In this special year commemorating the Birth Centenary of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, celebrations are taking place across India and abroad. To mark this occasion, Swami Mukundananda has delivered a series of enlightening lectures on Jagadguru's aarti during a shivir held from the 13th to the 16th of October at the Banara ashram. Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's teachings have always emphasized the importance of not just performing a physical drill during aarti but engaging in "rūp dhyāna"—contemplation on the Names, Forms, Attributes, Abodes, and Pastimes of God and Guru. To help us embrace Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's philosophy, Swamiji has delved into the verses of his aarti, enabling us to understand and internalize their profound meanings.
The aarti is a gift to devotees to aid them in their sadhana and 'rūp dhyāna' on their beloved Guru. Let's contemplate the first verse of Jagadguru's aarti and keep it in our hearts every day.
Invoking Devotees to Obeisance
The aarti serves as an invocation, calling upon devotees to offer their humble obeisances at the lotus feet of their Guru. The first verse resounds with devotion:
जयति जगद्गुरु गुरुवर की, गावो मिली आरती रसिकवर की |
गुरुपद-नख-मणि-चन्द्रिका प्रकाश, जाके उर बसे ताके मोह तम नाश |
जाके माथ नाथ तव हाथ कर वास, ताते होय माया मोह सब ही निरास |
पावे गति मति रति राधावर की, गावो मिली आरती रसिकवर की।।
Jayati jagadguru Guruvara kī, gāvo milī ārti rasikavara kī |
Gurupad-nakha-maṇi-chandrikā prakāś, jāke ur base tāke moha tam nāś |
Jāke māth nāth tava hāth kar vāsa, tāte hoye māyā moha sab hī nirāsa |
Pāve gati mati rati Rādhāvara kī, gāvo milī ārti rasikavara kī ||
Translation: The radiance emanating from the nails of my Guru's lotus feet illuminates the hearts of those who contemplate them with love, dispelling ignorance. Those whom my beloved Guru blesses with his love, grace, and protection are shielded from the delusive power of maya and all her attendants (such as anger, greed, hatred, envy, etc.), which are greatly disappointed. The most fortunate individuals who receive such blessings attain the abode, knowledge, and love of Shri Krishna.
These verses reveal divine knowledge and the secret of God realisation, conveyed in simple, memorable lines, accessible even to a child driven by bhakti. This song extols our beloved Jagadguru, the crown jewel among rasik saints. He was not only the fifth original Jagadguru but also the Jagdguruttam, the best among them, a title bestowed upon Him by the Kashi Vidvat Parishad.
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's Unique Philosophy
Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj presented a unique siddhanta (philosophical perspective) that resonates with clarity and poetic beauty. He advocated the path of nishkam bhakti (selfless devotion) and exclusive devotion to God and Guru. Maharajji's teachings are ingrained in the hearts and minds of His devotees.
Maharajji taught that God realization is the ultimate focus of human life because we seek happiness, and God is the ultimate source of happiness. However, we cannot attain God through our material intellect, senses, or mind. This is where the Guru plays a vital role. The Guru dispels our ignorance and illuminates the path to God. Knowledge leads to love, and love leads to faith.
The Guru's Divine Light
The shining light emanating from the nail of the Guru's lotus feet (guru pada-nakha-maṆai-chandrikā prakāsh) is like a radiant moon in the darkest night, dispelling the darkness of Maya and annihilating it. When the Guru places His hands on our heads (jāke māth nāth tava hāth kar vās), Maya and delusion are vanquished, and the soul attains direction (gati), surrender of mind and intellect (mati), and attachment to God (rati). This fortunate individual achieves the abode, knowledge, and love of Shri Krishna and Radha Rani—all of this unfolds through the Guru's grace.
Embracing the Divine with the Guru's Guidance
These verses echo the significance of the "sharad purnima" night in "chandrikā prakāsh," a night when the moon shines its brightest, symbolizing the holy night of Maharajji's descent. This verse beautifully celebrates the glory of Jagadguru Shree Kripalu Ji Maharaj, the greatest spiritual Guru in the last 5000 years.
Stay tuned for the explanation of the next verses in the upcoming article.