Vision of Sanatan Siddhashram

Story of Guru and Shishya

Sanatan Das Baul, Parvathy Baul’s Guru, once told her of his vision, of an Ashram. He recognised that the spiritual and performative aspects of Baul were not receiving the rigour and honour due to a practice that is developed with discipline slowly over a long term. He felt the need to document the oral tradition which is widely known as ‘Baul’. 

Sanatan Baba observed that people often perceive the Sadhana (devotion) as a different entity from the performances. He idealised a place for Bauls during tough times; a shelter to protect the ancient wisdom and carry it forward into the modern context of the upcoming centuries. 

Parvathy promised her guru that she would fulfil his wish, and this has today manifested as ‘Sanatan Siddhashram’. ‘Sanatan’ denotes the eternal or the truth, whereas ‘Siddha’ means perfection.The name Sanatan Siddhashram came from the Master himself. Sanatan Siddhashram is an eternal, complete space for Sadhana. It is both an Ashram and a Gurukul, a space to receive learning from the Guru. The land for Sanatan Siddhashram was acquired recently, after a long search, in January 2017, and work began after the Bhumi Puja – the ground-breaking ceremony in June 2017. 

Vision of Sanatan Siddhashram

Story of Guru and Shishya

Sanatan Das Baul, Parvathy Baul’s Guru, once told her of his vision, of an Ashram. He recognised that the spiritual and performative aspects of Baul were not receiving the rigour and honour due to a practice that is developed with discipline slowly over a long term. He felt the need to document the oral tradition which is widely known as ‘Baul’. 

Sanatan Baba observed that people often perceive the Sadhana (devotion) as a different entity from the performances. He idealised a place for Bauls during tough times; a shelter to protect the ancient wisdom and carry it forward into the modern context of the upcoming centuries. 

Parvathy promised her guru that she would fulfil his wish, and this has today manifested as ‘Sanatan Siddhashram’. ‘Sanatan’ denotes the eternal or the truth, whereas ‘Siddha’ means perfection.The name Sanatan Siddhashram came from the Master himself. Sanatan Siddhashram is an eternal, complete space for Sadhana. It is both an Ashram and a Gurukul, a space to receive learning from the Guru. The land for Sanatan Siddhashram was acquired recently, after a long search, in January 2017, and work began after the Bhumi Puja – the ground-breaking ceremony in June 2017. 

Shabdagan

Jaanite she jon chaho jodi mon
Bhojo shei jon bhojo bhokti kore
shadhujono mote
Gurujono pothe shio monorothe
Poromo aadore

Ibrahim Nobi Adi Paigambare
Bed bhed tontro gita bhagavat
Shindhu aadi mot bibidho bidhaane
Bidhi bhoktimoto shaadhono bhojono
Koro re shaadore

Jemon Shurjo ek hoi
Taar protibimbo choi
Teno bishwomoy
Jeno Ishwore

My heart, if you want to know the supreme truth
follow the path of the Master
Follow his footsteps in your practice
With Love and devotion

 

The prophets like Ibrahim and many other great souls
They found him with single-minded devotion,
In all scriptures
They speak only one Truth
My heart, follow the path of the Master

The sun is one
But the reflections reach every corner
Of the planet and every being
Know my heart, Truth is One but manifests as many

-Unknown

Jaanite she jon chaho jodi mon
Bhojo shei jon bhojo bhokti kore
shadhujono mote
Gurujono pothe shio monorothe
Poromo aadore

Ibrahim Nobi Adi Paigambare
Bed bhed tontro gita bhagavat
Shindhu aadi mot bibidho bidhaane
Bidhi bhoktimoto shaadhono bhojono
Koro re shaadore

Jemon Shurjo ek hoi
Taar protibimbo choi
Teno bishwomoy
Jeno Ishwore

My heart, if you want to know the supreme truth
follow the path of the Master
Follow his footsteps in your practice
With Love and devotion

The prophets like Ibrahim and many other great souls
They found him with single-minded devotion,
In all scriptures
They speak only one Truth
My heart, follow the path of the Master

The sun is one
But the reflections reach every corner
Of the planet and every being
Know my heart, Truth is One but manifests as many

-Unknown

“Sanatan Siddhashram is a place meant for experiential living and deep, interconnected learning, that integrates the practices of ancient tradition with transformative practice in the present context.”

