Welcome to the Science of Identity Foundation’s official website
where you can learn about the Science of Yoga.
Unlike religion, in which an individual may believe or not believe in something (regardless of its truth or untruth), yoga is a science. As a science, yoga is a quest to understand or know the truth as it is. 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.
Yoga View of the Self
The yoga view of the self is about you—your essence. But what is your essence? Is it matter—a mere collection of material atoms and molecules? Or is it 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 something or someone 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 will 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 delusion by a complex network of relationships with other dreamers. Of course, at death (and sometimes before), the whole thing turns into a nightmare.
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 self with the Supreme Self or Original Cause. According to yoga philosophy, everything animate and inanimate—all energy—emanates from the Original Cause or Supreme Self. The Original Cause and all energy (both animate and inanimate) emanating from the Original Cause is known as the Absolute Whole.
Each of us, each living being, each person, is in fact part and parcel of the Absolute Whole. Because of our connection with the Absolute Whole (the Original Cause, other living beings, and inanimate energy), we cannot experience true happiness living just for ourselves. We must live in harmony with the Absolute Whole.
Gaudiya Vaisnava Heritage & Lineage
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.
Questions and Answers About the Science of Identity Foundation
Question: Do you have a physical location - are you a school?
Answer: 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.
Question: Who founded The Science of Identity Foundation?
Answer: The Science of Identity Foundation was established by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa (Chris Butler) in 1977 to offer to the public ancient yoga wisdom and techniques that individuals can apply in their own lives to optimize their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Many of his students and disciples around the world have formed their own yoga organizations and schools.