Pathbreaking Bhajan Singer & Musician

"All spirituality is about relieving suffering" ~Buddha

I have had the unique privilege of being the first choice for singing at prayer meetings for the more discerning families in Mumbai and beyond. My inimitable blend of bhajans and electric guitar have comforted innumerable people during their periods of grief and personal loss.

Sunday Midday

In 2018, mid-day spoke with Krishna Marathe, a Mumbai-based musician who is known to perform at funeral prayer meetings. Since the last time we spoke with her, she has played for some of the most prestigious families, including at the prayer meets for businessmen Rahul Bajaj and Cyrus Mistry recently. Marathe got interested in spiritual music in 2003, and sings chants like “Govinda Hare” and “Gopal Hare” on guitar, in her soothing style. “Usually, prayer meetings are very emotional and make people cry. I don’t agree with that line of singing as people are already grieving and they need to be soothed at that time,” says the 42-year-old. She adds, “That is why my endeavour is to make it as meditative as possible so the people who listen, end up staying till the end.” Besides playing at funerals, Marathe also performs at weddings, corporate events and other private events.

September 2022

Marathe has played at many funeral prayer meets of various influential business and Bollywood families. Their only brief to her is that they want something peaceful and meditative. "I focus on meditative musical mantras, many of them original compositions. I play music that will calm the crowd, not instigate them to cry," says the 38-year-old. She also says she has been getting job after job for years just because of word-of-mouth. "It's too sensitive an issue for me to market myself."

Aside from the fact that Marathe instils a rock element into the religious chants, what could be seen as interesting here is that she is an atheist herself. "My only focus is on the delivery, and only allegiance is to the music. I have realised this about our spiritual music — it's so big in nature, that it can accommodate all kinds of tweaks. That means that if I add the electric guitar to it, it doesn't change its integrity in any way."

September 2018
'Music at a funeral should calm, not aim at inciting tears'

Extremely capable live performer

Krishna is not just a guitarist; when clients hire her, they get the whole package of technique, tradition and style