Jagadguru Shri Kripalu ji Maharaj
But first, a personal note...
A beautiful description of my Guru, Shri Maharaj ji, follows these comments. It was published by a fellow devotee. It is a faithful and touching description of his amazing life.
Shri Maharaj ji is, truly, a form of Divine love. His natural scholarliness inspires trust in even the greatest intellectuals, and his love, grace and compassion melt the heart and inspire devotional love. His satsang is divinely exhilarating and unbelievably joy-giving. Every association with him is like being in the company of your dearest friend who is urging you every moment both from within and without to go closer, closer, closer to God.
Because words are still a weak substitute for direct interaction, we will be including enough material on this site so you can have as close an experience of Shri Maharaj ji short of visiting him in India.
If you feel inspired by any portion of this website, especially anything you may read on this page, stay in touch with us. We'll do our best to connect you with the right resources to deepen your understanding and experience of this path.
Embodiment of Divine Love
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu ji Maharaj is affectionately called "Shri Maharaj ji" by his disciples. He is only the fifth Divine personality in the last 2500 years, and the first in the last 700 years, to be honored with the highest place among all Saints and scholars of this age by being given the title of Jagadguru, meaning Spiritual Master for the whole world. This title is only given to that Saint who inspires a spiritual revolution in the world through his Divine teachings.
Shri Maharaj ji is currently 87 years of age, and is still actively teaching the philosophy of bhakti yoga, the path of Divine love, to thousands of devoted souls throughout the world. His spiritual status and personality are beyond the comprehension of a material mind. That Divinity can't be intellectually understood, but it can be experienced.
Shri Maharaj ji belongs to the special class of enlightened Masters called Rasik Saints. The personality of a Rasik Saint relates to the most intimate, loving aspect of God, Radha Krishna.
Through this bhakti tradition, all formalities of worship dissolve into love. Through his affectionate and caring personality, his brilliant philosophical lectures, his soul-stirring kirtan, the facilities he provides through his ashrams, his trained teachers who he has sent throughout the world, and above all his Divine nature, Shri Maharaj ji is bringing spiritual knowledge and understanding to thousands of people in India and around the world.
Shri Maharaj ji appeared on this earth at midnight, on the full-moon night of Sharad Poornima in October, 1922, in the village of Mangarh, near the city of Allahabad in India.
Sharad Poornima is extremely auspicious for the devotees of Krishna, because it was on this full moon night of October, five thousand years ago, that their beloved Lord revealed the glory of selfless Divine love to the world by performing the Divine dance, maharaas, with the Gopis.
Shri Maharaj ji spent his childhood in Mangarh, giving joy to all alike through his mischievous and irresistible personality. Even as a boy, many people of all age groups were attracted to him. He attended a nearby village school and then went to the cities of Chitrakoot and Indore for Sanskrit studies.
From an early age it was apparent that he possessed extraordinary qualities. To the utter amazement of his classmates and teachers everywhere, he would finish course work in one year that other students would find difficult to complete in twelve years.
Gracing the Souls
At the age of sixteen, his Divine nature became apparent when he retreated to the dense forests of Chitrakoot in Central India. There, he repeatedly entered the most sublime ecstasy of Divine love, and remained absorbed in this state for days at a time.
Those who were graced to see him during this period saw the highest levels of spiritual rapture ever witnessed by humankind. When he would return to consciousness, if he learned he had been detected, he would disappear in some other dense forest. First he lived in the forests of Chitrakoot, near Sharbhang Ashram, and then in Vrindaban near Vanshivat.
As word spread of a handsome young Saint ever absorbed in the love of God, people began to seek him out. Compelled by the earnest requests from some people who were drawn to his Divine personality and who wanted to be spiritually benefited through his association, he selflessly subsided his ecstatic state, left these remote areas, and graciously accepted visiting their homes.
It was in the homes of the early devotees that the first of his unique, devotionally charged kirtan or chanting programs began. His exceptional charm, wisdom and accessibility inspired all who came in contact with him and thrilled every soul who desired the love of God.
