Folk Tradition of Bengal (and Rabindranath Tagore)

by Joydeep Mukherjee | 2018 | 49,317 words | ISBN-10: 8186036989 | ISBN-13: 9788186036983

An English study regarding the Folk Tradition of Bengal and its influence on Rabindranath Tagore—an important Bengali polymath from the 19th century who excelled in philosophy, arts (painting), literature and music. This research tries to initiate the semantic aspect of “folk” through the help of various dictionaries....

Chapter 5.7 - Comparative Study through ‘Influence’ and ‘Anxiety of Influence’

[Full title: Is Tagore a Baul: A Comparative Study through ‘Influence’ and ‘Anxiety of Influence’]

Introductory part focuses much resemblance between ‘Vaishnav’ and Bauls. The research undertakes a number of proofs to reach to a decision whether ‘Vaishnavas’ are Bauls or not because this inference will ultimately decide the identity of Tagore whether he is a Baul or mere a follower of Baul along with his indigenous collection of works. No doubt it is a debatable topic yet the research tries to draw a clear cut conclusion with the help of two fold discussions, one from the social perspective and the other from genetic perspective.

It is very obvious that Baul is a type of sadhna; sadhna of controlling ‘Kam’ intention of sex (rather attraction for the opposite gender), sadhna for religious life/pious life, sadhna for the god of life who stays within, not in church or mandir or masjid. These are the basic steps to be a Baul. As they do not believe in rebirth, they are far away from procreation, a normal desire for all human beings. According to them, desire for sex is like fire that burns not only the other emotions, expectations, creativity and positivity but also thrashes the pure temple of living God.

Lalon says:

Hawa dharo agni kao sthir,
Jeno moreo bachite paro|


“Hold tightly. Mitigate the fire of ‘kam’ so that death cannot conquer you. On the contrary it will immortalize you.”

Science would go against this. Even common notion of the society is that man (fathers) lives through the actions of his next generation (sons and daughters). Bauls have vehemently denied such conception. According to them when one can maintain the manipulation of sex, other categories automatically fall into pattern. A Baul has to go through the tough task of seduction. For success he needs extreme level of self-control in all respects. This tenacity of adherence to stipulated norms, on the other hand, keeps them on track from different types of corruption and aberration. The research tries to include uniqueness of dress, food habit, pattern of thinking and so on.

Here also Lalon is the ‘pathfinder’, the guiding star:

Satya bol supothe chal ore amr mon
Satya supath na chinile
Pabine manusher darshan||


“Mind should follow the principles of truthfulness and honesty without which he cannot meet man.”

However, critics like Srimanta Acharya opined about the two trains: Hindu Bauls and Muslim Bauls. The research is of the opinion that this is not the way to divide. This is rather shortsightedness of the broad aspect. In a different language, it is a meiotic vision of a panoramic view. But for reference, ‘Hindu Baul’ is broadly a group of people who follow ‘Vaishnavite’ religion. Again such a statement is also contradictory because Bauls have imbibed the spirit of all other sects including ‘Vaishnavas’ and at the end are directed by their own. They have their own driving force to guide their followers. The research might encounter one fundamental question here ‘why are they called ‘Vaishnavas’ even if they are guided by their own principle?’. The answer is ‘Vaishnavas’ were very dominant at that point of time. In relation to that Bauls were much neglected by the people in society including ‘Vaishnavas’. Nobody can deny the strict regulation of Vaishnavites. But the exceptions meaning the deviators of ‘Vaishnavite’ are imposed on these uneducated people called Bauls. To be very frank they were actually victims of ‘Vaishnavites’. Simply it is like this people who do perform according to the propagation of ‘Vaishnavism’ become ‘Vaishnavas’ and those who do mistakes and befouls the name and fame of being part of ‘Vaishnavas’ came to be known as Bauls. To be very frank they were actually victims of ‘Vaishnavism’ yet the result is so because ragged Bauls were their blind followers who could not reach to the riches like ‘Vaishnavas’ in the true sense of the term. This is, according to the research, one side presentation of a coin while the other side is fully brushed off. Hence, it can be concluded that Bauls and ‘Vaishnavites’ are not same.

