously great poet but was he a Baul sadhaka or Baul singer? No he was not, Babu Kishan was one of the first people who composed music for Lalon poetry before that there was no tune to the poetry. We will write more about his little forgotten history and will show by old recording of Babu Kishan’s that people are singing his Lalon songs.
When you do not acknowledge this lineage and yet talk about Baul and Tagore right there you have misappropriated Baul because it was Nabani who initiated Tagore into Baul giving him the name Ravi Baul that is history yet and yet it is written like a generic story. The story only comes from Babu Kishan and his family so if you are using their stories and taking their names off, this is a perfect example of the misappropriation of this lineage of Baul.
There are many stories to be told but there is not the time nor space in this article. Did you know Allen Ginsberg no you didn’t so don’t say Baul was associated with Ginsberg, that Bauls name is Babu Kishan. Did you receive a Padma Shri and a zillion other awards for you Baul singing, no you did not, then do not say Baul received a Padma Sri. By the way that Paul has a name it is Purna Das Baul he is a renowned Legendary Lineage Baul.
Why say it was just Baul as if to claim it was part of you and your story when in actual fact it was not even related. Probably call yourself a Yogi or Yogini and stop using the name Baul, why tag on to something that you are not part of, making up lineages and stories? I have no idea?
Are you the Grandson or daughter of Nabani Das Baul? At least know the true stories of your made up Guru who is just a Baul singer but not a lineage Baul and was particularly jealous of this lineage. And for the ones who are now stealing Baul songs and saying they are the writer at least know the only reason you are singing the song is because it was recorded at Hindustan Recorders decades ago. It is not that difficult to find the truth and the truth will be told in time.
Babu Kishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul was and is a 'PAID qualified' Lecturer on his “ONE and ONLY Lineage of Baul. A lineage Baul spoke Sanskrit and can lecture on Sanskrit. There is no other lineage of Baul! It comes down to Cultural Appreciation vs Cultural Misappropriation and or Cultural Appropriation and it is getting a bit tiring having to qualify all the ignorance on the internet.
Many scholars since the 1970's have written their PHD thesis with the help of Babu Kishan aka Krishnendu Das and many only know him as Krishnendu Das. He used to give information to them and help because many were not fluent in Bengali. He knew them personally and much of what they have written is wrong in many cases and he has personally spoken to them about this but they never changed their writings. Each and everything will be qualified one by one in his new Book on his one and only Lineage of Baul. No one ever said, Lineage Baul until Babu started to talk about Baul, now we have fake copy cats and it is getting annoying. Be a Baul but stop all the lying and fake stories. As Babu says learn to sing first.
'Babu Kishan' is his Indian Cinema Name. Most people who knew him as ‘Krishnendu Das’ to this day do not know about his Bollywood name.
He is the author of 3 books on Baul, dating back to the 1980's, all out of print. George Harrison and Ravi Shankar sponsored his last book in 1986. He was great friends with both and has many stories to tell.
A new book should be release at the end of 2017 or early 2018 that will be about the Historical Authentic Lineage of Baul originating from Birbhum Bengal India. It is taking longer than expected and may be broken down into two books.
He is not only a authentic Lineage Baul who is a Pandit of Indian Music MA of India Music from Calcutta University with 35 years as a music composer in Indian Cinema, Music Composer but a Scholar of Indian Philosophy, Sanskrit and a Baul Poet. Just remember when one says, "Baul" it means one is a genius, not regular, the highest level one can reach, even Ramakrisha knew this and he said, he wanted to be born a Baul in his next life. This is rare today if not impossible.
*No one in this world would know about Baul without this Lineage of Baul who brought Baul to India and the world some 80 or 90 years ago. Babu Kishan has been instrumental in doing this, he is the one who made the contacts, wrote the letters, do you know how difficult this was to do back in the 1970's, 1980, 1990's... there was no such thing as the internet of the internet Bauls that today make up stories lying about lineages and who they are.
The biggest heartache is after all the work Babu Kishan has done to open the door of Baul for others to see all the fake stories about lineages and how other new Bauls are taking claim they are the ones who brought Baul outside of India, fooling people into thinking they are Baul singers when he can't even listen to their voices because they are completely out of tune, people in the west have not got a clue what is real or what is not real. He see's them singing his own songs, his own poetry with his own tune, taking claim as if they are the ones. Please first learn who wrote the songs this is part of being a Baul, at least develop your intellect and have respect.. be honest.
The Nabani Das Baul, Brajabala Dasi Lineage inspired many greats in India these incredible beings are the only pioneers who brought Baul to India and the world. They are legendary!
