It is said that Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar asked Tansen, his court singer and one of his ‘nine jewels,’ if he was the most melodious person on earth.Tansen responded that his mentor Swami Haridas was one.Akbar expressed his desire to have Swami Haridas in his court but Haridas was fond of seclusion and didn’t prefer being in royal courts.The emperor was left with no other option but to visit Haridas’ monastery himself.Akbar waited for days but Haridas wouldn’t sing. As Tansen had said, Haridas sang only when it pleased him.At last, Tansen thought of doing something about it — he started singing and deliberately hit a wrong note in between.
Haridas wouldn’t remain silent anymore. To correct Tansen, he started to sing. And everyone, including Akbar, was in an awe of his mesmerizing voice.
“Tansen! You were right, Swami Haridas is the most melodious singer in this world,” Akbar admitted.
“This is because he sings when he hearts says, not per command of emperor like myself” responded Tansen.
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