The Science of Yoga
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 Science of Identity Foundation
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.
Gaudiya Vaisnava 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.
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa (Chris Butler)
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa is a disciple of His Divine Grace Srila 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.
World Vaisnava Association
Letter from BA Paramadvaiti Swami, a founding member of the World Vaishnava Association and founder Acharya of Vrinda Mission:
Pranamas [My respects to all],
Jagad Guru is a bona fide spiritual master in the ancient and authoritative disciplic succession known as the Brahma Gaudiya Sampradaya. He is greatly respected by Vaishnava spiritual masters and their students throughout the world.