Rosary of Hymns (Selected Poems of Surdas)

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Item Code: NAF847
Author: Jaikishandas Sadani
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Mandir, Kolkata
Language: Hindi text with English Translation
Edition: 2009
Pages: 187
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 400 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

Surdas is an outstanding saint and poet of sixteenth century. He was blind from early age, but was gifted with the celestial vision of spiritual insight. His poetry is a unique symphony of songs and psalms or Bhajans. It is a Samadhi of divine ecstacy of devotion, expressed in the matchless music of words. His poems flow like rivers rushing to mingle in the Rasa Sindhu the ‘ocean of Rasa’ of Lord Krishna. His blind eyes beheld every human act of love and compassion, transending into divine bliss. The surging love of mother for the child, the childhood pranks of Krishna and his chums, the innocent lovesome sports of chowherds and cowherd-maids have a spontaneity and charm of enchanting spiritual thrill of devotion.

Surdas has based his poems on Srimad Bhagwatam, as advised by his spiritual Guru Shri Vallabhacharya. Yet his poems are very original and have a hallowed fervor and expression quite rare in spiritual poetry. His poems bring us face to face with the divine, Sri Krishna, the ‘Blue Boy’ of Vrindavan who becomes the dearest friend or child of everyone.

Sursagar is a magnanimous poetic creation of Surdas in which every verse is vibrant with various spiritual moods and emotions. Selected verses have been stringd together to form a sacred “Rosary of Hymns”. As the reader moves from verse to verse, the humility of the devotee merges into the divine, to become indistinguishable whole.


Translator’s Note

Surdas in his devotional songs gives expression to the ineffable, infinite Absolute, the Supreme Godhead, Lord Krishna. The simplicity of his language has such charm and beauty, that great spiritual truths and their ecstatic experiences are couched in superb idlyllic settings. His poetry stirs the human heart, transmuting all emotions and thoughts into divine love. The streams of enrapturing love of the individual beings. Jivas or Gopis, rush to commingle in the azure ocean of Lord Krishna, like rivers desiring no return even the ocean is ready to swirl in eddying whirls because of the devout fervor of love and supplication. One emotion follows another in quick succession in Surdas’s poems till the entire life of the devotee intermingles with the divine to become its indistingishable part-partaking of the Divine Bliss of Lord Krishna’s Lila.

Surdasa’s blind eyes are as it were relumed with a new vision. He sees through the veil of life, revealing the innermost urges of mankind and sanctifies them with the magic touch of spiritual sublimity. The surging affection of the mother for the child, the childhood pranks of Krishna and his cowherd chums, the innocent sport with cow-hered-maids-Gopis, the various miracles of slaying demons in childhood, the joys of keeping trysts with the Gopis, their longings, and experiencing the pangs of separation from their beloved Krishna are all woven in an exquisite texture of spiritual realization and bliss-the Rasa of the Maha Rasa.

Surdas uses a unique diction of his own in conveying his devotional emotions in the resilient and pliant Brajbhasha-a mediaeval Hindi dialect. Such is the lyrical charm and musical incantation of Surdasa’s verses that their words glimmer with an aura of multi-meaningful images. There are hardly single English words for such allusions. Yet I have made a humble effort to present the charm and beauty of Surdas’s poems, bringing the translation as close to the original as possible, within the idiom the expression of the English language, though at places readers may get the oriental flavours as well. The original verses are included in the book for comparative study. They are based on Sursagar the Hindi edition published by Nagari Pracharini Sabha-Banares (Varanasi).

I am very greatful to Dr. Prabhakar Machwe for kindly writing such a scholarly research oriented, introduction, delineating the life of Lila of Lord Krishna, Vallabhacharya and his philosophy, the life of Surdas and his poetry for the English readership.

I am confident these inspiring verses of Surdas will blind human hearts in closer bonds of love and understanding, irrespective of time and place, and thus make the devotion and piety of Surdas a universal phenomenon.

I am glad to place the “Rosary of Hymns” of Surdas before the National and International readers. The comments and suggestions are welcome.




