Friday, July 29, 2011

Baul is a Guru Tradition, Parampara, passed down through family lineages for thousands of Years. You started learning Baul at birth, learning sanskrit and having the stories passed down. This is how it has been done in India for thousands of years, why change the story now, yes a Baul can adopt you like a son or daughter. It was passed between Guru and disciple, and the sishya was mostly always a father and son, mother and daughter. Remember this is an oral tradition, the Baul songs are seed songs of higher Indian Philosophy, they are not folk songs or ordinary poetry from any poet, Baul poetry is simple yet profound.

Beginning in the early oral traditions of the Upanishads (c. 2000 BC), the guru-shishya relationship has evolved into a fundamental component of Hinduism. The term "Upanishad" derives from the Sanskrit words "upa" (near), "ni" (down) and "şad" (to sit) — so it means "sitting down near" a spiritual teacher to receive instruction. The relationship between Krishna and Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita portion of the Mahabharata, and between Rama and Hanuman in the Ramayana are examples. In the Upanishads, gurus and disciples appear in a variety of settings (a husband answering questions about immortality, a teenage boy being taught by Yama, the Hindu Religion's Lord of Death, etc.) Sometimes the sages are women, and the instructions may be sought by kings.
In the Vedas, the knowledge of Brahman (brahmavidya) is communicated from guru to shishya by oral lore.

This is Baul and the Baul lineage was passed down through family lines, from father & mother to son and daughter.. Mostly the father was the one who passed the lineage on but not always as in the Baul tradition.
Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul

A Baul is like flowing water,
A stunning fragrant rose,
You can not catch a Baul,
Bauls are mysterious expansive oceans of love,
A bundle of Love that will enlighten the way,
There is no beginning and there is no end,
They leave no trace behind them,
They are children of God/dess,
They are everywhere, yet they are nowhere,
For the Baul there is no such thing as initiation,
There is only a river of perpetual learning and sadhana.
They will spend their whole life everyday 24/7 in the Guru bhava...
Whether the Guru is still here,
Or on the other side of the river of life.
Jai Guru Jai Guru Jai Guru

                                                  "Baul Guru"Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul"
                                       on the cover of "The Pink" recorded in the USA 1967
                           "Baul Guru" ..Nabani Das Baul.. painting from West Bengal India

           "Baul Guru" Babukishan and  & "Baul Guru's" Purna Das Baul mother "Manju Dasi"the first women Baul to travel the world starting in the early 1960's, she introduced the harmonium to Baul singing. She is really truly a Legendary Baul along with all Babu's aunts and women in his lineage..his aunt Radharani Das was also ledgendary they made a movie of her life called Tagori in 1985, her singing was sublime, she was sweet, gentle and shy. Babu's grandmother Brajabala Dasi was also a legendary Baul women, all to be profiled in our book. There are still many Baul women from this lineage around.

Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul, Manju Dasi and Purna Das Baul, Pous Mela 1980's with thousands of people watching, Purna Das Baul is the only Baul in the history of Baul given Government security protection because of his popularity.
"Baul Guru", Babukishan @ the Rishikesh ashram of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath, 2007. Babukishan is  a poet, philosopher, Baul/Sanskrit Scholar, Master of Indian Classical, Folk, Baul and Indian Cinema Music. Born a Baul into the poineering Baul family that who brought Baul to the world. He has been preserving, lecturing, traveling the planet for 40 years. Starting with the many world tours with his legendary Baul father and mother, then on his own. Wandering from country to country, singing, lecturing at universities, worshops, forums, in temples ect..educating the world about the Bauls of Bengal.
                                        "Baul Guru" Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul

The oldest living lineage of Baul, Jai Nitai and thousands of years previous.. This is picture of "Legendary Baul Guru and Baul Saint Nabani Das Baul" and "Brajabala Dasi" Lineage Baul.     Grandson and "Lineage Baul Guru" Babukishan ..Jai Guru (Baul is a Guru tradition)
Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul (Baul Guru, Baul Saint)

The Honey, the Rasa or juice to the Baul is Love (Prema) the honey they catch is LOVE..."Baul is the poetry of the the dancing bee that tells us where the honey is." Their sadhana is, "the honey," the "Rasa" of Indian Philosophy, with a flavouring of Buddhism and Sufi.. they are the "RASA LILA Mystics" the "Honey Catchers"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Book, the Story of Babukishan's life in the, "Oldest Living Lineage and Pioneering family of Baul who opened the door for all Bauls to travel the world."

