Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
A transcendental life cannot be understood or adopted by sheer intellect or by methods of reasoning available to our finite capacities. The only road to that blissful life, is to submit unreservedly to a saint, a master, a guru, who has entered that sublime region beyond time and space and realized that Supreme Bliss.
In the year 1922, on the auspicious night of Sharad Purnima, the full-moon night on which Lord Krishna had performed the Divine dance Maharas some 5,000 years ago, such a divine person appeared on the earth. Named Ram Kripalu Tripathi at birth, he is known worldwide as Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, lovingingly called Shri Maharaj Ji by all.
He is the unparalleled personification of the nectar of divine love devotion, the supreme exponent of Santan Dharam (Eternal Vedic religion) and the reconciler of all philosophies and faiths.
He was born in the village of Mangarh, about 60kms from Allahabad, India, as the son of a most respectable Brahmin Shri Lalita Prasad Tripathi (father) and Bhagvati Devi (mother).
Shri Maharaj Ji spent his childhood in Mangarh, giving joy to all alike through his naughty acts. Following our worldly tradition, he too, like ordinary boys, first went to a nearby primary school and then to Chitrakoot and Indore for studying Sanskrit. However, to the utter amazement of his class-mates and teachers everywhere, he used to complete in just one year courses which were difficult to complete even in twelve years by other students. Thus completing his education in a few years, which did not, however, include the study of the scriptures. 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. Shrimati Padma Devi was the Divine Mother to devotees, who was lovingly called 'Amma". (She sadly passed away on 13th March 2009). Despite being married, Shri Maharaj Ji often left home for long intervals, and at the tender age of sixteen, Shri Maharaj Ji disappeared into dense forests.
Drowned in the ecstasy of divine love, he used to remain in a swoon for days together, and returning to consciousness and finding out that he had been detected by people, he used to disappear in some other dense forest. Thus, first he lived in the forests of Chitrakoot near Sharbhanga Ashram, and the Vrindavan near Vanshivata, etc. This continued for a year or two.
Then, compelled by repeated earnest entreaties from some people who were drawn to him by his irresistible divine personality, imbued with such rarest divine love, and, therefore, wanted to be spiritually benefitted through his association, he accepted to leave the forests and stay with them. Wherever he stayed, he graced deserving devotees with divine knowledge and divine love through his teachings and chantings. Such was the unique charm of his voice, words and personality that people used to listen to him for hours together like statues. Thus began the first chapter of his preaching to the world.
After thus coming in contact with common people, Shri Maharaj Ji noticed that people are totally ignorant to the real defintiion of devotion and the essence of scriptures, and are, therefore, wasting the precious moments of the rarest human life. With this in mind, Shri Maharaj Ji decided to reveal himself to the world at large.
In the year 1955, he organised a huge religious convention at Chitrakoot which was attended by all Jagadgurus of hierarchical order and eminent philosophers and scholars from Kashi (Banaras). A similar convention was held in Kanpur in 1956. It was in these conventions that His spiritual genius baffled even the greatest of the intellectuals and scholars. Dazzled with the unique brilliance and divine knowledge of a young boy, a few jealous scholars started opposing his newest revolutionary ideas, and unable to bear his growing fame anymore, they sent an invitation on behalf of Kashi Vidvat Parishad, (a body of 500 most learned philosophers of India), for delivering discourses, on the pretext of making Him Jagadguru. Their intention behind this invitation was to humiliate Him, for they thought that his genius, however extraordinary and unique, could be no match for the combined genius of the five hundered scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishad. But the result was absolutely contrary.
Shri Maharaj Ji rendered a remarkably unique discourse in Sanskrit which left all these scholars speechless. Spellbound by his formidable wisdom and mastery of the Vedas and scriptures, the Kashi Vidvat Parsihad, unanimously, declared him not only 'Jagadguru' (World Teacher), but 'Jagadguruttam', i.e. supreme among all.
So impressed were they with His unparalleled knowledge and prodigious memory that in addition to the above title, they conferred upon him many other titles as well.
This historical event took place on 14th January 1957, when Shri Maharaj Ji was only 34 years of age. Prior to Shri Maharaj Ji, only four divine personalities were honoured with the original title of Jagadguru: Shankaracharya, Nimbarkacharya, Ramanujacharya and Madhvacharya.
One of the titles bestowed upon him is Bhakti Yoga Rasavatara, which means 'the incarnation of divine love'.
Those that have had the golden fortune of attending the one month's Sadhana programme, which is held annually at his birth place beginning a week before Sharad Purnima in the month of October, or other spiritual camps conducted by him from time to time, understand the implication of the above title to a certain extent. According to almost all of them, his personality which in their words "is made of nothing else but love and grace", and his spell-binding chantings remind one of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Lord Krishna who rejuvenated the chanting of the divine name (Sankirtan) and who, likewise, enraptured the minds of his listeners through his charming personality and penetrating voice, drowning them in the ocean of love.
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji propounds a unique philosophy that convincingly reconciles the age-old philosophical contradictions. Profound and practical, intelligible and interesting, it satisfies both the head and the heart. A glimpse of it can be had from his book on philosophy, Prem Rasa Siddhant, of which an English translation by H.H. Dr Bageeshwari is available. Contact us for more information.
It is because of his soul stirring philosophy coupled with his bewitchingly charming personality that many of those who went to Him as if to watch a show stood dumbfounded and surrendred to him; those who went to criticise and ridicule him, fell in love with him.
Shri Maharaj Ji spends his time with devotees at our various Ashrams and in touring all over india. He also, has visited countries outside of india such as UK, US, Hong Kong, Nepal & Trinidad and was the first Jagadguru in history to step outside indian soil. The United Kingdom was his first stop during his first world tour in 2005.