Jagadgur Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, 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, 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.
His natural scholarliness inspires trust in even the greatest intellectuals, while his tremendous love, causeless grace and endless compassion melts the hearts and inspires devotional love in all who came near him. His satsang is divinely exhilarating and unbelievably joyous.
Every association with him was like being in the company of your dearest friend who is urging you every moment, both from within and without, to go closer and closer to God…
A Message from Kripalu ji
God is so merciful that declares in the scriptures –
I have made Myself omnipresent, but you do not believe in this.
I reside in My divine abode Golok, but you cannot reach there.
I reside within your heart, but you do not accept this.
Therefore, for your convenience, I have seated Myself with all My powers in My divine names.
Birth & Childhood
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj appeared on this earth in 5th October 1922 on the auspicious full moon night of Shart Purnima 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 to Padma Devi, the daughter of a learned scholar hailing from the nearby village of Leelapur in 1933. Despite being married, Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj often left home for long intervals.
At the tender age of thirteen, he left his village Mangarh to study to attend Peeli Kothi Sanskrit School in Chitrakoot in 1935. There he sat for the intermediate Sanskrit Grammar examinations.
He completed his degree in Sanskrit Grammar, Vyakaranacharya, in Kashi in 1936.
In 1937 Shri Kripalu Ji went to Indore (Mahu) where he sat the intermediate examinations for Ayurveda at Ashtang Ayurvedic College.
In 1942, Shri Kripalu Ji returned to Indore and completed a poetry examination and received the degree Kavyatirtha.
In 1943, Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj received the degree of Ayurveda Acharya from Delhi Vidyapeeth and Sahitya Acharya (Master of Literature) from Calcutta Vidyapeeth in 1944. Both these degrees were awarded to him in Indore.
Due to his exceptional ability, Shri Kripalu Ji completed the equivalent of many years of study in Indore in just two and a half years. The most remarkable aspect of his recitation is that he never studied scripture. In addition, all this study was taking place while he was giving a constant stream of four day, fifteen day, one month and even four month akhanda (non-stop) sankirtan programs.
In the Jungles of Sharbhang
In 1938, at the age of sixteen, Shri Kripalu Ji retreated into the dense forests near Sharbhang Ashram in Chitrakoot and then to the forests near Vanshivat, Vrindavan. During this period, he remained deeply engrossed in the intense divine love of Shri Radha Krishna. Whosoever saw him in this state of trance was astonished and felt that he was an embodiment of love and bliss. Nobody would have thought that within him lay an unfathomable and immeasurably vast ocean of knowledge and wisdom.
Completely immersed in the ecstatic bliss of divine love, he would forget to pay attention to his own physical state and to the world around him, remaining unconscious for hours on end. Sometimes he would burst into unrestrained laughter or sometimes break into a roaring cry. Being unmindful, he would often go without food and water for days. Tears flowed freely from his eyes. While he wandered the forests in this state of trance, sometimes his clothing would become caught in thorny bushes and sometimes he would trip over a rock and fall.
After approximately two years of moving about in this state, Shri Kripalu Ji was eventually discovered by some, and for the benefit of mankind, he agreed to go with them. Thus began his need to conceal and control the bliss of divine love he was experiencing in order to propagate the bhakti of Shri Krishna to the people of the world.
Shri Kripaluji Maharaj in divine ecstasy
All those who knew Shri Kripaluji Maharaj were beseeching him, “O purifier of Sinners! O Causelessly Merciful Lord! Friend of the Destitute! How will you make these attributes of yours meaningful if you remain unconscious in a state of divine ecstasy? How will you deliver sinful souls, divert their worldly mind towards God and give the nectar of divine love to people accustomed to drinking the poison of material objects?”
Shri Kripaluji Maharaj heard the devotees’ cries of anguish and started coming out of his paramhamsa state and began behaving normally. He would talk about normal worldly things. Where do you people live? What do you do? He had now concealed himself and his intense devotional state. Had he remained in a state of ecstasy, he would never have been able to converse with anyone.
Shri Kripaluji Maharaj started conversing with devotees and giving them spiritual advice. During kirtan however, he was always in a state of ecstasy. At that time he would play the dholak and sing. He had not learned to play, but he possessed complete knowledge without being taught. His Hare Ram sankirtan, sung to the beat of the dholak, became well-known far and wide. In those days, he either chanted the mahamantra or made the atmosphere reverberate with the sweet sounds of Radhey Govinda Bhajo, Vrindavan Chanda Bhajo.
