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Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj

The fifth original Jagadguru in the history of the world

5 October 1922 – 15 November 2013

Supreme Spiritual Master of the World, Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj was the Descension of Divine Love and Bliss, Propounder of Eternal Vedic Philosophy and Reconciler of all Philosophies. As the fifth original Jagadguru in the history of the world, he was also honoured with the unprecedented title of Jagadguruttam, Supreme among all Jagadgurus on 14 January 1957, when he was just 34 years of age. His natural scholarliness inspired trust in even the greatest intellectuals, while his tremendous love, causeless grace and endless compassion melted the hearts and inspired devotional love in all who came near him. His satsang was divinely exhilarating and unbelievably joyous. Every association with him was like being in the company of your dearest friend who was urging you at every moment to go closer and closer to God. Today his spiritual legacy of love and wisdom is preserved on electronic media, in the form of recorded discourses and sankirtans and in his literary works that continues to inspire countless people to traverse the path of selfless devotion.

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The Author

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj was the only Saint of this age to be honoured with the title of Jagadguru, the highest authority among all Hindu Vedic Saints and scholars. This title is given only to that Saint who brings about a spiritual revolution in the world through his divine teachings. Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj was the supreme exponent of Sanatan Dharm, the eternal Vedic religion, and his reconciliation of all philosophies and faiths is unparalleled.

He appeared in 1922 on the auspicious night of Sharat Purnima into a highly respected Brahmin family in the remote village of Mangarh, in the district of Pratapgarh in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. He completed his early education in Mangarh and Kunda. Later he studied Sanskrit grammar, literature and Ayurveda at Indore, Chitrakoot and Varanasi.

At the tender age of sixteen, he retreated into the dense forests near Sharbhang ashram in Chitrakoot, and then into the forests near Vanshivat, Vrindavan. During that period, he was deeply engrossed in the divine love of Shri Radha Krishna. Whosoever saw him in that state of trance was astonished and felt that he was the very embodiment of love and bliss. Nobody at that time could have known that he had an unfathomable and immeasurably vast ocean of spiritual wisdom hidden within him. For the benefit of people, he gradually started to conceal and control those ecstatic states in order to propagate the bhakti of Shri Krishna. Along with his inspiring messages of divine love, he started to reveal his divine wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures.

In 1955, Shri Maharaj Ji organised the first of two huge conferences in Chitrakoot, which was attended by all the Jagadgurus and other eminent scholars from Kashi (considered the highest seat of spiritual wisdom in India) and various other centres within India. The second conference took place in 1956, within the city of Kanpur. The most learned scholars of Kashi attending the Kanpur conference were amazed to see such a young man possessing such scriptural omniscience. The most eminent and universally recognised scholar present, the Chief Secretary of Kashi Vidvat Parishat (a body of 500 topmost scholars), Acharya Shri Raj Narayan Shatshastri, a leading luminary in the field of scriptural debate and a foremost philosopher of India, made a public proclamation after listening to Shri Maharaj Ji's discourse on 19 October 1956, a part of which is quoted below:

You are extremely fortunate to have in your midst a Saint who can present this level of divine knowledge. Kashi is the centre of spiritual learning for the entire world. We, the residents of Kashi are seated here. Hearing Shri Kripalu Ji’s divine utterances yesterday, we were all compelled to accept humble submission before him.

Kashi Vidvat Parishat invited Shri Maharaj Ji to address them in Kashi, which he did the following year.

The extraordinary discourses delivered by Shri Maharaj Ji in classical Sanskrit to the scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishat, combined with his ‘out of this world’ personality, soaked in the bliss of divine love, left the learned gathering completely spellbound. They unanimously admitted that he was not only a great scholar of the Vedas and all other scriptures, but also an embodiment of divine love. They unanimously honoured him with several titles including Jagadguru, declaring him to be Jagadguruttam, Supreme Amongst all Jagadgurus. This historic event took place on 14 January 1957 when Shri Maharaj Ji was just thirty-four years of age. Prior to him, only four Saints have been honoured with the title of Jagadguru: Adi Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya, Jagadguru Shri Ramanujacharya, Jagadguru Shri Nimbarkacharya and Jagadguru Shri Madhvacharya.

Throughout his life, Shri Maharaj Ji delivered hundreds of enlightening discourses, effortlessly and eloquently reciting Sanskrit verses from the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads, Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures leaving both the scholar and the layperson speechless. He revealed thousands of bhajans and kirtanas that evoke extremely devotional sentiments within the heart as well as explain the philosophy of the Vedas and Vedic scriptures in a very simple, practical and logical manner. He personally trained many preachers who travel the world spreading the most authentic Vedic philosophy expounded by him. Together with his televised discourses, his teachings have now spread all over the world.

The spiritual work undertaken by Shri Maharaj Ji is certainly his greatest contribution to society. However, recognising the need to take care of the physical body, Shri Maharaj Ji inspired people to engage in humanitarian activities as well. Thus, the international, non-profit, charitable, educational and spiritual organisation, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat has been established. Charitable institutions that serve the poor and needy in the areas of health and education are fully operational in some of India’s most underdeveloped areas. Centres for devotional practice are scattered throughout India and abroad, providing venues for people to practice the principles of bhakti yoga in their daily life.

