|A.K.A.||Kripalu Ji Maharaj|
|Birth||5 October 1922, Pratapgarh district|
|Death||15 November 2013 (aged 91 years)|
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj (Sanskrit: जगद्गुरु श्री कृपालु जी महाराज, IAST: Jagadguru Śrī Kṛpālu Ji Mahārāja) (5 October 1922 – 15 November 2013) was a Hindu spiritual leader and Jagadguru from Allahabad (Prayag), India.
He was the founder of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP), a worldwide Hindu non-profit organization with 5 main ashrams; four in India and one in the United States. JKP Radha Madhav Dham is one of the largest Hindu Temple complexes in the Western Hemisphere, and the largest in North America.
He was awarded the title of Jagadguru (world teacher) at the age of 34 by Kashi Vidvat Parishat (the oldest and most recognised body of Varanasi's intellectuals) on Makar Sankranti day, 14 January 1957.
Kripalu Ji Maharaj was born on Sharad Purnima, the full moon on the month of Sharad (5 October 1922), as Ram Kripalu Tripathi in Mangarh district Pratapgarh, near Allahabad, in India. He received his preliminary education in Hindi and Sanskrit in the local school. He went on to study advanced Sanskrit and Ayurved in Ashtang Ayurved College, Lokmanya Nagar, Indore and Varanasi and spent a year or more around Chitrakoot. After completing his formal education, at the age of 16, he entered into self-imposed vanvas. He found his way to Vrindavan and the next year he emerged as a Guru, known affectionately as Shri Maharaj Ji. When he was 17 years old, he led a 6-month continuous chanting of the "Maha Mantra".
In 1955 Kripalu Ji organized a religious convention for prominent spiritual leaders in India. Mahamahopadhyay Giridhar Sharma, President of the Kashi Vidvat Parishat had also come and was impressed by Kripalu Ji's scriptural knowledge. Kripalu Ji was invited to give discourse at the Kashi Vidvat Parishat in 1957.
The congregation had scholars from Varanasi and other parts of India. His speeches lasted for seven days, after which he was formally installed as the fifth Jagadguru ("world teacher"). He was 34 years old when given the title on 14 January 1957, by the Kashi Vidvat Parishat, a group of Hindu scholars. The Kashi Vidvat Parishat also conferred on him the titles Bhaktiyog-Ras-Avtar and Jagadguruttam.
He is also known by the title Samanvaya-Acharya by his followers, for reconciling the philosophical differences and apparent contradictions in the teachings of previous Jagadgurus. After being awarded Jagadguruttam (the foremost among Jagadgurus), he spent most of the initial years in Agra. Prem Ras Sidhhant and Prem Ras Madira were also written during that phase of His life, which extends from late 1950s to 1970s.
According to Kripalu Ji, "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 are eternally related to us.
Some of Kripalu Ji's principal disciples and preachers are:
- Swami Mukundananda
- Swami Nikhilanand
- Swami Haridas
Kripalu Ji's discourses are broadcast daily on several religious TV channels, including DD India, Aastha TV, Sadhna TV, IBN 7, News24 and Sanskar TV. In the United States, his discourses are also broadcast everyday on TV Asia. In his TV discourses, Kripalu Ji quotes the chapter and verse of almost everything he cites from the scriptures.
Two of his longest lecture series are available on the official YouTube channel, JKP Vedic:
- Brahm Jeev Maya
- Main Kaun Mera Kaun
- Csordas, Thomas J. (2009). Transnational Transcendence: Essays on Religion and Globalization (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 287. ISBN 9780520257429. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- TV Broadcast of Lectures by Shri Kripaluji Maharaj
- Jagadguru Kripalu Maharaj on TV Asia
- Singh, Khushwant (4 March 2006). "Tricks memory plays". This Above All. Tribune India. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- "Online Resources". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Brahm Jeev Maya – Hindi Lecture Series". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Main Kaun Mera Kaun – Hindi Lecture Series". Retrieved 12 June 2015.
Ashrams and temples
Kripalu Ji was the founder and preceptor of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP), a worldwide Hindu non-profit religious organization with four main ashrams in India, (Rangeeli Mahal, Barsana; Bhakti Dham, Mangarh; Shyama Shyam Dham, Vrindavan and Jagadguru Dham, Vrindavan) and one in the USA (Radha Madhav Dham, Austin). Besides these 5 main ashrams, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat has established a number of teacher centres in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji Island, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Nepal, Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Trinidad, West Indies, United Kingdom and in many cities throughout India and USA. The organization also publishes a Hindi magazine, Sadhan Sadhya, three times a year, as well as a monthly newsletter.
He also established three temples. – Shri Raseshwari Radha Rani Temple, Austin; Bhakti Mandir, Mangarh; Prem Mandir, Vrindavan
- For further information see: Prem Mandir Vrindavan
Prem Mandir is a religious and spiritual complex in Vrindavan. Construction of Prem Mandir began on January 2001 and the inauguration ceremony took place from 15 to 17 February 2012. The temple was opened to public on 17 February 2012. The cost was 150 crore rupees ($23 million). 30,000 tons of Italian marble, carved with specialized KUKA robotic machines, have been used in the construction. The presiding deity are Shri Radha Govind (Radha Krishna) and Shri Sita Ram. A 73,000 square feet, pillar-less, dome shaped satsang hall is being constructed next to Prem Mandir, which will accommodate 25,000 people at a time.
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Kripalu Ji established three free hospitals. The Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya, Mangarh, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya (Barsana), and the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya (Vrindavan) are serving rural populations of 1,000,000 within their catchment radius of 80–100 km each and each treating 600 – 700 patients daily. The expenses are all borne by Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat. A secular educational Institution is being financed and run by Kripalu Ji's educational trust, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education (JKP Education), which provides underprivileged women and girls free education up to post graduation level. JKP Education runs three colleges for girls in Kunda, Uttar Pradesh (Kripalu Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Kripalu Balika Primary School and Kripalu Balika Intermediate College). Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat also donates money for disaster relief, including Rs. 10 lacs for the aid of Bhuj Earthquake victims in 2001, Rs. 25 Lacs for Tsunami victims in 2004 and again Rs. 2 Crore for Bihar flood victims in 2008. In May 2013, Kripalu Ji donated Rs.1 crore to the Chief Minister's Relief fund for the victims of the Uttarakhand floods. In 2013, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education president Vishakha Tripathi received the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award, the Mother Teresa Excellence Award and the Nari Shakti Award for work providing free education to 5000 girls and women in rural India.