"The roots of Baul, this Legendary Lineage of Baul is the oldest "Baul Living Lineage" on earth. This is the "Nabani Das Baul and Brajabala Dasi" Lineage. It is thousands of years old. This lineage brought Baul to the world in the 1950's otherwise who would know anything about Baul. They opened the door for future Bauls.

It was this lineage that did all the leg work back in the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's traveling to every corner of the world, teaching, lecturing at universities, demonstrating their Baul lineage, performing from Carnegie Hall to the Royal Albert Hall to all the biggest stadiums in India and around the world in front of millions of people, including the Nitaji Indoor staduim, and Salt Lake staduim in Kolkata and the Bombay Stadium in Mumbai, Mahajadisadna and Rabindra Sadan, Tata Auditorium, Nehru Auditorium, Sri Ram Auditorium, Teenmurti Auditorium in from of the Indian President, Prime Minister and all cabinet ministers, in the Knitting Factory in New York, Studio 54 New York Babu was the guest artist.. ...the list is endless.

Babukishan also is the first Baul who spread Baul through fusion world music, he has a love of making instruments and playing instruments, and weaving Baul through world music and of course his natural talent as a music composer of Indian classical, folk, Baul and Bollywood music.

This lineage, this family has performed at festivals in India and around the world hundreds of times over and over for more than 40 years. Babukishan has performed at more festivals than perhaps almost anybody on this planet, this he started with his grandfather, then his father and mother in the 70's, 80's, 90's. ..the list is endless and he performed with all top Indian musicians and western musicians in every corner of this planet.

They have been recorded by the biggest music companies, on television in documentaries, and in movies including the movie made in 1986 called Tagori about Babukishan's Aunt Radharani Dasi. They are legendary, this is legendary and historical. They have written books, been interviewed by all the top scholars and associated with the top in every field of society. It truly is an amazing story of struggle in the days before we had the internet, today it is easy to say anything, or even do anything, think how difficult it was for this pioneering family to introduce Baul to the world, when hand written letters were the only way to make contact, even telephone was too expensive to call oversea's. Language was also a problem, these were sanskrit speaking, bengali speaking people, Babukishan learned english to communicate with the world and did all the letter writing.

This is the Lineage of Sri Nityananda of Ekchakka, Birbhum West Bengal India. "Baul is the poetry of the the dancing bee that tells us where the honey is." based on Indian Philosophy, Indian shastra, Yoga, Shakti-sadhana, the science of light and the science of life, flavoured with the juice (Rasa) of Buddhism and Sufi. Bauls accept all, love all, serve all. Other people talk about themselves, Bauls sing about everybody, and include all, in all religions, they talk about all religions, they are not fundamentalist or othodox saying this is the way. They say all ways are paths to God/dess, all people are great, and the Baul path is the a path based on the ancient sadhana's of India, flavoured with he best honey of all.

This is the Baul lineage who introduced Baul to the world, this is the lineage who did all the leg work, so that today anybody can be a Baul. They already spent many decades traveling, lecturing at Universities, and singing since the 1950's, many eminent people around the world would visit Nabani Das Baul in Shantiniketan West Bengal.
                                                  "Baul Guru, Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul"

Nabani Das Khyeppa Baul, Lineage Baul from a many thousand year old oral living lineage. Nabani Das is Babukishan grandfather, and his initiating Baul Guru, he spent the first 8 years of his life learning and being initiated into Baul.  Nabani kept Babu when he was born, massaging his crocked limbs and carrying him as his baby Krishna all over India. Through his grace Babu had darshan with all the great Saints of the 60's. Babu was at his side when he left his earthly body and he had a very profound initiation at that time and vividly recalls everything Nabani said to him.

