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Influence of the Buddhist Charyapada Text on the Baul Spiritual Tradition of India

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

The Baul musicians of India and Bangladesh are mystic minstrels, devotional renunciants using song, dance and yogic practices to create a state of union with the Divine.Brent's proposed fieldwork for senior thesis includes visiting India for 3-5 months this year, for Bangla language immersion and Anthropological fieldwork on the Baul community and traditions. The focus will be on the influence of the Charyapada, which is the first Bangla palm leaf manuscript, spontaneous songs of Vajrayana Buddhist realization used in Baul songs. Brent has studied with the internationally acclaimed musician and artist Parvathy Baul for five different retreats, and will be interviewing her and her ashram community in Shantineketan, West Bengal. For this presentation he will explain what the Charyapada text is, it's relationship to the Bauls, and will sing part of a traditional Baul song.

Photos courtesy of and

Brent Horning (He/Him) is a junior transfer slug majoring in Anthropology, focused on South Asia and the Bangla language. He is a semifinalist in the U.S. Department of States Critical Language Scholarship program, to intensively immerse in Bangla language study this summer in India. Brent has been exploring and practicing the healing arts since he moved to Los Angeles from Michigan in 2001. He gained extensive somatic awareness through his 13 years as a certified massage therapist. He holds a certification as a Yoga and Meditation instructor since 2007, and has taught extensive specialty workshops and classes. He earned his certification as a drug and alcohol addiction at UCLA Extension and after completing his supervised internship and state exam, he registered with the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. He has worked at addiction treatment clinics throughout Los Angeles, was contracted to write custom curriculum and lecture on the epidemic of gay meth addiction.

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