Folklore

Baul of Bangladesh – Tagor’s Views

Baul Of BangladeshThese people roam about singing there songs, one of which I heard years ago from my roadside window, the first two lines remaining inscribed in my memory.
Nobody can tell whence the bird unknown
Comes into the cage and goes out
I would feign put round it’s feet
the fetter of my mind
Could I but capture it


This village poet evidently agrees with our sage of Uponishad who says that our mind comes back baffled in its attempt to reach the unknown being, and yet this poet like the ancient sage does not give up adventure of the infinite, thus implying that there is a way to its realization…It reminds me of Shelley‘s poem in which he sings of the mystical spirit of Beauty:

The awful shadow of some unknown power
Floats, though unseen, among us visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep flower to flower
Like moonbeams that behind some ping…
Mountain shower.
It visits with inconstant galance,
Each human heart and countenance.

That this unknown is the profoundest reality though difficult of comprehension, is equally admitted by the English poet as bu the nameless village singer of Bengal, in whose music vibrate the wing beats of the unknown bird…only Shelley‘s utterance is for the cultured few, while the Baul song is for the tillers of the soil, for the simple folk of our village households who are never bored by its mystic transcendentalism.

Baul Of Bangladesh

Rabindranath Tagore

The Philosophy of our people
Presidential Address at the Indian Philosophical Congress, 1925