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 breath carries the vital energy called prana, the life force. Prana is the energy that animates you as a human being. Without it you cannot live for a second. Your health and vitality are determined by how well and how balanced the prana flows through you. An imbalanced flow of prana affects the body and the mind. Prana is like a suspension bridge between the body and mind. If prana, carried by the breath, is harmonious and even, the bridge is still. If the prana does not flow evenly, the bridge sways and swings, making the journey from one shore to the other uneasy, upsetting both body and mind.
Control the four basic urges of food, sex, sleep, and self-preservation. Understand how these urges operate and learn to channel them. From these four primitive fountains spring the six mainstreams of emotions: desire, anger, pride, attachment, greed, and egotism. The manner in which these basic urges are understood and integrated determines the flow of basic emotions.
- Swami Rama in Sacred Journey page 70