Gītār Gān

Bengali Poetic Edition of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is


Last year His Master's Voice recording studio in India expressed their willingness to produce a musical presentation of Śrīla Prabhupāda's Gītār Gān and market it throughout India. We naturally became quite excited about the project. But we soon realized that it would not be possible, because the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust did not want to give the copyright to any outside organization.

The only way open to us at that time was to produce it ourselves. However, it was a large production and needed a lot of money.

My initial reaction after that was to forget the project. But then it occured to me that it would be a nice gift to offer to Śrīla Prabhupāda for his centennial. His Divine Grace was very emphatic about popularizing his Gītār Gān, among the Bengali speaking people. I realized what an impact this musical rendition of Gītār Gān would have on the music-loving Bengalis if it were professionally produced. It will undoubtedly go a long way to turn them on to the message of Bhagavad Gītā.

With the help of His Masters Voice, we got the best musicians and singers in Calcutta. About a dozen artists worked full time for about 2 months to produce these 6 tapes. The music director, an eminent sarod player, Mr Srikumar Banerjee, often stayed up until early in the morning writing the musical scores, and then went to the studio to record throughout the day. This naturally shows what a keen interest he took in composing the music.

For such a large production, one major problem is that it can become monotonous. Especially when the entire book has been written in the same poetic meter. However, Mr. Srikumar Banerjee dealt with that problem very expertly. Perfect application of different ragas with different beats maintained the novelty and excitement.

Finally we offered the tapes to Śrīla Prabhupāda on 4th February 1995, through a grand celebration in the most prestigious auditorium in Calcutta. The auditorium was packed with the elite of Calcutta. The first performance was made for Śrīla Prabhupāda's pleasure. It seems that His Divine Grace liked it. Now it is being offered to the devotees all over the world. If they like it, I will consider our endeavour has been successful.

Bhakti Charu Swami
9 April 1995