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 power of discrimination is the greatest of all benevolent forces within. With the help of contemplation and meditation, one should unfold this power and learn to distinguish right actions from unwholesome ones.
One should execute the power of discrimination to analyze one’s inner states. The recognition of strengths and weaknesses should not be allowed to feed the ego, or lead one toward self-condemnation. The purpose of inner analysis is to unfold the good qualities and remove the weaknesses.
One who lacks the power of discrimination performs his actions without being aware of their consequences. Most of the time, he is driven by his desires, whims, and primitive urges. He usually does not know what truth is, and even if he knows, he fails to practice it in his thoughts, speech, and actions.
Without perfect faith in the higher Reality, he cannot attain freedom from his own anxiety and insecurity. Without discrimination and faith, he may perform his actions, but he lives in a state of doubt." -Swami Rama in The Essence of Spiritual Life