went for the event called In Every Body Kabir by the guys involved in the kabir project .
It was pretty difficult finding the Flying cursor office located near rizvi college bandra.
The building name is very non de-script /there are no big sign boards.
The building is just in front of rizvi college ,on the ground floor there seems to be a super popular joint called Ammas.
The Kabir project in mumbai is handled by Nitesh Mohanty who says he was introduced to kabir 6 months ago.
We stared with some audio ,it was good of nitish to explain the words which made the singing all the more enjoyable
The first was Zini Zini Bini Chadariya [10:03] Artist(s): Kumar Gandharva
Kabir: Chadaria Jhini Re Jhini
This bhajan has been recorded by several well known singers. Kabir refers to his body as a chadar, a sheet of cloth. Kabir is the best-known exponent of Nirguni bhajan, which celebrate a formless (nirguna) divinity, encouraging listeners to shed dogma and look at reality. Baba Bulleh Shah is another and the Bauls of Bengal have developed from these roots. The Sikh guru Nanak gathered many such bhajans into the Guru Granth Sahib.
This is fine, this is fine cloth.
Dyed in the Ram Nam, the name of the lord,
A spinning wheel like an eight-petalled lotus spins it,
Five elements and three qualities are its pattern.
The Lord tailored it in ten moons,
Pressed the threads to get the weft tight.
It has been worn by gods, men and sages:
They soiled it with use.
Says Kabir; I have covered myself with this cloth most carefully,
And eventually will leave it as it was before.
. Kabir is the best-known exponent of Nirguni bhajan, which celebrate a formless (nirguna) divinity, encouraging listeners to shed dogma and look at reality. The Sikh guru Nanak gathered many such bhajans into the Guru Granth Sahib.
Kabira, jab. Ham. Paida hue
Jag. Hanse ham. Roye
Aisi karani kar. Chalo
Ham hase jag. Roye
Chadariya, jhini re jhini
Ke ram. Nam. Ras. Bhini
Chadariya, jhini re jhini
Asht. Kamal. Ka charkha banaiya
Panch. Tatva ki puni
Nao das. Mas. Bunan. Ko lage
Murakh. Maili kinhi
Jab. Mori chadar. Ban. Ghar. Ayi
Rang. Rej. Ko dinhi, chadariya
Aisa rang. Ranga rangare ne
Lalo lal. Kar. Dinhi
Chadar. Orhi shankar mat. Kariyo
Ye do din. Tum.ko dinhi, chadariya
Murakh. Log. Bhed. Nahi jane
Din. Din. Maili kinhi
Druv prahelad. Sudama ne orhi, chadariya
Shukdev ne nirmala kinhi
Das. Kabir jatan. Se orhi
Jyon ki tyon dhar. Dinhi
We then dived into the Screening of the Documentary Film Koi Sunta Hai by Shabnam Virmani…
Koi Sunta Hai: Journeys with Kumar and Kabir
This film interweaves the oral folk traditions of Kabir in central India with the intensely personal narrative of the late classical singer Kumar Gandharva. Journeying between folk and classical, between rural and urban expressions of Kabir, the film finds moments of both continuity and rupture between these disparate worlds. (Duration: 102 min)
Gandharva was born in Sulebhavi near Belgaum, Karnataka, India. He studied music under the well-known Prof B R Deodhar.
Soon after moving there, he was stricken with lung cancer which was wrongly diagnosed as tuberculosis. (The people in the documentary do not mention lung cancer )
Kumarji also experimented with other forms of singing such as Nirguni bhajans (Devotional songs), folk songs, and with both ragas and presentation, often going from fast to slow compositions in the same raga.
He is remembered for his great legacy of innovation, questioning tradition without rejecting it wholesale, resulting in music in touch with the roots of Indian culture, especially the folk music of Madhya Pradesh. His innovative approach towards music led to the creation of new ragas from combinations of older ragas.
Some of Kumar Gandharva’s ideology is carried forward by his son and daughter, as well as students such as Madhup Mudgal, Shubha Mudgal, Vijay Sardeshmukh and Satyasheel Deshpande.
