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Have you ever thought about why you do the things you do?

Well, we’re always doing something…. but WHY are we doing it!?

Do we do things because someone else wants us to do it, or do we do it because it makes us feel full of joy…?

Once, a long time ago, Akhbar was the emperor of India.

“Painting, sculpture and poetry... I love them all... but I especially LOVE SINGING!”

Taan Sain (Tansen) was the Emperor’s best musician.

“Great Taan Sain, please honor us with your voice...”

Taan sain sang: “pa ma gaaaa ma ga re sa....”

Every evening Taan Sain would sing for the royal court.

“Bijuri jhamke barse mehaa....”

He was a great man and a master musician. Everyone loved to listen and hear him sing.

The Emperor really loved Taan Sain. He gave him lots of gifts and and always told him how much he loved to listen to his voice.

Emporer Akhbar pronounced: "What sweet sounds, what beauty! If sound had a smell, your songs would smell like flowers! Taan Sain, you must be the worlds best singer!! When you sing about rain, it starts to rain. Vaaaa!!!!” “When you sing, even the heavens listen!!”

One evening, after a beautiful performance by Taan Sain, The Emperor called Taan Sain to his palace and he said: "Oh Taan Sain! I enjoy your music so very much. When I listen to you, I think that you are the best musician on Earth. But I realized something today. That you must have a teacher. You are so great, so whoever taught you must be even greater!”

Taan Sain smiled and said “Yes your majesty, my teacher is totally unique, his skill is unmatched.”

Akhbar replied “And that is why I called you. Taan Sain, Please arrange for your teacher to come and sing for this court?"

Taan Sain smiled and said, "Sire, my teacher is full of wonders. But I know him enough to tell you that he will not come to this court."

This surprised the emperor "He will not come?!? We will pay him plenty of money."

"With due respect, Sire, no amount of money will bring my teacher to your court" replied Taan Sain. This greatly intrigued the Emperor,

"There must be a way that I could listen to your teacher sing. If he will not come here, perhaps we can go to him."

Taan Sain again smiled, "Sire, my teacher is carefree... he might not like us going to him."

"But surely my good man, there must be a way..."

Taan Sain thought a while and said, "Well, there may be one way. My teacher usually sings in the early mornings, before sunrise. He goes by the Ganga River. If your majesty insists, then we can secretly go at that time and hide nearby and we may get to hear him sing."

“I do insist, and we shall do this plan.”

Emperor Akhbar was a spiritual man and he usually woke up and meditated in the early hours of the morning anyway,

Emporer Akhbar proclaimed "We shall both go the place where your teacher bathes and sings."

The Emperor and Taan Sain reached the river bank at midnight and they hid in in some nearby bushes. Shortly afterwards, as was the daily routine of Taan Sain's teacher, the master came to the river, bathed himself (water sound effects) and sat down next to the river. Then he started to sing....

Emporer Akhbar whipered“ Oh my! his voice is so rich. It’s like butter covered in honey... If he could purchase land with his rich voice, he would certainly be a greater king than I.” Nature is his back up instruments! The birds keep his beat. Oh wow” “I feel like I’m on another planet, everywhere is his song!!! I am enchanted.... Wha.... vaaa....”

The emperor wasn’t speaking or moving anymore He just sat perfectly still the whole time the teacher sang. The emperor was transported in his mind to a place of wondrous beauty.

After a time, the teacher finished singing...

And then the master got up and left..........

Taan Sain attempted to get his Emporer’s attention “Your highness???......Emperor Akhbar, uh, sire, we can go now.”

The Emporer’s trance broke “Oh, what? Oh yes.... Ahem, let us go.”

The Emperor walked to the carriage, half in a dream. His mind still drifted in the air as they traveled back to the palace. Emperor Akhbar floated in this spiritual state for the whole day.

That evening the Emperor summoned Taan Sain to his palace and said,

“Taan Sain, your teacher is a great wonder. I am very, very curious about one thing. I love your singing but if you wouldn't mind, I would request you answer one question."

"Sire, please ask this servant any question."

"I do not wish to offend you in any way, I used to think that you were the best musician on this Earth, but your teacher far, far surpasses you. Your song is like a rose in a vase, but your teacher's song is like ...... like.... many wild and fragrant roses dancing in the wind, fresh and bursting with natural beauty."

Taan Sain agreed that his master's songs were of a highly unique quality. The Emperor continued,

“How is it possible that your teacher's talent is an ocean deeper than yours?"

Taan Sain smiled and laughed and said, "Hahaha.... With due respect your majesty.... I perform for you, the emperor of this kingdom, but my teacher performs for the King Of All Kings, the One Who Creates kings, the one whose kingdom is the whole Universe ."

Taan Sain sang for people... and his songs were beautiful. The master sang simply for the joy of it... and his songs were beyond description. Is there anything t in your life that you do just  for the joy of it?

Have you ever thought about why do you do the things you do?  Well, we’re always doing something, but WHY are we doing it? Do we do things because someone else wants us to do it?... or do we do it because it makes us feel full of joy?Once a long time ago, Akhbar was the emperor of India. Emperor Akhbar loved the arts.

Storyteller:  Guruka Singh Khalsa
Topics:  Life Lessons, Bed Time
Age ranges:  1 - 6, 13 - 17, 18 and over, 7 - 12