  Publisher's Note i
  Translator's Note  
  Surdas and Krishna - Dr. Prabhakar Machwe v
  Philosophy of Shri Vallabhacharya in Poetry of Surdas xxi
1 I bow at the lotus feet to Hari 1
2 Ineffable, are the ways of the Absolute 2
3 I've seen the unique nature of the Lord 3
4 Now I am sold at the hands of Maya. 4
5 How many days, lost without remembering Hari 5
6 Oh mind, live to the will of Govinda. 6
7 Why have you forgotten the name Govinda? 7
8 Such a life one doesn't get again and again. 8
9 The name of Rama is the treasure of the poor 9
10 Lord, I have been waiting for long! 10
11 Who is so wicked, wily and lusty like me? 11
12 Gopal. I've over-danced by now 12
13 Madho, why have you forgotten me! 13
14 I will live to the will 14
15 Where else can my mind be happy! 15
16 When wilol you grant such grace Gopal? 16
17 Lord condone my sins 17
18 Yamuna,, you're easily accessible to devotees 18
19 When will you worship, the life is fleeting! 19
20 Chakayi, lets go to lake of His feet 20
21 Sakhi, let us to that lake 21
22 The joys of singing the glories of Gopal. 22
23 He whose mind is devoted to Nandlal 23
24 Listen, Friend, the peacocks are very fortunate 24
25 There's great rjoicing at Nanda's house 25
26 Yashoda sways Hari in the cradle. 26
27 Cunning Putana has come to Braja! 27
28 Yashoda was elated seeing her son's face 28
29 He look so charming with butter in hand 29
30 Mother, give me the moon for playing 30
31 Awake, darling, Prince of Braja! 31
32 Mother Dau has teased me a lot 32
33 Sitting on Nanda's lap Shyam taks food 33
34 Mother, I'll go for grazing the cows 34
35 Why do you boss in play? 35
36 Right now in my presence Yashoda 36
37 Shyam entered the gvalin's house in her absence 37
38 Mother, I've not eaten butter 38
39 Shyam hit upon a novel idea 39
40 Shyam aimed the ball at his friend 40
41 Annoyed Hari freed himself in a trice 41
42 Lord Gopal danced on the Kaliya's hoods 42
43 Extremely handsome is the son of Nanda 43
44 Gopal, save us now 44
45 Sakhi, let us steal the flute. 45
46 Shyam enquires, "Fair one! Who are you? 46
47 This is verily the truth I say 47
48 When the flute was heard in the woods 48
49 When Hari played luscent notes on his flute 49
50 Today Hari celebrated a wondrous Rasa 50
51 Bride and bridegroom are Shyama and Shyam 51
52 Let the Divine couple dwell in my eyes 52
53 The flute is absorbed in the rasa of his lips 53
54 Papiha don't sing I' am scorched in agony. 54
55 There is no end to my tribulations 55
56 A Beautiful flute adorns his lotus-face 56
57 "Oh! Will anyone purchase Gopal?" 57
58 It is an open secret now. 58
59 Restive love-glances couldn't restrained 59
60 How Beautiful, he comes speaking os sweetly. 60
61 Friend, behold the Beauty of Hari 61
62 Some how If I can bring them in control 62
63 Eyes have become like a rook of a ship. 63
64 Khanjan-like eyes are drenched in rasa! 64
65 This is not seasonfor darling-anger. 65
66 Sakhi, today Hari will come to play Holi 66
67 With the departur of the Darling of Braja 67
68 Victory, exultations resounded everywhere. 68
69 People do console me often! 69
70 Lord, look after those in helpless plight 70
71 Behold, Yamuna has become so dark. 71
72 Madhuvan! Why are you still so green? 72
73 Sakh! Clouds have retreated before these eyes. 73
74 Our eyes shed tears day and night 74
75 My eyes have become the creeper of Viraha. 75
76 the eyes couldn't get even a nap. 76
77 Without the beloved, dark night is like a black nagin 77
78 The wells of Madhuvan are filled with messages 78
79 Friend, even the peacocks have become alien. 79
80 Shyam once played on the flute 80
81 We both brothers will certainly come 81
82 Yonder comes some one of dark complexion 82
83 The letter has come from Madhuvan. 83
84 None could read the letter in Braja. 84
85 Udho, what wil we do with this letter? 85
86 "Listen, Gopis," to the message of Hari. 86
87 Udho,! We are unable to comprehend you! 87
88 Udho! We are extremely fortunate today. 88
89 Eyes are athirst for the darshan of Hari 89
90 "Madhukar! What do you wish to teach us? 90
91 Deluding Yoga will not sell in Braja. 91
92 Udho, our heart isn't in our control 92
93 Udho, we don't have dozen minds. 93
94 There's no space left in my heart. 94
95 Madhukar, Shyam is a real thief. 95
96 Mohan has called for his from 96
97 Udhav, cuckoo is cooing in the woods! 97
98 I am enamoured of the people of Braja! 98
99 Without Gopal the Arbours are desolate. 99
100 Udho, convey this message of Madhav. 100
101 My heart is completely disillusioned now 101
102 Listen Shyam to this carefully 102
103 I swear I trid to persuade them a lot 103
104 Udho, I' m unable to forget Braja. 104
105 "Does Gopal ever remember us?" 105
106 Radha and Madhav met together 106
107 I swear by Brajvasins 107
108 We have received such repturous bliss! 108
109 I've ardent faith in these feet. 109
  Glossary 111
  Index of First Lines  
  Excerpts from reviews  

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