Bauls from Bengal and their Bauliana,

The origin unknown,

But they consider Lalon,

As the father and the constant companion being the ektara.


Loyal mystic they are,

Easily identified by the distinct clothes and musical apparatus,

The wandering minstrels comprise Sufi Muslims and Vaishnava Hindus,

In search of the ‘man of the heart’ forever.


Agnostic monotheism is what the bauls know about,

The devotional music passes on celestial love beyond doubt. 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The term ‘Bauliana’ refers to the ‘baul music’ and the agnostic-monotheistic beliefs of the bauls. Their philosophy matches with that of the Buddhists. It’s ‘celestial love’ that the baul music concentrates on and is performed in an extremely simple manner. Baul devotional music goes beyond religion and the ostentation of religious partitions has been criticised by a number of bauls especially by the celebrated baul composer Lalon Fokir (1774 -1890). The bauls greatly influenced and encouraged the eminent Bengali poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It’s a fact that the bauls consist of only a diminutive portion of the Bengali population but their influence on the Bengali culture is substantial. In 2005, UNESCO incorporated the Baul tradition in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". Currently, bauls are found in Bangladesh and in some parts of India (West Bengal and the eastern parts of Bihar and Jharkhand).

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