Baul music is the soul of Bengal and is essentially the music of self searching. It’s about 500 years old. Chaitanyadev’s Bhakti Cult movement, which is seen as the first social reform movement in Bengal, may be the basis of evolution of Baul music. Chaitanya started his music, called ‘Keertan’, reached out to the oppressed ones and mobilized people against the social divide (due to gender, region, class, caste) and dsocial evils like ‘Sati’ (Where the widow was forcefully burnt alive along with the dead husband). Then comes, Lalan Fakir, who used to live at Kushtia in Bangladesh and he may be called as the father of Baul music. Living the life of an esoteric, denouncing the material world, they urge people to rise above the narrow divides created by caste, creed and religion to find love, peace and harmony. Do not look for God anywhere, look for Him in the human body. Only then will you get Him, feel Him and be able to know your own self too.
Baul is a philosophy and Baul is a music. The Bauls and Fakirs believe that ‘Murshid’ or the Guru is the steersman who can lead a devotee to God. The philosophy gets passed on from Guru to his disciples. Bauls are Hindus and Fakirs are Muslims and both the communities practise the same philosophy with little difference in nuances. One can see the impact and influence of Sufism, Vaishnavism, Buddhism and Nath doctrines on the Baul-Fakir philosophy.
The unique Guru-Shishya Parampara through which the senior Bauls teach the music and philosophy to the young Bauls is a specialty of this art form.
Traditional musical instruments Ektara, Dotara, Khamak, Dhol, flute are essential part of Baul and Fakiri music.
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Baul music is the soul of Bengal and is essentially the music of self searching. It's about 500 years old. Chaitanyadev's Bhakti Cult movement, which