Sangeetendu Acharya Lalmani Misra

By Vidushi Dr. Premlata Sharma




In the various ancient musical treatises, essential qualities of ideal teacher have been discussed. In the thirty-third chapter of his Natyashastra, Acharya Bharat Muni has described these essential traits thus:

1 – Gyan (Knowledge): Implying understanding of classics
2 – Vigyan (Science): Implying excellence in practice.
3 – Karan (Execution): Implying adept use of throat and hands –  the medium of vocal and instrumental music.
4 – Vachan (Speech): Implying such concentration that concepts do not deteriorate during discourse.
5 – Prayog-Siddhi (Application): Implying ability to comprehend popular taste, inclination and skill of different nations and apply suitably.
6 – Shishya-Nishpadan (Directing Pupils): Implying insight into pupil’s persona and teaching him in accordance with his nature and intellect.

Acharya Lalmani  Misra was well-endowed with all qualities described above. Ancient and the modern were well-balanced in his personality. From the later part of eighteenth century Indian music also faced change responding to cultural, social, political upheavals. Dominance of family seeped into ancient Gurukul tradition and number of meritorious students had to spend a large part of their lives in service of the teacher. Knowledge-concealment became a tendency and it was difficult to learn music for an average person. To free music from this bondage and bring it into mainstream, Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande made first efforts, next came Ustad Alauddin Khan. In the same chain, the name of Sangeetendu Dr. Lalmani Miasra is counted at top in the next generation. A multi-dimensional person, Misra ji was a competent music teacher, author, scholar, performer, researcher, thinker, innovator-inventor and visionary. Several of his disciples are renowned as adept performer of Indian instruments and skilled teachers. Some of the leading names are Dr. K. C. Gangrade, Omprakash Chaurasiya, LaxmiGanesh Tewari, Dr. Pushpa Basu, Dr. Gopal Shankar Misra, Anand Shankar, Siyabihari Sharan , Gopikrishna Tiwari, Dr. Indrani Chakravarty, Ms. Nancy (Nalbandian), Dr. Prahlad Nath, Dr. R.P.Shastri, Late Shri C.L. Shrivastava.

Misra ji played several instruments with aplomb but found immersion in Vichitra Veena. Knowledgeable in theory and practice he instructed students to strengthen their native abilities. He was adept in searching out potential talent in each individual and burgeon it. He believed that instead of burdening the students, their interest should be developed. Explore before holding faith. He would discuss all aspects of a Raga when teaching so that students were not limited to mere technicalities of Aroh and Avroh etc. but understood its nature and form.

From early childhood, Misra ji had to struggle. Rather than enjoy the privilege and prestige of a niche Gharana artiste, he always aimed to make music a socially acceptable academic discipline; therefore, he worked to bolster institutional music. His main centres of work were Akhil bharatiya Gandharva Mandal, Gandhi Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Kanpur and Faculty of Music, B.H.U., Varanasi. He worked toward expansion of Faculty of Music and Performing Arts. He had brilliant plans for this Faculty. He wanted to turn it into a centre where teaching and research of Vocal, Instrumental, Dance, Drama etc. would be done at a level that it leads the country; however before his dreams were realized he had to depart at an early age.

Blessed with great intellectual acumen, Misra ji was rich in sympathy, generosity and emotionality. Often it seemed as he discussed deeper aspects of theory or praxis, his inner sight was focused on appreciation. He was an ardent promoter of Sangeet Ratnakar’s theory that only that which appeals is Raga -- रंजकौ जन चित्तानाम, स राग: कथितौ बुधै.  He had deep love for all his disciples. He never spared any effort in turning his students into competent, well-adjusted and well-known persons.  It is a result of his concern and love that within and outside the country his students and their students are well-known in the field of music.


Other Articles :

Nestling Among Honey-buds : A short note on Dr. Lalmani Misra

Dr. Misra and I -- Nancy Nalbandian

Time Theory of Raga-s

Points to Ponder: Some Do's for Musicians

Contemporary Problems for Indian Music

Excerpts from Bharatiya Sangeet Vadya - Sitar

Dr. Lalmani Misra on Wikipedia

डॉ लालमणि मिश्र विकीपीडिया पर

Sitar Compositions in Ome Swarlipi

Bhāratīya Shāstrīya Sangīt: Shāstra, Shikshan Va Prayōg

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