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Like the ba'al who rejects family life and all ties and roams the desert, singing in search of his beloved, the Baul too wanders about searching for his maner manus (the ideal being).The madness of the Baul may be compared to the frenzy or intoxication of the Sufi diwana.) are a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal, which includes the country of Bangladesh and the Indian State of West Bengal.Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition.
Bauls concentrate much of their mystic energies on the four body fluids, on the nine-doors (openings of the body), on prakriti as "nature" or "primal motive force", and on breath Sadhana.
With such a liberal interpretation of love, it is only natural that Baul devotional music transcends religion and some of the most famous baul composers, such as Lalon Fokir, criticised the superficiality of religious divisions: Everyone asks: "Lalan, what's your religion in this world? But do you bear the sign of your religion when you come or when you go?
amar praner manush achhe prane tai here taye shokol khane Achhe she noyōn-taray, alōk-dharay, tai na haraye-- ogo tai dekhi taye Jethay shethay taka-i ami je dik-pane The man of my heart dwells inside me. In my every sight, in the sparkle of light Oh, I can never lose him-- Here, there and everywhere, Wherever I turn, he is right there!
The Bauls themselves attribute their lack of historical records to their reluctance to leave traces behind. Jeanne Openshaw writes that the music of the Bauls appears to have been passed down entirely in oral form until the end of the 19th century, when it was first transcribed by outside observers.
suggests that Bauls are descendants of a branch of Sufism called ba'al.