Chapter 1: The Bee Knows It
Only a connoisseur of the flavors of love
can comprehend the language of a lover’s heart,
others have no clue.
The taste of lime rests in the core of the fruit,
and even experts know of no easy way to reach it.
Honey is hidden within the lotus bloom
but the bee knows it.
Dung beetles nestle in dung,
Submission is the secret of knowledge.
I am tremendously happy to introduce you to the world of the Bauls. I hope you will be nourished by it, enriched by it. It is a very bizarre world, eccentric, insane. It has to be so. It is unfortunate but it has to be so, because the world of the so-called sane people is so insane that if you really want to be sane in it you will have to be insane. You will have to choose a path of your own. It is going to be diametrically opposite to the ordinary path of the world.
The Bauls are called Bauls because they are mad people. The word baul comes from the Sanskrit root vatul. It means mad, affected by wind. The Baul belongs to no religion. He is neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian nor Buddhist. He is a simple human being. His rebellion is total. He does not belong to anybody; he only belongs to himself. He lives in the no man’s land: no country is his, no religion is his, no scripture is his. His rebellion goes even deeper than the rebellion of the Zen masters - because at least formally they belong to Buddhism, at least formally they worship Buddha. Formally they have scriptures - scriptures denouncing scriptures, of course - but still they have them. At least they have a few scriptures to burn.
Bauls have nothing - no scripture, not even to burn; no church, no temple, no mosque - nothing whatsoever. A Baul is a man always on the road. He has no house, no abode. God is his only abode, and the whole sky is his shelter. He possesses nothing except a poor man’s quilt, a small, handmade one-stringed instrument called an ektara, and a small drum, a kettledrum. That’s all that he possesses. He possesses only a musical instrument and a drum. He plays with one hand on the instrument and he goes on beating the drum with the other. The drum hangs by the side of his body and he dances. That is all of his religion.
Dance is his religion, singing is his worship. He does not even use the word god. The Baul word for God is adhar manush, the essential man. He worships man. He says, inside you and me, inside everybody, there is an essential being. That essential being is all. To find that adhar manush, that essential man, is the whole search.