Pursue you hobby Part II


Let me tell you a story of Akbar and Tansen to substantiate this further. Tansen was a music maestro and one of the nine jewels in Akbar’s court. Once Akbar expressed the desire to meet Tansen’s Guru - Swami Haridas - and hear him sing. Swami Haridas led a life of a recluse, living by himself, meditating and doing Sangeet Sadhana all the time. When Akbar reached Swami Haridas’s abode, bearing various gifts, Swami Haridas was engrossed in a penance and he did not even acknowledge Akbar’s presence or the gifts. Days passed while Akbar continued to stay in the vicinity of Haridas’s dwelling, with the only desire of hearing him sing. But the Guru just sat in his penance engrossed in his own world, being one with the God.

Finally, Akbar decided to go back to his palace. On the last day of his stay, Haridas, out of the blue, began to sing. Akbar was mesmerized by the melody. Even after returning to the palace, he could not get the melody out of his mind and wondered why Tansen’s music did not have the same effect.

To this, Tansen had a very profound and thought-provoking reply. He explained that he himself worked and sang for Akbar and the court, while his Guru sang for his own pleasure. Tansen’s renditions were often influenced by the wishes of Akbar himself or general mood of the court. At times, Tansen had to perform even if he did not feel like it, because he was asked to. It was an obligation. Swami Haridas was not bound by anything. He sang to be one with God, sang what he felt like singing, when he felt like singing. This answer gives us some food for thought. Let us try to chew and digest it.

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