Journeys with Kumar and Kabir Interweaving the folk music traditions of the mystic poet Kabir with the life and music of the late classical singer Kumar Gandharva, this film searches for that elusive sound, that jhini si awaaz, Kabir urges us to hear. Where does it resonate, that subtle sound? Journeying between folk and classical, oral and written, rural and urban expressions of this 15th century mystic poet of north India, the film finds moments of both continuity and rupture between these disparate worlds. (96 min)
Apart from dohas there are numerous bhajans written by Kabir and are traditionally sung in the northern parts of the country. Popularly known as Nirguni bhajans, these were rediscovered by Pandit Kumar Gandhrva and he sung them in such a way that it made waves in the early seventies.
Kumar Gandharva – Jhini Chadriya – 10 min
Kabir By Kumar Gandharva
Kumar Gandharva – Sunata? Hai Guru Gyani (Kabir)
This is a Kabir nirguni Bhajan By Kumar
O awake deciple of the Guru, listen to the celestial sounds? coming subtly from celestial. You are listening to the supreme fully awake. I know of the source. Do not leave this nectar and entangle in the wordly subjects. The God has given the curd. Saint is the one who eats the butter while the world is happy with butter milk. See the celestial region beyond earth and lake without water where the sky is full of light. Listen the musical instruments of soham at trikuti. O awake listen to the
Pandit Kumar Gandharva-Young
This movie subtitles was hard hitting and the message of the songs hit home. The words mean different things to different people (as everyone’s walks their own path of life) .
Apart from that the movie brought sadness as it shows very clearly why it is a dying art.
1) The language is foreign to most of us city
2) The art was passed down from guru to student ,this was never documented (this is very obvious in the part where the singer sings with his old guru and they mix up two song) (only they know the songs and what has been mixed up )
3) Even now the art is costly – you have to pay to get the books with the translations and the music is not easily available.
4) The tribals singers where could not explain the songs there were singing and some were arrogant saying you people who know English will never get it .
TEDxDelhi – Shabnam Virmani
Shabnam Virmani is a filmmaker and artist in residence at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India. 7 years ago she started travelling with folk singers in Malwa, Rajasthan and Pakistan in a quest for the spiritual and socio-political resonances of the 15th century mystic poet Kabir in our contemporary worlds. Among the tangible outcomes of these journeys were a series of 4 musical documentary films, several music CDs and books of the poetry in translation (www.kabirproject.org). Inspired by the inclusive spirit of folk music, she has begun to play the tambura and sing folk songs of Kabir herself. Currently she is working on co-creating a web-museum of Kabir poetry & music with folk singer communities in India and developing ideas for taking mystic poetry and folk music to school classrooms. She continues to journey to new areas such as Kutch, Gujarat and draw inspiration not only from Kabir, but also other mystic poets of the sub-continent and the oral folk traditions that carry them to us. Her earlier work consisted of several video and radio programs created in close partnership with grassroots women’s groups in India.
Kabir Project is an Artist-in-Residency project at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.
Shabnam Virmani is director of the Kabir Project. Started in 2003, the Kabir project brings together the experiences of a series of journeys in quest of this 15th century mystic poet in our contemporary worlds.It consists of documentary films, 2 folk music videos and 10 music CDs accompanied by books of the poetry in translation.The films journey into contemporary spaces touched by his music and poetry
A mehfil sometimes spelled mahfil) is a gathering or evening of courtly entertainment of poetry or concert of Indian classical music (particularly Hindustani classical music) and dance, performed for a small audience in an intimate setting
Sings Nirguni Bhajans
There are several music festivals but that does not quite mean music is making progress. There appears to be a lack of urge to create one’s own.
—Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande a disciple of the legendary Pt Kumar Gandharva,
Read more: Festivals don’t take music forward – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Festivals-dont-take-music-forward/articleshow/6991053.cms#ixzz18uA3Uj4X
Kabir was born of a Hindu Brahmin unwed mother and abandoned at birth; was nurtured by a childless Muslim weaver couple, Nima and Niru; was a disciple of Swami Ramanand;
Kabir was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement.. The name Kabir comes from Arabic Al-Kab?r which means ‘The Great’ – the 37th Name of God in the Qur’an.