From another perspective the research tries to dig history of genesis to get a clear result. ‘Vaishnavite’ religion is a part of Hinduism. In modern language it can be said that ‘Vaishnavism’ is a new edition of Hinduism. Mahapravu Chaitanyadev was the patronizer of such a huge change in Bengal. They began ‘nam Kirtan’, another sect of folk music for the ushering change. But people did not pay any heed to them and could not accept it heartily resulting in utter indifference. After that ‘Vishnavas’ separated them from the society to follow their own dictum due to such disturbance and consequent turbulence in the society and search for the ultimate within their selves. On the other hand ‘Birvadra’ is the first guru whose father was ‘Vishnavite’ follower. Later on, Brindaban Das in his seminal book Chaitnya Bhagbat termed them ‘abadhut’. After a long period, between two sects one group of ‘Vaishnavas’ came to be popular and the other turned out to be notorious so far the rituals are concerned as ‘abadhut’. These types of ‘Vaishnavas’ lost the ‘vision of judgement’. People used call those degenerated ‘Vaishnavas’ as Bauls meaning Bauls are corrupted forms of ‘Vaishnavas’. ‘Abadhut’ and ‘Baul’ are neither synonymous nor complimentary. Therefore, the research can state that they are substantially different from each other.

The research is tempted to include one song by Daddu Shah that shuns off all the blocks of confusions and contradictions and evidently evaluates the identity of Baul:

Baul Vaishnav dharma ak nohe to vai
Baul dharmer sathe Vaishnav er jog nai||


“Baul and Vaishnav are different from each other. Therefore, they have no real connection.”

The summary of the song suggests that they are way different. Here are such differences: Bauls wear white cloths where as ‘Vaishnavas’ wear saffron colour dresses, Bauls use ‘pagri’, ‘lungi’ which are not at all used by the other. Code of conduct is also different from that of ‘Vaishnav’, Bauls chant ‘gourhari’ and ‘Vaishnavas’ chant ‘hare krishna’, ‘Vaishnavas’ prefer vegetable dish but there is no choice for the other. These are all outward differences. ‘Vaishnavas’ are traditional worshippers and they are bound by time, space and rituals where as Bauls are free from all traditional rituals. Bauls rely more on contemplation and meditation while ‘Vaishnavas’ will go for counting beads and chanting ‘Hare Krishna’. ‘Vaishnavas’ believe in the image of lord Radha Krishna and Bauls believe in abstract power, the power of soul and self though they are devotees of Maa Kali. Consequently, they constantly culture to sharpen the superiority of ‘self’ which is a key to secure soul, the God. Therefore, a person who composes a song and sings like Baul is not a Baul indeed. Baul becomes a Baul not by a song but by breathing, a typical process of sadhana for the supreme. The following comparative study will decipher the zest in Tagore helping the best in him that rests his name, crests his creation and fests his fame.

1) Outward Differences:

In this connection the research contends Tagore simply as a follower of Baul but not a Baul. To be clear, Tagore only followed the theory of art and thinking and practised in the form of art and creation. Truly he popularized them among the public but practically he could not adhere to the physical practice of body and soul known as the essence of Baul sadhana. Outwardly the differences are noticeable. His upbringing, family position, attire, habits do not match with Bauls. Therefore, he was Baul by passion not by profession.

2) Difference in terms of ‘Family’ and ‘Female’:

The research can introduce Tagore’s attachment with females though it was in the form of different shades. Woman is the source of inspiration. A number of poems celebrate the beauty, vitality and sublimity of female forms.

