Musical stalwart Indrakanti Venkata Lakshmana Sastry passed away during the early hours of Wednesday at his residence in Visakhapatnam. He was 93 years old. Several members of the music industry, along with his numerous students, mourned the loss of IVL Sastry and paid tributes to the departed soul.
IVL Sastry stood tall in the world of Carnatic classical music. Though mild spoken, he was the firebrand personality who had single-handedly taken the Visakhapatnam culture of classical music forward, initiating thousands of people in the line of music. After an education up to 10th Standard, he took up a job in the railways but continued to take classes whenever he could. He soon founded the ‘Sangeetha Kalasamithi’ in 1974, as a musical organization that contributed to classical music. He had set up the Sangeeta Janakulam in 1979 which is renowned for teaching music and its appreciation to people for free.
A revered guru for many, IVL Sastry was the president of Samskara Bharati, an expert committee member at the Department of Culture of the Union Ministry of HRD. He had also served as secretary of the Tyagaraja Aradhana Trust, cultural advisor to central schools in Vizag, and the examiner for MA Music of Telugu University. But more than all these, and more importantly, he was a promoter for learning.
More than being a culture, music was perhaps the way of life for IVL Sastry. From 4 am to 6 am the expert musician practised music every day. After regular prayers, he used to take classes for students from 10 am to 12 am. The man also believed that music is a form of art with scientific principles underlying it. “When mantras are recited with particular intonations, they help in generating vibrations that bring us peace, calm, and enhance concentration. True, in times such as hours, it is the power of music that can generate vibrations to reduce negativity, release stress, and restore peace,” Sastry garu had said in one of our cherished interactions with him.