These stories of Babukishan's early life, living with his grandfather and grandmother, Nabani Das Baul are stories legends are made of. Babu was taken to Kolkata where he lived as a monk at the Ramakrishna mission for 12 years. His life living with Purna Das Baul and being reaquaited with his famous birth family in Kolkata, and recieving the gift of Purna Das Bauls Baul teachings. This is the a rare story of a kid who learned sanskrit orally from birth and developed a photographic memory, enough so to remember everything about his lineage, and who is who in Bengali history. This is a story of traveling, lecturing at universities, performing with the best of the west including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and George Harrison of the Beattles the list is endless.

This is a ledgendary true story of lineage, early fame, of disappearing to Bombay and recreating himself under the name Babukishan, of his beloved Guru and the rare deep loving connection beyond this world, sacrifice, seva, struggle and sadhana of an oral tradition of over 10,000 songs.. This is a legendary story that will take one into the inner circles of Indian spiritual life and cultural life, from the top to the bottom, in India during the 60's, 70's, 80's, it is the story of all famous Indian musicians, guru's, and initiations. It is the legendary story of a kid who never fit into to regular life no matter how he tried. It is the story of Babukishan's struggle to preserve his lineage and create, preserve his guru, his grandfather Nabani Das Baul's legacy over a 40 year period. To be published soon. It is the story of the first Baul to ever recieve a modern education, of a Baul who is successful as a Indian Cinema composer, of betrayal and ultimately of the first and only Baul to ever immigrate to Canada or live in North America.

This Legendary Baul family is the Oldest Baul living lineage on earth and it is the  Nabani Das Baul Lineage (Jai Nitia) and before that thousands of years, they are the ones who brought Baul to the world and opened the door for future Bauls now everybody can be a Baul...Baul is for the world and its time is now, they ebrace all, accept all. Everybody does sadhana, Baul is type of sadhana that needs to be preserved for future generations.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Babukishan on Washington Bangla Radio. Baul 101 part 1 and part 2

"Mirror of the Sky" is one of the names Rabindranath Tagore gave Baul Saint, Baul Guru Nabani Das Kheppa Baul. This album produced, composed, and some lyrics by Babukishan, on the cover Babu's grandfather, Nabani Das Baul, Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul, his mother Manju, and father Purna Das Baul.
Nabani Das Baul
Babukishan and George Harrison who helped Babu publish his 3rd book in 1986

                                                                  Babukishan 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nabani Das Baul the Baul who inspired Rabindranath Tagore

© copyright all rights reserved. The picture of Nabani Das Baul in this photo belongs to the Nabani Das Baul family, this Baul Lineage is Vaishnava, we only want Nabani Das Baul's photo associated with authentic Baul projects. Please respect this photo belonging to this lineage. Thank you.

Rabindranath Tagore and the Baul who inspired him Nabani Das Baul, the photo of Nabani Das was taken by Rabindranath Tagore.. Nabani gave Tagore the name Ravi Baul, Rabindranath gave Nabani Das the name Khyeppa ... Nabani was a great Kavi (poet) and Philosopher, he wrote thousands of poetry or Baul songs that the Bauls are singing today. Nabani was also from a lineage of famous poets such as ,Ananta Gosai Das Baul, Rasaja Gosai Das Baul, Narottama Gosia Das Baul, and Babukishan Gosai Das Baul..

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jai Guru

The Ektara is the symbol of the Bauls the one string signifies uinity, this lineage calls it the Gopi Chand, because they are forever in Yoga or union with their beloved Radha and Krishna.

The above black and white Photo was taken by Rabindranath Tagore, it is a photo of the only legendary and last authentic traditional Baul in the old style Nabani Das Baul he is the Grandfather and Guru of Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das Baul.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Begging for Prema, begging for God/dess..

Begging for Prema..

