Celebration of Bhakti (Devotion)
Celebration of Bhakti (Devotion)
The Descension of Divine Love and Bliss
*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*
(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharajji)
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.
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Maharaj Ji
With long curly locks falling over his broad shoulders, intoxicated lotus eyes filled with the nectar of divine love and his beautiful countenance with an enchanting carefree smile, our Spiritual Master who was just 34 years of age, made a grand and unforgettable appearance on 14 January 1957 before the 500 most eminent learned scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishat, a vision that was to be etched forever in their memories.
After listening to his unsurpassable discourses on the scriptures, delivered spontaneously in scholarly Sanskrit, the entire assembly was left stunned and speechless by our Gurudeva’s limitless knowledge and his charming personality, soaked in the love for his Beloved Lord that overflowed from every pore of his stately figure. They bowed before him in unison and agreed that in addition to being an ocean of divine knowledge, he was also bhakti-yoga-rasavatara and the supreme amongst all Jagadgurus, He was the embodiment of bliss itself, as the Vedas describe:
(Sanskrit Quotation- from Taittiriya Upanishad 2.7))
“Both the nectar of divine love bliss as well as the enjoyer of that bliss.
His mere presence filled the hearts of everyone with profound joy and bliss of Shri Radha Krishna, as if the Divine Couple had appeared before them in the form of Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj.
The ultimate essence of devotion is the attainment of mahabhava. The symptoms of love in mahabhava were fully manifested in Shri Maharaj Ji’s body that proved him to be the form of Shri Radha Rani Herself. Shri Krishna, the Supreme Lord, is the crest jewel of all rasikas and the infinite ocean of divine bliss. Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj comprehensively embodied this singular phenomenon in its duality as Shree Radha Krishna in Their full-bloom form.
The aspect of Shri Maharaj Ji’s personality that embodied bhakti-yoga-rasavatara was visible to his sincere devotees at every step in his life. However, commenting on such matters is precarious because such subjects are divine in nature and therefore beyond the comprehension (let alone expression) of those under the bondage of maya. Everyone recounts differently according to his own experiences. Nevertheless, for the benefit of our readership, we can draw some insight from what is said in our sacred texts and accentuate this, where necessary, with some general widespread observations.
Highly credentialed Vedic scholars, as well as common people have full faith that Gauranga Mahaprabhu reappeared as Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj. After the title of Jagadguru was conferred upon him by those highly learned scholars of Kashi Vidvat Parishat, there is no further proof needed as to Shri Maharaj Ji’s scriptural omniscience and spiritual prowess.
Even in a practical sense, when devotees and scholars alike witnessed the eight sattvic bhava (the eight divine symptoms of love that manifest physically on the body of a true Saint) manifesting in his body, showing an unfathomable ocean of love within his heart, they were quite sure that Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj was the divine incarnation of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, who represents both Shri Radha and Shri Krishna in human form, having descended to deliver fallen souls like us from the clutches of maya, by enlightening the path towards the attainment of gopi prema.
The manner in which he immersed himself and his devotees in the nectar of love, brajarasa is the surest proof that he possessed an ocean of love. This same brajarasa was bestowed upon some fortunate few souls by the great maharasikas. Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj freely distributed in abundance this rare nectar of love, following the legacy of the maharasikas.
Just having his darshan once was sufficient to arouse strong spiritual feelings that had been lying dormant in the dark recesses of a person’s heart for innumerable lives. Without any concern for a person’s caste, creed, or religious background; whether they were good-natured or otherwise, deserving or undeserving, this magnanimous and unique descension of love in human form was ever eager to bless all souls with the divine love of Shri Radha Krishna. He was indeed an altruistic figure of compassion and love, proving true to his name, KRIPALU, causelessly merciful.
In this deeply materialistic age of Kali, he made people love God and immersed them in the ocean of love. He showered grace and gathered everyone in his loving embrace in such a way that he even surpassed his own title of bhakti-yoga-rasavatara!