Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj
Eternally liberated divine personalities sometimes, descend upon earth for the welfare of humankind. Such a divine personality was Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Maharajji-as he was lovingly called by his devotees, was born on the night of Sharad Poornima in October 1922 in the village Mangarh in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Jagadguru is a title in Sanatan Dharma, traditionally conferred upon the divine personalities or saints whose effulgence of divine love and knowledge luminates the whole of humanity. It literally means ‘the guru of the universe’. Historically, for establishing dharma and to propagate the various schools of Vedic thoughts, Jagadgurus have established institutions, Vedic ritualistic traditions and lineages. There have been five original Jagadgurus in the Sanatan Dharma. They are Jagadguru Shree Adi Shankaracharya, Jagadguru Shree Nimbarkacharya, Jagadguru Shree Ramanujacharya, Jagadguru Shree Madhavacharya and Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj.
Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya
Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya was the first Original Jagadguru who was born in Kalady of Kongu Chera Dynasty around 700CE. He expounded the philosophy of Advaita Vad or Non–Dualism. His core philosophy was Gyan Yog in which the ultimate realization is “Aham Brahmasmi” i.e. “I am Brahman”. According to him, Brahman is compared to universal space, Jivacompared to space in an enclosed jar. When the enclosure is destroyed, the limited space merges into the universal space. Similarly, when the inner self–mind ceases to exist, the jiva becomes Brahman. But by the end of his life, he chose the path of Bhakti Yog.
Jagadguru Ramanujacharya was the second original Jagadguru who descended in 1017CE in Sriperumbudure, Tamil Nadu. He expounded the philosophy of Vishishtadvaita Vad or Qualified Non-dualism Or Qualified Monism. He reached the Path of Bhakti Yog and taught that ‘Prapatti” or by complete surrender to God alone souls can attain supreme peace. He established a proper system of worship in temples throughout India. He was the pioneer of the modern “Vaishnava Parampara”.
Jagadguru Nimbarkacharya was the third original Jagadguru who was a born in 7th Century CE in a Telugu Brahman Family. He expounded the philosophy of Dvaitadvaita Vad or Dualistic Non-Dualism or Mono Dualism. According to him, Chit (The Soul) and Achit (The world) are both dependent on Brahman. Hence there is one-ness and no distinction. But their attributes are contradictory, thus they are also distinct. It is only through devotion (Servitude) to the personal form of God that the soul can attain supreme bliss and liberation. Introduced selfless whole-hearted devotion to Radha Krishna.
Jagadguru Madhavacharya was the fourth Original Jagadguru who was born. In 1238 AD in Paajaka, Near Udupi, Karnaaka. He expounded the philosophy of Dvaita Vaad or Dualism. According to him, the Attaintment of the personal form of God is the goal of all Souls. God Realization and liberation can only be achieved by Bhakti. Constantly absorb our thoughts in the love of God. Nothing greater than thinking about, listening to, remembering and praising God’s names and virtues. He established Bhakti Marg against teachings of Adwait.
Jagadguruttam Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj is the fifth Original Jagadguru born in 1922 in a village named Mangarh, Kunda, Allahabad of Uttar Pradesh. According to Shree Maharajji, “the desired goal of the soul is to attain the selfless Divine love of Radha Krishna who are eternally related to you”. He taught that Radha Krishna are the supreme ‘form’ of God and the ‘form’ of Divine Love and is eternally related to us. Reconciled the apparent contradictions between various scriptures and the differences between view of all previous four Jagadgurus. Bhakti marg is most supreme of all paths to God-Realization. The other paths are dependent on Bhakti. In his infamous lecture at Kashi Vidvat Parishat, Shree Maharajji quoted such examples of Vedic Mantra that no one in that Scholar assembly had ever read anywhere. Then, they concluded that Shree Maharajji not only knows about the 108 Upanishads which are available with us right now, but He possesses all the knowledge of all the other Upanishads which are not even available today on this Mrityu Lok. And the fluency of quotation proves as if all the Upanishads are at the service of His Lotus feet during his Vaani (Speech). Then they gave the title Shri-Vibhushit 1008 before Shree Maharajji’s name.
