Dr. Niranjan Rajyaguru

Dr. Niranjan Vallabhabhai Rajyaguru.

Spiritual Center for folklore study

Address For Correspondence:
Anand Ashram. Ghoghavadar, (Dasi Jivan)
Via:Gondal. Dist: Rajkot
. Pin:360 311
Mo.: 098243 71904

Member, National Sahitya Akademi,New Delhi.Gujarati Language & Leterature Advisory Board.
Member, The Programme Advisory Committee,Prasar Bharati,All India Radio,Rajkot.
Member, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad,Ahmadabad,Central Committee.
Managing Trustee,Sat Nirvan Foundation Trust,Ghoghavadar.
Managing Director,Saint Leterature & Folk-Lore Research Centre,Anand Ashram,Ghoghavadar.

Dr. NIRANJAN RAJYAGURU
India, a country of heterogeneous voices, has a very rich tradition of folklore, folk literature, performing-folk-arts, traditions and bhajans. The “folk-voice”, which manifests itself in such traditions, is primarily produced in different dialects and has its roots in human emotion. It is like a reservoir of human experience and a memory lane of an individual and community as well. It embraces every-thing relating to ancient observances and customs to the notions, habits, beliefs traditions, superstitions of common people, still preserved by memory. This statement is applicable to Saurashtrian folklore in particular which enjoys a unique place in the Indian folklore, because of its richness, variety, specific identity, pan-Indianness and weltanshauung. It is so rich that as it is said, every stone, every drop of water and every particle of air of Saurashtra contains a folktale in its bowls. Every stone outside or every stone in the vicinity placed on the outskirts of a village in Saurashtra may contain a story of adventure or sacrifice of its sons or daughters. But Saurashtrian folklore, like its counterparts else where, remains a marginalized area of study against central, national and global homogeneous consideration. Therefore, it needs to be understood, preserved and projected before it dies out due to negligence in the razzmatazz of current consumerist culture. Postmodernism has done much service to the marginalized subjects as it does not consider the world of arts as the monopoly of elite artists. Consequently hither to marginalized areas e.g. folklore and literature which include even popular literature have come in the center of discussion. But this subversion, however, has taken place at the oretical level only. In fact, folklore and literature suffer from apathy, disinterest and lack of understanding even at the hands of its own people in an age of all-pervading consumerism.
In the present century when comparative studies have opened new avenues of research and when marginalized issues no more remain ‘silent’ as ‘others’ or decentered, recognition of racial, communal or regional specificities leave sufficient space for preservation and growth of various ‘voices.’ Under such circumstances, it is imperative for an Indian folklorist to try and preserve folklorical traditions in one form or the other before they are eaten up by pseudo | (post) modernistic razzmatazz and see them in an active interaction with its counterparts in the country. Our Tradition of Folk-Lore,Performing Folk Arts,Oral Literature-Music and Devotional Songs is very very Rich.This has helped to keep alive the spirit of our people.But One can rarely find the Singers & Performer Folk Artist in their original style with the understanding of their MARMA(Hidden Mining)
Dr. NIRANJAN RAJYAGURU is a Renowned Folk & Devotional Singer,Emient Poet, Critic,Research Scholar,Writer & expert of Indian Traditional Performing Arts. To day he is a B HIGH grade Artist in T.V. & Radio.Who has devoted his entire life after Folk Songs & Devotional Music Right from his early childhood. He had developed tremendous love for gujarati Songs.Moreover,the Almighty has blessed his with extremely sweet voice. With the result that he found recogition from young age. His name and fame increased gradually he came in to limelight not only at the state level but at National and even at International level,through Radio and T.V.
Dr. NIRANJAN has sung Hundreds of Gujarati Bhajans and Folksongs. He is a outstanding Folk Artist in Saurashtra region. He has a genuine Folk voice without any improvisation,very simple and strait singing.

Academic Qualification: M.A., Ph.D.

Teaching Experience: 3 years. (from undergraduate to Post Graduate level and at M.Phil. level)

Area of Research:
(i)  Medieval Gujarati Language & Literature.
(ii)  Charani Literature.
(iii)  Sant Literature.
(iv)  Traditional Bhakti Sangeet, Folk Songs/folk music.

Research Experience: 31 years at different level, in different capacity. (See Appendix I for detail)

Publications:
(i)   17  books; anthologies*
(ii)   55 articles in different journals and books.
(iii)   Research Papers (published)*
(a) On Sant Sahitya : More than 250
(b) On Folk literature: 40
(c) Charani Literature: 10.
(* For Detail refer to Appendix II)

Invitations/ Special recognition/ Distinction:

(1) Participated in Training Programme cum workshop on ancient Gujarati Script Reading in 1985.
(2) Has appeared and passed the Intermediate Drawing Examination conducted by Gujarat State in 1976.
(3) Has secured second place in Rifle Shooting Competition organized by Shri Vyayam Mandir, Gondal in 1975.
(4) B-high Grade artist of Aakashvani (as a folksong artist and Folk Music expert ) from 1980.
(5) Recognized folk-song artist  and folklore expert of Prasar Bharti -Doordarshan.
(6) Recognized Ph.D. referee-examiner in the subject of Gujarati Language and Literature in Saurashtra University.
(7) Nominated  Member of the National Sahitya Academy, Delhi ,Gujarati Advisory Bord.The Membership will last  till 31 December 2012.
(8) Nominated  Member of the  Prasar Bharti DoorDarshan-& A.I.R. AKASHVANI Rajkot  Program Advisory Bord.
(9) Elected  Member of the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad,Amdavad

8.        Contribution in the field of Literature & other areas through extensive field work.

Has recorded bhajans and works of sant sahitya, for the duration of 600 hours
Recorded works of folk songs & folk literature, raas, raasadas, marriage-songs for the duration of 60 hours.
Recorded Charani Sahitya, duha, chhand, kavit, Barmasi,    Chhakdia, and folk stories: Total duration 50 hours.

v    Seminars and Conferences:

(i)         International level.      6
(ii)        National level.             19
(iii)       State level. *              more than 35
(iv)       University level           more than 45

v    Public Performance / programmes

have performed in more than 50 programme organized by    Aakashvani or Doordarshan.

v    Lectures delivered

as a keynote speaker, invited speaker and discussant have been invited as speaker For National Unity & Integration  in different capacities by

(1)        National Sahitya Academy (Delhi)
(2)        Gujarat Rajya Sangeet-Natak Academy. Gandhinagar.
(3)        Lalit Kala Academy Gandhinagar.
(4)        Yuvak Seva and Sanskrutik Vibhag (Gujarat State) Gandhinagar.
(5)        Gujarat Sahitya Academy Gandhinagar.
(6)        Indian National Theatre (Mumbai)
(7)        National Centre for the Performing Arts NCPA, Mumbai
(8)        Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Ahmedabad.
(9)        M.S. University, Vadodara
(10)      Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad.
(11)      Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar.
(12)      Vidyasagar University, Midnapur (W. Bengal)
(13)      Rajsthan Sangeet Natak Academy (Jodhpur)
(14)      Borunda Folk Art Society, (Rajshthan)
(15)      Tribal Academy (Tejgadh Dist.Vadodara. Gujarat)
(16)      Bhasha Sanshodhan Kendra (Vadodara)
(17)      Bhajan Vidyapith Nandigram (Gujarat)
(18)      AIR Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhuj.
(19)      DOOR DARSHAN-PRASAR BHARTI  D.D.1 & 11, AMDAVAD, MUMBAI, RAJKOT

Research

Research Proposal for a Research Project for documentation and preservation of the folklore, folk-literature, folk music, folk arts, oral literature and bhajans of Saurashtra region.

India, a country of heterogeneous voices, has a very rich tradition of folklore, folk literature, performing-folk-arts, traditions and bhajans. The “folk-voice”, which manifests itself in such traditions, is primarily produced in different dialects and has its roots in human emotion. It is like a reservoir of human experience and a memory lane of an individual and community as well. It embraces every-thing relating to ancient observances and customs to the notions, habits, beliefs traditions, superstitions of common people, still preserved by memory. This statement is applicable to Saurashtrian folklore in particular which enjoys a unique place in the Indian folklore, because of its richness, variety, specific identity, pan-Indianness and weltanshauung. It is so rich that as it is said, every stone, every drop of water and every particle of air of Saurashtra contains a folktale in its bowls. Every stone outside or every stone in the vicinity placed on the outskirts of a village in Saurashtra may contain a story of adventure or sacrifice of its sons or daughters. But Saurashtrian folklore, like its counterparts else where, remains a marginalized area of study against central, national and global homogeneous consideration. Therefore, it needs to be understood, preserved and projected before it dies out due to negligence in the razzmatazz of current consumerist culture. Postmodernism has done much service to the marginalized subjects as it does not consider the world of arts as the monopoly of elite artists. Consequently hither to marginalized areas e.g. folklore and literature which include even popular literature have come in the center of discussion. But this subversion, however, has taken place at the oretical level only. In fact, folklore and literature suffer from apathy, disinterest and lack of understanding even at the hands of its own people in an age of all-pervading consumerism.

