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Bhagat Trilochan Ji

Bhagat Trilochan whose name literally means three-eyed, that is, seer of the present, past and future, was a celebrated bhagat of the Vaisya caste. His birth is said to have taken place in the year 1267. He either lived at or visited Pandharpur in the Sholapur district of the Bombay presidency, and was a contemporary of Namdev, who mentioned or addressed him in his hymns. Inquiries at Pandharpur and the neighbouring city of Barsi have, however, failed to furnish any information regarding Trilochan. The following legend passes for history among his admirers.


Trilochan was born in the village Barsi, near the town of Sholapur in the Maharashtra state, though some scholars hold the view that he was born in Uttar Pradesh and that there was a Marathi influence on the language of his hymns in consequence of his prolonged stay in Maharashtra. Trilochan was a contemporary and close friend of Bhagat Namdev (1270-1330). Bhagat Trilochan observed that whenevr he called on his friend Namdev, the latter always happened to be busy in one worldly affair or another. At last one day, Trilochan could not restrain himself and asked his friend that he always appeared occupied in worldly affairs, how did he find the time to remember the Lord? Namdev satisfied his friends' curiosity in a very convincing manner and told him that althoguh his hands were engaged in worldly occupation, his mind was ever fixed on Him. For a householder, this was the best way to remember/worship God. Trilochan felt rather satisfied and happy at this answer. As says Bhai Gurdas, in his Var: X.21, it was Namdev who intoduced Trilochan to his Bhagat who showed him the way to the Lord. On this point, Guru Arjan Sahib ji says:

Meeting with the Bhagat, Trilochan attained the perfection of the Siddhas.

Four hymns of Trilochan are extant in the Sikh Scripture. These hymns severely denounce the futility of rituals and observances, superstitions and sham austerity. He says that engaging in such activities is as futile as churning water. He emphasises the need of realising God. Human mind remains impure and full of evils like ego. The outer garb is of a mendicant, but the soul inside is impure and mind restless. Bhagat Trilochan considers such beings and fallen ones, as having gone astray. Such people are not even remotely related to God, rather they deceive themselves as well as others. A hymn by Trilochan sums up these views as follows:

You have not cleansed the filth from within yourself, although outwardly, you wear the dress of a renunciate.
In the heart-lotus of your self, you have not recognized God - why have you become a Sannyaasee? ||1||
Deluded by doubt, O Jai Chand,
You have not realized the Lord, the embodiment of supreme bliss. ||1||Pause||

Only a daring and unattached holy-man could make such an unabashed and emphatic comment which happened to satirize the contemporary social and religious set up. Bhagat Trilochan was one such saint who dared say so. In his hymn in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, under Dhanasri measure, he addresses his wife, but subtly conveys a universal message:

"Deluded foolish woman! Why blame God?" ~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 695

His universal message was that God never does anything wrong and bad. Therefore, it is not proper for us to blame God for wrong-doings because pain and pleasure are the result of our own bad deeds and doings, both are cautioned against in Shabad-Guru ji. Trilochan tries to impress upon his wife the fact that one must face the consequence of one's deeds. The only way to save one's self from them is to ever remember God with complete devotion. This can save one from all kinds of bondage. God's grace and remembrance are the only means to wash off Karmic effects. Another hymn by him, included in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji; under Gujari measure, warns us of such effects:

At the very last moment, one who thinks of wealth, and dies in such thoughts,
shall be reincarnated over and over again, in the form of serpents. ||1||

Thus, he advises mankind not to remain engrossed throughout life in wealth, woman, son and land lest one should have all or any of these in one's consciousness all the time and especially at one's death. Mankind should perform their filial and social obligation in such a way that they never become forgetful of God. This will help them concentrate on the Divine Name as their end draws near. Only this can put an end to the process of their transmigration. The essence of the above hymn by Trilochan ji is to make a person aware of these aweful species which could become their fate. Thus, every individual is exhorted to remember the Lord which is the only means of diverting mankind's sensibilities, given to sensuous pleasure and material comfort, towards the pious Name of God. This reminds human creature of the ultimate objective of life, ie, remembrance of God always.

