PIPA, one of whose hymns is incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib, was a prince who renounced his throne in search of spiritual solace. He was born at Gagaraun, in present day Jhalawar district of Rajasthan, about AD 1425. He 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 Kashi (Varanasi) and receive initiation from Ramanand. 

Pipa went to Kashi, but Ramanand refused to see him in his gaudy robes. Pipa cast off his royal apparel and put on a mendicant`s garment.He returned home after initiation and began to live like an ascetic. At his invitation Ramanand visited Gagaraun, and the raja lent his shoulder to the palanquin carrying him 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 (Gujarat) where Lord Krsna, after the Mahabharata war, 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 was of a pious temperament. He selected a cave for his residence from where he daily walked through a tunnel to the temple of Krsna on the sea coast.

The temple is still a popular place of pilgrimage, and a fair is held there annually in Pipa`s memory. After what he thought was a personal encounter with the Lord, he gave up idol worship. He and his company on wife started living in a jungle. After a period of penance, he set out roaming about the country to serve the common people.

He, along with his wife, sang hymns and prayers of his own composition and collected money to be distributed among the poor. He fed the mendicants and treated them as God`s chosen ones.From an idol worshipper (saguna bhakta} Pipa became a worshipper of the Formless One (nirguna devotee). As he says in his hymn in the Guru Granth Sahib, the body itself is the Supreme Being`s temple {kdiau devat).

One need not make stone images of Him and burn incense or light candles in front of them. Two collections of Pipa`s sayings are known to exist, namely Shn Pipdji Bdm and Sarab Gutakd, both in manuscript form. Pipa Math, a monastery in Dwarka, honours his memory.

References :

1. Taran Singh, ed.. Gum Granth RatnavaK. Patiala, n.d.
2. Pratap Singh, Giani, Bhngnt Dnrshan. Amritsar, 2001 Bk
3. Macaulifte, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. London, 1909