On World Music Day, here is an anecdote on how music was used to plot against famous singer Tansen and how he used music to save himself
Bengaluru: June 21 is not just World Yoga Day. Incidentally, it also happens to be World Music Day.
It would certainly be no exaggeration when we say that Music is a unifying factor across religions, castes, creeds and sects and it has the power to influence and inspire you in myriad ways.
While inspiration is fine, music was also once allegedly used to get a famous singer killed.
We all have heard of the famous singer Tansen, who worked in Akbar’s court. So impressed was Akbar with Tansen that he himself offered an invitation to him to join his court. When an invitation is offered by none other than a king, who would not accept it? Well, Tansen was no exception.
Well, as Tansen sang, Akbar showered him with several gifts. It is said that others in the court began feeling jealous of Tansen and somehow wanted to get him killed.
So, with this as an ulterior motive, they devised a ploy to kill him with the thing he loved the most. They prodded Akbar to make Tansen sing in raag (or tune) Deepak. It is said if this raag is sung meticulously, the atmosphere gets heated up, and eventually kills the singer. It is precisely this characteristic that his friends wanted to use against him.
But Tansen wasn’t just a virtuoso in music, but shrewd and street-smart as well.
To neutralise the effects of raag Deepak, he taught his daughter a counter raag or tune called Megh, which has this alleged characteristic of causing rains. After the daughter became adept in this raag, Tansen approached Akbar and said he was ready for a performance.
At the allotted time, Tansen began to sing in the raag. But much before this, he had instructed his daughter to sing raag Megh at that part of the time when the air became warm.
As instructed, the daughter waited for the air to become warm, leading to unease. And when that happened, the singing of raag Megh caused rains, thereby cooling down the atmosphere and reinstating equilibrium, and Tansen himself. This is a legend.
It is said that Akbar came to know of this subterfuge of killing Tansen and punished his enemies later and begged forgiveness from Tansen himself.
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Last Updated Jun 21, 2019, 6:28 PM IST