Printed on Thu Oct 06 2022 12:35:21 AM

Rabindranath and Baul

Ranjak Rizvy, Author
Rabindranath Baul

As soon as he came to Shilaidaha, a close relationship of Baul doctrine developed with Rabindranath. He has seen the idea of ​​Baul music upside down from here. He also known about Bauls and collected Baul songs. And he himself did not understand when the melody and feeling of this Baul song attracted him. The influence of which is in several of his songs. Apart from being attracted to Baul doctrine, Rabindranath also gave proof that he was a great inventor.

Rabindranath was born in 1861. At that time Lalon Fakir was approximately 87 years old. Rabindranath passed away at the age of eighty years and three months on 22 Shraban 1348 (7 August 1941). Lalon died on 17 October 1890 at the age of 116. At that time Rabindranath was thirty years old.

According to this source, Rabindranath came to Shilaidaha because of zamindari and knew Lalon Fakir during his lifetime. He would not have got this opportunity if he had not come to Shilaidaha. The inspiration of his life and the source of inspiration of Baul were the same.

Therefore, it is easy to discover a unity and harmony of Rabindranath's 'God of Life' with Baul's 'Man of the Mind' theory. In Baulgan, Rabindranath felt the inspiration of his humanist life consciousness. That is why he thought of himself as Rabindra Baul.

Rabindranath came in contact with various Baul-fakirs and Vaishnava-Vaishnavism after coming to Shilaidaha to manage the zamindari.

It was here that his intimate acquaintance with Baulgan took place. Rabindranath himself said in his introduction to 'Haramani' about gaining Baul-contact in this Shilaidaha: "When I was in Shilaidaha, I always used to meet and talk with the Bauls. I have taken Baul tunes in many of my songs.

And in many songs, composition of Baul song resemblance to other ragaragini has happened to me, knowingly or unknowingly.

From this it can be understood that the melody and words of Baul have become easy in my mind at some point. I remember when I was a teenager, a Baul from Shilaidaha region sang Ektara in Calcutta, ‘Ami Kothay Pabo Tare/ amar moner manush je re / haraye shei manushe kaar uddeshe / desh bideshe barai ghure.‘

Rabindranath had a long meeting and discussion with Lalon's disciples at Shilaidaha, which he himself mentioned in his conversation with Kalimohan Ghosh. Among Lalon's disciples, Panchu Shah, Sheetal Shah, Bholai Shah, Malam Shah, Manik Shah and Moniruddin Shah are known to have visited Shiladihe. There was also an intimate relationship between Kuthibari and Chheuriya Akhra.

The postmen of Shilaidaha Post-Office discovered Baul poet Gagan Harkara and introduced him at home and abroad. He had a special reputation as a composer and singer of Baul songs. In that respect he had an acquaintance and closeness with Rabindranath. He got the opportunity to listen to the Baul songs of various saints from Gagan.

Lalon Fakir and Gagan Harkara are at the root of the transmission of Baul consciousness in Rabindranath. The role of Gagan's song 'Ami Kothaye Pab Tare' in shaping his ideas about Baul theory and philosophy is very clear.

In Shilaidaha, Rabindranath met and discussed with Gagan Harkara, Kangal Harinath, Gonsai Ramlal, Gonsai Gopal, Sarvakshepi Bostami and Lalon's disciples. He propagated the songs of Lalon Fakir and Gagan Harkara collected from Shilaidaha and Chheuria areas.

At the same time, it is known that Rabindranath had a conversation with Kangal Harinath Majumdar (1833-1896), a devotee of Baul song and composer of Kumarkhali.

However, Harinath became disgusted with the Tagore family by publishing in Grambarta Prakashika about the persecution of the people in Shilaidaha during the time of Rabindranath's grandfather and father.

Due to these reasons, a very easy relationship could not be established between the two. Even after this, it is known in Letter No. 220 (10 Poush 1307) of the Bangla 1307 Mint Machine of Kumarkhali Mathuranath Mudrayantra established by Kangal Harinath that Rabindranath had collected a few other books including Harinath's Baul song.

Among the Baul shadhak of Shilaidaha village known to Rabindranath, the names of Gonsai Ramlal (1846-1894) and Gonsai Gopal (1869-1912) are particularly noteworthy. The sadhanpith of these two saints is also very close to Shilaidaha village, Kabir's house.

However, the poet's acquaintance with Gonsai Ramlal did not last long. Rabindranath was a fan of Gonsai Gopal's instrumental music. Occasionally he would invite Gopal to his house to listen music. It is heard that Rabindranath also collected some songs of Gonsai  Gopal. In this way he has evaluated many and also collected the literary works of many. In this case he can be called the discoverer. From his collection it has been possible to identify the virtues of this region.

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