Shubalananda Saraswati (Larry Kopp) has been leading kirtan and singing bhajan for the past 25 years. He is a sadhu, living on the Dakshina (contributions) of the Northeast US kirtan community. He has been a regular kirtan wallah at Kripalu Center in Lenox MA for the past 10 years and he is out six nights a week leading kirtan regularly at over 20 yoga centers across New England, such as The Arlington Center in Boston and Karuna Yoga in Northampton MA. He regularly performs with Krishna Das, Dave Stringer, Wah!, Bhagavan Das, and other national kirtan wallahs who come through New England. He has studied kirtan and Sanatana Dharma with Satya Sai Baba, Karuna Mayi, Shree Maa, Mata Amritananda Mayi, Baba Harihar Ramji and Shiva Rudra Bala Yogi. Shubal sings for all the teachers whenever he can.
His kirtan guru, Ma Chetan Jyoti, just left Her body, but during the 10 years Shubal studied with Mataji, he learned the Indian way to lead kirtan, that kirtan is a spiritual practice, not a performance, that it is better to get a day job than to charge admission for kirtan and that the goddess must always sing through us.
Shubal is a true kirtan wallah. He is an amateur, in that he does this only for love, and he has dedicated his time and the rest of his life to carrying on the tradition of Kirtan, given to him by his Guru Ma Chetan Jyoti, along with Her mala, which he wears with great humility and respect. Shubalís experience with the many gurus and teachers he has met over the years, coupled with his excellent story telling ability make for an evening of great kirtan with inspiring stories, and lots of laughs, tears, and bliss.
Shubalís kirtan must be experienced. Reinforced by his mastery of the guitar and harmonium, his power and bhava create a mood which allows all to join in the ecstasy of singing Godís names.
Bob, Shivananda, Ashley and Shubalananda at Kripalu in Lenox, MA