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

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roots of Kirtan.. Sadhana of Kirtan
Saturday, August 30, 2008----The Times of India
By Debdutta Ray

Krishnendu Das aka Babukishan Baul, the son of Baul samrat, Purna Das Baul and grandson of legendary Nabani Das Kyappa Baul was here, in our city for a poetry book launch. While he keeps his audience in his thrall with his powerhouse rendition of Baul earthy singing and dancing, the foot can't help but tap; synchronising with every pluck of the 'Ektara' string; the mind can't help but drift away into the rustic village interiors. At a tender age, a realisation came to Krishnendu that he is going to become a Baul like his father, and grandfather, and keep the centuries old family tradition alive. He even started touring the country and gradually began to touch foreign shores with his father, for his musical repertoires. Says Babukishan Baul,"

We are the messengers of peace. We wander from place to place spreading the message of divine love and universal brotherhood. We worship the soul. Every soul is beautiful as God lies in every individual." Even though it seems like it is entrenched in Hindu tradition, the Baul philosophy transcends all religions. It believes in free-thinking. "We borrow ideas and ideologies from Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and several other ancient religions. In fact, Lalon Fakir a Muslim Baul from Bangladesh is revered as one of the frontrunners of Baul tradition." Several eminent authors and stalwarts like Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore himself, rock musicians, poets and artists have drawn inspiration from Baul music and philosophies.

 Babu's professional career in music began with some of the 20th century's greatest musician's. He toured with Bob Dylan's The Band in their 1985 East and West tour. He has performed and recorded with the likes of George Harrison, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Chakka Khan, Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Tom Petty, Miles Davis, Allan Fakir, Herbie Mann, Third World, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Ziggy Marley, R D Burman, and many others. The Beat poet Alen Ginsberg had exclaimed after listening to Baul music, "I have finally found what I was looking for!" And where does a Baul draw his inspiration from? "We look within. We search our souls and find the answers. The deepest and the most profound secrets are lying in our hearts, which can be unearthed only by means of meditation and staying in touch with our core," says Babukishan.

The Baul's ideology is symbolised as the 'Ektara' - the one stringed instrument, connotes "to unite'. As the line goes "…deshey deshey more ghor acchey…" (I have a home in every land), a Baul wears a multicoloured attire, called 'Guduri', made up of cloth swatches stitched together, picked up from every place, every land he visits, representing the multicoloured nature of human society with all its shades.

The maverick musician, Babukishan knows how to play about 15 different instruments and can even make many with his own hands. He was the first to make Baul Fusion music collaborating with international acts like Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and The Band, Ziggy Marley in the late seventies and eighties. . However, he was subjected to a lot of criticisms from the purists. Says Babu, many fakes have come out. But a true Baul is the one who can tell a profound philosophy in the first few lines of his/her song, then breaks into crooning the lines of the poet Rashoraj Goshai, " Amar jemon beni temni robey, chul bhejabo na' ( I shall dip into the water, yet not let my braid get wet in it), which means, I shall be a part of the world and enjoy every bit of pleasure it can give, yet be detached from it.

Most women have been 'Grihi' (one who stays indoors) Baul, like his grandmother, Brojobala Dashi, has also contributed to this kind of music and their support has been monumental in Baul music. Besides, women are considered to be the source of inspiration and strength. Says Babukishan, "We believe that every human being has aspects of man and woman inside him or her. That's why we keep long hair." With the opening up of the economy and globalisation, Baul music has received acceptance abroad, but not as much in India, although our nation is getting westernized at jet-speed. Says Babukishan who gives lectures at several universities in the USA, Canada, Europe, South East Asia, etc, "

The latest culture to hit the youth is the 'mall culture'. They are seeing fifty thousand things around them, but cannot set their hearts upon what they want." The legendary Bob Dylan had once said to him "India is becoming Bob Dylan and Bob Dylan is becoming Baul." So what is freedom to a Baul? "Freedom to me is boundless, it means to be able to do whatever I want, go wherever I want to go, say whatever I want to say. I will feel free and liberated when I find my 'moner manush' my soul mate. Till that time, I will keep on searching it."

Babukishan wants to start an institution called, The Bauls of Bengal Academy of Folk Performing Arts, to help preserve this ancient lineage. "We are looking for a platform and finances. The institute will be devoted to the pursuit of learning Baul music, Vedic healing and Music Therapy," says the Baul, who has immense faith in power of mass media. Only it can change the way the world thinks, as Baul has been the oldest medium, wandering from place to place, telling stories, exchanging philosophies and ideas.

