Narada and Tumburu are the well known celestial musicians who constantly sing the glories of Lord Vishnu. Once when Sri Hari praised Tumburu’s music, Narada became very unhappy. The Lord then sent Narada to learn music from the music teacher of the celestial musicians Ganabandhu. Still not up to the mark, he then went and learnt music from Rukmini, the consort of Lord Krishna. Thus, after sufficient training, Narada wanted the Lord to judge both, Tumburu and himself and declare who was the best musician amongst the two. Narada and Tumburu sang with all devotion unto the Lord. Both of them were very good and the Lord did not want to displease anyone by taking any one particular name. He thought of calling an expert and accomplished musician for this task. He summoned HANUMAN – who is Kavya – Nataka – Sangeeta – Natya – Paripoorna!!
Hanumanji came and the contest started. Tumburu sang along accompanied by his veena – Kalavathi. His music was so enchanting that the whole universe of things and beings came to a standstill, almost froze and became silent! Hanumanji nodded in appreciation. Next was Narada’s turn. He rendered his music accompanied by his veena – Mahathi. The celestial music melted all that which was previously frozen!! Both of them were exceptionally good. Everyone was eagerly awaiting Hanumanji’s judgement.
Hanumanji asked for both their veenas and removed the frets of the veenas (the vertical strips on which the horizontal strings run), gave it back to them and asked them to go ahead and play the veena. Rather annoyed, they asked him how the veena can be played without the frets. Hanumanji silently took the fretless veena and played on it using a small piece of bamboo stick. He was an expert in playing the veena with or without frets. He sang and played on….. All the devatas were lost in the divine ecstatic devotional outpouring of Hanumanji. After some time when they looked around, they found Lord Sri Hari Himself present amongst them listening in rapt attention to Hanumanji’s Sangeeta.
Narada and Tumburu bowed down and acknowledged that indeed Hanumanji was not only the greatest devotee of the Lord, but also the most accomplished musician !!
[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]