Bhakt Surdas – The saint composer who saw Shri Krishna with his inner eyes

There are innumerable ways of perceiving the Supreme Being and each one has his or her own image of the protector of the Universe as seen through their eyes. But, there are certain people who see the Almighty through their inner eye of knowledge and devotion and dedicate their entire life to that image. These people may not have eye sight, but they are blessed with a sight which looks beyond the barriers of human body and see the radiant image of the Almighty in his true sense. To such genre of great personalities belonged the great saint composer Bhakt Surdas.


Surdas was born in the village of Sihi as the youngest of four brothers. Unfortunately he was born with no eyesight and was neglected by his family. With no name to be called, he was called as Sur (meaning blind). He did not have any friends or companions and hence spent all day sitting on the porch outside his house. Once he heard a group of travellers singing Krishna Bhajans and impressed by their singing, followed them leaving his home. When the travellers stopped at the night under a tree on the road from Mathura and Vrindavan, they noticed the blind boy and asked his identity. Surdas mentioned to them about himself and requested them to teach him singing. But the travellers unable to take the burden of a blind child left him and went away.

However, Surdas was not dejected. He started singing the songs heard from the travellers so beautifully that all pilgrims travelling to Mathura and Vrindavan stopped under the tree and listened to them. People started calling him Surdas, the blind saint and he built a ashram under the same tree which became a resting place to travellers.

Although Surdas was uneducated and could not see, he was blessed with a keen sixth sense to understand everything around him. He learnt many things from the travellers who took rest in his ashram on the discourses of Shri Krishna. Once, he heard about the great Guru Vallabhacharya who was an ardent devotee of Shri Krishna. Wishing to be his disciple, Surdas travelled to the great guru and sought his refugee. Shri Vallabhacharya welcomed him warmly and gave him all the knowledge of Shri Krishna’s scriptures. With the knowledge gained form his guru, Surdas created many compositions of Shri Krishna in the languages of Braj and Awadh.

Surdas travelled far and wide singing the bhajans and gained respect as a saint devotee of Shri Krishna. Once, during his travels, Surdas fell into an abandoned well and cried for help for seven days. On the seventh day, he heard a divine voice of a young boy asking him to give his hand to pull him out of the well. When Surdas asked him who he was, the boy told that his name was Gopal Krishna. After coming out of the well, the boy disappeared. Surdas realised that it was none other than Shri Krishna who had come to save him and bless him.

All his life, Surdas never got to see the world with his eyes, yet he was the blessed saint who saw Shri Krishna in each and every aspect of life and spread the knowledge of his Lilas through his bhajans. Surdas was the divine persona who could see the Almighty in a way which is nothing but pure devotion. ( Today is Bhakt Surdas Jayanti)