Shiksha – Teaching

Sanatan Siddhashram follows the Gurukul system, different from a typical centre or institution. Baul practice is a spiritual art form that involves intricacy, methodology, yoga and devotion (Bhakti). It can be learnt through the ancient ways of acquiring knowledge, in closeness to nature. The affinity (Sannidhya) with the Guru, staying and sharing times together is central to the learning. This works to prepare the next generation in a methodical way. Working with the four layers of the human body is only possible in a Gurukul. With this methodical practice, every generation ‘becomes knowledge’ in order to create the New.

Shiksha – Teaching

Sanatan Siddhashram follows the Gurukul system, different from a typical centre or institution. Baul practice is a spiritual art form that involves intricacy, methodology, yoga and devotion (Bhakti). It can be learnt through the ancient ways of acquiring knowledge, in closeness to nature. The affinity (Sannidhya) with the Guru, staying and sharing times together is central to the learning. This works to prepare the next generation in a methodical way. Working with the four layers of the human body is only possible in a Gurukul. With this methodical practice, every generation ‘becomes knowledge’ in order to create the New.

Gurukul Shiksha

There are many art forms and traditions unknown to people which will be encouraged at the Siddhashram. People may come for a short period to observe or learn. They are most welcome, and there will also be a core group of disciples, which will start learning at a tender age (as disciple used to learn since the age of twelve in the gurukul system).

Community kids who live in the village will welcomed at the Ashram. The focus in their learning will be on their imaginative power. Not only food and clothes, but building the sense of aesthetics is where attention will be directed. Students will be encouraged to learn varied subjects including nature, life, art, knowledge and spiritual consciousness. There is also a focus on involving the nearby villagers in Ashram life through regular melas- festivals, and through offering the teachings of Baul for the children, so that not only their bodies are nourished, but their souls come alive by having ektaras in their hands.

Gurukul Shiksha

There are many art forms and traditions unknown to people which will be encouraged at the Siddhashram. People may come for a short period to observe or learn. They are most welcome, and there will also be a core group of disciples, which will start learning at a tender age (as disciple used to learn since the age of twelve in the gurukul system).

Community kids who live in the village will welcomed at the Ashram. The focus in their learning will be on their imaginative power. Not only food and clothes, but building the sense of aesthetics is where attention will be directed. Students will be encouraged to learn varied subjects including nature, life, art, knowledge and spiritual consciousness. There is also a focus on involving the nearby villagers in Ashram life through regular melas- festivals, and through offering the teachings of Baul for the children, so that not only their bodies are nourished, but their souls come alive by having ektaras in their hands.

Jnana Madhukori – Archive

The Gurukul will house an archive accessible to all, including the collections already preserved in many different countries over time. It will preserve the memories of the Gurus of Baul tradition. Various instruments will be collected, not as showpieces, but to learn and play. There will also be an archive of the history of Baul in undivided Bengal.

The archive will include, not just literature, but instruments and practices related to Baul which can be used in everyday teaching and learning. It is meant to be a space that keeps safe practices that are being lost in modern times, and keeps them alive through regular practice.

Jnana Madhukori – Archive

The Gurukul will house an archive accessible to all, including the collections already preserved in many different countries over time. It will preserve the memories of the Gurus of Baul tradition. Various instruments will be collected, not as showpieces, but to learn and play. There will also be an archive of the history of Baul in undivided Bengal.

The archive will include, not just literature, but instruments and practices related to Baul which can be used in everyday teaching and learning. It is meant to be a space that keeps safe practices that are being lost in modern times, and keeps them alive through regular practice.

Sadhu – Narayan Seva

Inviting Baul Community and Artisans

The Gurukul will offer a support system for artisans and other Bauls who can come and stay on the premises and offer their knowledge and expertise. The facility to stay for the inviting gurus is also in the plan so that other Bauls, as well as experts of different art forms could teach. There will be a simple reciprocal or collaborative way of learning. Aged traditional artists will be supported with a focus on healthcare.

Sadhu – Narayan Seva

Inviting Baul Community and Artisans

The Gurukul will offer a support system for artisans and other Bauls who can come and stay on the premises and offer their knowledge and expertise. The facility to stay for the inviting gurus is also in the plan so that other Bauls, as well as experts of different art forms could teach. There will be a simple reciprocal or collaborative way of learning. Aged traditional artists will be supported with a focus on healthcare.

Aarogya – Healing

The practice of Ayurveda, which is often seen as a separate entity, will be enlivened in the Gurukul. Physical Wellbeing is a central aspect that the Ashram will address through holistic healing methods from Ayurveda, and cultivating local and organic produce on the land so that the food consumed by the residents is sourced from the land where they live. The work involved to maintain the land is also part of the education in the Gurukul.

