An unseemly battle erupts over spiritual trust

    By IANS,

    Lucknow : A war of legacy has broken out in a well known charitable trust founded by a spiritual guru, pitting his three daughters against the family of one of his two sons.

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    The Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) is a multi-billion-rupee charitable trust founded by the late Jagadguru Kripaluji, who passed away in November last year.

    The trust has institutes and properties in India and abroad and is engaged in spiritual, philanthropic and humanitarian activities.

    Trust spokesperson Muktanand told IANS that the death of Jagadguru, as he was widely known, has led to unexpected convulsions in the trust.

    The Jagadguru, the spokesperson added, had annointed his eldest daughter, Vishakha Tripathi, as his spiritual heir.

    She has been the face of the organization as the president of the JKP and has managed its affairs from its headquarters at Mangah in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, about 165 km from here.

    Shyama Tripathi, the second daughter, heads the Shyama Sham Dham in Vrindavan, also in Uttar Pradesh. The third daughter, Krishna Tripathi, oversees the ashram at nearby Barsana.

    Since the Jagadguru died, the trustees say that Divya Shukla, the estranged wife of Ghanshyam Tripathi, a son of the late holy figure, has begun frequently visiting the Mangarh Ashram.

    Her former husband is also presently stationed there.

    None of the children of the Jagadguru could be reached for comments despite repeated attempts by IANS.

    Ghanshyam Tripathi and Divya have three sons — Ramananda, Krishnananda and Premananda — who are based in Delhi and reportedly engaged in real estate business.

    “Ever since the demise of Kripaluji Maharaj, all of them are stationed at Mangarh with the seeming intention of taking over the trust and demanding the respect of the devotees,” Muktanand told IANS.

    Ghanshyam Tripathi, around 65, is otherwise based in Lucknow. Some say he has never been closely associated with the activities of the trust.

    The trust manages free educational institutions and hospitals and organises humanitarian programmes in which financial and material help is provided to the destitute and underprivileged sections.

    Balkrishna, the younger son of Kripaluji Maharaj, is based in Mumbai and engaged in business. He too has never been actively involved in any activity of the trust.

    In contrast, all the three daughters of Kripaluji Maharaj have shunned marriage and family life to serve the trust.

    The devotees and ‘pracharaks’ of Jagadguru are aware that he had himself charted the future of the trust.

    At a public function organised in the presence of an Uttar Pradesh assembly speaker, Kripaluji had said he had deposited enough funds in the banks so that charitable works could go on even after his death.

    He had also decided the roles his children would play after his demise vis-a-vis the JKP.

    Born Ram Kripalu Tripathi Oct 18, 1922, the holy man took to spirituality at a young age. He received the title Jagadguru at age 34 in Varanasi.
    He passed away at age 91 in New Delhi.

    Besides the four main ashrams in India and one in the US, Jagadguru has set up centres in many countries besides four temples, two free hospitals and an educational institution and has been active in disaster relief.