Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj - A Short Biography
  • Home
  • Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj - A Short Biography

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj - A Short Biography

'The Supreme Spiritual Master of the World', 'Descension of Divine Love and Bliss', 'Eminent Propounder of Eternal Vedic Religion' and 'Reconciler of all Seemingly Contradictory Philosophical Views of the World', Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj truly was the personified form of divine

'The Supreme Spiritual Master of the World', 'Descension of Divine Love and Bliss', 'Eminent Propounder of Eternal Vedic Religion' and 'Reconciler of all Seemingly Contradictory Philosophical Views of the World', Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj truly was the personified form of divine love.

His natural scholarliness inspired trust in even the greatest intellectuals, while his tremendous love, causeless grace and endless compassion melted the hearts and inspired devotional love in all who came near him. His satsang was divinely exhilarating and unbelievably joyous.

Every association with him was like being in the company of your dearest friend who was urging you at every moment, both internally and externally, to go closer and closer and closer to God . . .


Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj (lovingly addressed as Shri Maharaj Ji by all) appeared on this Earth on 5 October 1922 during the auspicious full moon night of Sharat Purnima in Mangarh (known today as Bhakti Dham), a tiny village in Pratapgarh district, Uttar Pradesh state in North India. His mother, Shrimati Bhagavati Devi and his father, Shri Lalta Prasad Tripathi, who was a pious Brahmin named their child Ram Kripalu.Right from childhood Ram Kripalu showed signs of divinity and was a most precocious student. His father enrolled him at the local primary school where he attended from 1926-1931 before going to the town of Kunda, a short 5 kilometres from Mangarh, where he attended middle school from 1932-1934. According to the practice of child marriage that was prevalent in those days, his parents got him married to the daughter of a learned scholar hailing from the nearby village of Leelapur in 1933. Despite being married, Shri Maharaj Ji often left home for long intervals.


In 1935, at the tender age of just 13 years, Shri Maharaj Ji left his village Mangarh to study Sanskrit at Mahu Chhawani, a cantonment in the district of Indore, Madhya Pradesh state where his eldest brother was a teacher. He stayed there for nearly 3 years.

Shri Maharaj Ji returned to his studies approximately 2 years later, when in July 1940 he enrolled himself at Ram Nam Sanskrit Vidyalaya, a Sanskrit college in the town of Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh. In 1943, he studied advanced Sanskrit, Vyakarancharya, in the holy city of Kashi situated on the banks of the Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh. Later that year he returned to Mahu Chhawani and stayed until 1945. Due to his exceptional ability, Shri Maharaj Ji completed the equivalent of many years of study in just 2 ½ years, receiving the following degrees:

  • Sanskrit Sahitya Acharya (Master of Sanskrit Literature) from Calcutta University, 1943
  • Vyakarancharya (Degree in Sanskrit Grammar) from Cunes College, Kashi in 1944
  • Ayurved Acharya (Degree in Ayurved) from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyapeeth, Delhi in 1945

The most remarkable aspect of his recitation is that Shri Maharaj Ji never studied scripture. In addition, all this study was taking place while he was giving a constant stream of 4-day, 15-day, 1-month and even 6-month akhanda (non-stop) sankirtan programmes.

In the Jungles of Chitrakoot and Vrindavan

In 1938, at the age of 16, Shri Maharaj 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 Maharaj Ji was eventually discovered, and for the benefit of those people, 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.

Chitrakoot Conference

A grand conference of Saints took place over 15 days from 16-31 October 1955, organised by Shri Maharaj Ji himself. The event was attended by approximately seventy-two scholars and spiritual personalities from across India, including Mahamahopadhyay Giridhar Sharma (Kashi) and Neel Meghacharya. Shri Maharaj Ji was the official welcoming committee, serving the Saintly scholars himself, even escorting them to their assigned rooms and fanning them. Who can serve anyone the way Shri Maharaj Ji served those Saints!