Guru Arjan Sahib Ji has also pointed out the disgusting characteristics of attachment and material gains. He exhorts persons that have God-rationalization as their ideal and live in the company of holy men (Saadh Sangat) to remain ever unaffected by and indifferent to the attachment of Moh and Maya (attachment and pursuit of material gain) Guru Ji states:

O emotional attachment, you are the invincible warrior of the battlefield of life; you totally crush and destroy even the most powerful.
You entice and fascinate even the heavenly heralds, celestial singers, gods, mortals, beasts and birds.

In sum, it can be said that Bhagat Trilochan ji has, with the help of some very apt historical and mythological allusions, shown a person the importance of the remembrance of the Divine Name with a pure heart. This is, instead of indulging in the in rituals and observances, which are as futile as churning water. He advises the mortal against over-indulgence in worldly, material attachments and achievements.


He had a perfect faith in and love for bhagats, but they visited him in inconveniently large numbers, and there were only he and his wife to attend and wait on them. He thought that they were not served as he could have wished, so he resolved on engaging a servant if he could find one who was accustomed to minister holy men. He continued to search for such an attendant, but not finding one he became sad at heart. It is said that God was not pleased at the sorrow of his bhagat, and sent him a candidate for service.

When God's canidate showed up Trilochan asked the candidate who he was, whence he had come, and whether he had parents and a house and a home. The man replied that he had no parents and no home. He had merely come to be engaged as a servant. He could wait on the bhagats of God without assistance from others, as his life had been spent in such service. He gave his name as Antarjami (the one who goes inside) which is interpreted as the searcher of hearts. Trilochan was highly pleased and ordered his wife to engage him and cheerfully supply all his wants. She was cautioned to consider his pleasure as her first duty.

Antarjami performed menial services for the bhagats, such as cooking, drawing water, washing their feet, shampooing and bathing them, in such a manner that Trilochan's house became famous for its hospitality; and a large crowd of bhagats began to live with him and consume his substance. Thirteen months passed in this way, until one day Trilochan's wife went to visit a female neighbour. The latter inquired why she was so dirty and looked so miserable. She replied that her lord had taken into his employ a servant who required so much attention that she had to spend all her days grinding corn and cooking for him. This was reported to Antarjami and he promptly disappeared.

When the time came to wait on the bhagats, Antarjami could not be found. Trilochan became very much grieved, and, rebuking his wife, told her that it was through her indiscretion that Antarjami had left their service. After Trilochan's grief had lasted for three days, it is said that he was comforted by divine intervention, he consequently applied himself to the praise and contemplation of the one true God. His sorrow was then dispelled.

The following hymns of Trilochan are found in the Guru Granth Sahib:

ਸਿਰੀਰਾਗ੝ ਤ੝ਰਿਲੋਚਨ ਕਾ ॥
Sirīrĝg Ŧrilocẖan kĝ.
Siree Raag, Trilochan:

ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ੝ ਮਨਿ ਆਗਲੜਾ ਪ੝ਰਾਣੀ ਜਰਾ ਮਰਣ੝ ਭਉ ਵਿਸਰਿ ਗਇਆ ॥
Mĝiĝ moh man ĝglaṛĝ parĝṇī jarĝ maraṇ bẖao visar gaiĝ.
The mind is totally attached to Maya; the mortal has forgotten his fear of old age and death.

ਕ੝ਟੰਬ੝ ਦੇਖਿ ਬਿਗਸਹਿ ਕਮਲਾ ਜਿਉ ਪਰ ਘਰਿ ਜੋਹਹਿ ਕਪਟ ਨਰਾ ॥੧॥
Kutamb ḝėkẖ bigsahi kamlĝ jio par gẖar joheh kapat narĝ. ||1||
Gazing upon his family, he blossoms forth like the lotus flower; the deceitful person watches and covets the homes of others. ||1||

ਦੂੜਾ ਆਇਓਹਿ ਜਮਹਿ ਤਣਾ ॥
Ḏūṛĝ ĝiohi jameh ṯaṇĝ.
When the powerful Messenger of Death comes,

ਤਿਨ ਆਗਲੜੈ ਮੈ ਰਹਣ੝ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥
Ŧin ĝglaṛai mai rahaṇ na jĝė.
no one can stand against his awesome power.