In one of the poems Urvashi he made it very clear how female form formulates the idea and fuses the fragments in him. Shaktinath Jha comments:

He represents Urvashi as the bearer of the goblet of celestial nectar, but he also makes her the purveyor of poison thus completing the picture of beauty which in all places and all ages gives man his richest experience but also has full potentiality for destroying him. The legendary story helps the poet to make Urvashi a marvelous creation of symbolist imagination; she is a beautiful woman who sprang out the foam on particular day and has been sending the thrill of rapture over the universe since, and yet in her unfading youthfulness and power of enchantment she is lea an individual than the embodiment of the poet’s idea of the principle of beauty. Nowhere else does an ancient myth pass so unobtrusively into a modern symbol. Tagore’s Urvashi is the essence of pure beauty, timeless eternal and God himself.

Bauls are the totally opposite to it. They are poles apart. They were non-believer of the rotation of birth and rebirth. They believed with the secretion of ‘gene’ dies the inner man. Therefore, they are miles away from female and procreation. But Tagore was a complete family person in its true sense of the term.

Not only that he wants rebirth for perfection due to imperfection in the first birth which is the theme of his one his poems in Gitanjali:

Renew his life like a flower
Under the cover of thy kindly night.

3) Tagore’s concept of Mukti:

Tagore’s concept of mukti (salvation) is also different from that of Bauls. The concept of ‘soul’ and ‘self’ represent ‘atman’ and ‘aham’ respectively in Baul philosophy. ‘Atman’ is deathless by nature where as ‘aham’ due to its impulsive egoistic nature becomes the cause of death of the ‘soul’. Up to this the ideology of both Bauls and Tagore is same and identical. But the state of salvation for Bauls is a state of complete absorption through sadhna, separation from material possession, overall complete alienation from the touch of family bonding or from the things that really mean bondage. For Tagore corporate existence is not bondage. If it is bondage, he is more than happy to accept such bonding because God gets or finds his own reflection through him. It is another way to be in touch with ‘Him’.

He mentions:

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation.
I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bond of delight.
My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame
And place them before the alter of thy temple.
No! I will never shut the door of my senses.
The delight of sight and hearing and touch will bear my delight.
Yes, all my elusion will burn into illumination of joy, and my
Desires ripen into fruits of love.

Every man and woman is created by God and bears the image of God’s creation. Therefore, keeping a safe distance from them for the sake of attaining the almighty, images of ‘His’ creations, is not at all advisable and means an open invitation of crime.

He says the same poem:

Salvation in a hermits cave?
No, not for me,
I shall retain thousand ties and
In their midst savor the bliss of liberation.

4) The Concept of Education for attaining the perception of ‘Personality’:

Tagore shunned off ‘avidya’ as a mode of salvation though tie was always against institutional education. According to Tagore ‘aham’ makes man self-centered and selfish. He becomes egoistic and egoistic means downfall and degeneration from the state of human being. For him, salvation is not the renunciation from the world, but in perfection of human personality. Simultaneously, he focuses on the importance of education that drives away the logs of misconception and superstition of age old dogmas and leads towards the right track of humanity. On the other hand he refers to the fact that people tend to regard themselves as servants of God. But he regarded God as his guide, friend and philosopher. There is no need, according to him, to distinguish between God and man. They are same as father and child. People worship God with a purpose, the purpose of attaining mukti leading them on the way shown or led by God himself. It is disheartening for him. He also contends that when soul realizes its real nature, it becomes perfect. Then only it goes beyond the chain and pain of birth and death, a state of mukti. But here he impinges on the impact of formal education for the root of realization. Here also he is entirely different from Bauls who are not only ‘uneducated’ but also reluctant and less conscious to acquire education. Hence, both Bauls and Tagore are culturally imbalanced.

Finally Sadhana summarizes his view:

Thus it is only avidya which makes the self our fetter by making us think that it is an end in itself, and by preventing our seeing that it contains the idea that transcends its limits. That is why the wise man comes and says, 'Set yourselves free from the avidya', know your true soul and be saved from the grasp of the self which imprisons you (p. 40).

5) Definition of God:

The definition of God is very simple and straight forward in Baul ‘tradition’. They only rely on the power of self that permeates the pure soul of living God. Meditation in seclusion can commute a connection with God. In comparison with Bauls, Tagore’s concept is complex and complicated because at different stage he relies on different aspects of God. Unlike the mystic music minstrel, Tagore does not believe in ‘dissociation of sensibility’, responsibility and mundane activity. On the other hand, he is fully a pleasure seeking person. Sometime his pragmatic approach differentiates him from the Bauls, the simpletons.