श्रीमत्पदवाक्यप्रमाणपारावरीण, वेदमार्गप्रतिष्ठापनाचार्य, निखिलदर्शनसमन्वयाचार्य,
सनातनवैदिकधर्मप्रतिष्ठापनसत्संप्रदायपरमाचार्य, भक्तियोगरसावतार, भगवदनंतश्रीविभूषित
१००८ जगदगुरु श्री कृपालुजी महाराज
Shrimatpadavakya-Pramanaparavarina, Vedmargapratishthapanacharya, Nikhiladarshana-Samanvayacharya,
Sanatanavaidikadharma-pratishthapanasatsampradaya-paramacharya, Bhaktiyogarasavatara, Bhagavadnant-Shri-Vibhushit
1008 Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj spent his childhood in a youthful fun, playing games and frolicking with his young friends. But at the same time, he would display intense gravity and excel effortlessly in his studies. At the age of fourteen, he left his village and attended three Universities. Kashi, Chitrakoot, and Indore. During his study, he completed the study of Sanskrit, literature, and philosophy in the space of just two-and-a-half years.
At the young age of sixteen, Shree Kripalu ji Maharaj suddenly gave up his studies and entered the dense forests of Chitrakoot. Situated in the highest state of Samadhi, Maha-bhav devotion, he spent his time absorbed in intense love for Radha Krishna. Often he would lose all external consciousness and go without eating and drinking for many days at a stretch. For long intervals, he would remain in mahabhav, the highest stage of devotion that manifests in Radha Rani. The very same manifestation of mahabhav love was last seen in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, about 500 years ago. Finally, he subdued his devotional trance to descend to bodily consciousness, and begin his lifetime of work of guiding souls on the path of divine love.
In 1957, Shree Maharajji was invited to the holy city of Benaras (Varanasi), where he spoke for 10 days at the Kashi Vidwat Parishat, India’s supreme body of Vedic scholars, in the most sophisticated Sanskrit, reconciling the teaching of all the Vedic scriptures. The entire assembly was amazed by his unparalleled mastery of all Vedic knowledge and they unanimously honoured him with the title of “Jagadguru” or the Spiritual Master of the world. The acclamation conferred by the Kashi Vidvat Parishat up him was:
After accepting the title of Jagadguru, Kripalu Ji Maharaj travelled throughout the country for fourteen years. He would deliver month-long discourses in each city, in which he would unravel the mysteries of the divine scriptures like the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayan, Bhagwatam and many others, to an enraptured audience of tens of thousands of people, who would throng the venue for a glimpse of this extraordinary scholar and Saint whose words left them spellbound. Shree Maharajji’s lectures tantalize the masses with humour, worldly examples, practical instructions and playful chastisement, much to the delight of the crowd. It was a unique experience as he made the deepest scriptural truths accessible to everyone in the simplest language. As a cut runs deep, his penetrative words have such divine power that even an atheist’s heart can melt when Shree Maharajji describes the nature of the ultimate and Absolute Truth.
Jagadguru Shree Kripalu ji Maharaj has written thousands of inspiring verses revealing the Divine pastimes of Radha Krishna. His style of writing is unique in the entire history of saints: First, he begins the chanting of a pada or kirtan, and as the kirtan progresses, he keeps adding lines to it, bringing it to a consummate close. In glorification of Shree Radha Krishna Devotion, he has named one of his principal creations as “Prem Ras Madira”, or “Divine Love Intoxicant”. A literal (verbatim) translation of the name of one of the greatest treasures of a devotee is a naïve and futile attempt. One is lost for words to describe the intensity, poetic brilliance and greatness of the pads and kirtans written by Shree Maharajji. It is only by singing the inebriating kirtans that we can get a glimpse of the unfathomable divine love that pours out from the heart of a true devotee of Shree Radha Krishna.
The kirtans conducted by Shree Kripaluji maharaj are famous the world over for the fervent intensity of devotion that they create in the minds and hearts of the sincere follower, forever binding him or her to the path of God-realization. Whenever Shree Maharajji graces the prayer and Sadhana hall, the kirtans reach a feverish pitch as the lord’s innumerable names and pastimes are sung in unison by ecstatic voices across the floor. It is a sight to behold and participate in these highly charged kirtans that mesmerize even the most phlegmatic of people, drawing them ever closer to Shree Radha Krishna.