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 said that the face of Truth is hidden by a golden disc. This golden disc is a symbol for all the temptations of life and for the subtler cord of the rope of karma, the cord of mind or thought. This cord is finer but stronger than the first cord of action for it involves more of the inner world, in particular, emotions and feelings.
Emotionally we are like fish in a turbulent lake. Most of our responses are reactions to the environment which surrounds us. When our bodies are pleasantly stimulated we are pleased and call it love. When we are hurt we call it pain or hate. We are constantly affected by these outside influences and respond to them like fish caught in a current. We must learn to live in our inner world and to establish peace and tranquility which is not affected by any outside forces. Living too much in the world of others prevents this from happening.
- Swami Rama in Freedom from the Bondage of Karma, page 42