He is lost to me and I seek him wandering from land to land.
|Performers and guests seated squeezed together|
Maki, sadhan sangini (female partners in meditation) of Sadhan Das Bairagi, a leading exponent and teacher, has been here for more than twenty years in quest of soul's companion. She is now among the most acclaimed women singers in the world of Bauls and travels the world, performing at numerous national and international concerts. Maki has attained the status of a guru (spiritual guide) and is called maa (mother) by her disciples.
Maki was born on 13th April, 1959 in Osaka. It’s startling to discover that she was not remotely interested in singing while in Japan. It happened at a Baul concert in Osaka In 1991. There was a festival of India going on. Baul Sadhan Das Bairagi was performing at that festival. She was instantly infected by the devotional joy spread through this music. His songs gave her a glimpse of another world. She feels ecstatic and found a new direction of life. She was also fascinated by the man, who appeared to belong to different world. From then on her journey of the life followed a different route.
|Guruji: Sadhan Das Bairagi|
She packed her bags and arrieved at Shyamsundar, Raina on 28th December of the same year to become a deciple of Shadhon Das Bairagi, who then formally initiated her into the clannish, mysterious, nomadic world of the Bauls. Thus a middleclass Japanese lady, daughter of a railway official, student of Osaka University left a luxurious life in Japan and embraced the simple Baul lifestyle. Twenty years have passed since then; Maki has committed herself to this life and is still in search for the divine beloved. “Guruji now is my father, mother, husband — everything” — her voice is stirring, a mix of yearning and detachment.
Maki, along with many other Japanese devotees now live in her Guruji’s "Moner Mansuh" akhara (commune of bauls), set in a beautiful rural part of Bengal for most of the year. They also have a ashram at Jaydev in Birbhum district.