Mishra or Misra (Hindi: "मिश्र" "मिश्रा") is a Hindu Brahmin surname found mostly in the northern and central parts of India. The density of Mishra is more among Saryupareen Brahmins, Kanyakubja Brahmins, Maithil Brahmins Bhumihar_Brahmins and Utkala Brahmins . It is one of the most widespread Brahmin surnames in the fertile Gangetic plain region and in the Indian states of Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Assam, and West Bengal. It is also found in countries such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago under the anglicized version of Misir, The surname is also found in Nepal, Fiji and Mauritius, as well as in other Indian diaspora communities.
"Mishra" or Misra is also an Indian surname, normally associated with the Brahmin mostly it is similar to or Maitreya or Maitra or Maitri friend Mishra and written in devnagri script look almost identical and both have same meaning. It is one of the most widespread Brahmin surnames in the fertile gangetic plain region and in the Indian states of Panjab, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam and West Bengal. It is also found in countries such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago under the anglicized version of Misir, where many Mishras were taken to work on sugar plantations due to their agricultural prowess and skills in other fields. Stories say that even Britishers used to call Mishra my sir hence Misir and Mishra. The surname is also found in Fiji and Mauritius, as well as in other Indian diaspora communities. It is one of the most common surnames among the Brahmins in India.
It is believed that 'Misir'is the original pronunciation and 'Mishra' the anglicized version. Those who migrated away from India held to the original names more strongly as it was their identity to their roots. The above anecdote can be justified from the following - MiSir if separated reads as Mi Sir or My Sir.
"Mishra" is a surname associated with Gautam Gotra (descent from one of the three great sage Gautam) Brahmin. However it is also found in other gotras like Shandilya too."Mishra" surname is also used by descent from the great king Bhagiratha, the warrior saint Parashurama and also Vamana who covered his whole creation of universe with his bare feet in just two steps to save whole universe of lord Vishnu in form of small baby child Vamana an avatar of Vishnu, Mishras are very likeable and secular people being Hindus, they have historically been devout Hindus and staunch followers and defenders of the faith. They have historically been martial Brahmins as well, and due to there involvement in the uprising against the British in the First War of Indian Independence in 1857, when many of the ranks which followed Mangal Pandey in his rebellion were composed of Brahmins from the agricultural regions of Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Due to this they were not declared a martial race like Mohyals due to their ardent support for the Indian independence movement and rebellion against the British Raj. Historically, Mishras have always fulfilled their religious duties and had great knowledge of the Vedas and other holy texts. However presently the majority are engaged in more secular vocations.
Presently, the majority of Mishras inhabit the fertile agricultural regions of Uttar Pradesh & Bihar, where they are engaged in agriculture, a practice in which they are highly skilled. However as rural depopulation increases, many are leaving the villages and many Mishras are highy skilled professionals and are working in other vocations, both in India and across the globe.
In Hinduism, Brahmin refers to the class of educators and preachers. It is the highest class in the caste system. There are many references in the Ramayana and Mahabharata about the importance of a Brahmin. In the Vedic period, the Brahmins preferred isolation and solely dedicated their life to propagating knowledge and Dharma. However Mishras have historically been martial Brahmins and in earlier years, many were drafted into the army.
Read more about Mishra: Notable People