They are the indigenous Baul's who are the only lineage of Bauls, don’t be fooled there are no other Baul lineages. Do you think all these people listed below were mad, there is a reason that they were inspired by this lineage of Baul. All Bauls have always followed this lineage.
If not for Baul Saint Nabani Das Kyappa Baul, Purna Das Baul and Maju Dasi, Lakshman Das Baul and Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul there would be no one in this world who would know anything about Baul. Babukishan should be given an oscar or an equivalent reward because if not for him no one would know anything about Baul. He created most of the relationships and maintained them for his Baul family, he has never asked for acknowledgement but I am saying after hearing what he has done for Baul.
This lineage are the pioneers who brought Baul to the world. Today some 07 or 80 years later some Bauls are trying to do what they have done and that is a good thing they have been inspired by this lineage the oldest living lineage of Baul, however, the copying and deleting of this lineages names and then just listing them just as ‘the Bauls’ who were associated with Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, George Harrison is complete disconnect and distortion of the truth, this is called Cultural misappropriate and Cultural Appropriation. I have seen article after article on the net saying Bauls even received a “Padma Shri Award”, no Bauls did NOT. Only ONE Baul did and his name is “Sri Purna Das Baul”, so please use the names of the Baul and when saying Bauls were associated with Tagore, it was only Nabani Das Khyappa Baul. When you are saying as I have seen written that you are the only Baul who took Baul out of India.
Please have some respect and correct your writer rather than ignoring. Baul was not associated with any of the below, it was only this family of Lineage Bauls who were, this the oldest living lineage and the Bauls who brought Baul to the world. Please do not use what they have done and then generically say Bauls did it, they have a name please give credit to the name just as you would to any poet, singer or artist. Baul was never a huge group of people, they were a small group and this lineage has already been preserved, funding for the already preserved songs in the hands of this family perhaps needs some help with translation but others but I have no idea how others will preserve Baul when it is in the hands of this family? What are they going to preserve?
If you were the Prime Minister of India and were once a Chai Walla, would all chai walla's take credit and say Chai Walla's are Prime Minister of India?
This lineage and family are the only Bauls who have associated with the listen of famed Bengali’s below.
I t should read Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das or Purna Das Baul & Manju Das or Nabani Das Baul & Brajabala Das associated with:
The Rolling Stones,
Tara Shankar Bandhypadhya,
Kavi Nazrul, Bidhan Chandra Roy,
R. C. Boral,
S D Burman,
Sakti Pado RajGuru,
Dr. Amartya Sen's Grandfather Kshiti Mohan Sen,
Ram Kinkar Baij,
Sita Ram Omkarnath,
The President of India Pranab Mukerjee,
Dr. Ananda Shankar Roy,
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi,
Tv Producer Abhijit Das Gupta,
Jyoti Basu W Bengal former chief Mininster,
Diretor General of India Radio.
Dr Bhupeen Hazarika,
and many, many more.
Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul is the only BAUL who has worked in Indian Cinema and Bollywood for 35 years in a big big way. He has, recorded composed and produced most of his father's music without taking credit or any payment, he did everything for his Calcutta family for free and gave them everything.
Baul is now close to extinction and please be warned that the new Baul singers who cut the names of the history of Baul off, taking the songs and the stories that belong to this family then warping it into their story without even acknowledging where they got the idea of Baul from. Creating new stories and making themselves look exotic but they have no roots in the original Baul are Tourist Attractions. It is great teach about Baul, tell about Baul, Sing the Songs of Baul but in context, in truth, stop making up stories and saying Baul is from Bangladesh it is not, not even when Bangladesh was part of Bengal. Baul comes from Birbhum (period). Stop making up lineages and saying you are from a lineage when everybody who knows, understands that is a lie.
It should be noted: that just because one calls themselves a Baul and uses this lineages's songs does not mean they are a Baul. Today with the internet anybody can be famous, making up a lineage, it is so simple, all the leg work had been completed decades ago, before the internet. And Westerners please please at least take the time to do some research.
It should also, be noted those that who are now fundraising in the name of Baul saying they are going to preserve Baul honestly what are you going to preserve when you do not even acknowledge the truth about lineage and who wrote the songs of Baul. Baul has already been preserved long ago and recorded with all the major record companies in India, including Hindustani Records that is why the new Baul singers have songs to sing but they should give credit where credit is due rather that making up different poets names and adding it to themselves singing the songs. It is understood everybody is trying to do something and good on you but you copy and take what does not belong to you. The door was opened long ago to understand but you decided to make new stories and copy everything Babu Kishan has spent a lifetime to preserve, going where he goes... this is weak to say the least.
