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.
“To attain perfection here and now, one must undertake some spiritual discipline. Without practice one cannot attain control over the modifications of the mind. Unless the mind is made one-pointed, one cannot unfold one's inner potentials.
The method of making the mind one-pointed is called meditation. Through meditation, an aspirant withdraws his mind from the external world, focuses on a given internal object, and develops an interest in delving within.
Once an aspirant has attained freedom from the distractions originating in the conscious part of the mind, he can have a better grasp of the thought constructs that originate from the unconscious mind. Through undisturbed, prolonged practice, a student dives deep and becomes familiar with his inherent potentials. He observes how the experiences of the external world are a mere reflection of the inner world.
There is no conflict in life. Conflict lies in the mind. The mind needs training. Even though a trained mind is not capable of leading one to the summit, it will remove all the obstacles along the way. A free mind is the grace of the Lord.”
- Swami Rama in The Essence of Spiritual Life pages 57-58