During 1950-60, a great Hindustani classical singer dominated the performing platform of music with his simple and yet effective vocalism, sweet and yet bold Taan patterns, complicated and yet impressive Bandishes which almost mesmerized the entire audience in the whole of India. He was none other than Guni Gandharva Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale, a saint philosopher vocalist of the Gusaien Gharana.
Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale was born on 15 th January 1915 at Dhrangadhra (Gujrat). His father Pandit Baldev Prasad was court musician in the courts of Maharaj of Indore and Jaipur. He was initiated in to the realms of traditional classical music by his father. Subsequently, Pandit Lakshman Prasad had his advanced rigorous formal training under the tutelage of Goswami Guttu- Gopal of (Kunwar Shyam) Gusaien Gharana. Panditji himself was a gifted child artist at that time that was very much in demand during the music programs. By about 1950, Pandit Lakshman Prasad emerged as a unique combination of rare musical repertoire, literary genius and spiritual veracity.
He came to Bombay during his early 1950 in search og greener pasture. During one of his early performances itself, he established himself as one of the great artistes of Hindustani Classical Singing by his unassuming approach to life, music and divinity. Music lovers who attended his programs at C J Hall during fifties may very well recollect the impact of his singing, not only on the audience, but also on the organizers and fellow artistes.
Pandit Lakshman Prasad settled in Bombay since 1951 established himself as a true guru, imparting the divine knowledge of music to a number of disciples, big and small, rich and poor. His two illustrious sons Pandit Govind Prasad Jaipurwale (vocalist, died 1988) and Pandit Girdhar Prasad Jaipurwale renowned percussionist and himself a composer of music, were trained by him in the art of music. His grandson Pandit Bhavdeep is a full-fledged singer and composer.
It may not beout of place here to say that the 3 stalwarts of 1950-60 were Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Amir Khan and Pandit Lakshman Parasad Jaipurwale. A point of intrest here is that Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan had a sweet and soft voice in contrast to his physically big personality. Ustad Amir Khan had a majestic personality and deep & powerful voice. Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale was slim and had a penetrating and resilient voice. All 3 were considered to be the great pillars of Hindustani Classical edifice.
It was in 1956 that Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale was invited to sing during the Har- Vallabh Music Conference in Jalandhar. It was late night when he got his chance to sing. Panditji sat on the platform and tuned his Tanpura. He had chosen Raag Jog-Bahar. Singing leisurely, he began to expound beautifully every note of the raga, one by one in a melodious and pleasing manner. It is well known that the audience at Jalandhar is a well knowledgeable one in Classical Music. All who were present there were enthralled by Panditji’s performance. The voice’s sweetness and grace was unique. The entire audience was spellbound. The authorities then conferred him with the title ”Guni Gandharva” in appreciation and recognition of his divine way of presentation of classical heavenly music with devout honesty and sincereity.
Ever since this incidence, Guni Gandharva Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale was a regular performer in almost all big music conferences in India including Sawai Gandharva of Pune. During each of his performances, the effect of his music was invitingly sweet. The melody of his voice, the rhythmic variation of his presentation, the devotional touch of the lyrics and the novel and simple way of singing were the factors of his popularity. There was economy in his Dexter but there was also sweetness and novelty.
Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale lived a simple life. True his Gharana, which is considered to be one of saints who have renounced all material comforts, he never bothered about his standard of living. He was content with the minimum requirements and was very generous as a musician. With his saintly approach to life, it may appear that he wasn’t really suited to live during those days, when people were very much materialistic and commercial. Panditji used to say that music is the only link with the Almighty. There is a curtain hiding His vision from us. This curtain is nothing but our ego, pride, jealousy, greed and ignorance. Music, which is divine, will help us to remove this curtain and enjoy fruits of life.
Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale passed away on 16 th December 1977. His music remains in this world, though he is not physically present. It lives in the minds of those who have heard him. Often his recorded music is broadcast from All India Radio.
A book titled “Sangeet Gyan Prakash” containing his rare compositions is published by his illustrious Pandit Girdhar Parasad Jaipurwale. This book contains 125 Bandishes of Late Pandit Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwale which are arranged in a manner which can be used by any music student who wishes to master vocal music or who wishes to prepare for an examination in music. Panditji was famous for his simple but effective Bandishes, which bring out the full contents of the raga and the meaning lyrics. The book is the joint effort of the editors Pt. Girdhar Prasad Jaipurwale (Son), Pandit Murli Manohar Shukla “Manhar” and Dr. A. V. Shenoy (Senior Disciples)