Kabir chose instead to live the balanced life of a householder and mystic, a tradesman and contemplative
Kabir is the first Indian saint to have harmonised Hinduism and Islam by preaching a universal path which both Hindus and Muslims could tread together
He often advocated leaving aside the Qur’an and Vedas and simply following Sahaja path, or the Simple/Natural Way to oneness in God.
Bijak is the best known of the compilations of the compositions of Kabir,
Documentary filmmaker Shabnam Virmani, from the Kabir Project, has produced a series of documentaries and books tracing Kabir’s philosophy, music and poetry in present day India and Pakistan. The documentaries feature Indian folk singers such as Prahlad Tipanya, Mukhtiyar Ali and the Pakistani Qawwal Fareed Ayaz.
My friend, this body is His lute. He tightens the strings and plays its songs.
If the strings break and the pegs work loose, this lute, made of dust, returns to dust.
Koi Sunta Hai Guru Gyani
E ji sant hamari atman, ham santon ki shwas
Are santon mein ____, Ni jo phoolan ___
Koi sunta hai guru gyani gagan mein
Awaz ho ve jhina jhina – ha -
Oham soham baja re baje baje
Trikuta shabd nishani – ha -
Are ingla pingala sukhman joya
Ingla pingala, sukhman joya – joya re joya
Shwet bhajan ho peherani ho gagan mein
Awaz ho rahi …
Han, wahan se aya naad bindu se
Yahan jamaya pani re pani
Are sab ghat puran boli raha hain
Sab ghat puran boli raha hain
E jagat purus bin pani ho gagan mein
Awaz ho rahi …
Wahan se aya pata likhaya
Kusan ji nahin tu jani
Surat chode kise ras pive – re pive
E ulati phas phasani ho gagan mein
Dekha bin dukah lao jag dekha
Sehej amar disani
Are kahe kabir suno bhai sadho
E agam gam ki pani ho gagan mein
Since then countless people have been listening to this 15th century mystic poet’s
words and sharing them with others.
And yet, do we really listen?
Do we make the connect between Kabir’s words and our lives,
our day-to-day acts, the social, spiritual and political choices
in which we’re all enmeshed?
This festival is an opportunity, possibly,
for immersion, provocation,
An opportunity to meet some of the finest
folk-classical-sufi voices of Kabir,
listen to them sing,
chat and interact with them.
An opportunity to journey through
4 documentary films
into spaces touched by Kabir’s poetry.
meeting a diverse array of people,
an urban folklorist, a street fruit seller, a social activist,
a Dalit folk singer, a Zen Buddhist scholar,
a neo-fascist mahant, a Muslim qawwal,
each encounter offering a moment of surprising insight
into the poetry and its contemporary meanings.
An opportunity to glimpse not one but many Kabirs!
Kabir – who beckons, who baffles,
who pushes us to self-interrogate,
to question the boundaries of our identity,
nation, caste, religion,
making these filmic journeys unrelentingly inward
even as they venture outward.
Alakh Elahi ek hai, nam darya do
Ram Rahim ek hai, naam darya do
Krishna Karim ek hai, naam darya do
Kashi Kaba ek hai, ek Ram Rahim
Alakh (the Invisible) and Elahi (the Lord) are one, with two names
Ram and Rahim are one, with two names
Krishna and Karim are one, with two names
Kashi and Kaaba are but one, with two names.
In his songs, Kabir refuses to draw a line between ‘Bismil’ and ‘Bishambhar’. He rubbishes man-made divides, draws the divine closer to the devotee, and instructs on meditative methods. As such, many of his ideas recur among sects as far-flung as the Nathpanthis, Ramanandis, Sahajiyas, Bauls, Sufis, Sikhs and the Nirguns.
This Body a Splendid Tambura ( Stringed Instrument)
O wise ones!
This body – a splendid tambura!
Made of the five elements, this tambura
strung together with nine resonances.
Tighten the strings, twist the pegs
and the song of the lord emerges.
The strings snap, pegs lie scattered.
The sweetness has turned to dust.
Dont cling in vain to this body.
Its swan has flown away.
Kabir says, listen seekers:
the path of the brave is pathless.
[The author is a thumri singer. She lives in Mehrauli, very close to Qutub Minar.]