|Born||Ram Kripalu Tripathi
5 October 1922
|Died||15 November 2013
New Delhi, Delhi, India
|Literary works||Prem Ras Sidhhant, Prem Ras Madira|
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He was the preceptor of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishad (JKP), a worldwide Hindu non-profit organization with 5 main ashrams; four in India and one in the USA. JKP Radha Madhav Dham is one of the largest Hindu Temple complexes in the Western Hemisphere, and the largest in North America.
He received the title of Jagadguru (world teacher) at the age of 34 by Kashi Vidvat Parishad (the oldest and most recognised body of Varanasi's intellectuals) on Makar Sankranti day, 14 January 1957.
Birth and early life history
Kripaluji 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 Shree Maharajji. When he was 17 years old, he led a 6-month continuous chanting of the "maha mantra".
In 1955 Kripalu Maharaj organized a religious convention for prominent spiritual leaders in India. Mahamahopadhyay Giridhar Sharma, President of the Kashi Vidvat Parishad had also come and was impressed by Kripaluji Maharaj's scriptural knowledge. Kripalu Maharaj was invited to give discourse at the Kashi Vidvat Parishad 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 Parishad, a group of Hindu scholars. The Kashi Vidvat Parishad also conferred on him the titles Bhaktiyog-Ras-Avtar and Jagadguruttam.
He is the fifth original Jagadguru in the series of Jagadgurus after Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya (A.D. 788-820), Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya (1017-1137), Śrī Nimbārkācārya and, Śrīpāda Madhvācārya (1239-1319). He was awarded the title Samanvaya-Acharya, i.e., He analyses and reconciles meaning of all scriptures, the six philosophies and the (seemingly contradictory) teachings of other Jagadgurus. After being awarded Jagadguruttam, 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 Maharaj, "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.
Kripalu Maharaj's discourses are broadcast daily on several religious TV channels, including Aastha TV, Sadhna TV, IBN 7, News24 and Sanskar TV. In the United States, his discourses are also broadcast every weekday on TV Asia. In his TV discourses, Kripalu Maharaj quotes the chapter and verse of almost everything he cites from the scriptures.
Ashrams and temples
Kripaluji Maharaj 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.
- 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 February 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.
Kripalu Maharaj established two free hospitals. The Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalay, Mangarh and Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalay (Barsana) 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 Maharaj'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 Maharaj 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.
- Prem Rasa Siddhant — The philosophy of Divine love. It was first published (in Hindi) in 1955. Later, it was published is several other languages of India. It has been described as an "incredible book" by Swami Sivananda among others.
- Bhakti Shatak — The concise philosophy of the Upaniṣats, Gītā, Brahma sūtras and the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in an easy to understand style.
- Radha Govind Geet — Printed in two volumes, with eleven thousand one hundred and eleven couplets of Radha Krishn leelas and the devotional philosophy.
- Prem Ras Madira — 1008 songs ("pad") of Radha-Krishna Leelas, Devotional Philosophy and humility.
- Yugal Shatak — One hundred "kirtans" of Radha Rani and Krishna.
- Yugal Rasa — Kirtans of Radha Krishna.
- Shree Krishna Dwadashi — Twelve "padas" which fully describe the beauty and the decorations of Krishna.
- Shree Radha Trayodashi — Thirteen "padas" about the beauty and the decorations of Radha Rani.
Renditions of Shree Kripaluji's bhajans and kirtans have been recorded by singers such as Manna Dey and Anuradha Paudwal. Anup Jalota has also agreed to release several CDs of his compositions.
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