Saturday , September 24 2022

How Raag Megh saved Tansen’s life?

Hello friends,

As you know, Mian Tansen was a famous and very great singer in the court of the Badshah Akbar. His musical tales are very famous today also. In the last one article, I told you a story about Tansen’s childhood. I hope you have already read it. If you have not then you can read it by clicking on the link below.

The story that I am going to tell you today is a very famous story of Tansen. This is the story of Raga Deepak.

Since, Tansen became very famous, he would be invited occasionally to sing before Emperor Akbar. The Emperor was so impressed by his singing that he insisted the singer to join his court. After joining Akbar’s royal court in 1556, he became the most preferred singer of the Emperor. Akbar’s fascination for Tansen’s singing went to such an extent that at any time of the day or night, Akbar would call upon him to sing or would just walk into Tansen’s house to hear his Riyaaz. He also gave him many precious gifts.

Akbar’s fascination for Tansen’s singing became an eyesore for some of the courtiers. Out of sheer jealousy for Tansen, and with the help of a wicked man Shaukat Mian, they hatched a plot to ruin Tansen.

They had a plot to compel Tansen to sing Raga Deepak. It is believed that if a singer sings Raga Deepak accurately, it makes the surroundings so hot that the singer burns to ashes. Being extraordinarily brilliant in singing, if Tansen sings Raga Deepak, he would die.

Approaching Akbar, those jealous courtiers said, “O Emperor, if you want to test Tansen’s skill in singing, order him to sing Raga Deepak. Only the supreme singers can sing it by the book.”

With the utmost confidence in Tansen’s singing ability, Akbar ordered him to sing Raga Deepak. Though the singer was anxious, yet could not violate the king’s order. He agreed to sing the Raga. He requested Akbar some time to prepare himself for the Raga.

Concept of Raga music is the gift given to the world by Indian Classical Music. If any one wants to know about it also read below articles.

At home, while narrating his wife about the threat of singing Raga Deepak, he told that he could sing the Raga, but the resultant heat would not only set the lamps burning, it would also burn him to ashes.

However, while finding a solution over this complexity, he had an idea. If concurrently, someone sings Raga Megh properly, it will bring rain. For this he chose his daughter, Saraswati, and her friend, Rupvati, since both of them were accomplished singers.

Under the guidance of Tansen both the girls practiced day and night for two weeks to sing Raga Megh. It was the very moment that Tansen told also cautioned them that they should wait to start their singing till the lamps start burning.

On the predefined day, the entire city gathered to hear Tansen’s Raga Deepak. As soon as he began singing, steadily the air went on becoming warmer and warmer. Even the audience started bathing in perspiration. The trees leaves dried up to fell to the ground. As Tansen continued singing Raga Deepak, owing to the heat birds on the tree branches fell dead and the water kept in the sourroundings started fuming. Out of shock, people cried as they saw flames shot up out of nowhere and lighted the lamps.

Without delay, Saraswati and Rupvati began to sing Raga Megh. As the duo went on singing, the sky became overcast and the rain came down. Thus the Raga Megh saved Tansen’s life.

The legend also states that he fell very ill after the incidence, which made Akbar sorry for his insistence to hear Raga Deepak. Out of remorse, he punished Tansen’s enemies. When Tansen was out of danger, the entire city was delighted.

Tansen was Akbar’s royal court singer till 1585, when he breathed his last. Tansen was a composer of several new ragas. Tansen’s mortal remains are in Gwalior, which is a place of pilgrimage for musicians.

So friends this was a story of Raag Deepak.

Hope you like it. Don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. If you have also

If you have such stories then send us we will publish it here…

About Pratik Kashallu

Hey Cassicals , I am Pratik Kashallu and I am steady followers of Indian Classical Music…just like you. I’ve have a passion for collecting antique classical gramophone records and record players. Thousands of antique gramophone records and many record players are available in my collection. With this zeal, I am a Admin of world famous Facebook fan page "Indian Classicl Music Fan Club" which is loaded by more than 289K facebook fans and it's total weekly reach is around 2M


  1. Wow! This is a good piece of information ! 🙂 Can I get some pointers to old literature books on Hindustani Music ? I would like to read about how Tansen and other Mughal musicians handled our ragas.

  2. Hi Pratik
    Chanced upon your page through Anoushka Shankar’s post. And then read this article. Thank you. An interesting read indeed.
    Will be following your page. Best wishes!!!

  3. The story seems to be factually incorrect, considering the legend of Tana-Riri sisters of Vadnagar ( PM Narendra Modi’s home town). After singing Raag Deepak, Miya Tansen was , as expected, consumed by internal ‘fire’ which made him wander in search of someone who could sing Raag Megh/Malhar and make it rain so that the ‘fires’ wete doused. In his wanderings, he came to Vadnagar, and by chance happened to hear the two sisters Tana and Riri singing. Upon his request, they sang Rasg Megh/Malhar, and Tansen was cured of the after-effects of singing Raag Deepak. Perhaps out of gratitude, he informed the sisters that they would be summoned to perform in Akbar’s court. The sisters were of the Vadnagar Nagar (Brahmin ) community, and the elders wete in a quandary about sending them to Akbar’s court, as there was no guarantee they would not end up in the Emperor ‘s Harem as wife #801/802. If the summons was ignored, the community feared annihilation from Akbar’s soldiers. The sisters committed suicide by drowning in the Vadnagar lake, and the Vadnagar Nagars dispersed all over Saurashtra fearing the wrath of Akbar’s soldiers. The Tana-Riri music festival is held in Gujarat in recent times, to commemorate the memory of the singing sisters, who had to unfortunately take drastic steps due to the circumstances noted above.

  4. thank you for uploading this this is very good story

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