In some measure it would empower the performing artists to provide their own basic care.

Aarogya – Healing

The practice of Ayurveda, which is often seen as a separate entity, will be enlivened in the Gurukul. Physical Wellbeing is a central aspect that the Ashram will address through holistic healing methods from Ayurveda, and cultivating local and organic produce on the land so that the food consumed by the residents is sourced from the land where they live. The work involved to maintain the land is also part of the education in the Gurukul.

In some measure it would empower the performing artists to provide their own basic care.

Organic Farming – Prana Pushti

A portion of the land is meant for organic farming, which will increase environmental, as well as physical knowledge. It is important to encourage the traditional intuitiveness of Indian farmers. It will bring a sustainable state and self-reliance on the food intake in the Ashram. The Ashram will also house a herbal and medicinal garden with plants from different sources. 

Organic Farming – Prana Pushti

A portion of the land is meant for organic farming, which will increase environmental, as well as physical knowledge. It is important to encourage the traditional intuitiveness of Indian farmers. It will bring a sustainable state and self-reliance on the food intake in the Ashram. The Ashram will also house a herbal and medicinal garden with plants from different sources. 

Ashram Sthapatya – Architecture

Currently, the Ashram houses a few completed structures.

The first is the ‘Sanatan Sabhagriha’. It is a Kalari, an exclusive learning space meant for rigorous practice using body movement. The learning that takes place here is not limited to Baul, but includes teachings from Masters of other practices from around the world who would like to come to the Ashram and share their teachings.

The Golbaram is the round resting space, that can be used for multiple purposes. More buildings are coming up around the pond, Hem Sarovar – the Golden Lake.

Also coming up is ‘Banamala Kutir’, the heart of the Ashram, the kitchen. It is named after Parvathyji’s Guruma, Banamala Dashi.

A small portion of the land is dedicated for organic farming so that the Gurukul remains healthy and self-sustaining.

There will also be traditional and experimental performance places, which are not the conventional proscenium structure. An experimental performance space is taking shape around a man-made pond. It will use the vibration generated from the water.

At the entrance, beside the major communicating road, there will be a traditional performance space bearing the character of a Mela (fair) that all villagers can participate in.

Other upcoming structures include underground kalari, goshala, library, museum, archive, master and student quarters and others.

All architecture of Sanatan Siddhashram is natural, based on traditional techniques, and intended to enhance the light and sound of the space so as not to require artificial amplification systems. It is meant to be functional and simple, to keep the focus on the work without damaging the ecology

Ashram Sthapatya – Architecture

Currently, the Ashram houses a few completed structures.

The first is the ‘Sanatan Sabhagriha’. It is a Kalari, an exclusive learning space meant for rigorous practice using body movement. The learning that takes place here is not limited to Baul, but includes teachings from Masters of other practices from around the world who would like to come to the Ashram and share their teachings.

The Golbaram is the round resting space, that can be used for multiple purposes. More buildings are coming up around the pond, Hem Sarovar – the Golden Lake.

Also coming up is ‘Banamala Kutir’, the heart of the Ashram, the kitchen. It is named after Parvathyji’s Guruma, Banamala Dashi.

A small portion of the land is dedicated for organic farming so that the Gurukul remains healthy and self-sustaining.

There will also be traditional and experimental performance places, which are not the conventional proscenium structure. An experimental performance space is taking shape around a man-made pond. It will use the vibration generated from the water.

At the entrance, beside the major communicating road, there will be a traditional performance space bearing the character of a Mela (fair) that all villagers can participate in.

Other upcoming structures include underground kalari, goshala, library, museum, archive, master and student quarters and others.

All architecture of Sanatan Siddhashram is natural, based on traditional techniques, and intended to enhance the light and sound of the space so as not to require artificial amplification systems. It is meant to be functional and simple, to keep the focus on the work without damaging the ecology

Donate

The Sanatan Siddhashram project in Santiniketan (led by Parvathy Baul) is one of the primary supported projects of SACSA which promotes instruction to all in the music/dance/art of an indigenous folk and spiritual traditions of Bengal. If you wish to contribute towards this project please click the link below

Donate

The Sanatan Siddhashram project in Santiniketan (led by Parvathy Baul) is one of the primary supported projects of SACSA which promotes instruction to all in the music/dance/art of an indigenous folk and spiritual traditions of Bengal. If you wish to contribute towards this project please click the link below