Once upon a time, an angel came to earth to see man and his world, because he had heard so many stories of man's splendor that he could not resist his curiosity. The beauty of the world overwhelmed him: the sunlit mountain peaks and dark forests, the whining winds and tossing, rainbow-colored valleys, the dew-kissed soil, the soil's lusty smell, the animals, fierce and gentle. Everywhere there was such beauty. But when the angel saw man he was awed, for he heard the music of the human heart and the song of the human soul. He fell in deep love with human mystery. Dusk came, but he lingered on. Man and man's earth had so moved the angel that he hesitated to leave. But finally, his time finished, he had to go with tears in his eyes. And tremendously encircled, enriched by this adventure on the earth, by this experience, before going out, before going back to his own world, just out of sheer joy he wanted to help some of us on our way.
He looked about, saw four persons walking together. He approached them and said, "I have come to grant you each one wish." As luck would have it, they all were spiritual aspirants. The first one spoke up, "I have striven incessantly after distant divine truth -- nothing but struggle, struggle, struggle. Give me spiritual peace!"
"But struggling is one of the joys of life," said the angel, not understanding the first seeker's wish.
"I would like peace!" insisted the man
This being his wish, the angel changed the youth into a cow that chewed the grass of a distant pasture quite contentedly.
A bit disturbed, the angel turned to the other aspirant.
"God is pure but I am not," said the other. "Please rid me of all impurities, of passions, emotions, desires."
"Are not they the very fount of life?" asked the angel.
"But I don't want life, I want purity!" insisted the second man. He then closed his eyes and waited for his transformation. In a split second he disappeared, and in a faraway temple, a marble statue appeared in his likeness.
Then the third one said, "Make me perfect; anything less will simply not do." He vanished but did not reappear anywhere, for nothing on earth is perfect or can be perfect.
The angel turned to the fourth, "And what is your wish?"
"I have no wish," replied this happy man.
"No wish at all?"
"None -- except to be human, fully human and alive."
A near-smothered joy began again to stir within the angel. He looked longingly upon this blessed man, and then leaned over and embraced him with a deep love. The fourth man continued on his way singing the glory of life, dancing the joy of life. This fourth man is the Baul.
There is no other way to define a Baul. The Baul is tremendous love for life, tremendous love for this earth, tremendous love for all that is. The Baul is not an idealist, he is a realist -- down to earth. The Baul does not ask for any paradise somewhere else, he is already in paradise, herenow. The Baul is not a seeker, the Baul is one who has found. The Baul is a SIDDHA: one who has looked into life and realized that all is available and there is no need to seek. One has just to participate in this mystery called life. He dances, he sings, he enjoys, he is blissful for no reason at all. This is half the story; the other half is still there.
The angel reached heaven. God called him and asked him, "What were you doing on the earth? Tinkering with my creation?"
The angel said, "I am sorry, but those people desired; those were their wishes. I simply helped them to fulfill."
God said, "That's right. I am not angry, I was just enquiring. Have you any wish to be fulfilled?"
The angel said, "Make me the fourth man back on the earth. Send me back and make me the fourth man."
Let that be your wish also. And there is no need to ask? because that is already fulfilled. You are a man on the earth, a woman on the earth; enjoy this gift of God! In deep gratefulness, sing the song, dance the dance that is waiting deep inside your being to be expressed. Be creative. Flower.... Only existence, and the experience of existence, can enlighten you, nothing else.