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.
Under the direction of Sri Chaitanya, His followers have given mankind the priceless gift of an enormous library of extraordinary yoga spiritual literature unmatched in the history of the world. It is only within recent decades that these works on Gaudiya Vaishnava yoga by the followers of Sri Chaitanya have risen in prominence and appreciation by scholars in many academic institutions in Europe and America, including Oxford and Harvard.
In more recent times, a number of prominent spiritual teachers appeared within the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur (1838–1914), renowned as a great yogi, devotee, and Vedic scholar, was a high court judge and assistant to the governor of Orissa province under the British Raj. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati (1874–1937) was one of the great Vedic scholars of modern India, and his most famous disciple, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad (1896–1977), propagated Vaishnavism widely in the Western world. Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda is the humble disciple of this greatest of scholars and devotee in modern times.