Our Guru - Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, founder of the worldwide organization Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat, is a Hindu Saint whose entire life has been dedicated to inspiring souls on the path of devotion to God. Through enlightening discourses and chanting of the holy name, Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj (lovingly addressed as Shri Maharaj Ji by His devotees) has been making unceasing efforts to reveal the true philosophy from the Vedic scriptures to mankind in the simplest form possible so that they can attain their true goal of God Realization.
Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj took birth on October 5, 1922 on the auspicious full moon night in Mangarh, a tiny village in Northern India. His mother Bhagvati Devi and father Lalita Prasad Tripathi named their child Ram Kripalu. From childhood He showed signs of divinity and was a most precocious student. According to the custom of the times, His parents got Him married at a very young age to the daughter of a learned astrologer hailing from the nearby village of Leelapur. Despite being married, Shri Kripaluji Maharaj often left home for long intervals, and at the age of sixteen, He was discovered roaming the Chitrakoot forests in divine ecstasy earlier exhibited only by the greatest personalities such as Gaurang Mahaprabhu and Ramkrishna Paramhans. While still in His teens He led devotees in an ecstatic chanting of Hare Ram Sankeertan, which lasted six months.
At the young age of 34, He was awarded the title of Jagadguru by Kashi Vidvat Parishat, the distinguished and exclusive organization of 500 Vedic scholars, in the holy city of Benaras, on 14th January 1957. The title of Jagadguru has been granted only four times before. The first Jagadguru is Adi Shankaracharya; the second one is Jagadguru Ramanujacharya, followed in history by Jagadguru Nimbarkacharya and Jagadguru Madhvacharya. The title of Jagadguru (Guru of the world) is awarded only to a divine personality who possesses complete theoretical knowledge of all scriptures as well as a practical experience of God, and who brings about a spiritual revolution in the world.
When delivering enlightening discourses such as the ones given by Shri Krishna (Gita) and Shukdev Paramhans (Bhagvatam), Shri Kripaluji Maharaj recites the most difficult Sanskrit verses from the Vedas, Upanishads, Purans, Gita and other scriptures eloquently and explains them in a lucid manner that leaves both the scholar and the layman spellbound. The most remarkable aspect of His recitation is that He has never studied these scriptures. His formal education had come to an end at the age of sixteen. Shri Kripaluji Maharaj has composed more than a thousand bhajans and more than 600 keertans that evoke extremely devotional sentiments within the heart. Many years ago He composed 1,008 devotional songs in only nine days. These are collectively known as the scripture ‘Prem Ras Madira.’ This scripture has been highly praised by the well-known poets of India.
As humble as He is great, He makes Himself accessible to all sincere spiritual aspirants. He has trained approximately fifty monastic disciples, male and female, who travel the world spreading the most authentic divine wisdom contained in the scriptures. His teachings have spread all over the world through his monastic disciples and through His televised discourses. Even at this age He travels extensively, mostly throughout India.
The spiritual work undertaken by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj is certainly His greatest contribution to society. However, His philosophy concentrates on creating a balance in life by taking care of the body as well as nurturing the soul. Recognizing the need to take care of the physical body also, Shri Kripaluji Maharaj inspires devotees to engage in various humanitarian activities.
In this age when people are judged by material success, the human soul yearning for peace and fulfillment finds soothing solace in Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, who shines with divinity and works tirelessly to uplift humanity. He shatters all doubts of spiritual confusion with great ease and effectively reveals a clear and practical path leading to God. He is, in true sense of the word, a Jagadguru, Guru of the entire world.
May He bless us all with His Divine Grace.