Hinduism - Who Was Pipa?

Pipa (15th century?) is a poet-saint in the Sant religious group.

Sant is an umbrella term for a group of poet-saints from central and northern India who share a number of common traits, including:

  1. A focus on individualized, interior religion leading to a personal experience of the divine; 
  2. Disdain for external ritual, particularly image worship; 
  3. Belief in the power of repeating one's patron deity's name; 
  4. And a willingness to ignore traditional caste distinctions.

Pipa was born into a Rajput royal family in the Malwa area, but he finally abdicated his kingdom and traveled to Benares to study under the poet-saint Ramananda.

Pipa was a follower of the mighty goddess Bhavani (an epithet of Parvati), according to the hagiographer Nabhadas, demonstrating the scope of the Sant tradition.

A couple of Pipa's lyrics have been preserved in the Adigranth, the Sikh community's holy scripture, and they are congruent with these traditions in terms of language and theological focus.

~Kiran Atma

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