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Surdas: A poem from Sur Sagar - Teachings Of Surdas

Until you wake up to what you really are
you’ll be like the man who searches the whole jungle
for a jewel that hangs at his throat.

Oil, wick, fire: until they mingle in a cruse
they scarcely produce any light,
So how can you expect to dissipate the darkness
simply by talking about lamps?

You’re the sort of fool who sees your face
in a mirror, befouled by inky filth,
And proceeds to try to erase the blackness
by cleaning the reflection to a shine.

Surdas says, it is only now the mind can see –
No that so countless many days are lost and gone –
For who has ever recognized the brilliance of the sun
But by seeing it through eyes gone blind?

Surdas(Sur Sagar or ‘Ocean of Sur’)

Teachings Of Surdas

Surdas, also known as Sant Kavi Surdas, was a 15th-century poet, musician, and saint in the Bhakti movement tradition of India. His teachings primarily revolve around devotion (bhakti) to Lord Krishna, as well as themes of love, compassion, and the spiritual path. Here are some key teachings associated with Surdas:

Devotion to Lord Krishna: Surdas was a devout follower of Lord Krishna, considering him the ultimate object of devotion. He emphasized the importance of surrendering oneself completely to Krishna through love and devotion.

Bhakti (Devotion) as the Path to Liberation: Surdas advocated for the path of bhakti as the most effective means for attaining liberation (moksha) from the cycle of birth and death (samsara). He believed that sincere devotion to God could lead to spiritual enlightenment and ultimate freedom.

Love and Compassion: Surdas’s poetry often reflects themes of love and compassion. He portrayed Krishna as the epitome of divine love, capable of showering compassion on all beings. His teachings emphasize the power of love in transcending worldly attachments and experiencing spiritual bliss.

Equality and Unity: Surdas's teachings emphasize the unity of all beings under the divine. He believed that irrespective of caste, creed, or social status, all individuals have the potential to attain spiritual realization through devotion to Krishna. His verses often challenge social hierarchies and promote the idea of universal brotherhood.

Simplicity and Humility: Surdas led a life of simplicity and humility, which are reflected in his teachings. He valued inner purity and sincerity over external showmanship. His poems often depict the simple and humble lifestyle of the devotees of Krishna.

The Power of Music and Poetry: Surdas himself was a talented musician and poet. He believed in the power of music and poetry as potent mediums for expressing devotion and connecting with the divine. Many of his compositions are still sung today as part of devotional practices.

Faith and Surrender: Surdas emphasized the importance of faith (shraddha) in one's spiritual journey. He taught that true surrender to the will of God leads to inner peace and fulfillment. Surrendering one's ego and desires to the divine will pave the way for spiritual growth and liberation.

Overall, Surdas's teachings inspire individuals to cultivate love, devotion, humility, and faith in their spiritual quest, ultimately leading to a deeper connection with the divine and inner transformation.