Indian medieval poetry has been blessed by contributions of many saint poets Meera, Soordas, Kabir, Tulsidas, have become internalized in the lives of men and women and many of their couplets have entered the common language as sayings. Although their poetry was handed down through generations by an oral tradition less is known authentically about their personal lives.
Soordas has been acknowledged as one to belong to the pushtimarg Sampradaya and is listed as one of the prominent Ashtachchaap poets of this tradition. His birth year has been accepted to be 1478 AD and be died sometime between 1580-1585 AD he had a long life span of around 100 years during which he is said to have composed 125,000 songs! From whatever is available today some five to six thousand songs can be ascertained to be his creations. He ran away from home at a very tender age and since then spent all his time in entertaining people by composing and singing songs in praise of his favorite deity. Lord Shri Krishna. He employed dance or drama together with music in his Kirtans.
It is well known that Soordas was blind. Whatever he was blind at birth or became blind later in life is debated but even if we consider that he was blinded later in life the kind of color friendliness or imagery be portrays in his poetry is unparalleled. It is said that Soordas used to describe the decoration of lord Shri Krishna’s idol in the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan in such detail that the temple priests believed he was a cheat. When one day they left the idol undecorated to test him be sang Dekhya Hari Nangam Nanga (I saw the lord naked)! Thus be makes the world realize that what an ordinary person cannot see with normal eyesight a revolutionary poet can perceive very easily with his minds eye.
Soordas was a born devote and a born poet. His devotion is intense and passionate his poetic skill is extraordinary. His devotion cascades through his poetry like rain gushing from a cloud saturated with water. When I first read Soordas. I was transported to the world of Krishnabhakti. The passionate devotion of Soordas and the innate inclination of his poetry towards music and dance rubbed on me. I feel fortunate to have enjoyed this voyage in the process few songs emerged. A selection of these is presented in this album.
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