Stephen has dedicated himself to spreading the deepest and most practical levels of knowledge about the soul--our real identity. It is his strongest realization that our existence on this earthly plane becomes much easier and more vibrant the more we expand our spiritual awareness to perceive the higher dimensions and purpose of things around us.
Though this world may give us numerous challenges, when we rise above the basic materialistic view and its limited search for solutions, our evolutionary development on all levels greatly accelerates. By recognizing that we are all spiritual beings who are, basically, attempting to achieve the same essentials for our existence--namely love, acceptance, harmony, peace, and happiness, not to mention the ordinary needs of food, water, clothing and shelter--we can reach a new level of cooperation with each other. Then everything can be much easier for everyone. It is Stephen's conviction that this can be attained by the distribution of genuine spiritual knowledge. This is one of Stephen's purposes in what he does.
It is through this means that we can discover who we are and get a better understanding of what is our position in this universe and our relationship with God. Fortunately, many of the answers to the numerous questions in this regard have already been given, as seen in the ancient spiritual texts of the East. These have provided not only the insights but also the timeless methods for our continued spiritual development. Stephen has studied these numerous ancient texts and practiced the methods prescribed therein for over 30 years. He is now presenting this enlightening information in a much needed, concise, and easy to read format.
Stephen Knapp grew up in a Christian family, during which time he seriously studied the Bible to understand its teachings. In his late teenage years, however, he sought answers to questions not easily explained in Christian theology. So, he began to search through other religions and philosophies from around the world and started to find the answers for which he was looking. He also studied a variety of occult sciences, ancient mythology, mysticism, yoga, and the spiritual teachings of the East. Finally, after his first reading of the Bhagavad-gita, the classic summary of Vedic philosophy known as The Song of God, he felt he had found the last piece of the puzzle he had been putting together through all of his research. This increased his understanding of everything else he had been studying. Therefore, he continued to research all of the major Vedic texts of India to gain a better understanding of the Vedic science.
It is known amongst all Eastern mystics that anyone, regardless of qualifications, academic or otherwise, who does not engage in the spiritual practices described in the Vedic texts, cannot actually enter into understanding the depths of the Vedic spiritual science, nor acquire the realizations that should accompany it. So, rather than pursuing his research in an academic atmosphere at a university, Stephen directly engaged in the spiritual disciplines that have been recommended for hundreds of years. He continued his study of Vedic knowledge and spiritual practice under the guidance of a spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Through this process he was given the spiritual name of Sri Nandanandana dasa and became initiated into the genuine and authorized spiritual line of the Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya sampradaya. This is a disciplic succession that descends back through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Vyasadeva, the compiler of Vedic literature, and further back to Lord Sri Krishna, who originally enlightened Lord Brahma to help in the universal creation, and who again appeared on this planet 5,000 years ago in Mathura, India to display His pastimes.
Besides being brahminically initiated, Stephen has also been to India several times and traveled extensively throughout the country, visiting most of the major holy places and temples, and many minor ones, and gaining a wide variety of spiritual experiences that only such places can give. His knowledge of India and familiarity with traveling in such a diverse country has made him an advisor for those who would like information concerning their own journeys to India. He also enjoys showing selections from the thousands of slides that he has to groups of interested people about the many historical and spiritual sites in India and Nepal. Below he is shown at one of the five small stone temples, called the Five Rathas, at Mahabalipuram, now known as Mamallapuram, in Southern India.