• What's really needed is to recognize the need for spiritual as well as material happiness
  • The yogi's interest is inner peace and self-realization and social harmony
  • Perfection means being in tune with reality
What's really needed is to recognize the need for spiritual as well as material happiness

Who am I

Success in life begins with knowing, "Who am I? What is the purpose of my life?" Knowledge of the self exists; but sincere seekers are rare. More rare are the great teachers of such wisdom. Since time immemorial, wise men have described our wonderful nature: spiritual, primeval, ever-existing, undying, unchangeable, imperishable. This selection of the writings of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa (Chris Butler) shares that timeless wisdom — inspiring, challenging , practical.

Pleasure or blissfulness is not bad. To be blissful is our natural condition. But where will we find such pleasure, such bliss? Spiritual teachers state that happiness is to be found in loving devotional service to the Absolute Whole? not in the glittering but temporary goodies of this material world.

Real love between people has become so rare that people don't even know what it is.

If you are wise, you can see the person or atma within the body, and relate to the person, not to his body.

You should not judge a person by his race, weight, height, sex, genes, and so forth.

If you erroneously identify yourself with your body, you will conclude that your existence will end with the destruction of your body. But if you know that you are the eternal self within the body, you know that your existence will not end when your body dies.

- Srila Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa, Science of Identity Foundation

The physical body is made up of countless numbers of tiny material particles called molecules and atoms. These material particles are constantly being replaced by material particles from the outside environment (in the form of food, water, air, and so on). Over a period of five to seven years, this process of metabolism brings about a complete change of the matter that makes up your body.

So a person's entire lifestyle can be dovetailed with his deep purpose in life. Such a person is the controller of his body, not a slave of his senses. Most people are servants of their senses and minds—they are godas (go means “senses”; das means “servant”). A bhakti yogi, however, strives to be a goswami (swami means “master,” and so goswami means “master of the senses”). A goswami is not dragged around by his senses, but instead uses his senses for his own desired purposes. Although goswami is also a title, in fact the real meaning of goswami is controller of the senses, whether one is externally with the title goswami, brahmachari, householder, or whatever.

Work has been done regarding the life force present in plants. In one typical experiment, electrical wires are connected from an electro sensitive meter to a plant. After a stable reading is obtained on the instruments, a small twig is cut from the plant. Invariably, at that moment, a significant response is perceivable on the meter, indicating that the separation of the twig has disturbed or agitated the plant.

An impersonalist yogi can be very dangerous because he may try to take the position of the Supreme Lord, believing himself to be the Supreme dominator and enjoyer of all that he surveys. This is the darkest region of ignorance. He may try to act on the illusion that he is God and that the world is his playground. He may become, in other words, a “super-hedonist.” One such “I am God”ist, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), formerly a professor at Harvard University, declares that no one exists except oneself, and that after merging with the impersonal Brahman, one returns to the world and is the world and is everyone.

A fake guru wants his followers to believe that he is God Himself—that's why he tries to impress them with his mystic powers. If the disciple of a phony guru were to express doubts about his guru's lordship, the guru would surely be angered. So how did Brahma react when Narada asked the questions, “Under whose protection are you standing? And under whom are you working? What is your real position?” And how did he react when Narada asked, “Yet we are moved to wonder about the existence of someone more powerful than you when we think of your great austerities in perfect discipline”? In response, Brahmaji was not angry. In fact, he was extremely pleased.