Subol Das Baul

Arang Ghata, Nadia

Artisan of the House ( Ghorer Karigor)

The artisan of this house (1),
The house contains the mantra (2),
The house has a roof of skin
The skin bears vices!
And yet the stump is beautiful!

This body-house has eighteen floors,
And eighteen inmates (3)!
The house has eight cells and nine doors (4)!
This body-house has eighteen floors…
The house has two lamps—the sun and the moon!
These glow perpetually!
The artisan…

There are sentries at each entrance!
The court and district are present therein too!
The house has a worker who possesses knowledge
He is the one who sits in judgement!
The artisan…

The poet says, Listen, O my mind!
Bolt the doors of the house,
And seek the lease-giver!
(O my crazy mind!)
Only if you catch hold of him (5),
Shall you be blessed with eternal life!

The artisan…


(1) The song alludes to deha-tattva (philosophy of the body) which forms an intrinsic part of Baul practice. Only through a disciplining of the physical body can the divine be attained.
(2) Within deha-tattva, the body is seen as the ultimate repository of knowledge, albeit one that is plagued by vices.
(3) A possible reference to the chakras within the human body.
(4) Refers to the physical orifices of the human body.
(5) The ‘golden man’ or ‘man of the heart’ (often identified with Krishna or Vishnu who resides within).

Recorded October 2007 in Santiniketan, WB
Videographer: Shubra Dutta

Directed by Aditi Sircar

Production Co-ordinator: Kartick Das Baul

Translated by Parjanya Sen