Tansen, Great Indian Musician:
Tansen is one of the most outstanding Musicians in the world. He was born in 1506 and died in 1589. and he worked in the court of Great Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was considered one of the Navaratnas in the Akbar court.
Tansen Early Days:
He was born in a Hindu family. He was named Ramtanu; all were called Tannu or Mukul. Since childhood, he has had a tremendous talent for singing traditional songs composed with ragas. Tansen became the disciple of Swami Haridas, a legendary composer from Vrindavan, a part of the Gwalior court of Raja Mansingh Tomar. He had very talent in Dhrupad’s style of singing. The profound teachings of Swami Haridas made him compose the lyrics in local languages. While he was preparing to be a good singer, his father passed away, and he felt gloomy about his future. He left every procession in despair due to his father’s death.
Later he was inspired by the preachings of Muhammad Ghous, his spiritual leader. He guided Tansen to remove the despair and negative attitude and made him the real purpose of life. Muhammad Ghous inspired Tansen, and he realised the meaning of his life as a musician. He also married Husseini, who blessed him with five children. His five children also learned excellent Ragas and settled as famous composers in later years.
A carrier as Musician:
After the training in composing ragas from Swami Haridas, he took the blessings from him and joined the court of Raja Ram Baghela, a great patron of the arts. The Musician remained on the court from 1555 to 1562. His reputation spread to the Mughal emperor also. The great Mughal emperor Akbar heard the greatness of Tansen and invited him to his court as a musician to appease his courtiers by singing the ragas. There was another story also the cause of his advent to the Mughal court: once Akbar’s daughter listened to the songs of the Musician and was impressed with the talent of Tansen. She said to his father Akbar the greatness of Tansen as a musician and asked Akbar to invite him to stay in the Mughal court. As she wished, Akbar invited Tansen to his court and presented him with one lakh gold coins on his first performance.
People believe that Tansen could create miracles with his songs. It is said that he could generate rain by singing the monsoon rag Megh Malher. He could make fire by singing Rag Dipak. Earlier, he followed the Bhakti tradition, making lyrics and sand praising God. Later he followed the Sufi tradition. His notable works are Miya ka Bhairav, Darbari Kanada, Miyan Ki Malhar, Miya ki Todi, Ragheswari, Darbari Todi and much more. The famous Dhrupad singing style of credit goes to Tansen and his Guru Swami Haridas. Still, Tansen influenced the young talented singers to create new ragas.
The great Musician died in 1589, and his burial body rests in the mausoleum complex of his Sufi guru Shaikh Muhammad Ghaus in Gwalior.