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?

Jagad Guru: Discovering the truth of our identity, also known as self-realization (i.e. our true essence and relationship to the physical body, the mind, etc.) is vital to realizing the actual purpose of life and where actual happiness is found.

Question: What does yoga have to do with science and identity? What does the “science of yoga” mean?

Jagad Guru: The goal of all yoga processes is to lead one to a correct understanding of oneself and the world in which we live; and, furthermore, 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 which allows a person to experience direct perception of the truth. In other words, yoga 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.