• 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.

If you identify your body as yourself, you will try to satisfy yourself by trying to satisfy your body. You'll think, "I am the body and I want to be happy, I want to be satisfied." Thus, you'll try to satisfy the belly, the tongue, the genitals, the ears, the eyes, the nose, and so on, believing that this will bring you the inner satisfaction and happiness you crave.

But sense gratification does not satisfy. This is further evidence that you are not the body. No matter how much sense pleasure you have, you are still never satisfied within.

Nor is sense gratification considered “bad.” Sense gratification comes and goes as a natural occurrence of the senses. For example, one cannot eat without tasting. The point is that a life that is centered around sense enjoyment, that makes sense enjoyment the goal, is a wasted life. Economic development is necessary for the maintenance of the body; so therefore it cannot be neglected. But to seek economic development simply for the sake of endlessly increasing sensual pleasure is foolish. No amount of sensual pleasure will ever really satisfy a person, so no amount of economic development will ever be considered “enough.” This is why people in modern Western societies are still not satisfied, even though they are so economically advanced and thus have so much facility for sense enjoyment. They always want more.

Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance. Worse still are those engaged in the culture of so-called knowledge.
~Sri Ishopanishad, Mantra 9

Unfortunately, most of humanity spends the majority of its time in the culture of ignorance. We cultivate ignorance by serving our tongue, belly, genitals, and other senses like obedient slaves. The vast majority of our energy goes into this mad pursuit of sense pleasure. Left with frazzled nerves, frustration, anger, jealousy, envy, greed, hate, loneliness, and confusion; we seek an escape in alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and a myriad of other legal and illegal consciousness dimmers. This is the cultivation of ignorance.

~ Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa (Chris Butler)