Baul origin: The word Baul (pronounced: baa-ul) derived from the Sanskrit word 'vyatul' meaning 'insanity'. Bauls of Bengal can be traced back to the 16th century to the advent of Vaishnava spriritual leader Chaitanya Deva (1486-1533). The mystic Bengal Baul sect constitutes, performing Kirtan, Bhajan and Baul songs. They were minstrels who wandered the streets of Birbhum (famous for Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's education institution, Shantiniketan), sleeping under trees and singing and dancing for a livelihood. The Bauls have their own philosophy, a mix of Hindu, Islam, Buddhist and Tantra. Like the Sufis, they strive to bridge the rift that was created between the religious and social groups, professing freedom from compulsion, doctrine and social caste.

The Times of India

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who is the Baul from Bengal who is now called BabuKishan?


Babukishan aka Krishnendu Das started his life in Indian Cinema at a very young age in West Bengal India. He started off a music composer & song writer for Bengali Film, Serials, and Drama in the 70’s. Along side he started working in film and was awarded youngest Music and Film Director ever in Bengal, he was a highly awarded music composer in Bengal before he arrived in the Bombay film industry. In Bengal he composed super hit music for Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Arit Mukhergee, Banashree Sengupta, Shakti Thakur, Gopa Bose, Hemant Mukhergee, Pandit Amarnath and many more. Babukishan composed all of his father's music the world renowned legendary vocalist and Baul from Bengal, Purna Das Baul. Babukishan is a super energetic creative genuis and he has proven this in all his endevours.

In 2007 he was awarded the Lifetime of Acheivement Award in Indian Cinema (Bollywood) for his dedication to Indian Music and Film. Bollywood Buddy, Mumbai

Known as Krishnendu Das Baus during his early creative years in Kolkata some of his music compositions were produced for big banner name films such as Amar Deep, Rakto Sapoth, Marg, Manob Premik Nimai, Chapa dangaar Bou, and drama’s such as Amlo Madhu in which he produced and did the music, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for producer, project design, music and promotion. His serials were Charitroheen, Mejo bou, Didi, Mahalaya, Ek Paloke, Radharani, Guldasta, all were popular and he was awarded best music director for them.  Krishnendu Das Baul was ledgendary for his poetry, much of written up psuedo names. We are in the process of archiving his poetry.

Babukishan’s career started in Bombay as a music composer and then as a music and film designer, production consultant with India’s Top music labels & film companies for the past 30 years . He has produced over 150 scores for Indian Cinema and Bollywood film. He has composed, produced and promoted over 44 albums for Bollywood’s top singers such as Kumar Sanu, Sunidhi, Shaan, Sadhna Sargam, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Poornima, Abhijit, Udit Narayan, Sudesh Bhosle, Mohd.Aziz, Vijay Benedict, Asha Bhosle, Anup Jalota, Suresh Wadkar, Usha Mangeshkar, Ravindra jain, Nitin Mukesh, Alka yagnik, Vinod Rathod, Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan, Pankaj Udhas, Anwar, Anuradha Paudwal, Amit Kumar and many others. Babukishan’s career did not only stop in Bombay he went on to perform and record with George Harrison, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Beach Boys, Chakka Khan, Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Tom Petty, Miles Davies, Allan Fakir, Herbie Mann, Third World, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Ziggy Marley and others...

While in Bombay he changed his name from Krishnendu Das to Babukishan for many different reasons one being he was so stubborn and wanted to make himself as his own person, not on the fame of his past or his fathers fame. 
There were also 2 directors named Suraj Sanima and Mahesh Bhatt who had a difficult time pronouncing his name so they called him Babh Kishan all the time and it became his brand name in the entertainment market.

