Surdas Jayanti: History of Great devotion poet of Lord Krishan.
In North India, Surdas Jayanti is celebrated as the devotion of Surdas to Lord Krishna. Surdas was the biggest poet and singer of the Bhakti movement that piers devotion into love beautifully. In the 15th or 16th century, Bhakti Movement was started all over India and Surdas was one of the famous poets of that movement. His verses are still famous in the world. There were many poets in the Bhakti movement, such as Meerabai, Surdas, Kabirdas, Tulsidas, out of which Surdas is said to be the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna. He presented the mesmerizing image of Krishna in front of the world. Even today, Surdas plays an important role in Hindi literature.
Surdas’s birth and his educational journey:
Surdas was born, when India was passing through the Bhakti movement. Regarding his birth, there is no availability of real texts, however, there is the different opinion of different scholars. According to some scholars, he was born in Ruuncata village of Agra in the 15th century, which is also known today as Runakata. And, according to some scholars he was born in Siri village of Haryana. The 15th century was the time of the Akbar and Bhakti movement. So, Indian was struggling with the Islamic conversion, which was spreading very fast at that time, due to which the Bhakti Movement was started. The Bhakti Movement has shown to the world that having a true mind and spirit for worshiping God is an important element.
He was born in the family of Saraswat Brahman and his father’s name was Ravi Das. His father was also a singer and poet, although his family was not rich. Surdas was blind by birth so he was mostly mocked by society and called Sur means blind. When he grew up, then he was named Surdas. When he turned 6, then he left his home and started to live near the Yamuna river in Agra city.
Despite being blind, he had completed his teachings by his Guru and his Guru’s name was Shri Vallabha Acharya. However, according to some scholars, there was no age difference between Vallabha Acharya and Surdas. There were only 10 months age gap between both of them. It is said that when Surdas was going to Vrindavan, then he saw Acharya Vallabha and become his disciple. After this, he was dissolved into devotion to Krishna.
The famous Mythological story of Lord Krishan and Surdas:
According to some mythologies, Surdas once fell into a well. And for a long time, no one came to help him, after which Lord Krishna appeared himself near him, and said: “He will give him eyesight”. But Surdas said that he did not want eyesight Because after returning the light of the eyes, they can enter the fascination of the world. Surdas said that he only want to worship him. Hearing all this, Lord Krishna was so pleased with Surdas, that Krishna had opened Surdas’s divine vision. Also, it is said that Krishna himself had become his vision.
After which, he had achieved the knowledge of the spiritual and materialistic world with his divine vision, however, there are still many differences in the scholars, whether he was blind or not. Because even after being blind, he had described Lord Krishna very beautifully.
His beautiful description of Lord Krishna and Love:
Surdas was a very great Krishna devotee since childhood. The way he described Lord Krishan, Radha, and Gopis, can’t be compared with any texts. So, it is already proven that he was not blind. However, it is also noticed that Surdas had a divine vision of the Lord Krishan.
Most of the compositions of Surdas can be seen in Shringaar Rasa, Bhakti Rasa, and Brijbhasha. He has described the child form of Lord Krishna quite well through his imagination. However, this description is quite different from Krishna of Mahabharata. Because Krishna of the Mahabharata had nothing to do with love and attachment of the world. Nor this kind of description of Krishna’s image found in Mahabharat. Krishna adopted Brahmacharya at the age of 6 and went to Gurukul at the age of 10. Even there is no Radha in the whole Mahabharat and Krishna’s life.
Creation of Radha and her beautiful description with Lord Krishan:
Radha was created creatively to create a sense of love in people through the Bhakti Movement. However, Radha was first mentioned by the Bengali Poet of Guru Jayadev in the 12th century in his creation Gita Govindam. But Surdas mentioned Radha beautifully with Krishan in his imaginary compositions even after being blind. Looking at the compositions of Surdas, it seems as if Mahabharata’s Krishna had done this in reality.
Raas Leela of Krishna and Gopis is uniquely refined in the Sur Sarvali, in which Krishan is featured as dancing, singing, and performing Raas Leelas. Surdas has given more importance to Shringaar Rasa in compositions, hence Radha’s love for Kishan is shown in a very beautiful way.
Achaya Ramachandra Shukla has also taken a lot of approach towards Surdas in many of his compositions. The famous book of Surdas is Sur Sagar, Sur Saravali and Sahitya Lahiri. It is said that he composed compositions of 1 lakh verses. But with time, all his compositions were lost and today only 1000 of his compositions can be found, which shows his devotion towards Lord Krishna. Also, nothing can be said about Surdas’s death, there is also a different opinion on his death.
How Surdas Jayanti is celebrated in North India:
On the occasion of Surdas Jayanti, Lord Krishan is worshipped in entire North India, and even some people perform fast on this day. Even on this day, many musical programs are arranged in schools and Hindi literature stage. But Surdas’s day is largely celebrated in Vrindavan because he devoted himself to Krishan.
However, the Bhakti movement was started in South India and then in North India. But there is a major differentiation in South and North Indian culture and even in Krishan devotion. So Surdas is only worshipped in North India.