Saint Surdas [1529 – ?], whose original name was Madan Mohan, is said to have been born in a high ranking Hindu Brahmin family. As he grew up, he gained proficiency in the arts of music and poetry for which he had a natural talent. He soon became a celebrated poet, singing with deep passion lyrics of divine love.
He attracted the attention of Moghul Emperor Akbar who appointed him governor of Sandila, but his heart lay elsewhere. He renounced the world and took to the company of holy men dedicating himself solely to God. He died at Benares. A shrine in the vicinity of the city honours his memory. The Guru Granth Sahib contains one hymn by Saint Surdas in the Indian classical melody of Sarang.