On November 3rd, 2014, H.H. Dr. Vishakha Tripathi, President of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat, Bhakti Dham, was honoured with the “Zee Achiever’s Award” by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav. Established by Zee Media Group, this award was given to those organizations and individuals who have contributed in a significant way to the economic and social upliftment of the residents of Uttar Pradesh. In the past also, Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat has been honoured with “Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award”, “Naari Shakti Award”, “Mother Teresa Award” and “Nelson Mandela Peace Award” for it’s exemplary contribution in the eld of healthcare and women’s education.
A grand conference of Saints took place over fifteen 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 (President of Kashi Vidvat Parishat) 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. This was the first time he had spoken publically; no one had ever seen him speak before this. 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 thousands of 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.
At the tender age of thirteen, he left his village Mangarh to study, attending Peeli Kothi Sanskrit School in Chitrakoot in 1935, where he sat intermediate Sanskrit Grammar examinations. He completed his degree in Sanskrit Grammer, Vyakaranacharya, in Kashi the following year in 1936.
In 1937 Shri Maharaj Ji went to Indore (Mohu) where he sat the intermediate examinations for Ayurved at Shtang Ayurvedic College. In 1942, Shri Maharaj Ji returned to Indore and completed a poetry examination and received the degree Kayatirtha. In 1943, Shri Maharaj Ji received the degree of Ayurved Acharya from Delhi Vidyapeeth and Sahitya Acharya (Master of Literature) from Calcutta Vidyapeeth in 1944. Both these degrees were awarded to him in Indore. Due to his exceptional ability, Shri Maharaj Ji completed the equivalent of many years of study in Indore in just 2 ½ years. The most remarkable aspect of his recitation is that he never studied scripture. In addition, all this study was taking place while he was giving a constant stream of four day, fifteen day, one month and even four month akhanda (non-stop) sankirtan programmes.
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj (lovingly addressed as Shri Maharaj Ji by all) appeared on this earth in October 1922 on the auspicious full moon night of Sharat Purnima in Mangarh, a tiny village in Northern India. His mother Bhagvati Devi and father Shri Lalita Prasad Tripathi named their child Ram Kripalu. From childhood he showed signs of divinity and was a most precocious student. According to the custom of the times, 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.