Jagadguru Sri Kripaluji Maharaj is the sole fifth Jagadguru of this age. He is a Jagadguru not by any right of inheritance to a monastic seat but by the virtue of his transcendental, spiritual merit and profound and prodigious authority over Holy Scriptures like the Vedas, the Upanishadas, ...the Puranas, the Gita, the Ramayan and the Ram Charit Manas. In this introductory brief, he would henceforth be referred to as ‘Shri Maharajji’, an epithet by which he is lovingly and popularly known.
It was on the 14th January 1957 that the KASHI VIDVAT PARISHAD – an august and formidable body of five hundred scriptural scholars and each an expert of his own branch of study- decided to crown him with the hallowed title of ‘Jagadguruttam’, the best ever Jagadguru, after having heard him extensively for nine days on end.
Just to put the record straight, it had so happened that some of the members of the KASHI VIDVAT PARISHAD along with their Vice-President Mahamahopadhyaya Pt. Shri Giridhar Sharma Chaturvedi got an opportunity to hear Shri Maharajji’s enlightening, exhaustive and all-inclusive discourses rendered in indefectible classical Sanskrit earlier on in the “All India Conference of Bhakti Yoga philosophers’ at Chitrakoot organized between 16 October 1955 and 31 October 1955. The conference was a learned gathering of philosophers, scholars, saints and spiritual aspirants from all over the country. Overwhelmed and deeply impressed like everybody, the members of the KASHI VIDVAT PARISHAD went back to Varanasi and narrated their astounding experience to the other members in lavish and exuberant terms of praise for Shri Maharajji. But being an august body of scholars and philosophers par-excellence themselves, they did not, initially, take their word for what they had said about hri Maharajji and resolved to hold a further scrutiny on him in theconference held at S Kanpur between 5 October 1956 and 19 October 1956. This time they commissioned their General Secretary, Shatshastri Pt. Shri Raj Narayan Shukla to do the job. And to the shock of their surprise, he too reported back in the same tenor of unrestricted praise. So they thought of inviting Shri Maharajji to the forum of the KASHI VIDVAT PARISHAD at Varanasi, where they obviously intended to take a complete measure of his knowledge and authority.
Whenever the invitation was made out, Shri Maharajji gladly condescended to oblige them. The KASHI VIDVAT PARISHAD heard Shri Maharajji’s in-depth, duly illustrated and prolifically substantiated discourses on various scriptural issues to their heart’s content and were fully convinced of his unusual perspicacity, scriptural insight, authority and transcending spiritual experiences. However hard they must have tried, they had not been able to find any room to contravene or contradict him on any doctrinal point. Eventually, they judged and regarded him ‘the best ever Jagadguru’ because he had deftly and with authority elucidated and thrown light upon the underlying unity and abiding harmony between the seemingly contradictory tenets found in different doctrines of Indian Philosophy. This was an unprecedented act of imparting a new perception and insight into the Holy Scriptures which had enthralled the KASHI VIDVAT PARISHAD and had filled them with awe of a kind. This made them unanimously agree to conferring yet another reverential title of ‘Nikhil Darshan Samanyacharya’ on him. It might be staggering to note that Shri Maharajji at that time was not even thirty five years of age and that he had never ever formally studied the scriptures nor philosophy. It is also worth the mention that during his sessions with the KAAHI VIDVAT PARISHAD, Shri Maharajji continued to draw out the knowledge stored within him stage by stage and the KASHI VIDVAT PARISHAD, as if in a bid to redeem themselves and compensate for the initial hesitation, continued to honor and designate him with title after title. They proclaimed him ‘Ved Marg Pratishthapan Acharya,’ ‘Bhakti-Yoga Rasavatar,’ ‘Sanatan Vedic Dharma Sat Sampradaya Paramacharya’ in addition to the titles already stated. The titles - ‘Pad Vakya Praman Paravarin’ and ‘Anant Shri Vibhushit’ were also conferred on him.
In this way Shri Maharajji stands in the distinguished and celebrated primal line of Jagadgurus like Shri Shri Madhvacharya (14th Century A.D.), Shri Shri Nimbarkacharya (8th Century A.D.), Shri Shri Ramanujacharya (12th Century A.D.) and Adi Shankaracharya (2500 yrs ago).