Making no distinction between caste, creed, colour, race or religion, and with his infinite love and compassion, Shri Maharaj Ji gathered all into the purity of his divine embrace. His divine effulgence shone through all he said, all he did and all he was. Every seeker was amazed to see how approachable he was, and enjoyed the special privilege of individual attention from him. In so doing, he made everyone feel that they belonged to him. It was very easy to become a recipient, because there was no giver like Shri Maharaj Ji. True to his name ‘Kripalu’, he was the very ocean of grace.

In this age where people are judged by material success, the human soul yearning for peace and fulfilment finds soothing solace in his philosophy. His teachings shatter all doubts and spiritual confusion with great ease and effectively reveal a clear and practical path leading to God.

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Profound and Practical Literature

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj freely distributed the supreme bliss of Shri Radha Krishna love in an unimaginable amount and by all means. Apart from providing detailed and easy-to-follow devotional guidelines, explaining the true philosophy of soul, God, the world and the path to God-realisation, he extensively revealed the science behind devotion.

One must sincerely strive to understand the significance of his rich literary legacy, containing profound and timeless knowledge simply explained. How fortunate we are to be present in this age to be able to receive the benefit.

His graciousness had no equal and his kindness no limit - we can only have a fleeting glimpse.

  • All Joy, All Love, All Knowledge

    Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj had many amazing qualities, some never-before-seen in a Jagadguru. For example,

    • He possessed supreme authority in both tattvajnana (knowledge of scriptural concepts and principles) and bhakti (practical devotion to God) and distributed both bounteously.
    • His tireless propagation of madhurya bhakti (the divine love of Shri Radha Krishna) resulted in Shri Radha Krishna becoming a household name all over the world.
    • Even though Saints had already shown that devotion to God was possible by engaging the mind, variously described as dhyan, sumiran, smaran, meditation etc. Shri Maharaj Ji, for the first time, renamed and redefined the process of meditation as rupadhyana. He revealed that meditation is really only meaningful when one concentrates his mind on a form of God of one’s choice. Concentrating on a form of God is in fact meditation, and this becomes devotion only by lovingly engaging the mind continuously in that process. If one does not focus on a form of God, his mind will roam here and there in this material world. Some may say, "We have not seen God, so how can I concentrate on His form?" The science of this, and all related things, has been explained lucidly by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj in his principal work Prema Rasa Siddhanta (Philosophy of Divine Love) quoting from Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu, Narada Bhakti Sutra, Brahmasutra and other sources.
    • Though honoured as Jagadguruttam, he never had a Guru or Spiritual Master himself.
    • He never initiated anyone as his disciple, and yet he had millions of followers.
    • He travelled extensively all over India delivering innumerable discourses and giving satsang at huge public gatherings and within people's homes.
    • He travelled overseas to reveal Vedic teaching in discourses he gave in the USA, England, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Trinidad, etc.
    • Even at the age of ninety years, he continued to quote canto, chapter and verse from all Upanishads, the Shrimad Bhagavatam and other Puranas; the Brahmasutra, the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures so rapidly that listeners had to concede that he was a living example of shrotriya brahmanishtha (one well-versed in the scriptures and who has attained divine love).

Biography

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj - A Short Biography

'The Supreme Spiritual Master of the World', 'Descension of Divine Love and Bliss', 'Eminent Propounder of Eternal Vedic Religion' and 'Reconciler of all Seemingly Contradictory Philosophical Views of the World', Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj truly was the personified form of divine love.

His natural scholarliness inspired trust in even the greatest intellectuals, while his tremendous love, causeless grace and endless compassion melted the hearts and inspired devotional love in all who came near him. His satsang was divinely exhilarating and unbelievably joyous.

Every association with him was like being in the company of your dearest friend who was urging you at every moment, both internally and externally, to go closer and closer and closer to God . . .

  • Childhood

    Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj (lovingly addressed as Shri Maharaj Ji by all) appeared on this Earth on 5 October 1922 during the auspicious full moon night of Sharat Purnima in Mangarh (known today as Bhakti Dham), a tiny village in Pratapgarh district, Uttar Pradesh state in North India. His mother, Shrimati Bhagavati Devi and his father, Shri Lalta Prasad Tripathi, who was a pious Brahmin named their child Ram Kripalu.

    Right from childhood Ram Kripalu showed signs of divinity and was a most precocious student. His father enrolled him at the local primary school where he attended from 1926-1931 before going to the town of Kunda, a short 5 kilometres from Mangarh, where he attended middle school from 1932-1934. According to the practice of child marriage that was prevalent in those days, his parents got him married to the daughter of a learned scholar hailing from the nearby village of Leelapur in 1933. Despite being married, Shri Maharaj Ji often left home for long intervals.

  • Education

  • In the Jungles of Chitrakoot and Vrindavan

  • Chitrakoot Conference

  • Kanpur Conference

  • A Landmark Event in the History of the World

  • The Fifth Jagadguru in the History of the World

  • Jagadguruttam, Supreme Among All Jagadgurus

  • Bhaktiyogarasavatar, Descension of Divine Love and Bliss

  • Nikhildarshan-Samanvayacharya, Reconciler of all Seemingly Contradictory Philosophical Views

  • Devotional Literature

  • An Inspirational Life

  • Charitable Activities