Monday, December 22, 2008

o mor bondhu dhon roshia | bengali folk song by dohar

Bauls of Bengal1.
o mor bondhu dhon roshia

dekha dao mok ekbar aashia.

o my treasured friend of joy,
show your effulgence face
to me once, o only once!

ashibar chaiya ashilen naa
moner aagun mor nibhailen naa.

you promised to come, yet you didn't,
and in your absence
my heart is on fire ever since.

boroni dhaner bhajilam khoi
shonar bondhu mor ashilen koi!

i have prepared a feast for my beloved
where is he, o where is he!

aaisho bondhu dhon jolpan khaan
shonan bondhu tor dotorar taan.

come o golden friend, break bread with me,
let my heart hear
music of your sweet-string being.

- translation from Dohar's rendition of a sweet Bengali folk song "O Mor Bondhu Dhon Roshia" (O My Treasured Friend). Dohar is a Kolkata based music band that promote and sings songs of soil of Bengal. Many of their songs adopt lyrics and tune from ancient bauls (mystics of Bengal) and often the metaphors are deeply rooted in sufi mysticism. In this song also metaphorically "Bodhu dhon roshia" is what Rumi would refer as Intimate Beloved of Heart. What sufis refer to Insal-kamil (Perfected Son of Man) is what Bauls refer as 'Moner Manush' (Man of Heart).

this translation is loosely done, some literal meaning is avoided because of no equivalent cultural or lingual context in english. for example, 'boroni dhaner bhajilam khoi' can never be translated in english and transmit the exact meaning. 'boroni (biruni) dhan' is a fine rice grains from which a special food is prepared. i kept it simply as preparation of feast - which necessarily is the sentiment here.

Bangladesh BaulsOsho on Bauls

Modern mystic Rajneesh Osho (1931–1990) was deeply influenced by the Bauls as far as he even referred himself as Baul - so was he. His book Bauls: The Dancing Mystics and Bauls: The Seekers Of The Path is devoted to these intoxicated mystics of Bengal. In his other books The Beloved, volume 1 and 2 he introduce the wild, dancing world of the Bauls. He says, 'in the first verse of their song, “Only the connoisseur of the flavors of love can comprehend the language of a lover’s heart” is revealed the essence of their religion.' The Path of the Bauls assimilated from Vaishnavite Hinduism, Tantrik Buddhism and Sufi Mysticism - all of which were welcomed and nurtured in spiritually fertile soil of Bengal Delta.

Osho explains the Bauls' view of intimate human relationship, their concept of the body as a temple, and their secret of surrender to God, to the Beloved, to "the essential Man" who lives within us all. Osho says, “The Bauls’ path is not the path of the austere man, of the monk - no. It is the path of the dancer, the singer, the aesthetic man. His prayer is full of beauty, and God is not a concept of philosophy, but the Beloved.”

Trying to transmit what or who Baul is, Osho writes: 'A Baul is a madman; that is the meaning of the word baul. It comes from a Sanskrit word, vatul, which means mad. Become mad in the name of God! Become mad in sheer joy! And then you will know what a Baul is. There is no way to define; I can only indicate. There is no way to even describe, but I am here, present- I am a Baul. You look into me, taste me a little, eat me, drink me; that may give you some definition. And if you rally want, if you rally desire the definition, then become a Baul.' - from Bauls: The Seekers of the Path

If one to imagine where Jesus, son of Mary could have appeared if he were to born other than Nazareth, probably it would be as a Baul mystic in Bengal. The holy stream of Ganges would be a nice substitute for Jordan River. :) Another connection is fish. Bengal is the land of fish lovers, so was Jesus. Remember after his reappearance he was hungry and what he ate was fish. Bengal would be so perfect for him! The symbol of Jesus used by early Christ followers was twin fish and symbolically he was a Piscean himself (he is also called Christ of Piscean Age).

On a serious note, the whole path of Bauls fit perfectly for the bohemian nature of Jesus, his anti-establishment stance against organized religion, his wandering nature, his message of transcending love and harmony and damn care attitude when it comes to compliance with the hypocritical religious power structure. These all are perfect hallmarks of the Bauls. This is also precisely why they often get shunned by the orthodox camps and get into trouble.

# Related
. Lalon - Bauls Mysticism
. Blissfully Baul via India on Foot
. Pulling Strings for Joy: The "Baul" of Madhugiri
. Jai Uttal's Baul connection
. UNESCO Proclamation 2005: bAUL Music - Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
. Lalon Fakir: Bengali music personified
. Joy Bauliana
. Khachar Bhitor Ochin Pakhi Kemne Ashe Jae
. Bondu Dhon Roshia by Dohar| listen via imeem
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