Music of the Bauls of Bengal

by Sanatan Das Baul and Sons

One 90-minute audiotape
ISBN: 978-0=934252-38-6

The Baul is virtually unknown in the West. A 700-year history in the Bengal region of India is documented only by a few books and a scattered collection of songs and poems. The picture which emerges from a study of these works is of a group of mad beggars and poets, a fierce and devotional people—iconoclastic, individualistic, visionary, lusty, loving and free. All their practices—the use of breath and sex and song—are aimed at the awakening of the Heart, and to the relationship with the “man of the Heart”— their description of the Divine Beloved who indwells in each being.

During the Spring of 1991, Baul Sanatan Das and his sons, Bishwanath and Basudev, of the Bankura district of Bengal, toured the western United States. Audiences from San Diego to Seattle delighted to their passionate performances of original song and dance accompanied by their use of the traditional Baul musical instruments, the ektara, the dotara, and the kol. This tape is a compilation of live recordings made during their tour. It features both the songs of longing as well as encoded esoteric teaching about love and sexual expression. Translated lyrics, in English.

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