Tuesday, August 1, 2017


1 hymn: (1483-1573) Surdas was a Brahmin born in 1528. He was learned in Sanskrit, Persian, arts, and studied music and poetry. On account of his beauty was named Madan Mohan. He was appointed a governor by Emperor Akbar, but was later imprisoned for dereliction of duty. Towards the end of his life, he became a hermit and lived among holy men. One line of his hymn is found in AGGS in the mode of Sarang. The whole hymn was present in the Kartarpur Bir, but a pen was subsequently drawn through it and arsenic sulfate was rubbed over it subsequently for more complete erasure but is present in Banno Bir. It is believed that he described a sinner incorrigible for whom there is no hope of redemption, because it ran counter to the Sikh belief in God’s Grace even for the worst sinners as replied by Guru Arjun following the one line of the hymn:

ਛਾਡਿ ਮਨ ਹਰਿ ਬਿਮੁਖਨ ਕੋ ਸੰਗੁ
Cẖẖād man har bimukẖan ko sang.

O man, do not even associate with those who have turned their backs on God. ------Surdas, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1253-10

Complete hymn( Not found in AGGS)

In association with people against God, evil desires are produced, and devotion is interrupted. What is the use of giving milk to a serpent to drink? It will not part with its poison.

What availeth it to bathe an elephant in the river? He will soil his body as before.

What availeth it to a crow to peck at camphor or to a dog to bathe in the Ganges?

What availeth it to a donkey to be smeared with fragrant aloes, or to a monkey to wear jewels on his body?

Sinners are like stones; the arrows of Divine Knowledge pierce them not, even though a quiversful be discharged.

Says Surdas, O God, this black blanket cannot be dyed another color (meaning a man turned away from God cannot be regenerated).

Guru Arjun replies to Surdas’s above hymn AGGS, Raag Sarang, Page, 1253:

ਹਰਿ ਕੇ ਸੰਗ ਬਸੇ ਹਰਿ ਲੋਕ
ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਅਰਪਿ ਸਰਬਸੁ ਸਭੁ ਅਰਪਿਓ ਅਨਦ ਸਹਜ ਧੁਨਿ ਝੋਕ ਰਹਾਉ
ਦਰਸਨੁ ਪੇਖਿ ਭਏ ਨਿਰਬਿਖਈ ਪਾਏ ਹੈ ਸਗਲੇ ਥੋਕ
ਆਨ ਬਸਤੁ ਸਿਉ ਕਾਜੁ ਨ ਕਛੂਐ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਬਦਨ ਅਲੋਕ
ਸਿਆਮ ਸੁੰਦਰ ਤਜਿ ਆਨ ਜੁ ਚਾਹਤ ਜਿਉ ਕੁਸਟੀ ਤਨਿ ਜੋਕ
ਸੂਰਦਾਸ ਮਨੁ ਪ੍ਰਭਿ ਹਥਿ ਲੀਨੋ ਦੀਨੋ ਇਹੁ ਪਰਲੋਕ
Har ke sang base har lok. Ŧan man arap sarbas sabẖ arpi▫o anaḏ sahj ḏẖun jẖok.  rahā▫o. Ḏarsan pekẖ bẖa▫e nirbikẖa▫ī pā▫e hai sagle thok. Ān basaṯ si▫o kāj na kacẖẖū▫ai sunḏar baḏan alok. Si▫ām sunḏar ṯaj ān jo cẖāhaṯ ji▫o kustī ṯan jok. Sūrḏās man parabẖ hath līno ḏīno ih parlok. 

The people of the God dwell with It. They dedicate their minds, bodies, and everything to God; they are intoxicated with the celestial melody of intuitive ecstasy. Pause. Gazing upon the Blessed Vision of God, they are cleansed of corruption. They obtain absolutely everything. They have nothing to do with anything else; they gaze on the beauteous Face of God.  But one who forsakes the elegantly beautiful God, and harbors desire for anything else, is like a leech on the body of a leper. Surdas, God has taken my mind in Its Hands and has blessed me with the world beyond. -----Guru Arjun, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1253

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