Sri Surdas Jayanthi is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of Kavi Surdas, who was an ardent and devout devotee of Lord Krishna.
Sri Surdas Jayanthi occurs on the Shukla Paksha Panchami of Vaisakha month. For the year 2021, it occurs on Monday, 17th May 2021.
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Sri Surdas Jayanthi – Legend
Sri Surdas was both a poet and musician renowned for his songs on Lord Krishna. He is also believed to be in the Guru lineage of Sri Vallabha Sampradaya.
Sri Surdas was believed to be born in the year 1478 A.D at a village in Haryana. There is another belief that he was born at Rungta near Agra or near Mathura.
Sri Surdas was born visually impaired. His family had neglected him since childhood. He is believed to have left his home at the age of six.
From the very young age, Sri Surdas was a devout Krishna Bhakt. He had started singing hymns on Krishna since the tender age.
As per the legend, Sri Surdas was well known for his devotion on Sri Krishna. As he was blind, he had accidentally fell into a well. It is believed that Sri Krishna Himself had rescued Sri Surdas from the well.
Sri Radha was intrigued by this and asked Sri Krishna as to why He helped Sri Surdas. For this, Sri Krishna replied that He was moved by the sincere devotion of Sri Surdas. Sri Krishna also had told Sri Radha not to go near Sri Surdas.
However, Sri Radha went near Sri Surdas. Hearing the divine sound from Her anklets, Sri Surdas had pulled Her anklets. Sri Radha told him who She was. But Sri Surdas refused to believe Her as he was blind and refused to give the anklets back.
Sri Radha had granted him the vision. Sri Sri Surdas happily had the darshan of Sri Krishna and Sri Radha. When Sri Radha told him to ask for any boon, he said that he wanted to be blind again as he did not want to see anything with the eyes which had seen Sri Krishna and Sri Radha. The Divine couple were much moved by his bhakthi and granted him his wish.
His poetry and music on Sri Krishna were gaining popularity. The Emperor Akbar was much impressed with the fame of Sri Surdas. He had invited him to the palace. He also became his benefactor.
Sri Surdas is believed to be inspired by the teachings of Sri Vallabha Acharya. He had written his hymns in Braj Bhasha, one of the dialects of Hindi.
Sri Surdas had composed and sung voluminous songs on Sri Krishna. It is believed that he had composed around hundred thousand songs which are collectively known as Sur Sagar (sea of melodies). Only 8000 of those poems are believed to be available at present. The contents of his songs dwelled on Sri Krishna, Sri Radha and Gopikas.
He was sustaining his life through the donations / contributions which he had received for rendering the bhajan songs and giving spiritual discourses.
It is believed that he had reached the abode of Sri Krishna by 1581 A.D.
Sri Surdas Jayanthi – celebrations
Sri Surdas Jayanthi is mostly celebrated in North India. Special prayers are offered to Sri Krishna. The poems from Sur Sagar are sung and recited in honor of Sri Sant Surdas.