My Guru

Acharya Bimalendu Mukherjee is an outstanding Classical musician, whose contribution to music both as a performer in his time and as a Guru has been acclaimed by all. He is the "Acharya" - the enlightened teacher - the path-giver to many an accredited musician as well as to the aspirant.

Pt. Bimalendu Mukherjee Pt. Bimalendu Mukherjee

Acharya Bimalendu Mukherjee was born in an art-loving Bengali family at Chinsurah West Bengal, on 2nd January 1925. His grandfather and father were both civil surgeons in Bengal Medical Service. He did his schooling from Mrityunjay school, Mymensingh (now in Bangladesh) and later graduated fromPresidency College, Calcutta, with a degree in Geology in 1946, and thereafter acquired a Masters Degree, obtaining a first class, in Geology in 1948, from Calcutta University. Bimalendu joined the "Geological Survey of India" as a Geologist in 1949 and then worked in the "Indian Bureau of Mines" in 1951. He was entrusted with the responsibility of managing the mineral resources of the Bhilai Steel Plant, as soon as it was established in 1955. He looked after all aspects of exploration, development and exploitation. Since then Bhilai has become his permanent home. He took voluntary retirement in 1983 as General Manager (Mines) and Additional Director CRMM SAIL, when the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh selected him as the Vice-Chancellor of Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh, and Madhya Pradesh. He completed his first term as Vice Chancellor in 1985. He was given the same responsibility in 1988 and he put in his best efforts for the institution.

Bimalendu Mukherjee is primarily a Sitarist, though he is proficient in almost all traditional Indian instruments like RudraVeena, Saraswati Veena, Surbahar, Sursingar, Mandrabahar, Dilruba, Esraj, Tar Shehnai, Sarod and Pakhavaj. He is equally adept in vocal music.

His contributions to the family of stringed musical instruments are the unique "Aditya Veena" - named after his son Budhaditya - and the "Bijoy Veena" - named after his grandson Bijoyaditya. He has also revived the 'Ektantri' single-stringed Veena - an instrument referred to by Sharangdev - and the Sur Kanan. Besides, he has experimented, modified and improved the structure and tonal quality of many stringed instruments like the Sitar , Sarod, Surbahar, Rudraveena, Esraj, Guitar, Dilruba and the Veena.

Bimalendo Mukherjee has been constantly experimenting with the Western and Eastern philosophy of medical treatment. He has created Raga Anandamayee in That Kafi. His son has recorded the Raga in a novel way on the Sitar . This recording, released with the title "Anandamayee" (full of bliss and happiness), has been successfully experimented on patients of hypertension.

Acharya Bimalendo introduced the people of Bhilai to fine arts like music, dance and painting. He introduced to the people of Bhilai many fine artists of India and their works. He won acclaim for his stage performances and radio broadcasts between 1940 - 1960. After the sixties, he was busy with his administrative responsibilities, assignments and obligations, which allowed him little time for stage performances. When he joined the Khairagarh University as a Vice Chancellor, forty organizations united to felicitate him for his long years of service to the Bhilai community.

He has also written treatises and commentaries on musical subjects. His article published by "All India Kashiraj Trust's Dhrupada Varshiki' issue (Dhrupada Annual) on the importance of intricate technical aspects of stringed instruments cb8 is most enlightening.

Bimalendo Mukherjee was sent to U.S.S.R. in 1962 for learning about the Russian Mineral Exploration system and during his stay at Moscow he was introduced to European art and music at the Chekhovsky Conservatoire. During his tenure as Vice Chancellor, he visited many countries in the East and West to assimilate and understand their musical heritage, their music-education system and approach to the performing art.

He represented India in the Bi-annual International Conference, being invited by the President of the International Society of Music Education, Eugene, and U.S.A. In 1984 the King of Thailand invited him to the 7th conference of International University President forum, which is held every three years. He gained a first hand knowledge of the educational systems of many internationally reputed universities and he incorporated many scientific, technical and communicational aspects of education in the University under his charge.

Bimalendo Mukherjee has been a training student since the 1960's and his home in Bhilai has become a famous seat of learning. He attracts students from India and abroad, who flock to him, for guidance. Even today the Acharya is enlightening, guiding, training and inspiring music loving individuals and students by his wisdom, knowledge and profound grasp of traditional Indian Classical Music. Among his outstanding pupils are his son, Budhaditya Mukherjee and his grandson Bijoyaditya.

Among his foreign students are Brigette Menon and Alain Pentoloimonov of France, who have been accorded the coveted music Lauriet from Yehudi Menuhin Academy. Mrs. Anisha Sakhini of Italy has written a book in Italian named, "It Sitar e-la-blusica Indiana" on Sitar , under the able guidance and inspiration of the Acharya. Fusion Music, composed by his French disciple Brigette Menon has opened up interesting horizons in Jazz Music. He also has the unique distinction of having groomed eight students who have stood first in All India Radio music competitions.

Acharya Bimalendu Mukherjee has single-handedly made Bhilai a place where music is taught freely to those who knock at his door as and when they please. The Acharya is a member of various organizations such as The International Society of Music Education, AL-MAESTRO and Hindustani Classical Music. He was formerly Additional Director, CRMM SAIL; General Manager M and Q, Bhilai Steel Plant; Vice Chancellor, Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh (M.P.) (1983-85 and 1988- 91). He also figures in Five Hundred Leaders Of Influence 1997 American Biographical Institute (U.S.A.); Reference Asia 5; Biography International 1991; Learned Asia 1; India Who's Who 1993-94; International Who's Who of Intellectuals 1997 and International Biographical Center Cambridge (U.K.)