Bhagat Pipa

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Born unknown (~14th century)[1]
Gagron, Jhalawar, Rajasthan, India
Died unknown (~early 15th century)[2]
Occupation Ruler of Gagron
Known for 1 verse in Guru Granth Sahib.
Spouse(s) Sita
Children Dwarkanath

Bhagat Pipa, born in Malwa region of north India (east Rajasthan), was a Rajput king of Gagaraungarh, who abdicated and turned into a sant and Hindu mystic poet of the Bhakti movement.[5][6]

Pipa's year of birth or death is unknown, but he is traditionally believed to have lived in late 14th and died in early 15th century.[2][1][7] Born in a warrior class and royal family, Pipa is described as an early Shaivism (Shiva) and Sakta (Durga) follower, thereafter adopted Vaishnavism with strong monist emphasis as a disciple of Ramananda, and later preached Nirguni (god without attributes) beliefs of life.[4][2] Bhagat Pipa is considered one of the earliest influential sants of the Bhakti movement in 15th century north India.[4]

His devotional hymns are incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib, a Sikhism scripture.[8][9]

Pipa is also known as Raja Pipaji or Rao Pipa or Sardar Pipa or Sant Pipaji or Pipa Bairagi or Pipanand Acharya.[citation needed]


Pipa (rightmost) with other Bhagats of Sikhism, Ravidas, Kabir and Namdev.

Pipa was born in a Rajput royal family (Kshatriya varna), at Gagaron, in present-day Jhalawar district of Rajasthan in a Rajput family, became the king of Gagaraungarh.[5] As a ruler, Pipa worshipped Hindu goddess Durga Bhavani while Pipa was king of a small Rajput kingdom, but abdicated, became a sannyasi and accepted the Brahmin Ramanand as his guru, joined Ramananda's Vaishnavism bhakti movement with a strong monist emphasis based out of Varanasi.[4][2]

According to Bhaktamal, a Bhakti movement hagiography, his wife Sita stayed with him before and after his abdication when he became a wandering monk.[7][10] The hagiography mentions many episodes of his sannyasa life, such as one where robbers were trying to steal his buffalo that provided milk to his companions, and when he stumbled into the robbery in progress, he began helping the robbers and suggested that they take a calf too.[11] The robbers were so moved that they abandoned their ways and became his disciples.[11]

In later life, Bhagat Pipa, as with several other disciples of Ramananda such as Kabir and Dadu Dayal, shifted their devotional worship from saguni Vishnu avatar (Dvaita, dualism) to nirguni (Advaita, monism) god, that is from god with attributes to god without attributes.[3][12]

His date of birth and death is unknown, but the traditional genealogy in Bhakti hagiography suggests he died about 1400 CE.[2]

Key teachings and influence[edit]

Pipa taught that god is within one's own self, and that true worship is to look within and have reverence for God in each human being.[7]

Within the body is the god, within the body the temple,
within the body all the Jangamas[13]
within the body the incense, the lamps and the food-offerings,
within the body the puja-leaves.

After searching so many lands,
I found the nine treasures within my body,
Now there will be no further going and coming,
I swear by Rama.

— Sant Pipa, Gu dhanasari, Translated by Vaudeville[3]

He influenced Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and Bhagat Pipa's hymns are included in the Guru Granth Sahib.[1][7]

Two collections of Pipa’s sayings are known to exist, namely Shñ Pipa ji Bani and Sarab Gutaka, both in manuscript form. Pipa Math, a monastery in Dwãrkã, honours his memory.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c James Lochtefeld, "Pipa", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 978-0823931798, page 511
  2. ^ a b c d e Ronald McGregor (1984), Hindi literature from its beginnings to the nineteenth century, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 978-3447024136, pages 42-44
  3. ^ a b c Winnand Callewaert (2000), The Hagiographies of Anantadas: The Bhakti Poets of North India, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700713318, page 292
  4. ^ a b c d David Lorenzen, Who Invented Hinduism: Essays on Religion in History, ISBN 978-8190227261, pages 116-118
  5. ^ a b John Stratton Hawley (1987), Three Hindu Saints in Saints and Virtues, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520061637, pages 63-66, 53-54
  6. ^ Max Arthur Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors, Volume 6, Cambridge University Press, ISBN , pages 111-119
  7. ^ a b c d Nirmal Dass (2000), Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791446836, pages 181-184
  8. ^ Page 949, History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1606-1708 C.E, Surjit Singh Gandhi, Atlantic Publishers & Dist, 2007
  9. ^ Mahankosh, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, ਇੱਕ ਮਹਾਪੁਰਖ, ਜੋ ਗਗਰੌਨ ਦਾ ਸਰਦਾਰ ਸੀ.¹ ਇਸ ਦਾ ਜਨਮ ਸੰਮਤ ੧੪੮੩ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੋਇਆ. ਪੀਪਾ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਦੁਰਗਾ ਦਾ ਭਗਤ ਸੀ ਫੇਰ ਰਾਮਾਨੰਦ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਚੇਲਾ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਵੈਰਾਗਦਸ਼ਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੀ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਸੀਤਾ ਸਮੇਤ ਘਰ ਤਿਆਗਕੇ ਦੇਸ਼ਾਟਨ ਕਰਕੇ ਅਵਸਥਾ ਵਿਤਾਈ। ਇਸ ਦੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੇਖੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ. "ਪੀਪਾ ਪ੍ਰਣਵੈ ਪਰਮ ਤਤੁ ਹੈ." (ਧਨਾ ਪੀਪਾ)
  10. ^ Winnand Callewaert (2000), The Hagiographies of Anantadas: The Bhakti Poets of North India, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700713318, pages 277-278
  11. ^ a b Winnand Callewaert (2000), The Hagiographies of Anantadas: The Bhakti Poets of North India, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700713318, page 285
  12. ^ Michaels 2004, pp. 252-256.
  13. ^ A term in Shaiva Hindu religiosity, referring to an individual who is always on the go, seeking, learning

Further reading[edit]

  • Michaels, Alex (2004), Hinduism: Past and Present (English translation of the book first published in Germany under the title Der Hinduismus: Geschichte und Gegenwart (Verlag, 1998) ed.), Princeton: Princeton University Press 
  • Encyclopedia of Sikhism by Harbans Singh. Published by Punjabi University, Patiala

External links[edit]

* History of Bhagat Pipaji Maharaj