In the present century when comparative studies have opened new avenues of research and when marginalized issues no more remain ‘silent’ as ‘others’ or decentered, recognition of racial, communal or regional specificities leave sufficient space for preservation and growth of various ‘voices.’ Under such circumstances, it is imperative for an Indian folklorist to try and preserve folklorical traditions in one form or the other before they are eaten up by pseudo | (post) modernistic razzmatazz and see them in an active interaction with its counterparts in the country.

With this objective the current research project aims at the research, audio-visual documentation, preservation and study of Folk Lore and traditional music.
Its main objectives are: –

(i)         To find out the pure traditional singers as well as singing of the folk tale, oral folk lore, stories, ballads, folk epics, their religious and social festivals, religious practices, dances and singing styles which are eroding fast in the context of modernism. And preserving all these material in a folklore Museum.

(ii)        Prepare a correct text of these recorded and other published folk literature through research of different sources.

This project ambitiously aims at not only preserving the Gujarati folk traditions in general and Saurashtrian folk traditions in particular, but it also wants to open up new avenues by studying their counterparts in other languages.

v    The Area of Research

The research project requires extensive traveling and field-work, as it is necessary to reach out to the remotest areas and rural belts of Saurashtra & Kutch regions, in order to do documentation of all sorts of folk art-performance, including bhajans and marriage songs.

Methodology to be adopted.

Classification and documentation of the collected data.

Collected data should be classified in various categories and a detailed catalogue should be prepared with titles and subtitles.

Biographical details of the concerned artists

A list consisting of the details like the name, age, occupation, caste,

sub-caste, the type of the folk art, experience, etc. should be prepared.

Data Collection

1)  Data collection of folk art-literature through still photography, audio-visual recording and slide-photography.

2)  Live performances should also be recorded and taken into consideration.

3)  Collection of data and other details pertaining to the art through interaction with the artist/s.

Transcription & paraphrasing

1.  Transcription of the documented script

2.  Paraphrasing the transcripted script into Gujarati or other languages according to the necessity, with explanatory notes and footnotes.

Preparing a glossary and thesaurus

Analysis of the collected data

The collected data should be analysied, compared with its counterparts in other languages and its significance should be brought out in its social context.

Seminar/Conference/Workshops, publication

Workshops, seminars and conferences should be organized in order to bring together the interested artists, researchers and scholars on the same platform.

Special shows and workshops should be promoted to make the budding artists avail of the traditional art forms.
to edit and publish the collected data.
to prepare audio-visual cassettes on different folk-art-forms.

Time Limit:

Though the project, by its very nature requires elongated time period, at the initial stage, it can be limited for five years.

Appendix I Research Experience: at Post Graduate level (2 years)

(From 1976-1978)

Area of research:

Field work on ‘bhavai’, field work and research on marriage songs, folk songs, raas and raasda

Publication of the same.

  1. Research for doctoral dissertation: 3 years

(From 1979 to 1982)

Area of Research:

  • On works of Dasi Jivan a saint poet. Field work and – recording /documentation of bhajans of Dasi Jivan and his contemporaries – Compilation of data on life and works of different Saint – poets from archives in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  1. Research in a capacity of a lecturer:

(From 1983 – 1984)

(During the tenure of one year as a lecture in Nagar Panchayat Arts & Commerce College, Keshod,)

Area of Research:

  • Data Collection and publication on Folk literature, Charni literature, study of manuscripts and publication of various articles on these topics.
  1. As a Junior Research Fellow: (3 years)

(From 1985 – 1987)

  • As a junior research Fellow under Dr. Balwant Jani for UGC sponsored Career Award Programme Area of Research:

v    as a research assistant :            Worked on Gujarati Literature

v    in individual capacity :            Publication of research papers and                                                     participation and paper reading in                                                      various Seminars and Conferences

  1. Research in the capacity of a lecturer at a Post Graduate level (2 years)

(From: 1988 – 1990)

Area of Research:                               Gujarati Literature

Nature of Research:                            Participation and paper reading in                                                                  various national and state level                                                                       seminars,

v    Publication of research articles in Journals

  1. Research under the guidance of Dr. Harivallabh Bhayani, a noted scholar of Gujarati Literature:   1 year

(From 1990 – 91)

Area of Research:       Pada and Bhajan

  • Documentation compilation of Pada and Bhajan, recording of the same, publication of articles ‘Forbes Traimasik’ Journal.
  1. Research under the auspices of Gujarat Sahitya Akademi, Sanshodhan Fellowship. (A State Level Fellowship)

(From 1991-92)

Area of Research: On Bij Margi Gupt Upashana.

