Bhakti of Lord Shankar Ji

Shivratri - Why pray to lord shiv? by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj | Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat

(An excerpt of a speech made by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on Shivratri )

In the Ramayana, Tulsidas has written some verses and raised a question. Is there a principle that devotion to God can’t be attained without worshipping Lord Shankar ji?  Is it compulsory to worship Lord Shankarji?  

The answer to this is that – there is no such principle. During the period of Tulsidas ji, two opposing principles were prevalent in our country. The South Indians had gone against Lord Vishnu and the North Indians had gone against Lord Shanker Ji.   Illiterate persons also joined the conflict. They started to quarrel with each other.  It even went to the extent of physical fights.  

To calm down such an atmosphere, Tulsidas ji said to the Vaishnavas (worshippers of Lord Vishnu) – I am requesting you with folded hands, do not oppose Lord Shiva.  In the Bhagwatam, Shankar ji is given the highest position among devotees.  This is stated in the Bhagwatam, Verse – 12.13.16.  In other words, the greatest amongst all rivers is the Ganges. The greatest amongst all deities is Shri Krishna. The greatest amongst all devotees is Shanker ji and the greatest among all the Puranas is the Bhagwatam.

So firstly, Lord Shankar ji is the swansh (personal expansion) of Shri Krishna  A swansh is God himself. They are the Governors of the Swaroop Shakti.  Therefore, they have the same opulence as God.  Secondly, if someone doesn’t accept that Shanker Ji was a devotee of Shri Krishna and went to the maharas in the form of a gopi; then it is also true that  Lord Ram and Krishna had worshipped Lord Shanker ji.  They are all one and the same.  There is no fight between them.  There is only confusion in the minds of the people. 

Thirdly, regarding the meaning of ananyta (exclusivity), except for God, if the mind gets attached to anything material, then exclusivity is violated. Anything that is mayic.  That is the mayabaddh vibhinnansh jeev – souls that are God’s  separated parts and bound by maya.   Note the term –  mayabaddh (souls bound by maya). 

If our mind is attached to any mayabaddh person, then exclusivity is violated.  But not if he is someone who belongs to God, i.e. if he is a saint.  Scriptures declare –  “There is no difference between God and his saints.”  This is why the Vedas say: You should have the same devotional feelings towards Guru as you would have for God. So Shri Krishna, his names, his forms, his qualities, his pastimes, his abodes and his saints – if the mind is attached to any of these, it will be called ananya ((exclusive). 

Lord Shanker is God after all.  Even if Ajamil (a sinner) or some other great sinner attains God realisation today, he will also become worthy of being worshipped like God and thinking about him will also grant one  God-realisation.  This will then not violate exclusivity.   This is the meaning.

*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*

(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharaj Ji)

The original title of Jagadguruttam (‘Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World’) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957, by ‘Kashi Vidvat Parishad’ (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like ‘Prem Ras Madira’, ‘Prem Ras Siddhant’, and ‘Radha Govind Geet’ to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include  -  Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh,  Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharajji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.