Swami Veda Bharati took his Mahasamadhi July 14, 2015. He holds the prestigious title of Mahamandaleshwara in the Swami order of monks. Swami Veda was also the Chancellor of HIHT University, Dehradun, which was established by Master Swami Rama. He authored approximately 18 books on Indian spirituality including a 1500 page comprehensive commentary on two of the four chapters of Patanjali’s Yoga-sutras. Before taking the vows of Swamihood in 1992, Swami Veda Bharati was known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya.
“Always remember that there is a difference between information and knowledge. You have read something, that is information. You are debating about it in the mind. That is also based on information. Most people think that that information is knowledge and they say to themselves “I have read so much, so I know”. But that information is not knowledge. Knowledge is a personal experience.
That you have read about non-violence, that is not knowledge of non-violence. That you have experienced non-violence, practiced it, that is the knowledge of non-violence. You have learned how to use non-violence in situations which will otherwise invoke violence. That is non-violence. You have read about advanced techniques of meditation, that is not knowledge. When you have the experience that those techniques give you, then even without the technique, you have knowledge. Your goal should be that knowledge.
You have read about God in many books, in many religions. That is not knowledge of God. You believe in God, that is not knowledge of God. That you know God personally, that is knowledge. So practice your meditation with that knowledge as your goal.
When you have that knowledge, it shows itself in you. It shows itself in how you look. Do you have a loving look on your face? That a stranger looks at you and feels loved, a complete stranger looks at you and feels loved? That is the knowledge of God.
Your knowledge shows in the way you speak. Does your voice soothe others when you speak, then you have knowledge of God. Does it calm others when you speak, that is knowledge of God.
The way you move your body, inspires in others and appreciation for grace. That is the knowledge of God. Or knowledge of Christ, or knowledge of Buddha, or knowledge of Tao. All these phrases mean the same thing.
Many people who sit in meditation look for many experiences. The only experience that you need to look for is a state of calmness inside you. You have read that in meditation one will see lights and one will hear sounds. Forget about that. Does your body become calm and still? Does your heart become free of disturbed emotions? Does your breath slow down? How long does your mind remain calm and undisturbed even after you have opened your eyes from meditation? That shows whether you are meditating or not. That is knowledge of God.
When you see God not only in your friend, when you see God in your enemy and you act accordingly – that is the knowledge of God. When you enter a state of meditation, what you call meditation at this time, that initial stage will be left behind. You will go further. You will go deeper. You will become even calmer and greater illumination will come to you. Knowledge will start coming to you from within you.”
- Swami Veda Bharati in Kundalini: Stilled or Stirred
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.
"The question of what is prominent in your life matters a great deal. Whatever is prominent in life intensifies in meditation. Whether you are lusty, greedy, or lacking preparation; whether you are honestly and sincerely doing your practice - your tendencies and traits will become magnified. If you are irresponsible in managing your sexuality, that tendency will also increase, because in meditation your mind expands.
You need to examine honestly what is in your mind. Be honest with yourself. Do not meditate if you are being hypocritical and are just sitting and punishing yourself. If you do something honestly in the external world, then you reap the fruits according to the intensity and the one-pointedness of your action. The mind strengthens whatever particular desire is already there. So first, the mind should be emptied of those desires. There should be only one desire, the desire for meditation, the desire to go deep inside. At first you will fail to achieve it, but that does not matter; you should not give up. If you give up, you will only waste time in meaningless experiments and will gain nothing of value."
- Swami Rama in Path of Fire and Light, Volume 2 pages 147-148