Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Shri Maharaj Ji
bhakti yoga, rasik, divine love
Main Countries of Activity: 
India, US, Canada
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
Mangarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 


Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj (Shri Maharaj Ji) the fifth Saint 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 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, Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj 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.

He spent his childhood in the idyllic surroundings of a country village, 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.

At the age of sixteen, his divine nature became evident when he retreated to the dense forests of Chitrakoot in Central India. There, he repeatedly entered the most sublime ecstasies of divine love, and remained absorbed in these states for days at a time.

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 visited their homes and gave satsang.

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 ecstasy).

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 his divine samadhi.

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 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 spiritual scholars, and the people gathered, spellbound.

In January, 1957, Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj 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.

For over 65 years Shri Maharaj Ji 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 his lifetime 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.


In 1957, Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj (Shri Maharaj Ji) was invited by the Kashi Vidvat Parishat, a body of 500 scriptural scholars in Varanasi, India, to speak for nine consecutive days. Shri Maharaj Ji quoted thousands of verses from hundreds of scriptures and spoke in fluent Sanskrit.

He revealed a breadth and depth of understanding that contradicted his age at that time. He was 34 years of age.

Shri Maharaj Ji 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 scriptures, and the easiest and simplest path to God, and that it is, in fact, the only 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 Maharaj Ji the title of Jagadguruttam, or Jagadguru of Jagadgurus.

Subsequent to his receiving the title of Jagadguru, and for the last 65 years, Shree Maharaj Ji has revealed thousands of verses of devotional literature explaining the form, virtues, names, leelas and abodes of Radha Krishna, and in particular, he has revealed the supremacy of Shri Radha as the absolute supreme form of God.

He has explained that the essence of all the scriptural philosophies is:

1. Although God, the souls and maya are three eternal existences, the souls and maya are subordinate powers governed by God.

2. The soul's only desire is ananda, perfect divine happiness, because the soul is a fraction or a part of supreme God, who is Himself the form of bliss.

3. The nature of divine bliss is that it is unlimited and unending.

4. Material (mayic) happiness is limited and temporary. This is not the happiness the divine soul is seeking.

5. There is no true happiness, nor unhappiness in the world; only our self-created belief that something is a source of happiness or sorrow produces this experience.

6. True renunciation is when we have no affection or animosity in the world.

7. It is due to maya that the soul, which is a fraction of blissful God, is facing away from Him and towards the world.

8. The only solution for the soul's absence of true happiness is he must turn towards God.

9. The soul is divine, therefore its ultimate aim is to attain supreme divine bliss through God realization.

10. The world is comprised of material elements and our bodies are also material; the world exists only for the sake of the body.

11. God is beyond the grasp of material senses, mind and intellect, because such faculties are mayic (material).

12. God realization is only possible with God's grace; it is impossible through any other means such as the paths of karma, gyan, and so on.

13. To receive divine grace, the mind should be purified. This is accomplished only with the help of a true Guru.

14. A true Guru should have complete knowledge of the scriptures and have attained God realization.

15. The only means to purify the mind is bhakti (devotion); there is no other way.

16. There are many different kinds of bhakti, its three most important forms are listening (shravan), chanting of the divine name and leelas (kirtan), and loving remembrance (smaran)

17. Regardless of whether or not the senses, etc. are involved in devotional action, the most important form of bhakti is loving remembrance.

18. Being exclusive in your devotion is absolutely necessary. Apart from your Guru, the devotion he has taught you, and your worshipped form of God, your mind should not be attached anywhere else.

19. Devotion should not be combined with desires for worldly happiness or liberation.

20. Worldly desire is the root of all suffering, because when we fulfill a desire, we become greedy, and when it is not fulfilled, we feel angry.

21. God's name, form, virtues, leelas, abode and Saints are all one. Being exclusive in your devotion means to attach your mind to any one of these.

22. Along with devotion to God, devotion to the Guru is compulsory, because it is through the Guru that the devotee's aim is attained.

23. Do devotion by remembering God and Guru and shedding tears of longing. Consider yourself extremely sinful and fallen.

24. Attaching your mind to God and Guru with selfless feelings of love is devotion, and getting attached to God and Guru is the realization.

25. Wrong association is to criticize others or to listen to criticism; only look to your own faults.

26. Always feel that God and Guru are with you, protecting you; never feel yourself to be alone.

27. Physically renouncing something is not true renunciation; mental renunciation is true renunciation.

28. You will be as detached from the world as you are attached to God.

29. To be mentally attached to God and Guru and to physically work in the world is karma yoga.

30. A human birth is extremely difficult to receive, but it is also temporary; as such immediately start devotion.

31. It is the duty of a devotee to serve God and Guru with his mind (devotion), physical body (physical projects), wealth and property (financial service). It is only through service that the mind quickly purifies.


An ashram of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat is a refuge of pure devotion, selfless service (seva) and knowledge, whose atmosphere radiates with the divine vibrations of a true Saint’s presence. A stay in the ashram environment is an opportunity to experience this special energy and to receive true spiritual inspiration.

Special programs of bhakti yoga practice are organized throughout the year under Shri Maharaj Ji’s guidance. These are rare chances to be uplifted by the bliss of kirtan, to absorb yourself in loving thoughts of God, and to receive true divine association.

Shri Bhakti Dham

Located one hour from Allahabad in the rural countryside.

General enquiries: (91) 9759003000
Special Events: 

Two and four week sadhana meditation programs personally conducted by Shri Maharaj Ji are held in the spring and fall.

Daily Schedule & Opening Hours: 

Shri Bhakti Mandir, a temple dedicated to Shri Radha Krishna on the ashram property, is open throughout the year.


Ashram accommodation with modern facilities are available for visitors.

Maps and Pictures of Location: 
Shri Rangeeli Mahal

Located in the holy Braj district near the village of Barsana in the rural countryside, 1.5 hours south of New Delhi. A large campus that houses the Shri Kirti Ma Temple and the Barsana branch of Jagadguru Kripalu Charitable Hospitals.

(91) (5662) 246235 or (91) 9759005000

Ashram accommodation with modern facilities are available for visitors.

Special Events: 

Sadhana meditation programs held at various time of the year and personally conducted by Shri Maharaj Ji.

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Con Opinions

Jagad Guru Of Jagad Gurus... How???

Nathyogi's picture

It has been mentioned that Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj practiced and propagated Rasik Bhakti or Rasa Bhakthi {devotion of Gopis (female devotees of Lord Krishna in Vrindavan) and Radha}.