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Akbar and Birbal – The Divine Music

When the king wants to hear divine music from a guru and he refuses, what happens? Does Birbal find a solution?

Once upon a time in the Mughal empire, the great king Akbar was sitting with Birbal and Tansen in the gardens of his royal palace. As Tansen sang, the king enjoyed his music very much and praised him. He went on to say that no other person could match the singing talent of Tansen. Birbal flatly refused him saying that there is another person who sings better than Tansen and it was none other than Haridas, who was Tansen’s guru.

Akbar was intrigued by this and now he was keen to hear the singing of Haridas. He told Birbal to summon Haridas in order to sing for him, but then Tansen said that Haridas would not come and sing for anyone, whoever the person was. So AKbar said that they shall go the next day to his hermitage with the army in order to hear his singing. Birbal once again interrupted the king and said that it would not be appropriate if the entire army was taken along to the Haridas’s hermitage. The king agreed and it was finally decided that only the 3 of them would be going to visit him.

The next morning, the 3 of them set out to visit the hermitage of Haridas. After some time, they reached the hermitage and went inside to speak to him. Birbal went to Haridas and asked him to sing for the king. But Haridas refused saying that he can sing only when he gets an inner desire to sing, else he cannot sing. Haridas even told the king not to take any offence as this was how he was able to sing. The king was extremely disappointed to hear this and he exited the hermitage. 

Tansen urged Birbal to come up with a solution. Birbal then thought and came up with an idea. He told Tansen to sing wrongly in front of his guru, so that he would be forced to correct him. And for that Haridas will have no other choice but to sing. Tansen went to Haridas and sang with mistakes as directed by Birbal. As predicted, Haridas started to sing. The king and Birbal who were waiting outside heard the song and enjoyed it to their heart’s content. Akbar was finally happy to hear the divine voice of Haridas.

When he asked Birbal as to how the voice of Haridas could be superior to Tansen, Birbal said that Tansen sings for humans, but Haridas sings for the gods and so his voice was divine.

Moral – Sometimes, one must think out of the box in order to obtain a certain result.

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