In the following years, Shri Maharaj ji continued to slip in and out of Divine love samadhi (spiritual rapture). Often, while in ecstasy, he was completely unaware of his surroundings, caring neither for food, shelter nor clothing. People had to care for him, sometimes in the way a mother would care for her young child. They would hand feed him, clothe him and offer him shelter in their homes.
His activities were unpredictable and no one knew when he might arrive at, or leave, a destination. No matter what he was wearing or doing, he would at times suddenly get up and go to another home, village or city. In this way, he gave many deserving souls the opportunity to care for him and to observe and experience at close hand the vibrations of his Divine samadhi.
Recognized as Jagadguru
At the age of 33, Shri Maharaj ji entered another phase of his life, by revealing another facet of his personality to the world at large.
Between 1955-1956, he organized several enormous spiritual conventions at Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh and Kanpur in India, attended by hundreds of thousands. He invited many of the greatest scholars and saints of that time to come and address the public. In his turn, Shri Maharaj ji also spoke. It was at these conventions that his spiritual genius became evident. The unique charm of his voice, words and personality left the scholars, and the people gathered, spellbound.
In January, 1957, Shri Maharaj ji received an invitation from Kashi Vidvat Parishad, an organisation comprised of more than 500 of India's foremost scriptural scholars based in Banaras. They had heard of Shri Maharaj ji's unique brilliance and Divine knowledge and wanted to see for themselves who this personality was.
At their request, Shri Maharaj ji lectured before them on scriptural philosophy for a period of seven days. In these extraordinary presentations, Shri Maharaj ji astonished those present by speaking in the ancient language of Vedic Sanskrit.
But more significantly, in these presentations he reconciled the heretofore contradictory philosophies of the previous Jagadgurus – namely Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Nimbarkacharya, and Madhavacharya – as well as the six great Vedic philosophical systems of India – Poorva Mimansa, Nyay, Vaishesik, Sankhya, Yoga, and Brahma Sutra.
A scholar spends his entire life becoming reasonably knowledgeable in just one of these topics; that Shri Maharaj ji, who was only 34 years old at that time, was knowledgeable in all of them, and was also able to reveal their previously unknown interrelationships, was beyond their comprehension.
Deeply impressed by Shri Maharaj ji's depth of understanding, these scholars held a meeting among themselves to discuss the phenomenon they had just experienced. Each felt that Shri Maharaj ji could only be the greatest of Divine personalities.
They conferred many titles on Maharaj ji at this time. In recognition of the obvious Divinity of his being, they bestowed on him the title of ‘Bhakti Yog Rasavatar', the supreme descension of Divine love.
In full agreement with one another, all 500 scholars offered him not the title of 'Jagadguru', but 'Jagadguru Uttam' - the greatest of all Jagadgurus or you can say the Jagadguru of Jagadgurus.
They also gave him the title of ‘Nikhil-darshan Samanvayacharya' the reconciler of the entire body of Vedic philosophy. Of all the titles they offered, the last two mentioned had never been given to anyone prior to Shri Maharaj ji in the whole of Indian history.
A Lifetime of Divine Charity
This most gracious of Masters, Shri Maharaj ji, is now 87 years old. For over 65 years he has continued to tirelessly bless and instruct thousands of souls seeking the realization of Divine love.
Every year he continues to hold spiritual retreats to elaborate on the teaching and practice of bhakti yoga.
During this time he has received numerous accolades for his contributions to literature, music and poetry – and for his spiritual genius. He has received the prestigious Citizen of India award for his outstanding work for charity, and has been the inspiration and guiding force in building temples and educational facilities for the general public in many cities worldwide.
Like bees to honey, souls from all over the world continue to drink the nectar of his personality. Generations to come will be greatly benefited and enlightened by the spiritual treasures he has gifted to the world
The value of a genuine, God realized Spiritual Master to humanity cannot in any way be adequately expressed in words. But by coming close to such a personality and accepting him as your Guru, you can experience it.
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