Our journey through life can be compared to traveling through a vast and varied landscape full of all kinds of wonders, enjoyment, dangers, suffering, heartache, light and darkness, clear and cloudy skies.
On our journey through life we come across many different people and other living entities, all kinds of landscapes, experiences, challenges, fearful situations, and comfortable and happy situations. Sometimes things go our way and sometimes they don’t.
There are times in our lives when it feels like we are walking through thick mud and everything is a hardship, while at other times life is like walking across flowery meadows where the sun is warm and the breeze refreshing. Sometimes everything is going our way for a while and we feel confident that we know where we are going and what direction to take, while at other times nothing is going our way and we feel confused about what direction we should take in our life.
So what does life’s journey have to do with yoga? After all isn’t yoga just a type of physical exercise? Absolutely not! It is an enlightening path that helps one successfully travel the path of life itself. A path that offers a refuge from the storms of life; a path where the rugged mountains become small easily climbed hills; a path that enables us to integrate, harmonize, and surcharge with deep meaning and purpose, every aspect of our life, even the seemingly mundane.
The first step in one’s yoga wisdom journey is to understand the yoga view of the self, to understand our essence and thus answer the question “Who am I?”
According to the yoga view of the self, you are made of an energy completely distinct from matter. You, the self (known as atma), are an indivisible unit of the element known as life. Your body is made of the element matter, but you, the atma, are a spark of the element life. So the answer to the question “Who/what are you?” is: You, the self, are a particle of the element life. You are presently within a material body. You are temporarily possessing and using that body.
With an understanding of the yoga view of the self, the yoga practitioner can begin to apply yoga’s ancient wisdom for modern living.
For a person who cultivates yoga wisdom or true knowledge, the results are inner peace, satisfaction, patience, respect for others, freedom from envy, compassion, joyfulness, remembrance of his spiritual identity, freedom from the fear of death, freedom from anxiety and depression, and so on.
Yoga’s ancient wisdom thus provides practical answers to the personal and social issues of today such as racism, sectarianism, hatred and conflict, fear of death, the causes of crime, finding real love, how to have a peaceful, progressive society, etc.
Yoga’s ancient wisdom is found in yoga texts, including those compiled and written down by the great sage Srila Vyasadeva some 5000 years ago. These works include the Bhagavad Gita.
This yoga wisdom is being passed down through an unbroken line of self-realized yoga spiritual masters which began with Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the speaker of Bhagavad Gita. This lineage is known as the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya whose teachings are known as Vaishnava Hinduism, or more specifically, Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Lord Chaitanya appeared in this line of teachers some 500 years ago and inaugurated the kirtan movement (the singing and chanting of transcendental sound) as the supreme method of meditation and recommended process for self-realization in the modern age. Lord Chaitanya did not establish a new religion, rather he widely shared a yoga process that anyone can apply to their life, allowing them to awaken and cultivate their innate wisdom and spiritual love.
In recent times, prominent teachers coming in the line of Lord Chaitanya include: Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur (1838–1914), Srila Gaurakishora Dasa Babaji (1838–1915), Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur (1874–1937), and Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad (1896–1977), who introduced this yoga wisdom to the Western world. Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda (1948- ), a disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, established the Science of Identity Foundation in an effort to pass on this yoga wisdom.
Please journey though this site according to your interests. As you explore, we invite you to begin a daily practice of meditation and kirtan. Learn meditation and kirtan here with Jagad Guru.
Meditation upon transcendental sound is the heart and soul of yoga wisdom and enables you to gain deep insight and realization on your spiritual journey. It cleanses away all misconceptions about your identity and uncovers your true self. Kirtan is a deep reservoir of all-satisfying waters that allows you to experience inner peace and spiritual happiness. The more you drink from this reservoir, the more your heart will be filled with spiritual love and comfort.
Our best wishes for your personal spiritual journey. If we can assist in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.