The following lines from Gitanjali contain this mystic expression:

Where dost thou stand behind them all, my lover, hiding thyself in the shadows? They push these and pass thee by on the duty roads, taking thee for naught. I wait here weary hours spreading my offerings to thee, while passersby come and take my flowers one by one, and my basket is nearly empty.

Oh how indeed could I tell them that for thee I wait, and that thou has promised to come. How could I utter for shame that I keep for my dowry this poverty. An, I hug this pride in the secret of my heart.

Not only that, nature is another form of God for him. Sometime he feels human love is the God or ‘man’ himself is the present God. Poem no. 71 is the perfect example for that:

Thou setest a barrier in thine own being
This thy self-separation has taken body in me.

Nature and God, Tagore says, as in Vedantic terminology is ‘prakiti’ and ‘purusha’–the two aspects of the absolute. Meditation and contemplation for nature lead to realization of the God. God expresses himself through various forms of nature. Nature is the source of joy and the expression of God’s love and affection of mankind. So the best form of worship or the process of ultimate realization about ‘him’ is simply to enjoy the pristine beauty of nature. Thus God and man remain bound in one indissoluble tie and the truth of one is not different from that of the other.

Like ‘Vaishnavas’ Tagore also equates man as a servant to God. Man should hold his essence in the grief of separation because ultimately he has to meet his creator, the father of mankind. Man is the shadow of God. God separates himself into many forms and among these forms one is definitely man. Tagore speaks of omnipresence of God who is impelling force within man. He is the innate and intimate one who “awakens my being within his deep hidden touches” as Tagore said in one of his poems. As man pines and craves for God, he, too, hankers for man and suffers the same. Graham Greene refers the same feeling in his novel In a World of My Own: A dream Diary (1992): “God is suffering the same evolution as we are, perhaps with more pain”. This mutual desire is one of the chief characteristics of mysticism. But man forgets about this truth and seeks him everywhere with an unsatisfactory mind and insatiable soul.

In Sadhana Tagore writes:

In love the sense of difference is obliterated and the human soul fulfils its purpose in perfection, transcending the limits of itself and reaching across the threshold of the infinite. Therefore, love is the highest bliss that man can attain to, for through it alone he truly knows that he is more than himself, and that he is at one with the All (Tagore, Sadhana, p. 291).

6) The Concept of Humanism:

Tagore conceptualized that ‘man’ should possess the highest rank in all social orders. According to him nothing is as real as man. Bauls taught him to stand by man in all possible forms. Therefore, sometime he placed man before God.

Tagore’s humanity can be categorized into three parts—

  1. Attribution of ‘humanness’ to the word and world as well,
  2. Attribution of divinity to men,
  3. iii) Attribution of man as an image of creator.

The research wants to add that he was a rational humanist instead of the traditional activist. He placed man above of any preconceived notion, religious sect and narrow nationalism.

Tagore accepts two solid aspects:

  1. Man and God are on the same plain,
  2. Human love is an abode of God.

Thus in this period of time man has become more real for him than God. This is almost the same sung by Bauls. Tagore sings:

He is there where the tiller is
Tilling the hard ground and
Where the path maker is
Breaking stones.

It is unmistakably the greatness of Tagore who was successful to learn the softness of simplicity, swiftness of spontaneity and the spirit of sublimity overcoming the restrictions of ethnicity, affluence of a jamindar, strictness of tradition and cultural superiority of the then society. His eyes could see the real beauty or enjoy it when he is surrounded by common mass. Bauls catered him the taste of the soil which governs life. Gradually, the theme of man/humanism overshadows the other conventional themes of nature, god, society and so on. Man becomes the recurrent theme of his poetry. Not only that he became very concerned for their glorification and salvation. It is no doubt a generous attempt for a poet like him to generalize all who live on the same planet despite the hierarchy of social structure. But what the research tries to point out is that he was partially successful to accomplish. It follows the proverbial concept that ‘blood can be tamed but cannot be changed’. What the research means here is that although Tagore tried heart and soul to make them soul mates, a heartening aspect for his readers, followers and admires, he could not clinch the tug of ‘our culture and their culture’, (a name of his essay). Therefore, sense of superiority and subsequent separation is by default vibrant though it is working unconsciously in a silent way. Another poem evidently extracts how he slipped from desired destination.

