5 April 1425|
Gagron, Jhalawar, Rajasthan, India
|Died||Unknown (~early 15th century)|
|Other names||Raja Pipaji or King Pipaji|
|Occupation||Ruler of Gagron|
|Known for||1 verse in Guru Granth Sahib.|
Bhagat Pipa, also known as Pratap Singh Raja Pipaji, Rao Pipa, Sardar Pipa, Sant Pipaji, Pipa Bairagi or Pipanand Acharya, was a Rajput King of Gagaraungarh who abdicated the throne to become a Hindu mystic poet and saint of the Bhakti movement. He was born in the Malwa region of North India (east Rajasthan) in approximately AD 1425.
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. 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. Bhagat Pipa is considered one of the earliest influential sants of the Bhakti movement in 15th century northern India.
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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. Pipa worshipped the Hindu goddess Durga Bhavani and kept her idol in a temple within his palace. 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.
According to Bhaktamal, a Bhakti movement hagiography, his wife, Sita, stayed with him before and after his abdication when he became a wandering monk. 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. The robbers were so touched that they abandoned their ways and became Pipa's disciples. Pipa Bhagat met with Bhagat Ravidas at Kashi and became his disciple. One time he take Amrit from Ravidas Bhagat but did not drink because Ravidas bhagat was a low caste. Second time Pipa Bhagat met with Ravidas and demanded Amarit, but Ravidas Bhagat did not give him Amarit and asked him to do Prabu-bhagati.
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.. They Pipabhagat with Ramanand swami and Raidasji had visited Dwarika for pilgrimage. When others left the bhakt couple decided to stay back till darshan and upon taunt from someone had jumped into sea with his wife.It is said that after a week at lord Srikrishna's gold Dwarika underwater they emerged safely on coast with a ring and sari(woman's wrap around clothe) insignia by the lord himself. While roaming on coastal area they came near rajula/jafarabad region and for alleviating hardship of poor people dying from famines - he stayed at Pipavav for two years.
Pipa Bhagat had stayed at Pipavav village during famine and had opened 'langhar' (free meals) for all. He had also dug a 'vaav' (ground water source) which provides water to the village till date (round the year). Maharaja of Bhavnagar is said to have donated very large area of land to the temple for maintenance and cow grazing. Currently, Pipavav port & GHCL salt pans are constructed on part of those lands. There is a huge temple near Vaav where Neelkunth Varni (who became Swaminarayan in later years) had visited while roaming India, before settling down in Kathiyawar during Raj.
His date of birth and death is unknown, but the traditional genealogy in Bhakti hagiography suggests he died in 1400 CE.
Key teachings and influence
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.
<poem> Within the body is the god, within the body is the temple, within the body is all the Jangamas 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. </poem>— Sant Pipa, Gu dhanasari, Translated by Vaudeville
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. There is Pipavav village near seacoast 20km south of Rajula where a temple/ashram is there with gaushala (cow rearing) and the water well with steps (vaav) is still source of sweet water-where schhaminarayans have carried out some repairing and cover/gate etc. and has installed stone plate proclaiming their effort.
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- A term in Shaiva Hindu religiosity, referring to an individual who is always on the go, seeking, learning
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