Geniuses Are A Rare Lot(Musical Genius)
Geniuses are a rare lot – almost like an extinct tribe. Sometimes centuries offer us but a few geniuses. They come with all their grandeur and unbelievable flashes.
Something more than human. And so spread the incredible stories and myths about them. Decades and centuries pass into oblivion but the myths and stories become more enriched, more shining, and fresher. No doubt, Tansen was such a music prodigy. And so interesting and controversial are the stories woven around him.
It is superfluous to introduce Tansen, one of the nine jewels (Nanratna) of the court of Akbar the Great to the readers. But we can have a dekko at the interesting myth connected with his life:-
THE MIRACULOUS PERFORMANCES OF TANSEN. It is said Tansen was a master of Deepak rag, a very dangerous rag. That could make the atmosphere so hot that the singer himself could turn to ashes. Under a court conspiracy, he had to prove his mastery over it before the court of Akbar. But he was a master of Megh Malhar rag also, which could bring rain.
Trained His Daughter(Musical Genius)
So Tansen for a fortnight trained his daughter Saraswati and her friend Rupwati. Both are unexceptional singers in the Megh Malhar Rag. The time of the test came before the king, the court, and the subjects. Tansen sang Deepak rag, the extinguished lamps lit. The atmosphere turned hellish hot but Saraswati and Rupwati are now experts in Megh Malhar. Rag started singing and the outpour and the prestige and life of Tansen both were saved.
Another story goes that he could produce any sound, once two hermits were going through field, they were astonished to hear the roar of a lion, but later came to know this was young Tansen sitting on the branches of a tree. It is said that he had the ability to listen to the animals and be closer to them. The story of a wild elephant is also in the chain of myths. Tansen sang before the wild animal and sanity prevailed he and the king could even ride the once wild and uncontrollable elephant.
Controversies About His Music Masters(Musical Genius)
Again a controversy takes place about his master in music- this was famous poet-musician Swami Haridas or the Sufi saint Muhammad Ghaus. References favor a long connection with the former as is shown in the trends of his music and ragas yet the Sufi influence and his ties with the Sufi saint cannot be denied. Then Tansen’s tomb is besides that of the Sufi saint Muhammad Ghaus.
And to conclude- a few more surprises. It is said, that he was born deaf and dumb. He was taken to the Sufi saint Muhammad Ghaus, who with his spiritual powers blew air into the ears and mouth of child Tansen, then called Tanna and the miracle occurred- he could hear and speak.
Two versions are of his last rites also. One, his funeral was performed according to the Islamic customs, and the other that Hindu customs were observed in his last rites.
Here, the last interesting fact or tradition about his family is that he was the husband of two wives and one of them was Mehrunnisa, Emperor Akbar’s daughter. Some of the names of his children reflect Ganga-Jamuni culture– Tanras Khan, Bilaas Khan, Hamirsen, Suratsen, and Saraswati Devi. And these five were accomplished musicians.
The geniuses and their saga have so many surprises that they cross the realm of belief and such interesting are the details and reflections of their life that we are bound to believe the unbelievable. (written by Sanjay Kumar Kundan)