Bhagat Pipa

Bhagat Pipa, also known as Pratap Singh Raja Pipaji, Rao Pipa, Sardar Pipa, Sant Pipaji, Pipa Bairagi or Pipanand Acharya,[citation needed] was a Rajput King of Gagaraungarh who abdicated the throne to become a Hindu mystic poet and saint of the Bhakti movement.[2][3] He was born in the Malwa region of North India (east Rajasthan) in approximately AD 1425.[4]

Born5 April 1425
Gagron, Jhalawar, Rajasthan, India
DiedUnknown (~early 15th century)[1]
Other namesRaja Pipaji or King Pipaji
OccupationRuler of Gagron
Known for1 verse in Guru Granth Sahib.
Spouse(s)Rani Sita
ChildrenRaja Dwarkanath

Pipa's exact date of birth and death are unknown, but it is believed that he lived in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century.[1][5][6] Born into a warrior class and royal family, Pipa is described as an early Shaivism (Shiva) and Sakta (Durga) follower. Thereafter, he adopted Vaishnavism as a disciple of Ramananda, and later preached Nirguni (god without attributes) beliefs of life.[7][1] Bhagat Pipa is considered one of the earliest influential sants of the Bhakti movement in 15th century northern India.[7]


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

Pipa was born into a Rajput royal family (Kshatriya varna) at Gagaron, in the present-day Jhalawar district of Rajasthan. He became the king of Gagaraungarh.[2] Pipa worshipped the Hindu goddess Durga Bhavani and kept her idol in a temple within his palace.[4] While Pipa was the king Gagaraungarh, he abdicated and became a 'sanyasi' and accepted Ramananda as his guru. He then joined Ramananda's Vaishnavism Bhakti, a movement with a strong monist emphasis based out of Varanasi.[7][1]

According to Bhaktamal, a Bhakti movement hagiography, his wife, Sita, stayed with him before and after his abdication when he became a wandering monk.[6][8] The hagiography mentions many episodes of his sannyasa life, such as one where robbers tried to steal his buffalo that provided milk to his companions. When he stumbled into the robbery in progress, he began helping the robbers and suggested that they should take the calf.[9] The robbers were so touched that they abandoned their ways and became Pipa's disciples.[9]

In his later life, Bhagat Pipa, as with several other disciples of Ramananda such as Kabir and Dadu Dayal, shifted his devotional worship from saguni Vishnu avatar (Dvaita, dualism) to nirguni (Advaita, monism) god, that is, from god with attributes to god without attributes.[10][11]

His date of birth and death is unknown, but the traditional genealogy in Bhakti hagiography suggests he died in 1400 CE.[1]

Key teachings and influenceEdit

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.[6]

Within the body is the god, within the body is the temple,
within the body is all the Jangamas[12]
within the body the incense, the lamps, and the food-offerings,
within the body is 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[10]

He shared same views as Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and Bhagat Pipa's hymns are included in the Guru Granth Sahib.[5][6][13][14]

In popular cultureEdit

Shri Krishna Bhakta Peepaji (1923) by Shree Nath Patankar, Bhakt Peepaji (1980) by Dinesh Rawal are Indian films about the legends of the saint.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ronald McGregor (1984), Hindi literature from its beginnings to the 19th century, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 978-3447024136, pages 42-44
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Max Arthur Macauliffe, The Sikh Religion: Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors, Volume 6, Cambridge University Press, pages 111-119
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b James Lochtefeld, "Pipa", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 978-0823931798, page 511
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ a b c David Lorenzen, who founded the Hinduism: Essays on Religion in History, ISBN 978-8190227261, pages 116-118
  8. ^ Winnand Callewaert (2000), The Hagiographies of Anantadas: The Bhakti Poets of North India, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700713318, pages 277-278
  9. ^ a b Winnand Callewaert (2000), The Hagiographies of Anantadas: The Bhakti Poets of North India, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700713318, page 285
  10. ^ a b Winnand Callewaert (2000), The Hagiographies of Anantadas: The Bhakti Poets of North India, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700713318, page 292
  11. ^ Michaels 2004, pp. 252-256.
  12. ^ A term in Shaiva Hindu religiosity, referring to an individual who is always on the go, seeking, learning
  13. ^ Page 949, History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1606-1708 C.E, Surjit Singh Gandhi, Atlantic Publishers & Dist, 2007
  14. ^ 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)
  15. ^ Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1999). Encyclopaedia of Indian cinema. British Film Institute. Retrieved 12 August 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit