Saint Pipa

Saint Pipa [1425 – ?], one of whose hymns is incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib, was a prince who renounced his throne in search of enlightenment. He was born at Gagaraun, in the present day Jhalawar district of Rajasthan and was a devotee of the Goddess Bhavani whose idol was enshrined in a temple within the premises of his palace. The Goddess, it is said, once told him in a dream to visit Varanasi and receive initiation from Saint Ramanand.

Pipa went to Varanasi, but Saint Ramanand refused to see him in his gaudy robes. Pipa cast off his royal apparel and put on poor ones, after which he was initiated and began to live like an ascetic. At his invitation, Saint Ramanand visited Gagaraun, and King Pipa lent his shoulder to the palanquin carrying Ramanand in a procession.

Pipa now finally decided to give up his throne and retire to a life of seclusion and meditation. He went to Dwarka where Lord Krishna, after the Mahabharata, had spent the last years of his life. All the twelve wives of Pipa insisted on accompanying him, but he took along only one, named Sita, who had a spiritual inclination. He selected a cave for his residence from where he daily walked through a tunnel to the temple of Lord Krishna on the sea coast. The temple is still a popular place of pilgrimage and a fair is held there annually in the memory of Saint Pipa.