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Baul- The Folk Music of Bengal (Page 3)

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*Jaya*

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:25pm | IP Logged
Wow Clap

Just when I would have just finished reading up the great posts from Qwest'ji and Barnali'di... they come up with one more.... Clap Clap

Baul-geeti truely symbolizes spiritual freedom at its best....

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advil

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:25pm | IP Logged

That's what i thought..This song was sang with a lot of josh in our dining table every time mom made lau chingri ..we kind of freaked her out..she was happy atleast we were singing a bengali song instead of soem rap number...LOLLOLLOL

Originally posted by Barnali

Originally posted by apparaohoare

Originally posted by ad_0112

Barnalidi..shadher lau is a baul song right??

 

Adi,

That's a Palli Geet.

Thats a palli geeti bt based on Baul. Palli geeti is the folk songs of Bengal. So lot of Baul songs and music have been used in Palli geeti too in bengal.

 

apparaohoare

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:26pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by Barnali

Originally posted by apparaohoare

Originally posted by ad_0112

Barnalidi..shadher lau is a baul song right??

 

Adi,

That's a Palli Geet.

Thats a palli geeti bt based on Baul. Palli geeti is the folk songs of Bengal. So lot of Baul songs and music have been used in Palli geeti too in bengal.

Yes, you are right Barnali di.  That's why I said thanks for showing the light to the blinds like me.

 

advil

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:27pm | IP Logged

Jai bangla !Thumbs Up

I like that ektara thing.

Originally posted by Bhaskar.T

Originally posted by apparaohoare

Clap

Great Articles Barnali di and Qwest ji. Thank you very very much for showing the light to the blinds like me.


Same here Appa. Have no idea about Bauls though have heard few songs. Purnadas Baul did a live show here at KgP once and heard it then. He was just too good.

Would love to read the article by you all and get to know this spirit of Bengal too. Ab zindagi yahi guzarnai hai to Bongo sab kuch seekhna hi achchha hai Tongue

 

Barnali

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:27pm | IP Logged

Eminent Bauls of Bengal

18th Century

Ananta das Goswami (Gosain) was a great and very well known poet, philosopher, sadhak and baul guru among the west Bengal Bauls. Son of the great poet Khyapa Chand, he came from a famous and traditional Baul family that belonged to the Vaishnava caste. He was born in 1700, in Birbhum, west Bengal. He wrote nearly one thousand songs.

Lalon Fakir

(on equality)

"What form does caste have? I have never seen it, brother, with these eyes of mine!"

Lalon Fakir, born in the village of Bhandra which was, at that time, in the district of Nadia (west Bengal). Now, the area is known as Kusthia. His childhood is not known but it is estimated that he was born in 1774. Lalon came from hindu family. According to tradition he married in young age. During a walking pilgrimage to Puri, Orissa, the famous Hindu temple of jagannath, he was suffered small pox and was abandoned by his travel companions who feared contamination. A Muslim Baul/sufi family took pity on him and kept him in their home. There he became a Baul and married his second wife, a Muslim girl. Lalon songs are very popular among the Bauls of both east and west Bengal. He was a great philosopher as well as a poet and singer. He was amoung the finest of baul/sufi song writers. Lalon was perhaps the most radical voice in India during British colonial rule composing numerous, somewhat revolutionary songs that celebrated the freedom of the body and soul and opposed both the British colonialism and the caste system of India. Though he died in 1891 his songs live on and to this day inspire the people of Bengal both spiritually and politically.

Haure Gosain came from a Brahman family. He was born in 1795, in Medtala, Burdwan with his given family name of Mati Lal Sanyal which he kept until he became a baul. His father was Haladhar Sanyal and mother Shyamsundari. Well educated in sanskrit literature and hindu theology, Mati Lal adopted the name of Haure Gosain when he came a baul. He had two teachers: Bashisthananda Swami, who taught him the tantric texts and Prahladananda Goswami, who was his teacher in vaishnava theology.

