Bhagat Trilochan not only condemned superstitions, useless rituals but also criticised fake sadhus.
“O Dear Lord, You,
Yourself know everything”
— Bhagat Trilochan
Bhagat Trilochan, a medieval Indian saint, was a firm believer in the supremacy of the Almighty and His justice. A person forever immersed in the remembrance of God was rightly named as Trilochan, meaning, three-eyed, that is, a saint of the present, past and future.
Trilochan was always engaged in bhakti, his mind immersed in devotion and love. Like most of the Bhakti saints, he also composed hymns reflecting on the this-worldly and the other-worldly life. Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru, included four shabads in the sacred granth of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib.
These hymns, written by Bhagat Trilochan, provide a window to a spiritual way of life and condemn unnecessary moh (attachment) and lobh (greed). He writes, “The mind is totally attached to maya; the mortal has forgotten his fear of old age and death. Gazing upon his family, he blossoms forth like the lotus flower; a deceitful person watches and… When the powerful messenger of death comes, no one can stand against his awesome power.”
Bhagat Trilochan always sought the company of other spiritual and like-minded people. He used to serve all saintly persons and believed that sangat influenced one’s thinking and conduct. He says, “Rare, very rare, is that friend who comes and says, ‘O my Beloved, take me into Your Embrace! O my Lord, please save me!’”
Trilochan was born in the village Barsi, near Sholapur town in the state of Maharashtra. Trilochan was a contemporary and a close friend of Bhagat Namdev. Bhagat Trilochan noticed that Namdev was always occupied with one work or the other. Trilochan, unable to understand this combination of spiritual with mundane worldly life, asked Bhagat Namdev to explain when did he find time to remember the Lord if he was engaged in other things?
Namdev replied that although his hands were engaged in worldly occupations, his mind was ever fixed on the Supreme Being. For a householder, this was the best way to remember God and realise the Ultimate Truth. Sikhism is a religion of the householders and does not believe in sanyasa or renunciation.
Bhagat Trilochan not only condemned superstitions, useless rituals but also criticised fake sadhus. He argues that though outwardly, they wear the dress of a sanyasi but they have not cleansed the filth from within. In their heart, they have not recognised God. He wonders, — “Why have you become a sanyasi? You have not realised the Lord, the embodiment of supreme bliss. 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. Why bother to chant your spells? Why bother to practice austerities? Why bother to churn water? Meditate on the Lord of Nirvana, who has created the 8.4 million species of beings. Why bother to carry the water-pot, O saffron-robed Yogi? Why bother to visit the 68 holy places of pilgrimage?” Says Trilochan, “Listen, mortal: you have no corn — what are you trying to thresh?”
This simple question is, in fact, also an answer to the true path of realisation. Devotion, Nam-Simran, seva, honest labour and a simple life are the only ways to salvation.