Tansen sings Deepak Raag

Tansen was a great Hindustani musician. He lived during Akbar’s time. Tansen was one of the nine jewels in Akbars court. The most special thing about Tansen was that he was a music magician. He had so much control over the Raags that he could do astonishing feats by singing them. He could make wild animals like elephant listen to him and obey him by singing certain Raags to them. Similarly, if he sang an evening Raag during daytime, the sunlight would diminish and it would look like its dusk already!!

Such a magician was in a fix once. A lot of Akbar’s courtier’s where jealous of Tansens privileges. They schemed to set him up for failure. They spread the word that Tansen could make Diya light up with his singing. Diya is an oil lamp.There was no electricity in those days. So lighting up a Diya is actually lighting a oil wick with fire. The courtiers thught that if Tansen fails in doing this, obviously his music skills are just ordinary. But if he succeeds he could die singing the Raag, because it would produce so much heat, that his body would be burnt. Akbar obviously heard about this talent and asked Tansen to perform the feat.

Now Tansen was in a fix. Sure , he could do this feat. But what would happen then? He would surely burn and things around him may burn as well. The only antidote for this was for him to sing Raag Megh Malhar immediately after he sings Raag Deepak. Raag Megh Mahar would bring pouring rain and cool him and his surroundings. But surely he would be unable to sing this after snging Raag Deepak, as he would be very weak. He could not say no to the great emperor! No one else, he thought sing Megh Malhar.

His worries were evident to his daughter( some sources Say wife instead of daughter ). She suggested that after he sang Deepak Raag, she would sing Raag Megh Malhar. Raag Deepak would light the lamps. She would sing Raag Megh Malhar which would bring rains and cool Tansen and the world around him. Tansen had taught the Raag Megh Malar to his daughter. This was Tansen’s best option. He would sing or die trying.

Day or performance arrived. The emperor’s assembly was adorned with countless Diyas, which were waiting to light up. Tansen started singing Deepak Raag. Soon the temperature of the hall started rising. People could not believe the fact that temperatures were soaring. Things started melting. And lo! Suddenly  the hall was lit with countless Diyas..!!! But Tansen was sick with fever! He ran to an open area. He was hoping that his daughter’s singing would work. Back in the village Tansen’s daughter started singing Raag Megh Malhar. Soon clouds moved in over the village. Yes, it started raining!! Tansen lived!!

Moral of the story: Raags have miraculous power in them. Share your knowledge !