Nitai Das Baul

Sriphala, Rampurhat, Birbhum

Sing the Human, Worship the Human (Ei Manush Bhojo Manush Pujo)

Sing the human, worship the human
O mind, to find the jewel-treasure –
Man exists within this man, o my Baul mind! [1]

Sing the human, know the human
O mind, to find the jewel-treasure –
Man exists within this man, o my Baul mind!

Grasp with five with the five [2]
Work through the five rasas [3]
If you live through the new rasas
You will find that jewel-treasure
Man exists within this man, o my Baul mind!

This same man has a fragile, broken head
Dies if hit with broomsticks
And has twisted eyes and desires
Make him free of lust!
Man exists within this man, o my Baul mind!

Don’t be fooled by his pretentions
Comprehend him in divine light
By seeking through body and soul
And taking shelter at the teacher’s feet.
Man exists within this man, o my Baul mind!

Sing the human, worship the human
O mind, to find the jewel-treasure –
Man exists within this man, o my Baul mind!

এএই মানুশি ভোঝ মানুশি পুজো
এএই মানুশি ভোঝ মানুশ পুজো
পাবেরে মন রত্ন ধন
এএই মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন।

এএই মানুশি ভোঝ মানুশ পুজো
এএই মানুশি ভোঝ মানুশ পুজো
পাবেরে মন রত্ন ধন
এএই মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন।
মন আমার মন আমার,
এএই মানুশে মানুশ আছে, ওরে বাউল মন।

পঞ্চ দিয়ে পঞ্চধর
পঞ্চ রশের বরণ কর
নব রশে বরণ করলে পাবে রে সেই রত্ন ধন
এএই মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন
(ও) মানুশ ভোঝ মানুশ পুজো (২)
পাবেরে মন রত্ন ধন
এঐ মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন
মন আমার, এঐ মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন

(সেই মানুশি ভঙ্গ মাথা
মাথায় মরণ কুচোর ঝাঁটা
আছে তাহার নয়ন বাঁকা (২)
কর তারে নিরকাম
এঐ মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন, মন আমার
এঐ মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন)।

(যশণি তার নন্দ ভানে
(আহা) দেখবি মানুশ দিব্য গানে) (২)
ধ্যান কর সেই মনে প্রানে
গুরু চরণে স্বরণ/শরণ
এঐ মানুশ মানুশ আছে, ওরে বাউল মন
বাউল মন আমার, মন আমার
এঐ মানুশ মানুশ আছে, ওরে বাউল মন।

এঐ মানুশ ভোঝ মানুশ পুজো
মানুশ ভোঝ মানুশ পুজো
পাবিরে মন রত্ন ধন
এঐ মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন
আহা মন আমার মন আমার,
এঐ মানুশে মানুশ আছে ওরে বাউল মন (২)। 

Recorded February 2008 in Sainthia, Birbhum, WB

The song focuses on the human being’s need to perceive, know and revere the reality around and within him (or her – see the note on gendered nouns and pronouns below). Man is seen as being not so much in search of divinity or the absolute in some external sense: rather, the poem advocates the quest for an abstract yet realizable human-ness to be sought/ found within every human mind and heart (‘mon’, which carries both senses). This point is emphasized through the contrast between ‘this man’ (ei manush – literally, this human) in the specific sense and ‘man’ (manush – human) in the general. Although the poem does not use the phrase, it clearly seems to resonate with the Baul quest for ‘moner manush’ (man/human of the mind/heart) as evinced in various songs from the repertoire. The song emphasizes the process of discovering the intricacies and potentialities of the human mind and body. The stanza beginning ‘grasp the five with the five’ stresses the proper control and purposeful channeling of the five senses to attain desirable rasas or states of mind – resonating with Baul doctrines on the body, or Dehatatva. Such proper knowledge can be attained with the aid of the teacher (the Guru).

[1] ‘My Baul mind’ – ‘mind’ is a reductive translation of the Bengali mon, which has a connotation somewhere between the English ‘mind’ and ‘heart’, bridging the intellectual and the affective. The translator avoided ‘heart’ because of its excessively and inappropriately sentimental connotation in an English phrase like ‘o my Baul heart’.

[2] ‘Grasp the five with the five’ – In this context, seems to refer to both the five senses and the five rasas referred to in the next line.

[3] The rasas – The concept of rasas originates in Sanskrit aesthetic theory, especially in the work of Bharata and Abhinavagupta. The rasas (literally meaning ‘essence’ or ‘flavor’) refer to a state of mind or an aesthetic effect or flavor evoked by a work of art. The concept of rasas has a resonance far beyond high Sanskrit theory, surfacing in colloquial expressions like berasik (someone insensitive to humor). Gendered nouns and pronouns – Neither the Bengali ‘manush’ (human) nor attendant pronouns are grammatically gendered as masculine in the way ‘man’ and ‘him’ are in English, although the implicit normative sense might continue to be male (as women are often further qualified as ‘meye-manush’ or female-human). Thus, translating ‘manush’ as ‘man’ entails a problematic reduction of sense and the explicit reinforcement of masculine gendering. However, ‘man’ has the advantage of idiomatic brevity over ‘the human’ or ‘this human’, and retains some of the easy poetic quality of the original.

Transcriber/Translator: Aniruddha Dutta

Director: Aditi Sircar
Camera : Shubhankar Bhar, Somak Bhattacharya

Camera Caretakers  : Sanjib Das, ShantuSound : Dhiman Karmakar
Edited by Rhonda Granger