Swami Sri Kripalvanandji (1913-1981) was born in a small town near Baroda in India. He was a master of Kundalini Yoga, a physical and meditative discipline associated with the subdivision of hatha yoga [1]. An articulate speaker and talented musician, it was Swami Kripalu’s genuine love for people that set him apart. His singing stirred deep feelings of devotion within the hearts of listeners. Discourses were peppered with captivating stories, eliciting tears of sorrow and peals of uncontrollable laughter. A prolific writer, Swami Kripalu wrote books of practical spiritual guidance aimed at uplifting the lives of his many devotees[1]. Radiating a palpable energy of compassionate love and spiritual power, few came into Swami Kripalu’s presence without being touched, moved or changed in some way. His namesake yoga retreat in the United States is Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, yet this retreat no longer has any connection to Swami Kripalu. Swami Kripalu is notable in the United States as the Guru and spiritual father of Yogacharya Swami Sri Ashutosh Muniji[2], current Lineage Holder in the Kripalu Muni Mundal line[3].


Kripalvanandji is regarded by his current U.S. followers as a Saint[4]. Followers believe that Kripalvanandji's guru, Lord Lakulish, is the 28th and the last avatar of Shiva and the creator of Yoga. Shiva is the supreme god of Hinduism[5].

Swami Kripalvanandji faced many harsh realities and heavy burdens early in life, and with God seemingly nowhere in sight, he struggled to survive as an ordinary person. In this bitter darkness, he felt desperate and alone. Swami Kripalvanandji had no idea what an important person he was. This young man was so special in the eyes of God that God Himself, in the form of Lord Lakulish, came to save him from the clinching grips of destruction. Not only did He save him, but he also took him under his almighty wing of protective grace and provided the finest home for him. They lived in the same dwelling place together in Bombay for 15 months. Swami Kripalvanandji was 19 - a humble young student and Lord Lakulish, 60 - a mysterious loving teacher. Every day, they would walk on the beach together as Lord Lakulish taught Swami Kripalvanandji the Bhagavad-Gita.[6].

Swami Kripalu always ended his public discourses with a blessing such as the one that follows:
May everyone here be happy.
May everyone here be healthy.
May everyone here be prosperous.
May no one be the least little bit unhappy at all.
My auspicious blessing to you.' [7].


  1. Sovatsky, 1998, p. 14

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