Like Kabir and Raidas, Sant Peepaji was also a disciple of Swami Ramanand. He was born in Vikram Samvant (the year of Vikram era) 1380. His original name was Prataprai and was the King of Gagrongadh near Zalawad in Rajasthan. He had twelve queens and was the only King of 52 forts. He had defeated the army of Firojshah Tughlak all by himself. He always thought that whatever he has got in life was given to him by God.
It was his devotion for God that he reached Kashi in search of a real Guru and presented himself in front of the great saint of those times, Acharya Swami Ramanand. Swami Ramanand told him, “Brother, we are ascetics, what do we have to do with a statue of luxury? We only need person with an attire of an ascetic.”Hearing this, the King immediately removed his clothes and wore clothes of an ascetic and went to Swamiji. Seeing him Swamiji was pleased but, to test him, he said, “If you are a true devotee, why don’t you jump in the well? You will be able to see God there.” Hearing this, Peepaji started running to jump in the well but Swamiji held him back. Seeing this zeal of Peepaji, Shri Ramanand gave him Guru Mantra and accepted him as his disciple. Swamiji told him, “you take in (pee in hindi) the juice of Lord’s love and attain (paa in hindi) him. King Prataprai made these two words Pee and Pa of his Guru’s preaching as precept of salvation and named himself Peepa. After this, he became famous in the name of Peepa.
After a while when Swami Ramanand was going for pilgrimage to Dwarika along with 40 disciples including Kabir and Raidas, he came to meet him at Gagrongadh. He ceremoniously welcomed his Guru and arranged for his stay at the confluence area of river Aahu and Kalisindh. There are signs of his footstep even today. It is said that at Peepaji’s request, Shri Ramanand stayed there for one month but when he asked to leave for Dwarka, Peepaji could not accept to be separated from his Guru and so even he went along with him to Dwarka.
After reaching Dwarka, Peepaji was so attached with Krishna’s devotion that even after his Guruji went away from Dwarka, he stayed back for quite some time. During this time, once he became so desperate to have a glimpse of Shri Krishna that he jumped into the sea. His queen also jumped behind him. There, in water Shri Kirshna manifested in the form of a couple and Peepaji got a glimpse of him. He remained in the water for a week and when he came out of water, people were surprised to see him. It is said that he had a darshan of Krishna once in Vrindavan also.
After the pilgrimage of Dwarka, Peepaji returned to his native Gagrongadh and started living in a cave at the confluence of river Aahu and Kalisindh. Till date, there is a temple of him. No one knows about the exact location of the cave but it is said that it has gone till the waters of the river.
Peepaji’s biography is full of various stories and incidents. He used to move around in jungles all alone in between wild animals and insects. It is said that once he had preached a dangerous lion over God’s Mantra. Even today, in this jungle, Lions don’t harass cows and human beings. With his influence, tigers and cows drink water together at the same place.
In his life, Peepaji had transformed thousands of heretics into religious, lots of wicked in to gentlemen and infinite poor in to rich people. He was a great devotee and a great social reformer. Peepaji’s words are enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib too. He believed,
“There is God within this physical body. The God for whom we search here and there is seated within our body. Everything in this universe is present in human body. The one who searches finds everything within this body.” According to him, the supreme spirit is real and a good tutor can help us see him.
Peepaji opposed external hypocrisy and believing life to be in each and every leaves refused to pluck flowers and leaves. One of the greatest devotee of his time, it was the power of his devotion that in spite of being a King, he was put up in the lines of devotees like Kabir.