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.
Three things are important: first to learn to love your duty, and second, to have the concept that all the things of the world are means and are not meant to be possessed.
The third thing is to remember to be happy in all situations. No matter where you go, in any situation, whatever you do, morning, afternoon, and night—learn to be happy. Never forget that!
Whatever people consider happiness to be is a concept and varies according to age and experience. Many people are content, whether they have something or not. Others are never content, no matter how much they have.
Happiness is not what you want, but wanting what you have.
In some villages in India, they still use a method of drawing water from a kind of well in which a wheel is pulled by horses or bulls, and it brings up the water. Once a horseman, riding through a forest, got tired and thirsty. He wanted his horse to drink water so he went to the well. The machine that draws water from the well was making a lot of noise, and that noise was very annoying. When the horseman took his horse there, the horse tried to run away from there.
The horseman said, “Please stop this sound, for my horse is running away.”
The other man said, “If the sound stops, the water will also stop.”
The horseman asked, “What to do?”
The other man replied, “Create a condition for your horse, so that the horse will drink water in this situation.”
You have to create such a condition in this world to live happily. That requires human effort. Otherwise, the water will stop. You are all wanting to stop the sound, the noise, the pollution. Yet, if you go to the forest where there is nothing, you will be disturbed by the rush and roar of the wind.
You cannot find peace anywhere because there is no peace within. Peace does not mean that nobody should make noise. The noise will continue. Still you should have peace within. In all situations you should be peaceful, no matter what happens.
There is a problem with your concept of enjoyment. You need an object to enjoy, and then you depend on that object. You search for an object, and you work hard to obtain that object; then you are disappointed, because no object has the capacity to give you enjoyment. Enjoyment is a concept, an internal state, that you have to create. Enjoyment means every moment of life should be enjoyed.
You suffer from your thinking. Mind is like a small foot rule, that has no power to measure or fathom the deeper levels of your being. Mind and heart together, in a systematic way, can help you to attain contentment.
Contentment is the first and foremost virtue that should be cultivated. It comes only when you have done your duties to your fullest capacity without worrying for the results. It is a virtue that always helps and never disappoints the seeker.
Do not keep undecided thoughts in your mind, for they disturb the equilibrium and create sickness. Life is very short and you should learn to enjoy every moment by remembering the Lord of Life, and always assuming your body to be a shrine of his living presence.
The Lord of Life is love. Never get sad. Be happy and take care of your happiness. Jump in joy without worrying for the future. Why remain serious? Let you learn to jump in joy and smile all the time. God bless you.
Happiness is within and the source is the center of consciousness, love, and wisdom.
- Swami Rama in The Essence of Spiritual Life, pages 37-39