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Chapter 1: The Bee Knows It

That is where Bauls differ. They say it is too cruel, this passionless attitude is too cruel. There is no need to be so hard and so harsh. Through love, the transformation is possible. That’s why I call their attitude more poetic, more human, and more worthy. The Bauls say you can live attached in the world and yet be unattached; you can love a woman and yet be a witness; you can be in the marketplace and yet be beyond it. You can live in the world and be not of it.

This vision is my vision also. That is the meaning of my sannyas: be in the world but don’t be of it. And nothing is of worth if it is not done through love.

That’s where Tantra lacks something; it lacks humanity. If you love a woman, Tantra is not possible. If you love a man, Tantra is not possible. You should be completely aloof. Then sex becomes very scientific. It becomes a technique - something to be manipulated, something to be done; not something to be in, not something that absorbs you, not something oceanic, orgasmic, but something you are doing. The very idea of doing something to a man or to a woman because you want to achieve samadhi, the very idea of using the other as an instrument, as a means, is ugly and immoral.

That’s where Bauls have a totally different fragrance. They say, “There is no need to be so hard. There is no need to be so means-oriented. Love will do.” And we will try to understand what they mean by love.

The first poem.. These poems belong to different Bauls, but I’m not going to use their names. That is irrelevant. They all belong to the same vision. Different poems, but they remain, deep down, as the same poem; different words, different forms, but running through them is the same current. It is just like in a garland, many flowers are held together, but only one thread runs inside and holds them all. We will insist on that thread. We will not be bothered about who has written this poem. In fact, many of the poems are anonymous. Nobody has ever known who wrote them, because in fact, they were never written.

Bauls are illiterate; maybe that’s why they have such purity. They are not very cultured people, educated in the ways of the world. Maybe that’s why there is such innocence. They are children of the earth: uneducated, poor, humble, but very sincere. So I will not be telling you who has sung this song, or the other songs that will follow in the coming twenty days. That is irrelevant.

They come out of the same vision. They have a certain melody, so individual that it is called Baulsur, the melody of the Baul; so special, the taste is so special and the fragrance is so individual that whenever you hear a song from the Bauls, you will immediately recognize it. It has its own individuality, its own style: wild, illiterate, uncultured, but very individualistic. Just as the ocean tastes the same - from anywhere you taste it, it is salty - in these songs, immediately you will feel that they come from one vision, one attitude, one passion, one experience.

And they were never written. Bauls have been singing them down through the centuries. Each Baul has dropped something, added something, made his own songs or used the old songs that he had heard from his masters, but the vision is so clear that you can never miss when you hear a Baul song.

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