Surdas (Sant Kavi Surdas) was a 15th-century blind saint, poet and musician, known for his devotional songs dedicated to Lord Krishna. Surdas is said to have written and composed a hundred thousand songs in his magnum opus the 'Sur Sagar' (Ocean of Melody), out of which only about 8,000 are extant. He is considered a saint and so also known as Sant Surdas, a name which literally means the "slave of melody".
Surdas was born in 1478 in village Sihi, Faridabad, Haryana. While some say it is Runkta near Agra. He started praising Lord Krishna since he was young. There is a little disagreement regarding the exact birth date of Surdas, some scholars believe it to be 1478 AD, while others believe it to be 1479 AD. Same is the case of the year of his death, it is either considered to be 1581 AD or 1584 AD. As per the limited authentic life history of Surdas, it is said that he lived in Braj(or Bhraj), near Mathura. Surdas was born blind and because of this, he was neglected by his family. As a result, he left his home at tender age of six.
A chance meeting with the saint Vallabharacharya at Gau Ghat by the river Yamuna in his teens transformed his life. Shri Vallabhacharya taught Surdas lessons in Hindu philosophy and meditation and put him in the path of spirituality. Since Surdas could recite the entire Srimad Bhagavatam and was musically inclined, his guru advised him to sing the 'Bhagavad Lila' - devotional lyrical ballads in praise of Lord Krishna and Radha. Surdas lived in Vrindavan with his guru, who initiated him to his own religious order, and later appointed him as the resident singer at Srinath temple in Govardhan.
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