7) The concept of Jeevandevta:

The research has introduced the complex idea of God and its theoretical explanations. Besides the concept of God, Tagore coined the term Jeevandevta, a name that bridges the gap between inferior and superior, powerful and week, pure and impure, good and bad, and Lord and servant. It is nothing but an absorbed inspiration cropped out of his heart to do good in life. Tagore felt the spark within which was made him feel by devta who dwells inside to perform like human being is real Jeevan. In reality Jeevandevta is another form of God for him. The research can conclude by saying that the term and thinking itself is a part of humanistic approach. Jeevandevta is more an inspiring force for his world of consciousness. Thus, ‘He’ merges the gap between his personal and spiritual life. After all, it can be concluded by saying that the concept is nothing but an echo of Moner Manush of Bauls. What Moner Manush does for Bauls, Jeevandevta does the same for Tagore.

Apparently Moner Manush and Jeevandevta appear to be same and inseparable. True it is yet again Tagore’s realization of Moner Manush is not so simple as it is with Bauls. Here Moner Manush has a very straight forward meaning in it. Moner Manush is that ‘Manush’ who bears and steers the entire existence of life. But Jeevandevta is richly colorful and intricate as well and appears to be more colorful as one creeps into it. The research only undertakes these two terms to indicate that they may be supplementary but not complimentary. The research separately takes a look on these two words ‘Moner’ and ‘Manush’ and ‘Jeevan’ and‘devta’ for further illustration. In Moner Manush,‘He’ is a man related to heart and in Jeevan devta, ‘He’ is the God of life. For Tagore ‘devta’ is still in his shrine of heart. He cannot turn out to be a man. But for Bauls, ‘He’ is only a man, his soul mate not deified as God.

Nevertheless, Tagore believes in types of human existence; personal and impersonal. Jeevandevta is the God of his personal private life. It means Jeevandevta is not the one and all in his gamut of life. The research dares to demarcate such subtlety of difference between Jeevandevta and Moner Manush by saying that the concept of Moner Manush is very close to heart, the store house of emotions, therefore his presence is informal, whereas the other is only connected to mind, the rational logical part of the body, therefore naturally the appearance is formal.

8) Implication of Diction:

Constant reading and subsequent absorption of their thought process takes a toll in his writing. Tagore’s diction has undergone a process of transformation rather evolution. It is similar like Yeats who once said: “Irish poets learn your trade’. Earlier stage shows he was over decorated and pedantic. Gradually he rest restrained himself and tried to equate his creation with a balance of understanding and cognition. Use of colloquial word and simple grammatical construction pave his way to greater success.

The research likes to quote two lines to understand such transition:

i) “In the creates of the corn the spirits of earth tremble”.

ii) “The day is no more, the shadow is upon the earth, it is tune what I go to the stream to fill my pitcher”.

iii) “The evening air is eager with the sad music of the water. Ah! It calls me into the dusk. In the lonely lane there is no passerby the wind is up, the ripples are rampant in the river” (Poem no. 74).

