It is said that namasankirtan (repetition of the divine name of God in devotion and in group) is a powerful spiritual tool where the seekers can relish divine bliss and can also share it with others. K.V. Narasimhan, popularly known as Erode Rajamani Bhagavathar, a renowned exponent of sampradaya bhajan, has this rare ability and has been taking the participants of his bhajan programmes to a level of divine ecstasy through this tool. Says Rajamani, "Namasankirtan is the easiest way to reach God in this kalyug, when compared to other forms like yaga and tapas." He also recites a Sanskrit verse, which roughly translates to "Lord Krishna telling Narada that He (Lord Krishna) does not reside in Vaikunth; nor does He reside in the hearts of yogis; but resides at the place where namasankirtan is being done." Hailing from a place called Kooniyur in Tirunelveli District in Tamil Nadu, Rajamani has a rare distinction of being a disciple of the doyen of Sampradaya Bhajan, Pudukottai Brahmashri Sanjeevi Bhagavathar.
Having inherited the art of Carnatic vocal music from his mother, through his vivid interest, Rajamani also learnt and started playing the harmonium and the mridangam when he was young. While in his teens, he got the opportunities to accompany his revered guru, Shri Sanjeevi Bhagavathar and other Bhagavathars on the harmonium. After completion of his commerce graduation, a job in a private sector company moved Rajamani in the late 1980s to Erode, a small town in Tamil Nadu.
Recalls Rajamani, "Gopalakrishnan, a family friend who was then in Erode, encouraged me to lead a bhajan group telling me I had the capacity to do so. A bhajan group called Sri Guru Krupa Bhajan Mandali was formed in 1991, which was a turning point in my life." Rajamani gave up his job in the company in 1999 to become a full-time artiste. By his sheer interest, devotion and dedication, he soon learnt in-depth the Puja Paddhati, Divyanamam, Dolotsavam and Pavvalimbu. With the blessings of Brahamashri Gopalakrishna Bhagavathar, he rose to the height of excellence in rendering Pudukottai Paddhati of Samprayada Bhajan in great detail.A repository of bhajan songs and one of the very few credited with an in-depth knowledge of rendering a complete form of Sampradaya Bhajan, Rajamani is happy that he is involved, in a way, in `national integration' as he sings compositions in various Indian languages like Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, etc. Proudly he adds, "I even have some ardent Muslim fans, who know the entire bhajan Paddhati and sit throughout my bhajan programme."
Rajamani is happy that music sabhas increasingly give slots for samprayada bhajans during music seasons and auditoriums are packed to capacity. He draws attention to the fact that in Carnatic music concerts too, one-third of the concert time is being dedicated for bhajans. Rajamani advises the modern youth of the country, particularly those in the IT sector and experiencing a stressful work atmosphere, "To participate in bhajans and namasankirtans, get diverted and release stress. It's divine music, after all".
To wean away children from television and the Internet, Rajamani advises parents to expose them to bhajans and namaskirtans even if they don't like it. "After some time, they would automatically start liking them. This would help them to grow as good citizens of the country," he says.
Father of two children, Rajamani admits that it is very difficult to balance family life and his profession, which keeps him away from home for days in a month. But very quickly he gives the entire credit to his wife Vasantha, who manages the family well and also sings with him during his performance, whenever possible. He also acknowledges that she is the main person behind his progress.
Rajamani creates a positive vibration amongst the participants of his bhajans and namaskirtans as sahitya, melody, bhava and laya fuse smoothly when he performs. Says Rajamani, "Sincerity and devotion have been the key factors in my success. Be sincere and devoted in whatever you do. These would take you to greater heights."
Rajamani has always enjoyed performing in Delhi and has a word of praise for Delhi devotees and rasikas. "They are devoted to the core and are knowledgeable."
More Said about Erode Rajamani Bhagavathar:
Erode Rajamani Bhaagavathar, renowned exponent of sampradhaya bhajan, with a rare distinction of being a disciple of the Doyen of Sampradhaya Bhanjan Pudukottai Shri Sanjeevi Bhaagavathar. He is a repositary of Bhajan songs and one among the very few who is accredited with an indepth knowledge in rendering a complete form of sampradaya bhajans.He creates a high degree of positive vibration among the participants, taking them to the very great level of divine ecstasy. Words, Melody, Bhaavam and Layam fuse smoothly in his style. His Excellence in slokas singing, rendering abangam and rare ragas reverberating Naamavalies are unmatched. He has performed extensively all over the country and abroad.