Baul Gyan Darpan: The Baul Retreats

বাউল জ্ঞান দর্পণ

Baul Gyan Darpan is an attempt to bring awareness about the Sadhana and inner work of Baul masters living in our time. This message came from Guru Shri Sanatan Das Baul that in this modern time, people need to be more educated about ancient yogic practices. He had carried his songs to many yearning souls and he asked his spiritual daughter Parvathy to continue this journey. In her journeys, Parvathy Baul met many seekers who wanted to learn more about this tradition. Baul Gyan Darpan was created to bring the Baul lovers together and create a space and time where they could take a deep plunge into the Baul Sadhana by dedicating their twenty four hours, living learning, eating, sitting with masters, meditating with them, following the daily routine of the Baul path, listening to them, just as it is done in the traditional teaching method of the Gurukul.

For many seekers, this time has been transformational. Many could relate to the Baul wisdom more through the Baul songs. Learning and singing songs is essential in the Baul path, as the Baul song carries the wisdom and the presence of the master even if one is not a singer. For Baul Sadhana, the body is a flute and singing the wisdom and love for the beloved awakens the inner truth. After the retreat, many took Baul Sadhana as their daily practice.


The First Baul Gyan Darpan happened in December 2014  at the Ekathara Kalari Gurukul, Nedumangad, Trivandrum, Kerala. There were 40 participants, including permanent students of the Gurukul and the participants. The Sampann Guru who graced the space was Shri Debdas Baul, Shri Kanai Das Baul, Shri Shyam Sundar Das Baul, Shri Madan Das Vairagya, Smt Shokhi Dashi, Shri Lakshman Das Baul and Nabin.

There were also other sessions besides the Baul Masters. Tatwaswarupananda, a disciple of Chaitanyananda from the Shivanada Guru lineage, gave a talk on Abdhoot Geetha.

Dr Vinod and Ayurvedacharya gave us glimpse into the body consciousness and healing.

Shabnam virmani and Vipul Rikhi took us on journey with Kabir Doha.

Three documentary films made on mystic traditions were presented. There was session with the film makers of the films Shabnam Virmani, Valerie and Samuel Glaize, and Miles Trevelyan Johnson.

The Baul festival was graced with the melodious rendition of Fakirs of Sindh by Shri Madan Gopal Singh, Preetam Ghoshal and Deepak Castalino. Kanjira was accompanied by S. Shrikanth.

The public event at Vilopilly Samskruthi Bhavan was presented in collaboration with Alliance Francaise Trivandrum. This event was open to all and largely attended by people of Kerala.

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The Second Baul Retreat happened in October 2015 Pondicherry.

The occasion was graced by Sampann Guru Shri Sahajahan Munshi ( Bangladesh), Shri Biswanath Das Baul, Shri Lakshman Das Baul and Nitai Das in Shreekhol.

There were two talks on Shri Aurobindo and Sree Ma’s teaching by Shri Ananda Reddy and Jhumur Di. A workshop on sound was given By Aurelio C. Hammer from Swaram, Auroville.

The retreat had about 22 participants, including the Masters and the permanent students of the Gurukul. Many who had attended the first retreat, were present there too.

There were three public events: two at Aurodhan Gardens organised in collaboration with Aurodhan, and one offering at the Shri Aurobindo Ashram school courtyard, for the Ashram inmates and students.


The third Baul Gyan Darpan happened in January 2016 at Ekathara Kalari Gurukul, in Nedumangad, Trivandrum, Kerala. The occasion was graced by Sampann Guru Shri Anondo Gopal Das Baul and Shri Mansur Fakir. The retreat was intensely concentrated into the Baul practice.  There were many requests to come for the retreat, but we could take only a small group, as the practice is intense. Including Gurukul students, the participants were about thirty. We had a talk session with Ayurvedacharya Dr Vinod.

There was an overwhelming response to the public event at Bharath Bhavan. It was largely attended by people of Trivandrum and outside. There was also a Baul Satsang session held at Shivananda Yoga Retreat Centre at Nayyardam.


Photos By: Miles Trevelyan Johnson, Aarthi Parthasarthy and Smriti Chanchani