The contradiction between first and second and third proves his linear attitude in word selection. Truly Bauls have shown the richness of local or colloquial language to Tagore which makes him feel simplicity is the only way to achieve sublimity. Tagore with his in genuine genius experimented with it, made out the magic in it and made it more powerful by his compositions. It is obvious that he used some of the words overused by Bauls. In his book Chhanda (Prosody) Tagore himself notified that how much he was influenced and how much anxious he was being influenced. Tagore’s extensive use of the words like ‘flower’, ‘river’, ‘star’, ‘rain’, ‘boat’ and so on gears a sense of mechanism and monotony. But again Tagore’s treatment makes those happen as if a flower is still blooming, the wind is still blowing spread the fragrance of flower, the stars are continuously twinkling to enlighten their huts, rain is rejuvenating them to compose and sing, the river is flowing in the waves of tune and rhythm of their compositions and finally boat will help them to reach to the world of immortality. What the research tries to focus is how he uncovers the layers of meaning. For instance his ‘flower’ makes others flowery, ‘star’ guides others, ‘river’ drags others to infinite and ‘boat’ helps other to abode. At last research would say Bauls gave him colours and Tagore made it a rainbow.

9) Inter-personal Relationship:

It is too complex to comprehend the ultimate. Gitanjali is perhaps the best resource to totalize a substance. The Religion of Man is the other name of his humanism. There is an ontological question regarding the nature of ‘religion’ and how it is connected to ‘man’ The Religion of Man. From Gitanjali it is obvious that ‘religion’ for him does not mean that man is in control of a divine spirit. Rather the function of ‘religion’, according to him, is to prepare a ground of unity. The Vedantic concept of divinity in man is ‘nara narayan’ (nara means ‘man’ and narayan means ‘God’) is at the root of Tagore’s philosophy.

In Sadhana he says:

In love the sense of difference is obliterated and the human soul fulfils its purpose in perfection, transcending the limits of itself and reaching across the threshold of the infinite. Therefore, love is the highest bliss that man can attain to for through it alone he truly knows that he is more than himself and that he is at one with the all (p. 291).

Tagore equates truth with love and love with beauty or the vice versa. According to Tagore,

“When our universe is in harmony with man, the eternal, we know it as truth, we feel it as beauty”. (Quoted from “Conversations and Interviews: Einstein and Tagore” in the English writing of Rabindranath Tagore, vol-3, ed. By Sisir Kumar Das, (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 2008, 911).

Bauls were very simple and humble. They are least bothered about any definition and devoid of ragged experience of life. Therefore, they are devoid of definition. Tagore’s humanity has myriad shapes through love, responsibility, religion, creation and so on. But Bauls had only one stringed idea that this physical body is the abode of another body, the body of living God. The research can define that simplified ideas of Bauls are defined by Tagore. For example the research can mention that Bauls were beyond any shortcomings of caste, creed, complexity and religion and believed in basic principle “manus manusher jonyo” (man is for man) which Tagore calls ‘humanism’. Again they practiced and showed a way to deliverance in the simplest possible way which Tagore would call ‘religion of man’ and ultimately the concept of searching moner manush, a shapeless spirit within own self not through shapes and statues rather will be defined by Tagore as ‘consciousness’. What Baul would call love (prem) Tagore would say ‘puja’ (worship): “Jare boli prem tare boli puja”.

In Creative Unity (London, 1922) Tagore commented:

The great distinguished people of the world do not that beggars deprived of collection, honour and wealth can, in the pride of their souls. Look down upon them as the unfortunate ones, who are left on the shore for their worldly uses but whose life ever misses the touch of the lover’s arms… Bauls have no temple or image for their worship and this utter simplicity is needful for men whose one subject is to realize the innermost nearness of God (p.78-88).

10) The Concept of Soul:

Soul is sole for Bauls. ‘Achin Pakhi’, the unknown bird, embodies ‘soul’, the throbbing spirit. Body rather bones of chest is the ‘cage’ of ‘Achin Pakhi’, the soul. They throughout their lives try to unfold such mystery of the bird that how does it comes and goes without any trace. ‘Achin’ that is ‘unknown’ is the only identity of the bird. One finite soul (the body) is the shelter of infinite soul (God). The lives of Bauls are constant examination and experimentation to know the known (God) though unknown as ultimate goal. What is noteworthy is that still ‘He’ is moner manus not a deity.

The following lyrics will render their consideration:


“Amr ei ghor khanai k birajo kore, ami jonom hote akdin dekhlam na tare”.


