The blid bard
Soordas, the blind bard of Brij, occupies a very eminent position in Hindi literature. He is considered the Valmiki of Brij (a dialect of Hindi), not only because he was the first poet to write in that dialect, but also because his works have an epic stature. Soordas was not only a poet, but also a great composer. His songs became so popular that even during his lifetime, he had become a legend. If Brij is understood today from Rajasthan and Punjab on the West to Assam in the East, the credit goes almost entirely to seven. Of these, Soor-Sagar has the pride of place, followed by Soor-Saravali and Sahitya Lahari. According to legend, Soor-Sagar consisted of a hundred thousand songs, though today only a few thousand of these are known and sung. Soordas was a follower of the Pushti Cult, founded by Vallabhacharya. This cult looked upon Krishna as the supreme incarnation of God and believed that God can be attained only through His grace. Like many other Vaishnavaite cults, the Pushti Cult too held that all those who worship God belong to the same brotherhood, irrespective of their caste. The affection of Yashoda and the gopis, the cowherd-girls of Brij, for Krishna; the intense love of Radha for Krishna and the dalliance of the latter with the gopis formed the theme of most of his songs.
Many of his songs are included even in the Granth Sahab, the holy book of the Sikhs - a testimony to their popularity. Though he is credited with the composition of 25 works, perhaps he wrote only