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.
"In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali dived into the deeper realms of his being and discovered the various functions of the mind. Just as you have four external limbs—two lower extremities and two upper extremities—so your antah-karana (your inner being) also has four limbs. Antah means, “inside,” and karana means, “that which functions.” That which functions inside is the real person; that which functions outside is only a projection of the real person. You are a projection of that which you call mind. The whole of the body is in the mind, but the whole of the mind is not in the body. Therefore, the body will follow the mind; mind does not follow body. Mind is not a projection of body, but body is a projection of mind.
You have four separate functions or faculties of your mind that are modifications: ahamkara (ego), manas (sensory or lower mind), buddhi (intellect), and chitta (the unconscious reservoir or storehouse of all impressions). These faculties create obstacles for you and you are searching for enlightenment in the external world. That is not the way. If you do not understand these four distinct functions of mind, you cannot understand the more internal states.
Manas remains busy in sorting out and in understanding the things going on in the external world.
Buddhi is that which judges, discriminates, and decides what to do and what not to do.
Another function of mind, the ahamkara, remains busy in understanding and becoming aware of the self in a limited way.
The word chitta is used here as a function of the mind. In this smaller context, chitta, the storehouse of impressions, represents the “unconscious” of modern psychology."
- Swami Rama in Samadhi: The Highest State of Wisdom, page 33-34.