Darshans Tansen remembered — 19 November 2017

Osho gives sannyas to Prem Gathen and explains that his name means a beautiful love story. He then tells him about Tansen, an extraordinary musician in King Akbar’s court.

Shakespeare says, ‘Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ And that is the life of the millions, of almost ninety-nine point nine per cent of people. It is really ridiculous that people should live such a futile life, such a tale told by an idiot.

People can live joyously. Their life can have significance, meaning, tremendous meaning, great joy, great splendour. Their life can be a song, a beautiful story – not told by an idiot but by a Buddha. But some basic change, some radical change is needed.

People are living through the head, and the head is an idiot because it is a mechanism. People should live through the heart because it is only the heart that feels. The head does not feel. It is really thick, it has no feeling, no emotion, no sensitivity. People should live through the heart – and that is the meaning of your name.

Osho darshan

Live through love, live as love and your life will have a beauty, a blessing, a fragrance surrounding it. Drop logic and revive your love. Die to logic and be born as love. Of course to be in love in this insane world will make you look as if you are mad, because the people you are surrounded with all live in a very calculated way; to them you will look mad.

But those who understand – and of course there are very few people in the world who understand – for them you will be a sane person, because for them the whole humanity is insane.

And the criterion is: if your life is miserable, then it is insane. If your life is a rejoicing, then it is sane, than it is wholesome, then it is healthy. Then you have found something in which you can rejoice.

There is a beautiful story in the life of one of the great kings of India. His name was Akbar – a great Moghul emperor – and he had collected in his court all kinds of geniuses – the greatest painters, poets, sculptors, musicians, scholars. He had the topmost musician of the country, Tansen, in his court. Tansen is the most important name in Indian music, in the whole history of India – and India has a glorious history of music.

Tansen was just a magician as far as music is concerned. One day Akbar asked him, ‘Last night when you departed you played so beautifully on your veena and your song was so haunting that I could not sleep; the song continued, the music continued. You left but it was such a haunting experience. Then suddenly a thought came to me that if Tansen is so beautiful, what about his master? He must have learned from somewhere. Music is also learned in India through masters because it is one of the meditative sciences. What about his master if his disciple is so great?

And he told Tansen, ‘I could not imagine that something could be greater than your music or somebody could be greater than you are. Is your master alive? If he is alive then invite him to the court.’

Tansen said, ‘He is alive but he won’t come. You will have to go to him. He is a beggar and he does not care for anything. Even if somehow I persuade him to come he never sings. If somebody asks he never plays on his instruments, he plays only when he feels to. So if you really want to listen you will have to follow according to his ways. And he is an eccentric man; one never knows when he will play. But I will enquire and I will make arrangements.’

And after two days he informed the king, ‘He is just close by in Agra where the Taj Mahal is, just by the side of the river; he lives in a hut. And I have come to know that almost every morning, early, at three o’clock in the morning, he plays – all alone. Nobody hears it – only the river and the trees. So if you really want to listen we will have to go and hide behind his hut and listen.’

Akbar was so enchanted that he said, ‘Okay, I will come.’ They went. It was a cold winter night and Akbar was shivering and like a thief he was hiding behind the hut. The master started playing at three o’clock. Akbar could not believe it, it was so unearthly. Many times he thought he was dreaming; and tears started flowing from his eyes and Tansen was watching what was happening. Akbar did not utter a single word, he was in such awe.

When they were returning he remained silent; the impact of the music was such. When he was entering his palace he said only one thing to Tansen, ‘It is unbelievable. If you had told me I would not have believed it. I thought that there was nobody who can surpass you, but now, what I have heard and seen is so superb that I don’t think you could ever reach that point.’

The name of the master was Haridas. Akbar said, ‘Haridas is simply not of this world, but what is the secret? Why there is such a gap between you and your master?’

Tansen said, ‘There is no secret about it, it is an open secret: I sing to get something – money, power, prestige. He sings not to get anything, he sings because he has already got something; he has got his inner silence. Those songs, that music, is born out of an inner experience. It is a by-product, it is a consequence, it is something that has happened within him and is flowing outside in the form of music. As far as I am concerned I am a technician; I know how to play but nothing has happened within me. I am singing to get something, he sings because he has already got something.’

My sannyasins have to live in a totally different way to the way ordinary humanity is living. They have to live love – that is the inner kingdom, the inner richness. Then your whole life will be full of songs, music, poetry, joy, dance.

The world will call you mad, but who cares about the world? You will know that if this is madness then madness is far better than the so-called sanity.

Osho, I Am Not As Thunk As You Drink I Am, Ch 1 (unpublished)

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