He recorded Durga Puja albums with all the top Bollywood playback singers having them sing in Bengali, this was a very new idea at the time and a super hit. However, at first there were many Bengali’s who were very critical because the Bengali singer who were really talented did not have work as singers and Babu was bringing in outsiders. Some of these Indian Cinema singers he recorded in Bengali were Anaradha Pauwal, Md Aziz, Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhana Sargam, Alka Yagnik Purnima, Vijay Bendict, Abijit, Kumar Sanu, for Durga Puja songs HMV/Venus/Tips MusicaIndia/Universal with big promotions. It should be noted that Indian Cinema started from Bengal and now 70% of the people in the modern Indian film industry are from Bengal. Babukishan being one of them who has composed everything from Hanuman Chalisa to Hip Hop.

Babukishan has worked with just about everybody in Indian Cinema as a promotion designer, production designer, music designer, from Amir Khan to A R Rahman... from the production of music, promotion to the international market. Babukishan is probably the most famous person from Bollywood who is mostly known behind the scenes within Indian Cinema.

Babu had already knew RD Burman from Bengal as his family was like family to Babu but when he arrived in Mumbai to live he started working as
R D Burman’s assistant, learning Indian Cinema music from one of the all time greats in Indian film music. Babu spent about 13 years with RD Burman until his death in 1994. At first Bombay was a foreign place to Babu, he spoke Bengali and needed to learn Hindi, he was just a kid and had been living in hotels. When RD Burman found out that Babu has been living in a hotel which was a huge expense he arranged for Babu to meet Abijit an upcoming singer from Kanpur Bengal, he figured Babu and Abijit could be room mates and this they did. RD Burman also suggested that Babu start working in the music industry while he was getting his music composer career off of the ground. Burman introduced Babu to his first contacts, at R.K Electronics. Burman thought Babu was dynamic and energetic he knew that Babu would be perfect for the job. Babu is so greatful to R D Burman. R.K Electronics needed someone to promote their company and Babu already having some fame as a composer in Bengal was the guy to do this. Babu knew all the distribution contacts from the Eastern Zone. He introduced R.K Electronics to the Eastern Zone and the combination today is know as TIPS, one of largest Entertainment Companies in India.

Babu is an author of 3 books in Bengali and English, the last book was supported by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar. He is a prolific poet and has been travellng worldwide for 40 years as a cultural ambassador for Bengali and India. He has performed at all top festivals worldwide and has lectured at Universities world-wide. He has performed at Carnagie Hall and The Royal Albert Hall in London and many other large venues around
the world.

Career History – Senior Management – Music & Film Industry India
1978 – 1990 HMV- Composer, Writer of Music for famous India singers.
1986 -1993 Venus/Tips/Music India, Music Producer, and Composer
1986-1993 CBS - Music Producer, Creative Director India, promoter, of artist such as Cindy Lauper, Micheal Jackson, New Kids on the Block, Pink Floyd, Gypsy Kings and others.
1991 -2004 Digital Music Studio – Owned, and Operated by Babukishan – Composer, Music Production for Film.
1994-1996 Time Audio Video – ABCL Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd - Quality Assurance Manager Film & Music Production/Marketing, and Event
Management. Film, and Music Promotion.
1997-2004 Universal Music Label - Music Producer, Music Composer, Consultant
1996-1999 PEN Audio Video Film - Music Producer, Promoter, Consultant
1996-2001 T-series- Music Producer - Composer

Produced & Promoted Music & Film Software for all top Indian Channels including Zee / B4U / ATN /etc... including Doordarshan ( Indian National Tv) / JainTv / Sanskar / Astha

Selected Honorable Mentions
2007 - Lifetime achievement Award for dedication to Indian Cinema, Bollywood Buddy, Mumbai
1988 - Adaptation of Award winning novelist Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s ‘Charitroheen’
Best Soap Opera, Best Music Composer, awarded to Babukishan Glaxo Award, Mumbai
1981 - Most promising Music Composer and Movie Design of the Year, Calcutta Entertainment Industry, Bombay Entertainment Industry.
1980 - Best Music Composer, Indian Cinema, Bombay


Life Member of Indian Cine Music Directors Association
Life Member of Indian Preforming Rights Society
Member of Western India Film Producers Association
Member of Bollywood Film Producers and Directors Association