In his welcoming address Shri Maharaj Ji made a request to all the Saints to answer a few simple questions concerning the reconciliation of the apparent contradictory doctrines in Hindu scripture. None of the scholars present replied. In fact, all of them became annoyed and announced that Shri Maharaj Ji himself should speak, though his name was not listed as such. Hearing his name being called, Shri Maharaj Ji all of a sudden took the stage as a speaker. For the duration of the Conference, Shri Maharaj Ji addressed the gathering for three hours every day.

The knowledge Shri Maharaj Ji revealed to the assembly was unbelievable! He gave numerous quotations from the Vedas, Gita, Bhagavatam and from many other scriptures. People were astonished and spellbound at his profound and complete mastery of all the scriptures. The devotees who knew him before were amazed, as prior to this they had only seen him singing the glories of Lord Krishna, playing the dholak and shedding tears.

When Mahamahopadhyay Giridhar Sharma and Neel Meghacharya returned to Kashi, they highly praised Shri Maharaj Ji, but the other scholars could not believe that someone so young could have such knowledge. In fact, they interpreted such talk as mere exaggeration and decided that they should test Shri Maharaj Ji.

Kanpur Conference

The following year, Shri Maharaj Ji organised another conference, this time for the scholars of Kanpur. This event took place from 5-19 October 1956.

The Chief Secretary of Kashi Vidvat Parishat, Shri Raj Narayan Shastri (a master in the six systems of philosophy and the most learned scholar amongst the 500 that constituted Kashi Vidvat Parishat) attended the Conference without notice, at the instigation of Mahamahopadhyay Giridhar Sharma and Neel Meghacharya.

When Shri Mahraj Ji saw such a distinguished guest, he invited him to speak but he declined, requesting Shri Maharaj Ji to speak first and saying that he would speak later. With a pen and paper in his hand, he sat down with the intention to note down all the mistakes Shri Maharaj Ji was going to make in his discourse. To his amazement, his pen never moved!

The following day, Shri Raj Narayan Shastri announced that he would speak first, so Shri Maharaj Ji took his seat with pen in hand to note down his mistakes. However, Shri Maharaj Ji’s pen never moved either! Shri Raj Narayan Shastri gave no discourse; he just showered praise on Shri Maharaj Ji including,

"…while referring to all the philosophical schools, the unique way in which he established the path of devotion was transcendental, definitely divinely inspired. Such a speech could only be inspired by God Himself. No one can display such talent or knowledge of his own accord…"

In the end, Shri Maharaj Ji was invited to address the scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishat, which he did the following year.

A Landmark Event in the History of the World

At the age of 34, Shri Maharaj Ji delivered a series of lectures to the 500 scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishat. Shri Maharaj Ji spoke in classical Sanskrit, giving innumerable quotations from the Vedas, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc. He presented a unique reconciliation of the varying philosophies of the four Jagadgurus: Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya, Jagadguru Shri Ramanujacharya, Jagadguru Shri Nimbarkacharya and Jagadguru Shri Madhavcharya.

The Fifth Jagadguru in the History of the World

Shri Maharaj Ji was thus honoured with the title of Jagadguru by Kashi Vidvat Parishat, the distinguished and exclusive organisation of 500 Vedic scholars, in the holy city of Kashi, on 14 January 1957. This title of Jagadguru was last granted more than 700 years ago, and is only awarded to a divine personality who possesses complete theoretical knowledge of all scriptures, as well as practical experience of God, and who brings about a spiritual revolution in the world.

Jagadguruttam, Supreme Among All Jagadgurus

Upon listening to Shri Maharaj Ji’s unique and authoritative knowledge of all scriptures, along with his astonishing reconciliation of the philosophies of the four Jagadgurus, the scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishat were left with no option but to accept Shri Maharaj Ji as Jagadguruttam, 'Supreme amongst all Jagadgurus'.

Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj - A Short Biography‘The Supreme Spiritual Master of the World’, ‘Descension of Divine Love and Bliss’, ‘Eminent Propounder of Eternal Vedic Religion’ and ‘Reconciler of all Seemingly Contradictory Philosophical Views of the World’, Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj truly was the personified form of