ਕੋਈ ਕੋਈ ਸਾਜਣ੝ ਆਇ ਕਹੈ ॥
Koī koī sĝjaṇ ĝė kahai.
Rare, very rare, is that friend who comes and says,

ਮਿਲ੝ ਮੇਰੇ ਬੀਠ੝ਲਾ ਲੈ ਬਾਹੜੀ ਵਲਾਇ ॥
Mil mėrė bīṯẖulĝ lai bĝhṛī valĝė.
O my Beloved, take me into Your Embrace!

ਮਿਲ੝ ਮੇਰੇ ਰਮਈਆ ਮੈ ਲੇਹਿ ਛਡਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
Mil mėrė ramaīĝ mai lėhi cẖẖadĝė. ||1|| rahĝo.
Meet me O my Lord and please save me! ||1||Pause||

ਅਨਿਕ ਅਨਿਕ ਭੋਗ ਰਾਜ ਬਿਸਰੇ ਪ੝ਰਾਣੀ ਸੰਸਾਰ ਸਾਗਰ ਪੈ ਅਮਰ੝ ਭਇਆ ॥
Anik anik bẖog rĝj bisrė parĝṇī sansĝr sĝgar pai amar bẖaiĝ.
Indulging in all sorts of princely pleasures, O mortal, you have forgotten God; you have fallen into the world-ocean, and you think that you have become immortal.

ਮਾਇਆ ਮੂਠਾ ਚੇਤਸਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਜਨਮ੝ ਗਵਾਇਓ ਆਲਸੀਆ ॥੨॥
Mĝiĝ mūṯẖĝ cẖėṯas nĝhī janam gavĝio ĝlsīĝ. ||2||
Cheated and plundered by Maya, you do not think of God, and you waste your life in laziness. ||2||

ਬਿਖਮ ਘੋਰ ਪੰਥਿ ਚਾਲਣਾ ਪ੝ਰਾਣੀ ਰਵਿ ਸਸਿ ਤਹ ਨ ਪ੝ਰਵੇਸੰ ॥
Bikẖam gẖor panth cẖĝlṇĝ parĝṇī rav sas ṯah na parvėsaʼn.
The path you must walk is treacherous and terrifying, O mortal; neither the sun nor the moon shine there.

ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹ੝ ਤਬ ਬਿਸਰਿ ਗਇਆ ਜਾਂ ਤਜੀਅਲੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੰ ॥੩॥
Mĝiĝ moh ṯab bisar gaiĝ jĝʼn ṯajīalė saʼnsĝraʼn. ||3||
Your emotional attachment to Maya will be forgotten, when you have to leave this world. ||3||

ਆਜ੝ ਮੇਰੈ ਮਨਿ ਪ੝ਰਗਟ੝ ਭਇਆ ਹੈ ਪੇਖੀਅਲੇ ਧਰਮਰਾਓ ॥
Āj mėrai man pargat bẖaiĝ hai pėkẖīalė ḝẖaramrĝo.
Today, it became clear to my mind that the Righteous Judge of Dharma is watching us.

ਤਹ ਕਰ ਦਲ ਕਰਨਿ ਮਹਾਬਲੀ ਤਿਨ ਆਗਲੜੈ ਮੈ ਰਹਣ੝ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥੪॥
Ŧah kar ḝal karan mahĝbalī ṯin ĝglaṛai mai rahaṇ na jĝė. ||4||
His messengers, with their awesome power, crush people between their hands; I cannot stand against them. ||4||

ਜੇ ਕੋ ਮੂੰ ਉਪਦੇਸ੝ ਕਰਤ੝ ਹੈ ਤਾ ਵਣਿ ਤ੝ਰਿਣਿ ਰਤੜਾ ਨਾਰਾਇਣਾ ॥
Jė ko mūʼn upḝės karaṯ hai ṯĝ vaṇ ṯariṇ raṯṛĝ nĝrĝiṇĝ.
If someone is going to teach me something, let it be that the Lord is pervading the forests and fields.

