Yoga is the science of understanding one’s true identity. Many believe yoga is simply a form of physical exercise, but actually, yoga is a world view, a lens through which we see everything, and a complete lifestyle. The goal of all yoga practices is to lead one to a correct understanding of one's identity and purpose for existence—and apply that understanding in life.The Science of Identity Foundation, by teaching the science of yoga, assists individuals who want to know the truth of their identity (i.e., their true essence and their relationship to the physical body, the mind, etc.) to realize the actual purpose of their life and learn where actual happiness is found.
The goal of all yoga processes is to lead one to a correct understanding of what is--and to apply that correct understanding in life.
Unlike religion, in which an individual may believe or not believe in something (regardless of its truth or untruth), the process of yoga is one that allows a person to experience direct perception of the absolute truth. In other words, it is a science, and as a science it is a quest to understand or know the truth as it is—regardless of whether the yoga practitioner wants to believe that truth or not. True understanding of the nature of things and their actual relationships is known as self-realization. Acting on the basis of that self-realization is known as wisdom.
The essence of the teachings of yoga scripture and great yoga sages, and the goal of the Science of Identity Foundation, is to encourage as many people in the world as possible to live a life of karma yoga.
The word yoga means union of the individual soul (atma) with the Supreme Soul. According to yoga philosophy, everything animate and inanimate—all energy—emanates from God, the Supreme Soul. God and all energy (both animate and inanimate) emanating from the Supreme Soul is known as the Absolute Whole.
Each of us, each living being, each person, is in fact part and parcel of the God. Because of our connection with the Absolute Whole (the Supreme Soul, other living beings, and inanimate energy), we cannot experience true happiness living just for ourselves. We must live in harmony with the Supreme Soul, all living entities, and the planet.
The secret to true happiness lies in knowing who you really are.
The yoga view of the self is about you—your essential nature. But what is your essence? What are you made of? Are you made of matter—a mere collection of material atoms and molecules? Or is your essence something else?
“Who am I?” Maybe you’ve never even asked yourself this question. You might think you already know who you are. Unfortunately, however, it’s likely that you don’t know who you are at all. And if you don’t know your real identity, you’re in trouble. You’ll spend your life in a kind of dream state—you’ll falsely identify yourself as someone or something you aren’t.
Then, on the basis of this false identification, you’ll determine the goals of your life and the purpose of your existence. You use these goals to gauge whether you are making “progress” in life, whether you are a “success.” And you are aided and abetted in this assumed purpose by a complex network of relationships with other dreamers. Of course, at death—and sometimes before—the whole thing turns into a nightmare.
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa (Chris Butler)
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the disciplic succession (parampara) known as Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. Jagad Guru is the founder of the Science of Identity Foundation and worldwide Chaitanya Missions. He has been teaching the science of yoga to people around the world for over 45 years. Many serious individuals inspired by Jagad Guru have now taken on the role of teachers to assist him in spreading yoga wisdom.
As a long-time proponent of nonsectarianism, Jagad Guru has worked in union with other Vaishnava acharyas (teachers), including Puri Maharaj, Paramadvaiti Maharaj, B.B Tirtha Maharaj, and others to establish the World Vaishnava Association, an umbrella organization composed of more than 30 different Vaishnava missions around the world.
Question: What is the Science of Identity Foundation?
Answer: The Science of Identity Foundation was established in 1977 by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa. The purpose of the Foundation is to pass on the ancient science of yoga—which leads to a correct understanding of one's identity and purpose for existence, and how to apply that understanding in life to achieve inner peace and deep happiness.
The Science of Identity Foundation and organizations associated or affiliated with it have numerous centers located throughout the world. Additionally, we work in the community making the teachings of yoga available at hospitals, old age homes, fitness clubs, spas, community centers, etc.
Hinduism is comprised of several different schools of thought or spiritual traditions. Amongst these different traditions or branches, Vaishnavism is one of the largest branches, with hundreds of millions of adherents and countless sub-branches.
The founder of the Science of Identity Foundation, Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda (also known as Chris Butler), is coming in one of the leading lines of yoga spiritual masters in the Vaishnava tradition known as the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. This spiritual lineage includes the great sage Srila Vyasadeva, who compiled and wrote down the Vedas some 5000 years ago.
Another yoga luminary in this line was Madhvacharya (1238–1317 AD), who was famous for his opposition to and refutation of the advaitavada teachings of Shankaracharya (788-820 AD) as well as other impersonalist (Mayavadi) schools of thought.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534 AD) is acknowledged as the foremost proponent of bhakti yoga in more recent history, both within the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya and within the subcontinent of India. While profoundly humble, Sri Chaitanya displayed an unparalleled intellect and was accepted as the greatest scholar of his time, gathering about him a number of extraordinary and highly scholarly disciples. Among them were Sri Ramananda Raya, who was the governor of Madras, and the brothers Rupa Goswami and Sanatan Goswami, who were ministers of the Bengal government under the Muslim regime of Nawab Hussain Shah.