Surdas (Sanskrit: सूरदास, romanizedSūradāsa) was a 16th-century blind Hindu devotional poet and singer, who was known for his works written in praise of the deity Krishna.[2] He was a Vaishnava devotee of Krishna, and he was also a revered poet and singer. His compositions captured his devotion towards Krishna. Most of his poems were written in the Braj language, while some were also written in other dialects of medieval Hindi, like Awadhi.[3]

A commemorative postage stamp on Surdas issued by India Post on 1st October 1952
Bornuncertain, somewhere between 1478 and 1483
Gram Sihi, Faridabad, Haryana (but some people believe that he was from Runkata or Renuka
Dieduncertain, somewhere between 1579 and 1584
Braj Parsauli
  • Ramdas Saraswat[1] (father)
  • Jamunadas[1] (mother)
Known forInfluencing the Bhakti movements, Sant Mat, Hymns in the Guru Granth Sahib
Religious career
Literary worksSur Sagar, Sur Saravali, Sahitya Lahari

There are many theories about Surdas, but he is said to have been blind from birth. During his time, lived another saint by the name of Vallabha. Vallabha was the founder of the Pushtimarg Sampradaya, and his successor, Vitthalanatha, had selected eight poets who would help him to further spread the glory of Krishna, by composing works of music. These eight poets were known as the "Astachap", and Surdas is believed to be one of the foremost among them due to his devotion and poetic talent.[4]

The book Sur Sagar (Sur's Ocean) is traditionally attributed to Surdas. However, many of the poems in the book seem to be written by later poets in Sur's name. The Sur Sagar in its present form focuses on descriptions of Krishna as the lovely child of Gokul and Vraj, written from the gopis' perspective.

Biography edit

The Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature suggests a birth year of 1258 into a Brahmin family of Uttar Pradesh.[5] Sources state he was either a Sārasvata Brāhmaṇa, a Jāṭa, or a Ḍhāṛhī.[6]

Braj Bhasha edit

Surdas's poetry was written in a dialect of Hindi called Braj Bhasha, until then considered to be a very plebeian language, as the prevalent literary languages were either Persian or Sanskrit. His work raised the status of the Braj Bhasha from a crude language to that of a literary one.[7]

Philosophy edit

Eight disciples of Vallabha Acharya are called the Aṣṭachāp, (Eight seals in Hindi), named after the oral signature chap written at the conclusion of literary works. Sur is considered to be the foremost among them.[8]

Coverage edit

Several films have been made about the poet's life. These include:[9] Surdas (1939) by Krishna Dev Mehra, Bhakta Surdas (1942) by Chaturbhuj Doshi, Sant Surdas (1975) by Ravindra Dave, Chintamani Surdas (1988) by Ram Pahwa.

The legend of the blind poet Bilwamangala (identified with Surdas) and Chintamani has also been adapted several times in Indian cinema. These films include:[9] Bilwamangal or Bhagat Soordas (1919) by Rustomji Dhotiwala, Bilwamangal (1932), Chintamani (1933) by Kallakuri Sadasiva Rao, Chintamani (1937) by Y. V. Rao, Bhakta Bilwamangal (1948) by Shanti Kumar, Bilwamangal (1954) by D. N. Madhok, Bhakta Bilwamangal (1954) by Pinaki Bhushan Mukherji, Chintamani (1956) by P. S. Ramakrishna Rao, Chintamani (1957) by M.N. Basavarajaiah, Chilamboli (1963) by G. K. Ramu, Bilwamangal (1976) by Gobinda Roy, Vilvamangal Ki Pratigya (1996) by Sanjay Virmani.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "सूरदास का जीवन परिचय - Biography of Surdas in Hindi Jivan Parichay". 16 September 2020.
  2. ^ Klaus K. Klostermaier (5 July 2007). A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition. SUNY Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-7914-7082-4.
  3. ^ "Surdas Biography - Surdas Poems - Life History in English". India the Destiny. 17 June 2018. Archived from the original on 26 June 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Surdas Saint-singer and Poet". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  5. ^ Datta, Amaresh (1987). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: A-Devo, Volume 1. Sahitya Akademi. p. 79. ISBN 9788126018031.
  6. ^ Barz, Richard (1992). The Bhakti Sect of Vallabhācārya. Munshiram Manoharlal. p. 106.
  7. ^ "Surdas (Sur Das, Soordas)". Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  8. ^ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (18 June 2009). "Aṣṭachāp | Hindi poets". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 January 2018. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ a b Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1999). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. ISBN 9780851706696. Retrieved 12 August 2012.

External links edit