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.
"When animosity controls your mind, it leads your mind towards negativity. It is the defense mechanism that creates many of the problems you have in communication. If you are afraid of me and I am afraid of you, there can be no communication between us. We both become defensive and then we fight. This is what happens between two nations, and this is why the whole world is fighting. We are all human beings and there is only one source that is supplying the life force to everyone. There is only one proprietor of all persons and things, and everyone is breathing the same air, no matter which community, religion or culture one comes from. Therefore you have no right to hate or harm anyone. We are all the children of one eternity. Confusion arises when you forget there is only one absolute power that is all pervading. Once you realize this, it will not be possible for you to hate or hurt others.
Violence is speech and actions is almost always preceded by violent thoughts, which have serious repercussions on the mind and the body. When you hurt someone or you think about someone negatively, not only are you wasting time and energy, you are hurting yourself. When you hate others, it is you who suffers, not the rest of the world. Thought power is very important. All negativity can be washed away and the mind can be purified if you learn to forgive others. You also have many weaknesses and perhaps you are projecting these weaknesses onto others. Negative thoughts, emotions and violent behavior come when your reasoning is not functioning. Never allow your reason to retire or waste your time in violence and negativity. Violence and anger diminish the power of love and gentleness. It is important to make effort to redirect negativity toward positive thinking. Patanjali says constant contemplation on the opposite is the way to get freedom from hatred and violence. For example, if someone hates you or you have negative feelings towards someone, try to think of that person in a loving way. Your love should travel toward expansion, not contraction. If you learn to love your enemies, they will no longer be enemies to you. Love is more powerful than animosity.
The true expression of love is noninjuring, nonhurting, nonharming, and nonkilling in daily life. You will never know what love is if you don’t understand these four things. You cannot hurt someone and at the same time say I love you. Learn to love others and demonstrate that love through selfless action."
- Swami Rama in Sadhana, the Path of Enlightenment, pages 171-172.