19th Century

Gosain Gopal was born in 1869, in the village of Shilaidaha, Kushtia as Ram Gopal from a vaishnava brahman family. In fact, the surname of 'gosain' is confined to teachers of the Vaishnava faith. His father was Ram lal Joyardar, his mother, Manomohini. His father was also his spiritual guru. Ram gopal learned to read and write at an early age but he was mainly interested in singing. He followed the vaishnava faith as a baul and had a large number of disciples among both Hindus and Muslims communities. He was well known for his great healing power. He changed his name to Gosain Gopal when he became a baul. He died in 1912.

Crfan Shah was well known Baul from Barasat of twenty parganas. He left a number of disciples but his dates of birth and death are uncertain.

Madan baul came from Jugi caste and his teacher was Ishan Jugi. At that time he was a well known baul singer and musician.

Rasaraj Gosain younger brother of Ananta Goswami. Like his elder brother he also was a famous philosopher and poet. He learned sadhna and singing songs from his elder brother. One of his well known songs is 'Jemon Beni Temni Rabe' which menas 'The way my Braid is'.

Ladubindu came from village Panchloki of the district Burdwan, west Bengal. His teacher was Kubir. Ladubindu left quite a large number of songs, probably a couple of hundred. His songs are extremely popular with the present communities of Bengal.

Okkur gosain, son of Guru Ananta Gosain was an eminent Baul singer at that time and a great philosopher too.

20th Century

Kalachand he was a carpenter by profession and possibly belonged to Namahshudrad caste. His teacher was Nityanath.

Radhashyam the original home of radhashyam was the village Indas in the district Hankura but he mostly lived in Chandpur, Birbhum in West Bengal.

Padmalochan he came from the Rarh district, Birbhum of Bengal. He was one of the early bauls, whose songs have been passed orally from teacher to disciples.

Nabani das Khyapa Baul

Celebrated baul singer, sadhak, philosopher, composer and great baul poet of Bengal. Son of Okkur Gosain, he was the first Baul to spread Baul songs and philosophy throughout the country with his unique singing style. He gained many great friends during his time, like Nobal prize winning poet, Rabindranath Tagore, poet Kazi Nazrul, Tara Shankar, Banaful, Kshiti Mohan sec Shastri, Dr. Bidhan, Chandra Roy and many more... He worked for and was very committed to supporting the Indian revolution against the British during their occupation. He dedicated many songs to this effort which helped to give his people strength and hope throughout these difficult times. Joyfull, even in the face of adversity, as true Baul's are, his songs were carefully crafted with beautiful and meaningful lyrics. Many of the writers that focused on Baul culture of the time, wrote books based on the life and teachings of Guru Nabani das. Publications can be found in both Bengali and English that sport his name and teachings. He acquired and taught a great many disciples including American poet Allen Ginsberg. After the noterity that poet Rabindranath Tagore assisted him in obtaining, Allen Ginsberg furthered the voice of Baul culture by introducing baul philosophy, music and energies to the western world. As a result, many films about the life and beliefs of Guru Nabani das Baul were made and distributed worldwide. He died in 1964.

Purna das Baul Samrat

Father of Babukishan and also the current Father of the Baul music world, Purna is the son of Nabani das Khyapa Baul. Born in Ekchakka, Birbhum, west Bengal, he accompanied his father, Nabani, travelling and playing music with him from early childhood on. As a young man, he traveled all the time and spread Baul songs from the villages of Bengal to Europe and finally to the western fields of north America. He became known in his own right and Purna made it his business to bring the songs of the Baul to they world. He was a success and now both he and his people are well known worldwide. With the age of information in full swing, he began to create documentation of the Baul philosophy and history by acting and playing in films, cutting records, and travelling outside of India. The elite of the music industry took notice and he began to perform with industry legends like Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, George Harrison and many more - Not just as a musician but as a Baul minstral. It is not suprizing that in the Baul music world he is considered the King of Bauls. Purna das baul is the hope and the dream of Bauls everywhere as his tanacity to spread the news of the baul to a global audience has changed the life style of the Baul in Bengal and modernized their standard of living. This has created a viable and concrete platform for Bauls in India and abroad to excel and to further have their message heard. He is an admirable man that people naturally gravitate towards and wish to emulate

 

soulsoup

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:30pm | IP Logged
Great post Barnalidi. I'll get back to it soon with some more info. But first my personal experience

I actually spend 5 days with a real Baul family on the road (not those so called urban Baul Singers) . Deeply influenced by their philosophy , and of course the influence of music in their life. Will post soon

Barnali

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by ad_0112

That's what i thought..This song was sang with a lot of josh in our dining table every time mom made lau chingri ..we kind of freaked her out..she was happy atleast we were singing a bengali song instead of soem rap number...LOLLOLLOL

Originally posted by Barnali

Originally posted by apparaohoare

Originally posted by ad_0112

Barnalidi..shadher lau is a baul song right??

