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Friday, April 06, 2007

18. Breaking Free: Demystifying the ‘home’ in our Mind

Phuler bonae-ay acchay kaata / moner ghoray chabi ata
Flowers in the jungle have thorn / and the key is stuck to the ‘home’ in your mind

Bhangtay hobay ghorere chaabi / khujbi jodi taaray
Break the key of ‘home’ / if you go seeking him

The quest for Bauliana is never to expect a fine-line or perfect ease in seeking and searching the Maker in Man, in our Soul. Far from it, the quest is to break free and relate to what we call our ‘own’ as opposed to what is the ‘we’ in all of ‘us’. It is not a very complicated equation if we take the ‘Flower in the jungle have thorns’ metaphor. It is however a torturous quest in its rigor, and not meant for the feint hearted. Let us face it, the Maker in the grandeur of all beings has created each and every species to acquire an in-built defensive mechanism; Nature as such is predatory if not ‘territorial’. For example the best of roses anywhere in the world have thorns, and it is Natures predisposition that they are what they are, for Man would not be respectful to flowers without them (thorns). If it were not the disadvantage of being pricked by a few thorns, man would perhaps pillage all rose plants and drive it to extinction. For most flowers, thorns are its natural defense. While Man would carefully pluck it, and trade them for profit, animals conversely would not eat them? The thorns in many flowers make it impossible for them to either chew or digest the same, yet at the same time some animals live on nothing else but thorny plants. Does it mean animals do not have a sense of appreciation of beauty? Of course they do, the difference is only marginal. Animals do not ‘consume’ beauty, but man will not bat an eyelid to ravage it.

‘Breaking the key of ‘home’’ aptly reminds us that what we call ‘home’ is actually the selfish pursuit of the ‘I’, the key of which has to be broken to achieve salvation. Our ‘homes’ as we know and use it, are territorial entities, which we have designed to keep predators off our perimeters – and the predator is not animal but ironically man. A ‘Mind’ that lives in such a ‘home’ is a mind cursed to no salvation, no mercy of the Maker, for his mind is not set to accept anything that does not satiate the ‘I’. For the Baul the state of mind that can reach the highest level of consciousness is one removed from mundane routines, to moving to a state of being in constant contact with the element, with nature in all its bliss and vagaries.

Katar ghaye ongyo ray tor / jai jodi jar jar
If thorns ravage your body/ into shreds

Thakish na are boshay boshay / pother darey
Don’t waste your time / on the wayside

No Man on the planet is one devoid of worries or hardship. Material gains do not guarantee salvation of the Soul, for what is tormented more than the body is the Mind, and there are no artificial balms available to cure a sick mind. Whenever a soul is ravaged it is an individual, not a collective experience. When it ‘breaks’, nobody is around to pick up the pieces.

The above couplet signifies the optimism that Bauls wishes to inculcate as a creed in Man. Pessimism has no standing in the Baul pantheons, for it is a form of negativity that only comes with doubts. Doubts brews from suspicion, from mistrust – and in the final equation, an element of TRUST (preferably on the Maker if not Man) is desirable for the Soul to find its anchor inside Mans turbulence.

Murshid-er ii naam ti dhoro / Nijer Iman ojon Koro
Recant the name of your Murshid/ and weigh the options of you Soul

Bismillah kay chapa rakhoy / hripinder bhitoray
Preserve the name of Allah / deep in your conscience

The above couplet once again reminds us that a remembrance of the Maker and weighing the option of our belief be the fundamental in the quest for Bauliana.

If it is the name of Allah for a Muslim that gives him peace, or be it the only name of the Maker he knows, he is urged to keep it suppressed ‘deep’ in his ‘conscience’. In other words this is a prerogative of a Muslim, which other ‘religionist’ may or may not attest to. Bauliana as opposed to other forms of monotheism is a purely private and individual pursuit of the Maker, devoid of symbolism, rituals or acceptability. Notice the great sensitivity attached to practicing agnosticism, for the name of Allah used irresponsibly would only create situations of friction, especially when the Bedounist extremists as much as the Brahmins had decreed that Bauls were revisionist to their respective ‘faith’, and were atheists in disguise.

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