In time this will be qualified in the Media and addressed.
Babu Kishan will be speaking about this in the coming year, giving context and his opinions on the using and abusing of his lineage.
There is a huge disconnect between the real Baul and these new age singers who are making up lineages and completely changing the narrative of Baul, this is not helpful.
Baul is open to all and believes in UNITY however, we live in a different time, and now at this particular time Baul does not need the narrative to be changed and culturally misappropriated, or taught out of context, we only have a short time to get the narrative straight, there is no need for new Baul singers to make a new narrative and distort Baul stories. It is time to set the record straight and qualify what and who is Baul.
Baul does not have it roots in Buddhism, Baul goes back before Buddhism to a time of Radha and Krishna to a time of Shiva. They include Buddhist thought but the new Bauls singers teachings on this are completely misguided and wrong.
Babu Kishan is the first authentic Baul to lecture and teach his authentic Baul tradition he has been traveling and teaching since 1971 around the world.
He also, lectures on Sanskrit Classical and Oral Sanskrit
Indian Philosophy & Indian Music, Folk, Classical, Baul and Indian Cinema Music & his personal stories and experiences.
BA Indian Philosophy Calcutta University MA Indian Music & Folk Music Calcutta University
Was a monk in the Ramakrishna Mission for 12 years
Born into the one and only Baul Lineage into the lap of Nabani Das Khyapa Baul in Suri Birbhum Bengal initiated into Tarapith and Tara Ma where Nabani his grandfather was a sadhak there as he was blessed and initiated by Bama Kepha
In the 1980's he represented Calcutta University around India, regarding Indian Philosophy, Sanskrit and Baul.
@ Universities around the world.
Pennsylvania Music College
Baltimore Music College,
Philadelphia Arts and Music College
Music St Louis University
Washington and Lee University Virginia
University of Washington
University of Toronto
University of British Columbia
SFU (Simon Fraser University)
Whistling Woods Film Institute in Mumbai
San Francisco College of Arts
Berkeley University Music School
Red Wood University
San Diego University
University of Victoria
Cambridge and Oxford in UK
Berlin Music College
University of Fine Arts
University of Honk Kong
University of Bangkok
University of Singapore
University of Mauritius
University of Johannesburg South Africa
Vishva Bharati in Shantiniketan Birbhum
and many others.. since 1971
Written By Trishula Das a western Canadian writer fighter student of Baul. A Vedic Astrologer, who found myself learning and defending the preservation the history of Baul accurately. Why? because I am the biggest supporter of my husband Babu Kishan and have spent 24/7 for 14 years immersed in Baul Bhava and Baul Rasa Lila mysticism.
I found myself writing about Baul through the eyes of Babu Kishan and during the past decade I have read just about everything written about Baul I am shocked to see many people change their story as I write about Baul. I write something then they copy it but taking the names off and adding new names (a complete Cultural Misappropriation).
It has been an interesting eye opener watching what Babu Kishan does the New Age Bauls will copy. I write lineage, then Lineage becomes the thing, others will create lineages that I can guarantee 100% are not a lineage and never were. I write about the Universities Babu Kishan taught at since the 1970’s then guess what, now the thing is to contact and list Universities?
I write about all the stages he has performed on, guess what? It has become quite a joke. It must be Babu Kishan because he finds the same thing living here in Vancouver, if he wears a certain hat then all the Indian men will wear that hat. What he does it seems people copy and I am not just saying that, others say it all the time, they all laugh about it. With this in mind if I could only get Babu Kishan back teaching, he obviously has some power to influence what people do.
This is real Baul other people are inspired and want to follow like a Pied Piper that is why Nehru, Indira Gandhi and her two sons had this family sing before any speech, real Baul has a magic. Real Baul has the power to draw a crowd, this has been proven over and over through time. They are not drawing a crowd by showing how exotic they look, they are drawing a crowd by their technique of thousands of years of practice in a Guru Shishya Parampara Sampradaya.
If he films in a certain way, they copy him, he made a movie called “Canadian Dream” hard to believe but at the same time a Punjabi guy copied and called his movie at the very same time “Canadian Dream” we were so puzzled but the guy said, he wanted to ride off of Babu Kishan’s name and his promotion? What he does people seem to follow so I guess I should just get over it.
But when I see people singing his songs, his poetry or his Grandfathers poetry I really am in a fighting mood, because this is stealing or being blatantly dishonest putting other poets names on a known Nabani Das Khyapa Baul song? If you are a Baul Master you would know this because these are the things a Baul Master would know. This is not Mastery this a Cultural misappropriation.
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