“I have never seen the person since my birth who lives in this small house”.


“Ei manushe dekh sei manush ache”.


“See in that man lives the other man”.

The novelty of their thanking impelled Tagore. He grabbed it, grasped it, grappled and groped it for further progress. Gitanjali is the storehouse of such emotions, concepts and thinking. What research can say is that Bauls manufactured and Tagore displayed for customization. To evaluate soul above materialism, to establish a perfect communion between men and his surrounding and ultimate reality, Gitanjali holds a mirror to the poet’s spiritual experience. Devotion, as the title suggests, is an intense yearning to be united between an individual and infinite that makes Gitanjali a mighty piece of prayer, pleading and exaltation. Human soul is always lured by worldly possessions and affections. Tagore opines it is not at all significantly substantial unless it is filled by the spirit of God.

He says:

We can look at our self in its two different aspects. The self which displays itself, and the self which transcends itself and thereby reveals its own meaning. To display itself it tries to be big, to stand upon the pedestal of its accumulations, and to retain everything to itself. To reveal itself it gives up everything it has, thus becoming perfect like a flower that has blossomed out from the bud, pouring from its chalice of beauty all its sweetness (Sadhana, p. 40).

Birth and death are simply filling and emptying of soul by the supreme soul. The God is the impelling force who moves men to the raptures of joy and sorrow. Tagore conceives God as ‘father’ of creation “father let my country awake” and sometimes as a mother for her kindness. Therefore, God for Tagore is eternal, all pervasive, immanent, inevitable, omnipresent and omnipotent spirit. The poet here takes God to be a perfect singer and his creation as his song.

Man is like a flute through which he sings his eternal songs:

I know not now thou singest, my master!
I ever listen in silent amazement. (Poem No 3)

At the end it can be assessed that ‘soul’ is excessively an outside entity for Tagore while it is intensively inclusive for Bauls. For Tagore, soul appears through different forms, shades and identities; sometimes father, mother, (guardians), master, supreme power and so on. But for Bauls, soul (infinite) is their soul mate playing the game of life and death at the bottom of their hearts and lives with them in their small huts. The research can conclude by saying that if soul is friend for Bauls, he is really a ‘teacher’ and ‘philosopher’ to Tagore from an academic perceptive where the ‘teacher’ (God) has a command over his students (men).

Finally, the research draws a line of conclusion by saying that they are indebted to each other in the sense that without Tagore, Bauls could not be universally acknowledged and without Bauls, Tagore could not be ‘Universal poet’ (Viswa Kavi). The research tends to include one such example to clarify the ambiguous idea. Tagore believed in ‘I and thou’, two distinct entities, but after his obsessive research of the Bauls, for the Bauls and with the Bauls makes him change the concept. Later on it became “I am thou”, Moner Manush. To make it more feasible, the research can say that Tagore’s ‘inter’ personal relationship became ‘intra’ personal of Bauls and by the process of transformation from ‘inter’ personal to ‘intra’ personal, both became ‘Inter’ national figures.

Before to meet an end, the research intends to include one of Tagore’s famous lines:

Grohon korecho jato rini tato korecho amai,
He bondhu bidai ||


“The more you accepted me, the more indebted I am.”

This line should be the beginning part of the preface of any book written on ‘Tagore and Baul’. The research finally takes the responsibility to explain the ‘exchanged indebtedness’ of both the giants. According to the proposition of Tagore’s composition, first part i.e Bauls are indebted to him is evident like daylight because Tagore wholeheartedly accepted them. But how is the second part? This is to say that how Tagore was also indebted to Bauls simply because Bauls did not receive anything major from Tagore. To mitigate the curiosity the research can conclude that Tagore is indebted to Bauls because it is due to them only Tagore is widely accepted by people infringing the periphery of class, culture, country, standard, society and what not. The research intends to come to an end by saying that Bauls were ‘local’, Tagore upgrades them as ‘national’ figures through Gitanjali and Gitanjali, an offering to ‘God’ or Moner Manush elevates him as an ‘international’ artist cum humanist.

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