Notable person : Lalon

Lalon was a Bengali Baul saint, mystic, songwriter, social reformer. Lalon is also known as Lalon Spain, Lalon Shah, Lalon Fokir. Lalon is an archetypal icon of Bengali Culture. He was bron in 1772, Bengal Presidency, British India. Although it is not known whether he was born in a Hindu or a Muslim family. Lalon had no formal education.

One account relates that Lalon during a pilgrimage to the temple of Jagannath with others of his native village, he contracted smallpox and was abandoned by his companions on the banks of the Kaliganga river , from where Malam Shah and his wife Matijan , members of the weaver community in a Muslim populated village Cheuriya, took him to their home to convalesce. They gave Lalon  land to live where he founded a musical group and remained to compose and perform his songs , inspired by Shiraj Sain a musician of that village. Lalon lost the sight of his one eye in smallpox. Lalon didn’t believe in classes or castes, the fragmented, hierarchical society and took a stand against racism. Lalon believed inth power of music to after the intellectual and emotional state in order to be able to understand and appreciate life it self . He appropriated various philosophical positions emanating from Hindu, Jainist, Buddhist, and Islamic traditions developing them into a coherent discourse without falling into eclecticism or syncretism. Lalon composed about 2000 – 10000 songs of which only about 800 songs are generally considered authentic.

Lalon was died in 17 October 1890 at Cheuriya , Kushtia , Bengal Presidency, British India ( Now in Bangladesh) . Resting place in Cheuriya , Kushtia , Bangladesh. The institute know as Lalon Akhrah in Cheuriya about 2 kilometers from Kushtia railway station. Every year on the occasion of his death anniversary, thousands of his disciples and devotees assemble  at Lalon Akhrah and pay homage to the departed  Guru through celebration and discussion of his songs and philosophy for three days . In 2004 , Lalon was placed at number 12 in the BBC’s poll of the Greatest Bengali of All time.

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