Discussions: The Origins of bAULS - Part 2
Pradipta Bhattacharya (Tampa Bay, FL) wroteon August 11, 2009
One thought is that Sahajia Maat (Maat as in Doctrine) originally came from Buddhism. Its a known fact that around 10th Century AD in Bengal - Buddhism really got bastardized (please no value judgement on my selection of the word) and took the path of Hinajaana - Lower Trajectory. There the practitioners mixed Buddhist philosophy with Hindu Shakto practices. The out come was Tantricism and similar religious abominations.
Hi Pradipta and Addafyers !
Thanks for your insight and my apologies for the delay.
So as not to make this boring -I am going to concentrate on the first part of your post – and time permitting move on to other issues later.
Recommended Reading: A glimpse of Buddhism in ancient Bangladesh
a. Origins of bAULS:
You got the bull by the horn when you say bAUL's originated from bUDDHISM. It’s true that bUDDHISM degenerated into extremes in Bengal and therefore not unlikely that it met the 'fate' it did.
‘Who did what to whom and why’ – are matters that don’t bother bAULs, but some evidence do suggest a genocide on the bUDDHIST was perpetrated in Bengal (I am leaving out historical/hysterical details!) and apparently large sums of money was offered for the heads of mONKs.
What set into motion was slaughter on an unimaginable magnitude. My take on this is that a large chunk of the population of what is now Bangladesh and parts of North East India were bUDDHIST from the Sakyamuni (Silence) order - and when slaughters got going - nobody much cared about sects. Being bUDDHIST was good enough.
If we are to look at the buDDHIST relics in Paharpur, Mahastangarh and elsewhere in Bangladesh, this part of Bengal was a thriving bUDDHIST center of knowledge - and most of the ancient site were Universities. It appears that Bangladesh was the Center of the bUDDHIST world and much importance was attached to its networking with Bihar India and rest of South and South East Asia.
Quite possibly two things happened after the genocide.
1. The secretive mONKs - some were slaughtered, others fled - and if we are to take the instance of the the earliest "Bangala" script - it is gathered that fleeing mONKS decamped with them , and some were later discovered in an ancient bUDDHIST Monastery in Nepal.
2. What then happened to the resident bUDDHIST - who possibly wore the "Chibor" (saffron-ochre robe) and "Mundu" (shaven head) - but were not mONKs and had not degenerated?
Some legends suggest that they fled to the impassable jungles and reversed their roles. Off went the Chibor and they grew their hair and beards. As an additional disguise they wore a white shroud - denoting that they were already dead and instead of remaining consciously silent about gOD - they started 'singing' the praise of the one gOD.
The simplistic "Ektaar" used by bAULs whose origins are thought to be in modern Turkmenistan denotes an affiliation and or introduction to a sophisticated culture - and it surely is way before the advent of Islam or the ‘Sufi's’.
While I have no evidence to back these claims - the ‘truth’ may well be between 1 and 2, but my instinct tells me - this could be the possible origins of the bAULs.
Make no mistake – bAULIANA is no religion and its practitioners are not ‘religious’ , but ‘spiritual beings’.
......To be continued
jOI gURU /
Ongoing Research - Maqsoodul Haque - Mac
Dhaka, 19th August 2009