Date of Birth:
V.S 1535 (A.D 1478)
Place of Birth:
Sinhi Near Delhi
Left the World:
V.S 1640 (A.D 1583)
Sung before whom:
Shrinathji and Shri Navnitpriyaji
Sung in almost all raags
At “Gaughat”(at the bank of Shri Yamunaji) between Mathura and Agra.
Surdasji came with Shri Mahaprabhuji to Gokul after first meeting at Gaughat. He had darshan of Shri Navnitpriyaji there and he sang childhood sport (Bal leela) of Shri Krshna in front of Shri Navnitpriyaji. After the repairs of Goverdhannathji temple, Seva rites there also commenced. Shri Acharyaji, accompanied by Shri Surdasji came to Shri Goverdhan and started the system of kirtans as per the different timings of seva. Thereafter, Shri Surdasji sang kirtans, before Shri Goverdhannathji, till he left this world.
Once when Shri Mahaprabhuji was camping at Gaughat, Shri Surdasji came and offered his Shastang Dandvat Pranaam. Shri Mahaprabhuji asked Surdasji to sing songs of glory of Bhagwan (God). Surdasji sung one song related to the agony of separation with Bhagwan, which he usually used to sing. Shri Acharyaji after hearing this told Surdasji “why you are singing such a sad song? Sing any song describing Krshna’s sports (leela). Shri Surdasji expressed his ignorance of Bhagwad Leela. Shri Mahaprabhuji then instructed him to have a bath in Shri Yamunaji and come in Apras (i.e. without touching anybody). Surdasji followed his instructions and then Shri Mahaprabhuji bestowed him with Bramhasambandha initiation and removed all his defects since birth. By his self-offering (Samarpan) he imparted in him Navdhabhakti (Nine bhaktis describing the scriptures and by narration of “Dashamskandha Anukramanika” of Shri Bhagwat. He established Shri Krshna’s Sampurna Leela (Sports) in his heart. “Chakiti chali charan sarovar”: He sung this song in raag Bilaval at that time.
Once Shri Surdasji went to Gokul with Shri Gusaiji. There he had a look (darshan) of Shri Navnitpriyaji. Then and there he sung a kirtan (song) narrating adoration (Shringar) which Shri Navnitpriyaji wore at that time. Shri Gusaijis sons got surprised that Surdasji could narrate the exact adoration though blind, Shri Thakorji must be dwelling in his heart and make him experience the swaroopanand (eternal joy of his own Self). Next day, to test the capability of Shri Surdasji, these sons decided not to offer any Shringar to Shri Navnitpriyaji. Shri Giridharji asked Surdasji when he came for the darshan of Navnitpriyaji to sing kirtan after the darshan. Surdasji had divine experience at the time of darshan and he spontaneously sung “dekh ri hari nangam nanga” in raag Bilaval. Hearing this all the Acharyas said to Surdasji “what is this that you have sung?” Surdasji at once replied that I had marvelous darshan of the marvelous Shringar offered by you and accordingly I described the same in my Kirtan.
One day Shri Gusaiji was offering Shringar to Shri Goverdhannathji at Jagmohan. He did not find Surdasji there. He asked his disciples about him. They said after Mangala Aarti darshan he went away towards Parsoli after wishing Bhagwat smaran to everybody here. Shri Gusaiji soon realized that Bhagwan wished to call back Surdasji to his eternal sport (Nitya Leela). Shri Gusaiji told the then present disciples that Pushtimarg-ship is leaving, if you want to have any benefit from that please go to Surdasji and have it. I will reach there after Rajbhog Aarti. Shri Gusaiji reached there and inquired about Surdasji. Shri Surdasji offered Dandvat Pranaam and sang a kirtan in Raag Sarang. Shri Chaturbhujdas humbly asked Surdasji that “all the time you have sung kirtans for Shri Thakorji but not a single kirtan describing the glory of Shri Mahaprabhuji”. Surdasji replied, “I don’t have any difference between Shri Thakorji and Shri Mahaprabhuji. I have never understood them as separate. But I thought that I would have sung separate kirtans. Both of them are dwelling in my heart as one”. Saying this he sang the kirtan “Dradh in charnan kero bharoso” in raag Bihagra.