While chanting Bhajo Giridhar Govind Gopala he would suddenly break out into Hari Bol sankirtan and all present would be drenched in the nectar of love. While chanting Hari Bol, Shri Kripaluji Maharaj would become oblivious of his physical body. In the highest state of mahabhavhe would sometimes start revolving at great speed like a spinning top. So fast he would spin that you could not see whether his lotus feet were on the ground or above it. Sometimes he would dance on one foot. While dancing he would become semi-conscious and sometimes he would lose consciousness altogether and fall on the ground. He would remain unconscious for hours and devotees would watch him in utter amazement, fervently hoping that their beloved Master may regain consciousness and speak with them.
Preaching Shri Krishna Devotion and Manifesting Knowledge
In those days, Shri Kripaluji Maharaj would chant non-stop, day and night. Seeing him dancing in an ecstatic state, people remarked again and again that it seemed divine. Once in the Gopal Mandir in Mahu, Shri Kripaluji Maharaj conducted a four-month long continuous chanting of the holy name. Shri Kripaluji Maharaj then went to Allahabad, to the residence of Lakshman Svaroop Bhatnagar. Many devoted souls went there from Pratapgarh, upon whose loving insistence, Shri Kripaluji Maharaj went to pratapgarh with them and stayed at the residence of Mahabani Ji.
At Mahabani Ji’s residence the kirtan would continue till midnight. This devotee loved Shri Kripaluji Maharaj as a child. He would decorate Shri Kripaluji Maharaj with many colorful fragrant flowers. He would also spread flower petals on the ground for Shri Maharaj Ji so that his lotus feet would experience their soft comfortable touch.
How can anyone describe the sweetness of the nectar Shri Kripaluji Maharaj freely distributed! Devotees drank that nectar to their hearts, content. Some would cry, some would writhe in the pain of separation, some would cry out in anguish, and some would dance. There was no one who did not return from the kirtan sessions in a state of intoxication.
In Pratapgarh, the sankirtan would continue all night. The nectar freely distributed by Shri Kripaluji Maharaj cannot be described in words. After the sankirtan, Shri Maharaj Ji used to go to his room, locking the door behind him. At times, Mahabani Ji and his family could hear faint voices coming from inside the room. It seemed as if there were people in the room who were talking with Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, sometimes in Sanskrit, sometimes in Hindi and sometimes in some unrecognizable language. This continued for many days.
One Sunday afternoon as Shri Kripaluji Maharaj was resting inside his room, the voices were again heard coming from inside. When he came out,
Mahabani Ji asked, “Please tell me, who comes into your room at night and holds conversations with you?”
Initially Shri Kripaluji Maharaj didn’t answer and quickly changed the topic. But when Mahabani Ji became insistent and continued asking, then
Shri Kripaluji Maharaj said very quietly, “Mahabani, the Vedas and Shastras are after me to reveal them in their true form in the world. Now it seems that the time has come to do this.”
The year was 1954 and Shri Maharaj Ji was just thirty-two years of age.
In this way, one could say that the journey to become Jagadguru started here. The very next year, Shri Kripaluji Maharaj arranged Chitrakoot Sammelan, a spiritual conference in the city of Chitrakoot. Here began his revelation of knowledge.
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.
In 1957, Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj was invited by the Kashi Vidvat Parishat to speak for nine consecutive days on scriptural philosophy. During His speeches, Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj quoted thousands of verses from hundreds of scriptures and spoke in fluent Sanskrit. He revealed His profound and unparalleled scholarship of the Vedas, Shashtras, Puranas and other scriptures that belied his age at that time of only 34 years.
Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj accepted and proved true the existing philosophies of all the previous Jagadgurus and to the utter amazement of the scholars He also miraculously reconciled their seeming contradictions. In addition, he proved the significance, importance and supremacy of bhakti (devotion) as the essence of all the Hindu path for this age. To this end, he also explained the practical form of nishkam bhakti, or selfless devotion, which could be followed by anyone.