 

Adi,

That's a Palli Geet.

Thats a palli geeti bt based on Baul. Palli geeti is the folk songs of Bengal. So lot of Baul songs and music have been used in Palli geeti too in bengal.

 

LOL sadher lau by Runa Laila became a hit during 80's if I remember correctly. every mikes during that time in Bengal had this songs being played.

 

advil

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Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:32pm | IP Logged

The Tales of a Minstrel
Purna Das Baul interviewed by Pallavi Bhattacharya
Introduction :
He has been a globetrotter for 67 years, Purna Das Baul was a special guest at Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger's home. The Baul Samrat of India shares his travel stories...


Purna Das

PURNA DAS NARRATES:

The bauls of Bengal have forever been wanderers. The tonic drone of their ektara is associated with mendicants seeking alms and carries overtones of sacrifice and homelessness- the spirit of the bairagi.

My father Nabini Das Baul would wander from place to place of worship singing baul songs. Though I was born in the Ekchakka village near Rampurhat in Birbhum I spent my childhood in a vagrant manner, as my father could never dwell for long in a single place. In those days villages of Bengal had monasteries of vaishnab monks where convocations would be held. I visited many of these convocations with my father, spent invaluable hours with many sadhus. Ever since I was a little boy I've been meeting interesting people through my travels. My father was invited to sing at fairs and pujas and I always accompanied him.

When I was just six years old the famine in Bengal threw our family into abject poverty forcing me to go out to the streets to sing Baul songs to save the family for starvation. This crisis in the family turned to be a boon in disguise, it made me embark on the roadway of eternal travel. When I was seven I started singing songs on platforms and trains, which made me travel even further. In this juncture of my life I met Sita Ram Omkarnath, a renowned saint who encouraged me to sing baul songs on soils alien to Bengal. At nine I found myself singing in Jaipur and winning the hearts of the audience to win a gold medal.

My first visit to Kolkata fascinated me. I was then in my early teens. I met many music artists and performed at Rang Mahal theatre and the Bongo Sanskriti Mela.  We put up at Jorasanko Thakhur Bari.  I soon started recording with my father in Kolkata and my cassettes became bestsellers.

It was in the late 1960s that I first went abroad. Albert Grossman- Bob Dylan's ex-manager invited me to the US to sing at a music festival in San Francisco. I toured the US singing at other music festivals and thereafter Grossman took me to Bearsville, Bob Dylan's hometown.

Bearsville was situated in the township of Woodstock. Known world wide as the quintessential New England Village, Woodstock is a pretty tiny town and the Western pilgrimage for music lovers and artists. It's a desolate town in the downtown area you'll find quaint shops and galleries with spiral staircases. It's a unique experience to explore its alleys and hidden side streets. Its countryside is full of surprises with cosy farms, mysterious inns and hospitable country stores.

Bearsville gets its name from the bears, which were on the prowl there to eat apples from its orchards and grapes from vineyards. Thankfully I never came face to face with a bear. I would love to see deer rolling on the grass bed carpeted with apples. Rabbits would scurry about and birds would chirp all day.

When I was working with Bob Dylan I lived in a wooden house with an adjoining swimming pool in the hilly woods in Bearsville. Dylan was a very friendly young man. On coming to know that we could only eat rice he had sent over sacks full of rice to our home and said that we weren't allowed to leave until we had consumed all of it. Dylan loved Indian dishes. In fact he would often come over and taste my wife's khichri. She would add apples instead of potatoes as the fruit grew in abundance there.



