K. Ganesh Kumar
Mr. Kumar an ardent devotee of Sri. Gnanananda Swamigal of Tapovanam (Swamiji), and deeply influenced by Swami Haridhoss Giri (Guruji) is trained for Abhangs under Sri. Mohan Pai - an authority on Marathi Abhangs. The word Abhang in Marathi means A + Bhang translated as un + break thus giving us the tradition that cannot be forgotten.
Namasankirtan is a mixture of devotional lyrics (Bhajan / Padam) followed by strings of nama called as namavali (various names of God). It is based on bhava (emoting a lyric through voice modulation) and is not strictly scientific in music form. It can be slow or fast paced depending on the bhava in the lyrics. This makes a non-musical person, children etc. also to enjoy, follow, participate, and forget oneself in it. Unlike the normal classical renderings - Namasankirtan is participative where the listener joins the main singer.
He has performed in many places in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, North India and abroad. His recent Namsankirtan programme at the Southhall Hindu Temple at London was a big draw.
His contribution to the spread of Namsankirtan was acknowledged :
By Maruthanallur Sathguru Swamigal's
Matham by conferring the title
" Maharasthra Abhanga Ratnam"
On May 25th 2000 was invited to perform at the lotus feet of Lord Panduranga at the Pandharpur temple on the event of dedicating a new silver throne for the lord. He was accompanied by Sri. Tulsidas Borkar the famous Harmonium Chakravarthy.
In the last 18 years he has been enthralling devotees in various parts of India by his Namasankirtan.
Mr. Kumar's renderings in Tamil - especially Utthukadu, Thiruppugazh, etc. Hindi ( Meera, Kabir, Tulsidas, Soordas and Brahmananda etc.) and Marathi ( Sant Gyaneshwar, Tukaram, Namdev, Chokamela, Savta Mali, Janabhai, Swaroopanand (Pawas ) etc.), in a captivating voice accompanied by his harmonium is sure to take the listeners to a higher plane of devotion and godliness.
He has completed more than 50 episodes - weekly programme on Namsankirtan explaining the evolution and the life history of Indian Saints. This programme has completed one year on the All India Radio being broadcast over 27 stations in all over Maharashtra receiving acclaim from hundreds of listners spread over Maharashtra. This programme has created a record of the longest running episode on recent times on the A.I.R.
He has two T.V.
recordings to his credit
Gyaneshwar Samadhi Abhangs by Namdev (lyrics created by Saint Namdev at the time of Saint Gyaneshwar entering into Samadhi [trance for-ever]),
Bhakti geets of Swami Swaroopanand.
Both directed by Sri. Mohan Pai.
He has released two Audio
|| Vithal Namsankirtan || renderings of Marathi Abhangs of Vithal
|| Guru Tochi Dev || renderings of Marathi Bhaktigeet written by Swami Swaroopanand of Pawas (Ratnagiri).
Songs in both the cassettes are tuned by Sri. Mohan Pai and directed / released by Shri Srirang Aras (Sri Music and Prism Audio) .
He performs every Bhagwathi Ekadeshi at Vithal Mandir, D.L. Vaidya Road, Dadar - 9 pm onwards
Some Major Venues where his programme have been held :
Pandharpur Temple - Sactum Sanctorum - 2000
/ 2001 / 2002 / 2003 / 2004 ( fifth consecutive year )
Tennangur Namasankirtana Mandapam - every year
Maruthanallur Sadguru Matham
Dakshina Pandaripuram - Kumbakonam - Sri. Vithaldas Jayakrishna Deekshitar
Melattur Temple - Kumbabhishekam
The Fine Arts Society - Auditorium and Art Plaza
Sringeri Temple - Chembur
Pondicherry Sugar Mills - Pondicherry
Ayodhya Mandapam - Mambalam, Madras ( Two Years )
Bhajan Samaj - Matunga
Himani Hall - Khar
Baroda Cantonment Ayyappa Temple
Sant. Eknath Sanshodan Mandir - Aurangabad
Gramajana Samooham - Ernakulam
R.K. Puram - Subramanya Temple - N. Delhi
Narayan Maharaj Temple - Sri Gonda ( Near Dhond )
Bhajanothsavam, Kalpathy, Kerala,
Vinayagar Temple, Chattapuram, Kerala.
Vinayagar Temple, Rastha Peth, Pune
Ayyappan Temple, Pratishta Day, Pune
Ashada Ekadashi, Vitha Mandir, Wadala 2002, 2003
Guruvayoor Temple, Brahmana Samooha Matam, Kerala.
Pondy Samooha Matam, Trichur
London / Singapore / Malaysia
and hundreds of temples in Mumbai and in various cities and villages in Maharashtra.
He believes in propagating our rich Hindu Sanathana Dharma by integrating the Bhakti tradition of South India and Maharashtra through Namasankirtan especially to the next generation, so that our culture thrives for ages to come.
Despite lack of formal scientific training in classical music, for Mr. Kumar the rich mellifluous voice is a god given gift with which he continues perfecting his renderings through sheer grit and determination. Thousands of people throng during his programmes in many locations in Maharashtra.
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