Ashtam Das Baul

Pholijhor More, Durgapur 6, Burdwan

Here I have come at your command (Eshechhi hethay tomari agyay )

Here I have come at your command
At your order I will leave and go
Waking into the absolute.
Lust anger greed and illusion
I never fear,
For I am only their slave, you their master.
Cause and lack of cause
Are both your creation.
So I am never surprised
At seeing this dream,
Nor to wake into the absolute.

You are vice and you virtue
Everything is your ruling,
Over all presides your throne
O great life of the human!

You stage this puppet show
And so laughs the mad Bhaba
You inhere in ultimate knowledge
Waking into the absolute.

Here I have come at your command
At your order I will leave and go
To wake into the absolute.

Recorded 15th April, 2008, at Shonamukhi Crematorium, Shonamukhi, Bankura

The poet/singer’s surrender to the absolute (param – literally, ultimate) is described through this song. In the first couplet, the author (Bhaba pagla or the ‘mad Bhaba’, 1902-2006) renounces all agency of his subject-hood and ascribes agency to an unspecified ‘you’ which might be too easily taken as God – but in the third stanza he goes on to describe ‘you’ as the ‘great life of the human’ or ‘great human life’ (‘moha manobo praan’) which is hardly a conventional imagination of transcendent God, bearing similarity to immanent conceptions of divinity in/through human life found both in Baul traditions (e.g. in Lalon Fakir’s song ‘Chinli na re bhojli na re’, included in this archive) and in Bhakti saints like Kabir. Interestingly, the poet says that he does not need to fear human vices, because vices and virtues are both creations and parts of this ‘great life’. But there is also a tension within the poem in that while the ‘you’ seems to inhere in the human, there is also an ascription of external divine agency which is all-controlling – for instance, human lives are seen as but a ‘puppet show’ staged by this agency. There is no pessimistic fatalism here, though: rather the poet, the ‘mad Bhaba’ (Bhaba Pagla), ‘laughs’ in ecstatic surrender. (All information on Bhaba Pagla is retrieved from a dedicated website,, in the absence of any scholarly sources that the translator could locate).


Director: Aditi Sircar
Camera: Shubhankar Bhar, Ashesh Mukherjee
Camera Caretakers:  Sanjib Das, Shankar, Raja

Sound: Dhiman Karmakar, Nairit
Production Coordinator: Kartick Das Baul
Edited by: Rhonda Granger