Swami Sri Kripalvanand’s early life
Swami Sri Kripalvanand, also affectionately called Bapuji by his devotees, was a renowned Yoga and spiritual guru and is considered one of the world’s greatest masters of Kundalini Yoga. Born in Dabhoi, Gujarat, in 1913, Sri Kripalvanand received training from spiritual guru Pranavandji, also known as Guru Dadaji or Bhagwan Lakulish. After his training, Swami Kripalvananda left all worldly desires and extensively toured the country. He became a Kundalini Yoga Master through the guidance of his guru. During his travel, he visited several temples and also preached. After his health deteriorated in the United States, he left for India, where he died on December 29, 1981, at 68.
The guidance he received from his guru was handed over to his disciples, who made them famous scholars and gurus. He had five disciples named Swami Rajarshi Muni, who maintained The Lakulish yoga university, Life Mission; Swami Vinit Muni; Swami Asutosh Muni, who holds the mahasamadhi of Kripalvananda in Malav; Yogeshwar Muni who taught kundalini yoga in the West and Kripalvananda’s householder disciple, Amrit Desai who established Kripalu Yoga center in his honor.
Kripalvanand Kriya yoga in the US
Swami ji came to America at the invitation of his discipline, Amrit Desai, and stayed in a small cottage called Muktidham at the Kripalu Yoga Ashram in Sumneytown, Pennsylvania. Besides propagating Yoga in India, Swami Kripalvananda also took Yoga to the west.
Kripalvanand’s Kundalini yoga
It is said that during the last 30 years of his life, Swamiji practiced Kundalini Yoga meditation for 10 hours daily. He also practiced more silence and only spoke on some rare public occasions. At Muktidham, Swami Kripalvanand practiced the Kundalini Yoga for ten hours a day and attained the Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the formless state of ultimate union. Besides being a renowned Yoga Guru, Swami Kripalvananda also played musical instruments like the tambours and harmonium with precision and became a master in music.
He spent the majority of his lifetime of pilgrimage on the Yoga path. He had written commentaries on the Yogic scriptures based on his Yoga practices. He has written a book named Asana and Mudra, an encyclopedia of Yoga. Some of his important books are:
- The nectar of Inspiration
- Conjugal Sadhana
- Revealing the Secretes
- Science of Meditation
- Asana & Mudra
- Birthday Discourse
- Sadhak’s Companion
- Yoga & Celibacy
- The Passion of Christ
The Lakulish Yoga Institute
The Lakulish Yoga Institute in Gujarat teaches the principles and methods of Yoga. Swami ji’s disciple, Rajarshi Muni, head the LIFE Mission and runs the Lakulish Yoga University. His work related to Yoga is carried on at the LIFE Mission, which Rajarshi Muni, a disciple of Kripalvananda, headed. LIFE Mission also has Lakulish Yoga and Health Retreat in Mebane; North Carolina offers yoga classes, workshops, and seminars in the kundalini yoga tradition.
Kripalvanand’s natural Yoga
Swami Kripalvananda devoted his entire life to the promotion of Yoga. He practiced ten hours a day Natural Yoga while keeping silent for the last eighteen years of his life and rediscovered the ancient eightfold path of Yoga. After rigorous practice of Yoga, he finally reached the highest transcendental state of nirvikalpa Samadhi.