Science in Relation to Identity
Question: What do you mean by science?
Jagad Guru: Science is a quest to know the truth by direct perception, rather than through a belief system. This is also the goal of all yoga processes, to allow the aspirant to experience direct perception of the absolute truth. The yogi, like the modern scientist, employs the laws of logic and observation, but does not limit his search for the truth only to that which is outside of himself. His scientific research also involves inner work—for example, observation of and learning about the nature of his mind, his behavior, his actions, etc. The word ‘science’ differentiates yoga from a ‘religious’ belief system.
Question: How does science relate to identity?
Applying the Science of Yoga in Your Life
Question: How can I apply the science of yoga to life?
Jagad Guru: With an understanding of the yoga view of the self, the yoga practitioner can begin to apply yoga’s ancient wisdom in his life.
Yoga’s ancient wisdom provides practical answers to personal and social issues such as racism, sectarianism, hatred and conflict, how to have a peaceful, progressive society, overcoming one’s fear of death, the causes of crime, etc. No matter how much sensual pleasure people have, no matter how much they consume, they always want more.
Yoga Is a Process of Self-Discovery
Question: Is yoga something anyone can apply, no matter what their religious background?
Jagad Guru: Absolutely. Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a process of self-discovery, a process of uncovering or clearing away what’s keeping us from understanding our true identity and value. It’s a process that one follows to clear the cobwebs of the mind, intelligence, and heart so that he can see and understand himself, others, and the world clearly, as they are.
The Meaning of Guru
Question: What is the meaning of the word “guru”?
Answer: The Sanskrit word “guru” means spiritual teacher; however it is also often used to refer to teachers of all kinds—be they teachers of music, ayurvedic medicine, cooking, etc.
“Guru” as an adjective means “heavy or weighty” as in “one who is heavy with spiritual knowledge and wisdom.” Additionally, “guru” means servant; “guru” does not mean master.
The Guru-Disciple Relationship
Question: What is the nature of the relationship between a guru and their disciple?
Answer: From ancient times until today, the art and science of yoga has been handed down from guru (teacher) to disciple (in Sanskrit shishya or chela). Disciples in turn hand down what they have learned to their disciples. Every guru is also simultaneously a disciple not only of his immediate guru, but also all the preceding gurus in his line of teachers. In this way, the yoga/Hindu culture has been handed down.
Meaning of Jagad Guru
Question: Could you tell us about yourself?
Jagad Guru: I am not very important. What’s important is what I teach.
Question: So if I come to know what you teach, then I’ll come to know you?
Question: Is there anything in yoga philosophy that is similar to the Christian or Muslim apocalypse or end of the world teaching?
Answer: No. We should all care about people’s material as well as spiritual well-being—so it is natural that we should try to prevent catastrophes or be prepared to minimize the people’s suffering if and when such negative events do occur. People should be encouraged to be as prepared as possible for any natural or man-made disaster, to have flash lights, bottled water, stockpiled food and things like that. This is just common sense. As far as the economy is concerned, we should all do our best to minimize the impact of a financial downturn on people and society and work to turn things around.
About the Science of Identity Foundation
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.
More Questions and Answers
Can I join SIF?
Can I join the Science of Identity Foundation?
In yoga, the focus is not on joining a particular group or organization. Rather, the focus is on you applying the meditation practices and yoga principles in your personal life.