(Research on a mystic tradition on ‘Bijmarg’)

  1. Research undertaken with the assistance of Dr. Homi Bhabha Fellowship Council, Mumbai.

A National Level Fellowship of Rs. 6,000/- per month.

(From Oct. 1993-Sept. 1995, 2 Years)

Area of Research: The ‘Sant Sahitya’ of Saurashtra and Bhajan by women poets.

  1. Research on Sant Sahitya of Kutch – Saurashtra – Gujarat (12 Years)

Since July. 2007

Area of Research: Sant Sahitya of Kutch –Saurashtra – Gujarat.

Nature of Research: data collection, compilation and analysis of literary tradition of Sant Sahitya of particular regions.

v    Publishing articles and research papers in newspapers, magazines and journals, and through Oral discourses at various state level, national level and other seminars, conferences and public gatherings on different occasions.

Appendix II

Publications & Books published :

1.         Rang Shard ni Ratadi- published by Rangrekha Trust, Rajkot 1987.

A compilation of poems on ‘Sharad Ritu’ (The time of onset of winter). Co-edited with Dr. P. R. Taraiya.

  1. Krishna Gan- published by Vidyottejak Samaj, Rajkot 1989.

A compilation of poems on Shri Krishna and related theme: Co-edited with Shri Labhubhai Trivedi:

  1. Bhajan-Mimansa.- Published by Rannade publisher, Ahmadabad 1990.

A compilation of articles on oral tradition of ‘Sant Vani” discussing origin, form and development of tradition of ‘bhajan.’

  1. Dudhai Vadvala Dham na Daivi Santo- published by Dudhai vadvala Devsthan, 1990.

A compilation of articles on one of the most ancient clan of saints of Dudhrej-Dudhai.

  1. Santvani nu Satva and Saudarya- published by Pravin Prakashan, Rajkot 1994. Co-edited with Dr. Nathalal Gohil and Dr. Manoj Raval.

A compilation of critical articles on the form of ‘Sant Vani’. (Litterature produced by and pertaining to saints)

  1. ‘Bijmargi Gupt Pat Upasna ane Mahapanthi Santo ni Vani’- published by Gujarat Sahitya Academy 1995.

A volume on a mystic tradition of ‘Bijmarg’, containing its secret mantras, details regarding its rites and rituals, bhajans and other information of this mystic discipline.

  1. ‘Premsakhi Premanand na Shresth Kavyo’, published by Navbharat Sahitya Mandir, Ahmadabad 1995.

A compilation of poems by Premanand, a saint-poet of Swaminarayan Sect.

  1. ‘Muldasji na Kavyo’ (edited) Publishers: Navbharat Sahitya Mandir, Ahmadabad, 1996. A collection of poems by Muldasji, a saint poet of medieval period.
  2. ‘Sandhya Sumiran’, – publishers: Kabir Ashram, Jamnagar 1996.

(An edited work with explanatory notes)

10.       Anand nu Zarnu 1997.

A collection of philosophical and metaphysical articles.

  1. Shri Jamnavada Rajyaguru Audichya Brahmin Parivar no Sankshipt Pramanbhut Itihas- published in 1998.
  1. Satni Sarvani  Published by R. R. Sheth & Co., Amdavad 2000

A compilation of 108 padas on the theme of bhakti, gyan and yoga by more than 75 practicing poet-saints of oral-tradition.

  1. Saurashtra nu Sant Sahitya- published by Sat-Nirvan Foundation Ghoghavadar 2000.

A collection of articles on saints (of different Disciplines), their practices and doctrines, with introductory notes on about 356 Saint-poets.

Articles published:

Over 300 articles published in magazines, journals, newspapers like: Forbe’s Traimasik, Parab Shabdashrusti, Uddesh, Buddhi-Prakas, Akhand-Anand, Jivan Prakas, Urmi Navrachna, Martruvani, Brahmvani, Danevdarshan, Jagruti, Gujarat, ‘Loksatta-Jansatta’, Sandesh, Phulchhab, Katchh Mitra, Jayhind, etc.