TRILOCHAN, one of the three Mahārāshṭrian saint-poets whose compositions are included in the Gurū Granth Sāhib, the other two being Nāmdev and Parmānand. Trilochan is said to have been born in AD 1267 of a Vaiśya family. There is no unanimity among scholars regarding the place of his birth. Some say that he was born in the village of Bārsī in present-day Sholāpur district of Mahārāshṭra, others that he was born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh but came to Mahārāshṭra where he spent most of his life. Besides being an ardent Vaiṣṇavite, Trilochan (lit. the three-eyed, that is one who can see the past, present and future all at once) was a learned scholar well versed in the Purāṇic lore and Indian philosophical thought. Among the ślokas of Bhakta Kabīr, incorporated in the Gurū Granth Sāhib are interposed two (212 and 213) which purport to represent a dialogue between Trilochan and Nāmdev. In the first śloka Trilochan, addressing Nāmdev, who was commonly seen occupied with the printing of cotton sheets, which was his profession, derided him for being too much attached to the world. Nāmdev in the second śloka gently tells Trilochan that true bhakti lay in lovingly repeating the Lord's Name while doing one's work with one's hands and feet.

        Four hymns of Trilochan are included in the Gurū Granth Sāhib, one each in Sirī Rāga and Dhanāsarī Rāga, and two in Gūjarī Rāga. The theme of the hymn in the Sirī Rāga (GG. 92) turns upon God, man, devotion, death and the final release (mokṣa). God is all-pervading, present in every place, and knows everything; man, oblivious of death, remains engrossed in love of family, the neighbour's possessions, pleasures and mammon and comes to grief. Of Trilochan's two hymns in Rāga Gūjarī, the first, in order to stress the superiority of a pure heart and devotion to God, questions seriously the validity of all mendicant garbs, ritualistic observances, and ascetical practices. The second hymn in Rāga Gūjarī centres upon the psyche of man and transmigration. Trilochan in consonance with the Indian religious conception says that the last thoughts of the dying man, the result of the passion and desires which ruled his life, determine his future birth. A dying man absorbed in the thought of wealth will be born a serpent, a man absorbed in the thought of woman will be born sans morals. Trilochan's hymn in Rāga Dhanāsari (GG, 695) abounding in allusions to the Indian Purāṇic literature and mythology puts forth the view that one's own acts are exonerable only through the remembrance of God's Name. In this hymn, as in the hymns of Nāmdev, the use of che has been made in relational cases, e.g. "...tā che mohi jāpīale rām che nāmaṅ," "bisv kā dīpaku svāmī tā che re suārathī paṅkhī rāi garuṛ tā che bādhavā", etc.


  1. Śabadārth Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Amritsar, 1959
  2. Gurdit Siṅgh, Giānī, Itihās Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib (Bhagat Bāṇī Bhāg) Chandigarh, 1990
  3. Sāhib Siṅgh, Bhagat Bāṇī Saṭīk. Amritsar, 1959-60
  4. Chaturvedī, Parshū Rām, Uttarī Bhārat kī Sant Pramparā. Allahabad, 1964
  5. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion : Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors. Oxford, 1909

Tāran Siṅgh