The daughter-in-law was surprised at the request, but once asked had no choice but to follow the command and went and told her mother-in-law as to what the sadhu was requesting. She said whatever he wishes we should give him for we are bound by our promise.
The daughter-in-law returned with the needles and handed them to Surdas who said, " I cannot believe that I was going to destroy such a devout, kind and generous family all because of these lustful eyes of mine that will stop at nothing in its pursuit of pleasure." And he blinded himself with those needles.
Once his physical eyes were destroyed he saw only the image of Krishna. The physical attraction of others gave way to the attraction for their real self, their real beauty.
From then on he composed endless number of verses glorifying the love of child Krishna for his mother Yashodha.
In the beginning his verses were mostly begging for forgiveness from Krishna for his transgressions and endless declarations as to how his mind finds pleasure in no other place but in returning to Krishna over and over again. However, once chided by his guru Vallabhacharya to stop being so pathetically abject and grovelling towards Krishna out of fear that his soul will not survive without such self effacement, he started writing verses that were much more versatile and dealt with far greater range of themes.
Surdas's blinding of his eyes for remorse over having sexual desire towards a beautiful woman who was somebody else's wife, and who when she became available to him, reminded him of Radha (Krishna's consort) and his blinding himself as a penitence for such evil designs is remarkably similar to the legend of Oedipus.
I was also struck by the fact that Surdas could find no lust for the daughter-in-law when she did come to offer herself because it meant destruction of that sacred and immaculate beauty is similar to how Freud described Leonardo Da Vinci's inability to love women, for making love to them would tantamount to destroying their beauty. Under the spell of the beauty of his mother, whom he loved so passionately, Da Vinci could only love and admire beauty and paint it, never subject it to sexual passions. Surdas also fled from the idea of having sex with that beautiful woman in favor of singing songs of Krishna's and his mother's love for each other.