In this live performance, Ranjit and Unmesh Swanson sing two songs in traditional Indian Baoul style. They performed the songs for Sri Chinmoy and his disciples 26 October, 2005  in  Queens, New York. At the end of the last song, Sri Chinmoy can be heard appreciating the performance.

The first song, “O Kanaiya”, is a song to Lord Krishna, written by Sri Chinmoy.

The second song was one of Sri Ramakrishna’s favourite bhajans. Before the song begins, Ranjit tells a short story behind this particular song. I paraphrase it here:

In 1885, when Sri Ramakrishna was no longer able to live at Dakshineswar he was staying at a disciples house in Shakurpur. And at that time he was being visited by several pundits, including Bijoy Goswami – an imposing man; he was stout man with extremely long hair, which reached down to the floor when he stood up.

At this time, Sri Ramakrishna’s disciples had come to realise that he (Ramakrishna) was not going to get better – his cancer was terminal, and they were kind of glum. Dr Shakar had come to see Sri Ramakrishna and he saw that everyone was kind of down, And he asked Sri Ramakrishna whether there was going to be any songs. And Sri Ramakrishna asked Naren (later Swami Vivekananda) to sing. And when Vivekananda got to the chorus, Bijoy Goswami jumped up and danced around the room, and no sooner did he do that, but Ramakrishna  did the same – he got up from his sickbed and began dancing and singing, and so did everyone else – chanting the chorus of this song. It became a mad house. And of this song, Ramakrishna said that ‘it describes my philosophy perfectly.’

Comment on album

This is a wonderful recording. Ranjit and Unmesh offer us a beautiful glimpse into the devotion and God intoxicated life of Sri Ramakrishna. Thanks for sharing this.

Ranjit and Unmesh both have a great love for India and have been there a few times. They have been disciples of Sri Chinmoy since the early 1930s.

– Kamalakanta Nieves


  • Artists: Ranjit and Unmesh Swanson
  • Release year: 2005
  • Related tags: Ranjit & Unmesh
  • Acknowledgements: Sri Chinmoy, Ranjit and Unmesh Swanson
  • Publisher: Sri Chinmoy Centre
  • Tracks uploaded and notes: – Kamalakanta Nieves and Tejvan Pettinger
  • Duration: 9.41
  • Format: Advanced Audio Coding