Monday, February 6, 2017


The bulk of Tansen's biography as found in the Akbar court historian accounts and gharana literature consists of inconsistent and miraculous legends. Among the legends about Tansen are stories of his bringing down the rains with Raga Megh Malhar and lighting lamps by performing raga Deepak. Raga Megh Malhar is still in the mainstream repertoire, but raga Deepak is no longer known; three different variants exist in the BilawalPoorvi and Khamaj thaats. It is not clear which, if any, corresponds to the Deepak of Tansen's time. Other legends tell of his ability to bring wild animals to listen with attention (or to talk their language). Once, a wild white elephant was captured, but it was fierce and could not be tamed. Finally, Tansen sang to the elephant who calmed down and the emperor was able to ride him.