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They have no fixed dwelling place, but move from one akhda to another. A male Baul can have one or more sevadasis, who are associated with him in the act of devotion.
Men wear white lungis and long, white tunics; women wear white saris. Until 1976 the district of Kushtia had 252 ascetic Bauls.
Their music represents a long heritage of preaching mysticism through songs in Bengal, as in the Shahebdhoni or Bolahadi sects.
Bauls pour out their feelings in their songs but never bother to write them down. It is said that Lalon Fokir (1774 -1890), the greatest of all Bauls, continued to compose and sing songs for decades without ever stopping to correct them or put them on paper.
Votaries of this sect of Sufism in Iran, dating back to the 8th-9th centuries, were fond of music and participated in secret devotional practices. Like other Sufis, they also entered the South Asian subcontinent and spread out in various directions.