Recognizing that only the greatest of Divine personalities could have revealed such knowledge, the scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishat unanimously bestowed on Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj the title of Jagadguruttam, or The Best of all Jagadgurus. Prior to Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, only four Saints have been acknowledged as Jagadguru: Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya, Jagadguru Shri Ramanujacharya, Jagadguru Nimbarkacharya and Jagadguru Shri Madhavacharya. So charmed were they by His personality, suffused with the nectar of devotion and divine love, that they also declared Him to be Bhakti-yog-rasavatar, the Descension of Divine Love and Bliss.
January 14th is celebrated as “Jagadguru Divas”. On Jan 14, 1957, Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj was honored with the unprecendented title of Jagadguruttam – the Supreme among all Jagadgurus by Kashi Vidvat Parishat, a body of 500 scriptural scholars, in Varanasi, India.
The complete title was –
Jagadguru 1008 Swami Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
Subsequent to his receiving the title of Jagadguru, Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj revealed thousands of verses of devotional literature explaining the form, virtues, names, leelas and abodes of Radha Krishna, and in particular, He revealed the supremacy of Shri Radha as the absolute supreme form of the Divine existence.
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.
Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj ascended to the divine abode Golok on Nov 15, 2013. We are all truly blessed to have known such a great Jagadguru who was also a Rasik Saint. All glories to Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj!!!
Bhakti Dham, Managarh
Bhakti Dham is the birthplace of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj. It is situated in a small village called Managarh which is nestled amidst the lush green farmlands of Pratapgarh district between Ayodhya and Prayag (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh, India.
Shyama Shyam Dham, Vrindavan
Vrindavan is situated on the southern bank of the holy Yamuna River in Braj, Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh. Today it is one of the most important pilgrimage places in India for devotees of Radha Krishna. The Satsang Bhavan in Shyama Shyam Dham was inaugurated by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj in 1993.
JKP Shyama Shyam Dham is also the home to Prem Mandir and Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya, a 100% free charitable hospital run by JKP.
Rangeeli Mahal, Barsana
In this holy land of Barsana, with the grace of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, Rangeeli Mahal was founded in 1996. The stunning grounds have beautifully landscaped gardens, waterfalls and depictions of Radha Krishna leelas, amongst other attractions.
JKP Rangeeli Mahal is also home to Kirti Mandir and Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya – a 100% free charitable hospital run by JKP.
Golok Dham, Delhi
Golok Dham is centrally located in Delhi and has created an enhanced devotional atmosphere which provides an escape for people from their busy urban lifestyles, as well as those devotees who have travelled long distance to visit our other ashrams and are in transit in Delhi.
Radha Madhav Dham, USA
Radha Madhav Dham is the largest Hindu temple and ashram complex in the United States. With the Gracious blessing of Shri Jagadguru Kripalu Ji Maharaj, Radha Madhav Dham was established as the main ashram of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat in the West.
The rolling land, blanketed by wildflowers in the spring, and beautified by the meandering stream Kalindi, rises to the highest point in Hays County at the top of Barsana Hill.
The temple and ashram buildings are surrounded by charming gardens, walking paths, fountains and ponds. The many peacocks add a flourish of iridescent color to the surroundings, and their calls echo across the fields as they announce themselves to all passers-by. The delightful landscape lends itself to leisurely walks and meditation in its serene holy places.
Philanthropic and humanitarian activities
Keeping in mind the lack of medical facilities available in such rural regions, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) financed and completed the construction of three fully charitable Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya Hospitals. It also finances the operating expenses of these three hospitals.
Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya – Mangarh village is situated in Pratapgarh District, Uttar Pradesh and was Inaugurated on 5th November 2003, by the then UP Governor, Dr. Vishnukant Shastri. Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya – Barsana village, in Mathura District, Uttar Pradesh, was inaugurated on 14th January 2007. The third hospital in Vrindavan was inaugurated on September 18, 2015.
Free Education for Girls
Complete education for daughters is rarely given a priority by the parents in this region. Most young girls in this socio-economic group stay at home to help run the household or get married at an early age so that the family has one less person to feed. Investing in their daughter’s education is almost non-existent.
Keeping this in mind, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) has established a charitable educational institution for girls that provides 100% free education to all students.
Throughout the year, in addition to monetary assistance to the poor, underprivileged and the disadvantaged, many distribution programs are organised by JKP such as blanket distribution, free meals and distribution of items of daily need.
JKP endeavours to help and support as many individuals and families as possible, who suffer from exceptional circumstances and tragedies, with their specific needs and requirements.
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 !