ABSTRACT: Hohm Sahaj Mandir (Hohm Innate Divinity Temple) is a new religious movement that has achieved international status under the name "Western Bauls." The Western Bauls have a number of similarities to the Bauls of Bengal, wandering minstrels with an ecstatic inclination whose lives are consumed by their search for the divine. Like many Tantric groups, the Western Bauls believe the body is a microcosm of the universe in which divinity is present. Their spiritual praxes are bodybased. In the advanced stages they include an esoteric yoga called kaya sadhana as well as other practices of aropa, the mystical conversion of matter to spirit practiced by the Bauls of Bengal. The close-knit members of the Hohm Community include a high percentage of talented artists, writers, performers, singers and musicians. They emphasize poetry and writing in addition to music, dance, and song, for which the Bengali Bauls are known.
- ©© 2006 by The Regents of the University of California