Purna(chandra) Das Baul Samrat
|Born||18 March 1933|
Birbhum district, West Bengal, India
|Occupation(s)||Baul, bard, minstrel, sacred singer, prayer leader, musician, actor|
Puran Das Baul, popularly known as Purna Das Baul Samrat, (born 18 March 1933) is an Indian musician and singer, in Baul tradition. The artist is sometimes cited as Purna Chandra Das, though 'Purna Das Baul' is used to avoid confusion with other artists and individuals with the same name. He has traveled in 140 countries, throughout the world and presented the Baul tradition.
Purna Das Baul Samrat is perceived as the successor to the once wandering mendicant minstrels, the Bauls of Bengal, a historical territory which currently is divided between People's Republic of Bangladesh (previously East Bengal / East Pakistan) and the Indian state of West Bengal, and the neighbouring Indian states of Bihar, Assam and Orissa. Das is a traditional surname among Bauls as well as in other members of the populace in this region.
Born in 1933 in Birbhum district, West Bengal, India, Purna Das Baul Samrat is the son of Nabini Das Kapha Baul and was born in the village of Ekchakka near Rampurhat in Birbhum. Purna Das's wife Manju Das Baul is both a Baul and a singer of Indian and Bengali folk songs in other traditions, and also a musicographer, principally in non-English idioms. Of Purna Das's three sons, Krishnendu Das aka BabuKishan, Subhendu ("Beautiful Moon") Bapi Das Baul, is a musician who also works in the Baul tradition while concurrently extending his music into global fusion, having lived for many years in France. Purna Das Baul Samrat's son Dibyendu Das Baul joined Purna Das Baul Samrat in the Baul Samrat's musical and liturgical troupe. His oldest son, Krishnendu Das Baul, helped his father to travel to all continents, and is himself a Baul, currently living in Canada.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, first President of the modern state of India, acknowledged Purna Das as Baul Samrat in 1967. In this capacity, Purna Das Baul Samrat was awarded the Indian President's Award by Shri K. R. Narayan, tenth President of India, in 1999.
Purna Das has also appeared in numerous films, and was personally fêted by Mick Jagger in England, and by Bob Dylan who told Purna Das that he himself would be 'the Baul of America'. Together with his student Selina Thielemann, he authored the first book on the philosophy of the Bauls to be published in English language. In 2019, he appeared in If Not for You, a documentary about Kolkata's long lasting love affair with legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.
1979: Baul Samrat and Manju Das travelled to USA and performed 2 concerts at the Alternative Center for International Arts, New York. The first concert (3/31/79) was opened by poet Allen Ginsberg