Words fail to tell of the Lord's love,
Surdas was a highly influential bhakti poet. There is little documentation of his life. Born in 1483, it is believed that he was born blind and treated harshly by his family because of his blindness.
One day at age 6, when he heard a group of devotional singers passing by his home, he simply followed them leaving his family home forever. At age eighteen Surdas met his spiritual teacher, Sri Vallabhacharya, on the banks of river Yamuna.
Surdas wrote some of greatest works in Hindu philosophy and Bhakti literature, the "Sur Sagar" (Ocean of Melody), Sur Saravali and Sahitya Lahiri.
Surdas never married and made a living by singing bhajans and giving spiritual discourse. He lived most of his years in Braj, leaving this life in 1573.
the Poetry of Surdas
See the greatness of Krishna;
though Lord, Father and Master of the world
he willingly bears the arrogance of his close devotees
Shiva and Brahma were roaring mad
when Bhrigu kicked them,
but he gently pressed the sage's foot
when it struck his breast!'
Which of the gods
can emulate him?
He befriends selflessly;
Embracing his foe Ravana's brother, Vibhisana' as lovingly as his own
brother Bharata, sending to heaven the demoness Putana
who tried to kill him'-
Such is Sura's Lord,
the selfless Giver.
Lord, heed not my faults!
You are known as he who sees as all equal,
at will you can take me across the ocean of existence.
One iron is used in worship, another in butcher's steel;
The philosopher's stone counts not merit or fault
but turns both to purest gold.
One is called "river", another a "rivulet" filled with murky water;
when they merge they become of one colour and are known
as "Sursari"(Ganges), river of gods.
The soul and the Supreme are given different names,
but all is one in Sur's Shyam.
This time, take me across, or give up your vow to be saviour!
Our eyes thirst for a vision of Hari;
They long to see the lotus-eyed one,
grieving for him day and night.
Wearing a saffron tilak and pearl garland
and dwelling in Vrindavan,
he gave us his love, then cast us aside like a blade of grass,
throwing a noose around our necks.
No one knows what is in another's mind,
there is laughter in people's hearts;
But Lord of Surdas, without a vision of you
we would give up our very lives.