Purna Das with Bob Dylan
The recording studio of Bearsville looked like a castle in the woods. It was an ideal fairy tale setting. My guesthouse was situated very close to the music studio. I could work at the studio whenever I wanted to and if I was not in the mood of composing music I could come home. I remember Dylan traversing the countryside on horseback and strumming his guitar seated on a barrel. I fondly recollect all the jamming sessions with him. Before long we recorded albums together. Dylan would call himself the 'baul of America'. He pointed out to me that he wore patchwork jeans very much like my pied guduri and we both sang songs celebrating humanity- so where did the difference lie?

Meeting Mick Jagger in Nice, France was an equally stimulating experience. It was the hippie age when I toured France. Nice is a city with great scenic beauty. Green pine forests fringe the deep blue shores of the Mediterranean and the landscape soon ascends into a rocky and hilly terrain. The museums of Nice and its intellectual ambience have attracted artists, painters, writers, sculptors and musicians.

Mick Jagger's manager had invited me to work at the Rolling Stones studio in Nice. Ironically I had no idea who Mick Jagger was at that time though his music company had invited me. The Rolling Stones building was on the seashore was of palatial grandeur. It resembled the Victoria Memorial and had a beautiful glass ceiling from which sunlight poured in. I would spend hours gazing at the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean and the amazing aquatic life down below. The recording studio was underground completely cut off from any external sound.

When I first saw Mick Jagger he was on the seashore dancing to my music with the agility of a snake and then started strumming his guitar.  I was slightly far off singing, but we could see one another. Not knowing who he really was I told his manager that his dance was distracting me. His manager simply politely requested me to turn away from him and sing.

Purna Das(right) with Mick Jagger(center)
To my surprise soon I got a dinner invitation from Mick Jagger. He was driving like crazy while taking us up the hill to his home. He had turned an old castle to his home set amidst grape vines. Rolls Royce and sports cars were parked in front of his house.  I was his special guest. Mick Jagger was then married to Bianca, a daughter was born to them, he specially requested me to bless and name his daughter, as I was a spiritual person from India.  I named his daughter Krishna.  Jagger treated us to a lavish banquet. Chubby, colourful pet cats roamed about in his house. Mick Jagger was a motorbike racer - had many bikes and a helicopter. He fast became friends with the youngest son who was a child at that time and showered him with gifts.  I recorded the album Jai Bangla with him.
I had taken just one picture with Jagger and when I got it developed at a studio in London, the person at the counter asked me how I had got to know him.  I said both of us were artists.  Right then the television in the studio started beaming Mick Jagger coming out of his home and travelling to the airport.  "This is Mick Jagger, one of the greatest musicians of the world."

Purna Das in Hollywood

I have toured many countries.  All my air tickets will form a huge pile.  Bauls are wanderers who can never stay at one place for a long time.  Every country of the world is my home.  Every country I have been to has been of special significance to me starting from Japan - the land of the rising sun to the far West.  I can visit the same country many times and every time I'll be enchanted by something refreshingly new.  I am also proud to be a cultural ambassador of India.  It was a great honour to me to sing at the Tennessee Folk Festival.  I have a Baul Academy in San Diego now and have to travel there often.  It's nice when foreigners come forward to touch my feet at airports saying they have been overwhelmed by my music. 

It has also been a pleasure travelling with my family; two of my sons are settled in Mumbai and Paris, so I visit those cities regularly.  My wife has accompanied me on most of my travels, she is a musician too, and both of us have many memorable travel memories. Santiniketan is a favourite travel destination of mine because it is so close to Kolkata and I have formed a Baul Society there.  It is true that urbanisation is gradually creeping into Santiniketan - there are more streets, Internet cafes and high rises. Yet, it still has peace, sanctity and cultural ambience.
hough I have a house at Dhakuria in Kolkata, I have no fixed address whatsoever. I am still a wanderer at 74 years of age. I'd like to share with you a few lines of my favourite baul song:


Gari cholche ajob kole
Ei Deho diye mati poripati
Aguun, jol aar hawar kole



Our body is like a vehicle always travelling fuelled by water and wind. From dust we have come and after our travels are over we will return to dust.


 


source:http://www.beatofindia.com/mainpages/article-purna-1. htm



Edited by ad_0112 - 03 May 2006 at 10:33pm

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