top of page

Megh Raga for Rain

Updated: Mar 7

For decades, the authenticity of Ragamala paintings has been a subject of numerous controversies. The common belief among ordinary people is that they are merely products of ancient Indian monks' imagination. At the same time, some creative minds revere them as unique artistic creations crafted by unknown sages. However, there are moments when esoteric reality comes to light under certain circumstances. In this chapter, I will unveil the truth behind the musical rhythm of Megh-Raag through the performance of one of history's greatest singers. This is not a fictional tale but an actual historical event that occurred during Emperor Akbar's reign.

In my previous discourse, I posited that despite Emperor Akbar's illiteracy, he possessed an insatiable curiosity. He held a profound appreciation for skilled individuals and bestowed upon them the honor of serving in his court. Nine such gifted and imaginative persons graced the king's court during Emperor Akbar's reign. His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable, and he regarded these nine individuals as "gems" among all others.

However, on one occasion, he expressed his fascination with the symbolic concept of music. In truth, he yearned to unravel its hidden reality beyond mere poetic imagination. Yet even so, he adamantly declared it to be nothing more than a fanciful notion that lacked any tangible existence or significance in Indian culture - a creation of monks and yogis not worthy of remembrance or admiration.

Tansen, one of the nine jewels of emperor's court.

Among the illustrious members of the "nine jewels," Tansen (Ramtanu Pandey), widely regarded as the preeminent vocalist of all time, declared that he could substantiate the essence of every musical rhythm if commissioned by the Emperor to perform it. In what may have been a playful jest, Akbar challenged Tansen, stating: "I shall bestow upon you a special accolade should you ever be able to prove the hidden veracity inherent in music. You must present a musical composition inspired by the rainy season during this scorching summer so that I may witness its efficacy." Obliging Akbar's request, Tansen requested they venture outside into an open space for his demonstration. Complying with his wishes, Akbar accompanied him and was joined by fellow courtiers to observe Tansen's performance. After taking a few moments to prepare himself, Tansen began singing Megh-Raga with his extraordinary voice. For clarity's sake, Megh denotes clouds - specifically, those associated with rain - while Raga connotes rhythm, henceforth indicating that this particular melody was composed for rainy seasons.

Approximately one hour later and much to everyone's amazement, including Akbar and other royal court members, several darkened rainclouds slowly covered the sky from the western region before unleashing their downpour onto the vast grassy plain below - an occurrence Tansen had no idea about since he kept his eyes closed throughout his performance completely absorbed in song.

Eventually stopping when nature intervened in such spectacular fashion before he left both men shocked; however, gratitude for witnessing such exceptional talent displayed underpinned all else. It is believed among people of historical significance that Saraswati (goddess of artistry education) blessed Tansen as her son due to such remarkable abilities showcased through music.

It is the hidden truth of Indian classical music! This truth is relevant to each classical music symphony, and Tansen proved it several times. He blazed fire by using Dipak Raga. Each musical harmony produces the most comprehensive and absolute impact on nature, and our surroundings immediately react to it. It is recommended that those rhythms be applied perfectly, and Tansen obtained magical control over every musical rhythm.

Following the description of that unidentified author, the body color of the Megh-Raga for rain is equivalent to the color of blood. He features a grave voice. He is welcoming the very first clouds of the rainy season with the sound of a conch. This procedure of making a welcome is only appropriate for the most prestigious and honorable person. You might recognize how important this season is for Asian countries. His first wife, Madhu Madhabi, notices Megh-Raga's activities since she knows the rainy season is just knocking on her door. The color of her dress is blue. The sky was covered with rainy clouds and lights flashing in it. Some white cranes coming back to their home.

Lord Krishna represented as Megh Raga
Lord Krishna represented as Megh Raga

This music has been popular since ancient times due to its poetic and dreamy composition that reflects the impact of the seasons. It has captured the attention of the Indian civilization, particularly those involved in agriculture. Every year, as summer ends, people in India eagerly await the rainy season, which brings hope, prosperity, and a touch of romance. The rain stimulates the human mind and helps to recall fond memories of loved ones. It also has cleanses, washing away the dirt and dust in nature and purifying the mind with freshness. As the grass and foliage are soaked, they take on a new beauty that touches the poetic heart. This type of music is also known as Megh-Malhar Raga. The renowned musician, Pd Shivkumar Sharma, has composed an excellent demonstration of this beautiful music. Enjoy!

From a deep sense of contemplation, Indian miniature artists depicted the symbolic representation of this season. Some pieces even included descriptions related to nature. However, as previously mentioned in my earlier chapter, they were influenced by Lord Krishna. They thus transformed the symbolic form of Megh Raga by incorporating Lord Krishna as a metaphor for it. This painting shows a chain of white cranes amidst blackish clouds, as described in musical scriptures, along with rainy clouds in the sky. Although they did not adhere strictly to the figurative description, it did not diminish the value of the painting; instead, it substantially established its primary purpose.

 Let me know how you enjoy this fantastic music and the background story. Just drop one or two lines about it below this article. I am eager to know your comments.    And last, don't forget to share this article with your friends on social sites. Thank you.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page