Selected Discography and Filmography
Folk music by various singers (HMV, 1981)
Rokto Sapoth, Bengali 1979
Folk songs (Gathani, 1982) Amardeep,
Bengali, Bengali 1979 Arohan (HMV, 1983)
Maarg, Bengali 1980
Baul Music by Purna das Baul (HMV, 1983)
Arohan, Hindi, Dir: Shyam Benegal 1980
Folk Music from Bengal (Polygram Music India, 1984)
Sudhu Tomake, Bengali, 1980
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (HMV, 1984)
Pyar Bhara khat, Hindi,1989
Spiritual songs of India (Chandra Dhara, Germany, 1984)
“30days” Hindi Thriller Movie, 2000
Bauls of Bengal (New York Music, 1985)
Chote Nawab Bade Nawab, Hindi,1999
Soul of Bengal(Unique Records, USA, 1985)
Schoolgirl, Hindi, 2001
Baul Fusion by the Band/Babukishan (Shymphony,1985)
Akhri pratigya, Hindi, Mithun Chakrabortydirected by T.L.V Prasad, 1998
The Bengali Bauls (Maple Music, Canada, 1986
Guru ho ja shuru, Mithun Chakraborty,1995
Modern Songs by Various Singers (Venus, 1987)
Mrityu...The Truth, Hindi, T-series 2002
Bauls from Royal Albert Hall (Megaphone, 1987)
Gumnaam, Hindi Thriller Movie 2001
Monalisa (CBS, 1988)
Aasakti, Hindi, Jackie Shroff 1998
O Go Priyotama (Tips, 1988)
Adorini,Bengali 2003
Baul Songs of Bengal (Tips, 1988)
Thakur, Hindi, Dharmendra,2002
Amardeep (Weston, 1989)
Reflection (Track music, 1990)
Pyar Bhara Khat (Oriental, 1992)
Qawwalies by Eminent Singers of India (Gramophone Record company,1993)
Mr. Panchanan (CBS, 1993)
Tribute to Hemant Kumar (CBS, 1993)
Festivals of India (1994)
O Hasina (Ultra Music, 1996
Dhak Dhak Karne Laga (Ultra, 1996)
Tales of River 'Ganga'/new age music(Prism Audio, 1996)
Kali Bhajans (Sangeet cassettes, 1997)
Tera Ghungta (Pen Audio, 1997)
Zara Hat Ke (Pen Audio, 1998)
Sharab Aur Shabab (Padmini Music, 1998)
Folk music of India by Sapna Awasti (T-series, 1999)
Keshariyo Rang (Tarana, 1999)
School girl (Star Music, 2000)
Romantic Moods (Virgin Music)
Priyo Kolkata (Kathaindia, 2001)
Jap le sai naam (Universal Music India, 2001)
Paimaana (Star Music, 2001)
Soul Mate (Universal Music India, 2001)
Tumhare Liye (Star Music, 2002)
Mirror of the Sky (Star Music, 2002)
One & Only (Star Music, 2002)
Jai Santoshi Maa by various singers (Lucky Star Music, 2002)
Mrityu The Truth (T-series, 2002)
Adorini (Saregama/HMV, 2002)

Selected Promotion Designer & Music Promotions 80’s/90’s A&R for Music, Video, Film Rights More than 500 Super Hit Albums & Films...
Arohan - Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Pankaj Kapoor, Victor Banerjee
Kahan Kahan Se Guzar Gaya - Anil Kapoor, Sharon Prabhakar
Khuda Gawah - Superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Sridevi, Danny
Andaz Apna Apna - Amir Khan, Salman Khan, Karishma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon
Indrajit - Amitabh Bachchan, Neelam
Awaj De Kahan Hain - after long time gap Naushad Ali’s Composed Music
Patthar ke Phool - Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon
Khatarnak - Sanjay Dutt
Madam X- Rekha, Jaya Mathur, Shakti Kapoor, Mohsin Khan

