Baul , member of an order of religious singers of Bengal known for their unconventional behaviour and for the freedom and spontaneity of their mystical verse. Their membership consists both of Hindus primarily Vaishnavites , or followers of Lord Vishnu and Muslims generally Sufis, or mystics. Their songs frequently deal with the love between the human personality and a personal god, who resides within the individual. Little is known of the development of the cult, as their songs began to be collected and written down only in the 20th century.
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A sadhak for more than three decades, Parvathy has had a beautiful journey of devotion, and personifies the musical Baul tradition. A mystic yogic tradition dating back to more than 15 centuries, it draws from Sufism, Buddhism, Vaishnavism and Tantra. Believed to have origins in the modern day Bengal, the Baul tradition has inspired the likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekanand and many more. The person fascinated Parvathy, as he seemed to be so lost in the joy of singing that he appeared to belong to another world. As author Laurent Aubert writes, Parvathy first learnt from Bhipad Taran Das Baul and then Phulmala Dashi, a strong female Baul who asked her to join her while she did Madhukori sacred begging on the trains, so she could teach her some songs.
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Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but their membership mainly consists of Vaishnava-Sahajiyas and Sufi Muslims. Lalon Shah is regarded as the most celebrated Baul saint in history. Although Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. The origin of the word Baul is debated. The origin of Bauls is not known exactly, but the word "Baul" has appeared in Bengali texts as old as the 15th century. Bauls are a part of the culture of rural Bengal. Many attempts have been made to ascertain the origin of Bauls but there is wide disagreement among scholars. Besides, there are other communities who later identified or affiliated themselves with Bauls, like Darbesi , Nera and two sub-sects of Kartabhajas — Aul and Sai. The Bauls themselves attribute their lack of historical records to their reluctance to leave traces behind.