Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Kripa Mean?

Kripa is a word from the Sanskrit, kripala. Its exact meaning depends on the context, but it encompasses concepts of “grace,” “blessing,” “mercy,” and “divine grace.” It is an important concept in Hinduism and is the central tenet of Bhakti yoga.

Kripa is also the name of an important rishi in the “Mahabharata,” a sacred Indian text. The “Mahabharata” is particularly important to yoga because it contains the Bhagavad Gita, which is a key text on yogic philosophy. In the Gita, kripa is described by Krishna as a process of surrendering to the Divine with faith and an attitude of loving contemplation. Krishna said that this would bring liberation from cyclical rebirth.


Yogapedia Explains Kripa

The experience of kripa is generally considered to be the catalyst for a devotee or bhakti yogi to begin an intense spiritual transformation, which will ultimately lead to moksha (spiritual liberation). In a sense, kripa is the key to unlocking Self-realization.

In some teachings, such as those by the sage, Vasistha, kripa is considered to be the only way to transcend the bondage of karma. Madhvacharya, a Hindu philosopher, taught that kripa should not be considered a gift from God. Instead, it is an experience which must be earned.

There are various types of kripa, including:

  • Ishwara kripa – the grace of God
  • Shastra kripa – the grace of the scripture
  • Guru kripa – the grace of the guru
  • Atma kripa – the grace of the Self

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