These days Yoga has become known as postural exercise. But the original meaning of Yoga is quite different.
Vyasa, the foremost commentator on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, indicated that Yoga is samadhi. In other words, what we call Yoga is the deepest state of mental focus in which the mind is so concentrated that all one is aware of is the object of concentration and nothing else. In this state, the entire mind flows onto a single point without wavering.
One of the greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama (1925-1996) is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in Northern India, he was raised from early childhood by the Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master, he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally in 1969, came to the United States where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best known work, Living With the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition of the East.
“It is important to know the three conditionings of the mind—time, space, and causation. You are afraid of someone because you acknowledge the existence of someone as different from you. If there is only One, who will be afraid of whom? When all desires are swallowed by only one wave, and when that wave alone exists, then there will be no time, space, or causation.
Time, space, and causation prevent you from realizing the unity in diversity.
The secrets of birth and death are revealed only to a fortunate few. It is a rare person who can lift the veil of time, space, and causation and then know that past, present, and future are but commas and semicolons in a long sentence without a period.”
- Swami Rama in The Essence of Spiritual Life page 44