Zahreelay- Sanjau Dutt
Jai Kali- Hema Malini

Tejaa - Sanjay Dutt
Geet- Divya Bharti, Kamal Sadanah

Fateh - Sanjay Dutt
Balwaan- Sunil Shetty, Divya Bharti

Benaam Badshah - Anil Kapoor
Aparadhi - Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla
Rangeela - It was Popular Music Director A.R.Rahman's First Introductions in Bollywood Cinema, Casting-Amir Khan, Jackie Shroff, Urmila
Gambler - Govinda, Shilpa Shetty, Aditya Pancholi
100days - Jackie Shroff, Nana Patekar, Raveena Tandon
Shreeman Aashiq - Rishi Kapoor, Urmila, Anupam Kher
Baaz - Govinda
Coolie#1 - Govinda, Karishma Kapoor
Hero#1 - Govinda
Sandwich - Govinda, sushmita Sen, Raveena Tandon
Gharwali Baharwali, Anil Kapoor
Elaan E Jung - Dharmendra
Awaargi- Anil Kapoor, Meenakshi Seshasdri

Hukumat - Dharmendra
Awaal Number- Amir Khan, Devanand

Sanam Bewafa - Salman Khan
Aatank Hi Aatank- Amir Khan

Raakh- Amir Khan
Tum Mere Ho- Tahir Hussain's Amir Khan, Juhi Chawla, Ajit Vachani
CID- Juhi Chawla
Saajan - Madhuri Dikshit, Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt
I Love You - Karishma Kapoor
Ek Ladka Ek Ladki - Salman Khan, Neelam
Dil Tera Ashiq - Salman Khan
Isi Ka Naam Zindgi, Amir Khan, Pran

Karan Arjun - Sharukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amrish Puri, Jack Gaud, Rakhi Gulzar
Deewana - Shahrukh Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Divya Bharti
Jallad - Mithun Chakraborty
Khabhi ha Khabhi na - Sharukh Khan, Ashutosh Gawrikar
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak- Amir Khan, Juhi Chawla
Panah - Shidarth, Pallavi
Lahu Luhan- Kimi Katkar

Jhooth Bole Kawa Kate - Anil KapoorJunoon- Popular TV Series Music
Auzaar - Salman Khan
Gunah ka Devta - Paap Ki Kamaee - Mithun Chakraborty
Saugandh - Akshay Kumar,

Yaalgar- Sanjay Dutt, Manisha, Nagma
Aatish- Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon
Gumrah- Sanjay Dutt, Sridevi
Phool aur Kaante- Ajay Devgan, Madhu, Amrish PuriMany More....
Selected Films Produced - Project Designer - Music Composer - Music Director
Jaagoron by Lata Mangeshkar
Introduced OSHO's Music to the World
Now & Then by Hari Prasad Chaurasia
Nursery Rhymes & Kiddyland by Top singers from Various like Alisha Chinoy,Sharon Prabhakar,RemoShakti by Shankar,Zakir Hussain
School Girl - Shakti Kapoor, Laxmikant Berde
Andheri Rathon Mein - Moon Moon Sen
Akhri Pratigya, Mithun Chakraborty, Jackie Shroff, Suni Shetty, Hemant Birje, Rambha
30Days - Milind Gunaji, Aloknath, Sweta Menon
Chhote Nawab Bade Nawab - Shakti Kapoor, Shiva, Mohan Joshi
TV Series 'Aurat' Tale of Indian Women, Story by Suraj Sanim

TV Series for Children 'Five Stars' Story Suraj Sanim
TV Series 'Time Machine' Thriller,Story by Suraj Sanim
Miya Anari Biwi Khilari - Yunus Parvez, Chhotu, Birbal, Yogini
Mrityu The Truth- Mustaq Khan, Hemant Pandey, Aroon Bakshi, Liliput
Adorini - Prasenjit, Biswajit
Canadian Dream - Documentary on New Immigrants life in Canada
Monalisa by Udit Narayan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Vijay Benedict

1981 - Bachelor of Arts, Major Indian Philosophy, Kolkata University, India
1984 - Master of Arts, Indian Music, Kolkata University, India

Fluent in Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindi, English and many other Indian Languages which he has written in and composed music for.