The Holy Science
Hardback with dust jacket
This extraordinary treatise explores parallel passages from the Bible and the Hindu scriptures to reveal the essential unity of all religions. Swami Sri Yukteswar, the revered guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, outlines the universal path that every human being must travel to enlightenment. He also explains the vast recurring cycles of civilization (yugas), affording a profound understanding of history and the ever-changing panorama of turbulent world events.
“Prophets of all lands and ages have succeeded in their God-quest,” writes Paramahansa Yogananda in the foreword to The Holy Science. “Entering a state of true illumination, nirbikalpa samadhi, these saints have realized the Supreme Reality behind all names and forms. Their wisdom and spiritual counsel have become the scriptures of the world. These, although outwardly differing by reason of the variegated cloaks of words, are all expressions — some open and clear, others hidden or symbolic — of the same basic truths of Spirit.
“Swami Sri Yukteswar...was eminently fitted to discern the underlying unity....Placing the holy texts on the spotless table of his mind, he was able to dissect them with the scalpel of intuitive reasoning, and to separate interpolations and wrong interpretations of scholars from the truths as originally given by the prophets.”
The Holy Science demonstrates, by explanation of parallel passages from the Hindu and Christian scriptures, the essential unity of the great religious teachings of East and West. With incomparable wisdom and discernment, Sri Yukteswar explains the universal evolution of consciousness, energy, and matter — the entire spectrum of experience that we call “life.”
The author provides an authoritative foundation for a purely holistic view of man and the universe — and shows how that view supports the principles of natural living in body, mind, and soul. Rooted in the deepest truths of religion, it yet offers practical advice for fulfillment in everyday living, by delineating the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual principles that govern the expansion of human consciousness.
SWAMI SRI YUKTESWAR
Swami Sri Yukteswar, an ideal exemplar of India’s ancient heritage of illumined rishis, is venerated as a Jnanavatar (“incarnation of wisdom”) by people all over the world who have been inspired by his life and teachings. He manifested the self-mastery and divine attainment that have been the highest goal of Truth-seekers throughout the ages.
Swami Sri Yukteswar’s pursuit of Truth led him to the great sage Lahiri Mahasaya, who extolled the sacred science of Kriya Yoga meditation as the most effective means of attaining God-realization, and who was the first to teach openly that ancient science in modern times. Through the guidance of Lahiri Mahasaya and through his own practice of Kriya, Sri Yukteswar attained spiritual illumination. His strength of principle, boundless compassion, and profound understanding were not the result of intellectual study but of direct perception of Reality.
A saint of truly universal outlook, Sri Yukteswar recognized that a synthesis of the spiritual heritage of the East with the science and technology of the West would do much to alleviate the material, psychological, and spiritual suffering of the modern world. His deep conviction that tremendous advances could be made, both individually and internationally, by an exchange of the finest positive features of each culture was crystallized by his remarkable meeting with Mahavatar Babaji, the guru of Lahiri Mahasaya. Perceiving Sri Yukteswar’s great interest in furthering spiritual harmony among all nations, Babaji requested him to write The Holy Science to show the underlying unity of Hinduism and Christianity.
In 1920 Swami Sri Yukteswar sent his foremost disciple, Paramahansa Yogananda, to America to disseminate a knowledge of the liberating science of Kriya Yoga to Truth-seekers around the world. For this purpose, Sri Yogananda founded Self-Realization Fellowship, an international society with headquarters in Los Angeles. During his three decades in the West, he lectured extensively; wrote numerous books and prepared a comprehensive series of yoga lessons for home study; and trained monastic disciples to carry on the spiritual and humanitarian work entrusted to him by Mahavatar Babaji and Swami Sri Yukteswar.
In his Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda describes his many years of spiritual discipline in Sri Yukteswar’s ashram. Sri Yogananda wrote of his Guru:
“Each day with him was a new experience in joy, peace, and wisdom....Sri Yukteswar was reserved and matter-of-fact in demeanor. There was naught of the vague or daft visionary about him. His feet were firm on the earth, his head in the haven of heaven. Practical people aroused his admiration. ‘Saintliness is not dumbness! Divine perceptions are not incapacitating!’ he would say. ‘The active expression of virtue gives rise to the keenest intelligence....’
“Sri Yukteswar’s intuition was penetrating: heedless of remarks, he often replied to one’s unexpressed thoughts....I daresay he would have been the most sought-after guru in India had his speech not been so candid....
“Sri Yukteswar found no insuperable obstacle to the mergence of human and divine. No such barrier exists, I came to understand, save in man’s spiritual unadventurousness.”