Bhagat Pipa : Raga Dhanashri

Bhagat Pipa was a 15th c. king in the Rajput region, who left his throne and became a wandering ascetic under the guidance of the Bhakti guru Ramananda. Very little is know for certain of Pipa’s life. It is said that when he abdicated, his wife Sita joined him in his spiritual quest. The following poem, named after a very special raga which is employed in worship services for singing the praises of the Divine, emphasises that the sacred is not outside of us, and might make readers think of the conversation between PIr-o-Murshid Inayat Khan and the young materialist, recounted in this post.

The body is God,
the body is the temple,
the body is the worshiper,
the body is the sacred shrine.
The body is the incense,
the lamp, the sacred offerings;
it is the body I worship
with broken petals.

After searching
all the world,
it was in the body
I found all the treasure
of the world.
Nothing is born,
nothing dies —
such is Ram’s light.

What is contained
in the universe
is also contained
in the body:
whatever you seek,
you shall find.
Pipa says, He is Primal Matter;
the true guru will show this.

Translation Nirmal Dass

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