ਝ ਜੀ ਤੂੰ ਆਪੇ ਸਭ ਕਿਛ੝ ਜਾਣਦਾ ਬਦਤਿ ਤ੝ਰਿਲੋਚਨ੝ ਰਾਮਈਆ ॥੫॥੨॥
Ai jī ṯūʼn ĝpė sabẖ kicẖẖ jĝṇḝĝ baḝaṯ Ŧrilocẖan rĝmīĝ. ||5||2||
O Dear Lord, You Yourself know everything; so prays Trilochan, Lord. ||5||2||
~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 92

Raag Gujari, Padas of Trilochan Ji

A Hermit, a Sanyasi, a Brahmin called Jai Chand, a Jogi, and a Kapria held a religious discussion in which each maintained the superiority of his own sect. they came in the heat of their arguments to Trilochan, and he, knowing that they were all hypocrites, addressed them each in turn as follows:

One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
You have not cleansed the filth from within yourself, although outwardly, you wear the dress of a renunciate.
In the heart-lotus of your self, you have not recognized God - why have you become a Sannyaasee? ||1||
Deluded by doubt, O Jai Chand,
you have not realized the Lord, the embodiment of supreme bliss. ||1||Pause||
You eat in each and every house, fattening your body; you wear the patched coat and the ear-rings of the beggar, for the sake of wealth.
You apply the ashes of cremation to your body, but without a Guru, you have not found the essence of reality. ||2||
Why bother to chant your spells? Why bother to practice austerities? Why bother to churn water?
Meditate on the Lord of Nirvaanaa, who has created the 8.4 million species of beings. ||3||
Why bother to carry the water-pot, O saffron-robed Yogi? Why bother to visit the sixty-eight holy places of pilgrimage?
Says Trilochan, listen, mortal: you have no corn - what are you trying to thresh? ||4||1||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Raag Gujari, Padas of Trilochan Jee, Ghar 1, Ang 525

Raag Dhanasari, Trilochan

Trilochan, engaged in his devotions, neglected his worldly calling, and this led to his straitened domestic circumstances. Thereupon his wife became discontented and upbraided God. The following is Trilochan's remonstrance. He endeavoured to console her by telling her that her distress was the result of her sins.

One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:

Why do you slander the Lord? You are ignorant and deluded.
Pain and pleasure are the result of your own actions. ||1||Pause||
The moon dwells in Shiva's forehead; it takes its cleansing bath in the Ganges.
Among the men of the moon's family, Krishna was born; even so, the stains from its past actions remain on the moon's face. ||1||
Aruna was a charioteer; his master was the sun, the lamp of the world. His brother was Garuda, the king of birds;
and yet, Aruna was made a cripple, because of the karma of his past actions. ||2||
Shiva, the destroyer of countless sins, the Lord and Master of the three worlds, wandered from sacred shrine to sacred shrine; he never found an end to them.
And yet, he could not erase the karma of cutting off Brahma's head. ||3||
Through the nectar, the moon, the wish-fulfilling cow, Lakshmi, the miraculous tree of life, Sikhar the sun's horse, and Dhanavantar the wise physician - all arose from the ocean, the lord of rivers;
and yet, because of its karma, its saltiness has not left it. ||4||
Hanuman burnt the fortress of Sri Lanka, uprooted the garden of Raawan, and brought healing herbs for the wounds of Lachhman, pleasing Lord Raamaa;
and yet, because of his karma, he could not be rid of his loin cloth. ||5||
The karma of past actions cannot be erased, O wife of my house; this is why I chant the Name of the Lord. So prays Trilochan, Dear Lord. ||6||1||

~ Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Raag Dhanasari, Ang 695

Bhagat Trilochan Bani

Bhagat Trilochan's bani can be found in Guru Granth Sahib in the following Angs:
Bhagat Trilochan, Ang 92
Bhagat Trilochan, Ang 525 to 526
Bhagat Trilochan, Ang 695

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