The socio-religious songs composed in village Bengal by the adherents of the mystical sect known as the Bāuls are of great interest to students of folk music and poetry, but they are of no less interest to a student of the history of the religions of Bengal. In his songs, the Bāul expresses his religious beliefs and experience, his view of life and of the world, his thoughts and emotions. They are his only form of worship; there is no treatise embodying the doctrines and practices of this sect. It is only in his songs that we can get a glimpse of what a Bāul is and what he believes in. Famous for their spontaneity of expression and charm of melody, their rustic language and imagery, these songs clearly bring out the various themes that together form the general body of Bāul thought. And there are threads of many religious traditions: tantric; Sahajiyā—both Buddhist and Vaiṣṇava; and Ṣūfī.

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