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 people begin to meditate they often find that, at first, it is somewhat difficult. Their mind remains preoccupied, and when the mind is in such a state, a person may sit down or go through the preliminaries, but not be able to meditate. However, two people can begin to help each other strengthen the habit of meditation by simply sitting together for a few minutes. Just as a couple relaxes together, works in the kitchen, shares their bed, and sits down together to watch TV, they can also learn to sit quietly together in meditation, sharing a state of stillness. A deep, wordless communication can be created without using the channels of speech or body language, which are more limited. Partners don't always need to rely on speech, physical gestures or expressions to communicate, but can also learn to communicate love by living together in peaceful silence for a little time each day. When husband and wife start to share their experiences in meditation they will continue to grow together.
If a person does not learn to adjust to his or her partner, that person can never really meditate deeply or attain universal consciousness or peace. If people try to meditate solely because they are disappointed or disillusioned with life or marriage, they will not achieve much. Do not use meditation to try to avoid the problems of life; meditation is only possible when the mind is free. When people learn to be joyful in their daily life, then meditation becomes deeper and more profound.
This process of nurturing a spiritual level of participation and communication is so important that if it is not present when old age comes, then the relationship usually weakens. It is important for couples to prepare for the experience of old age and to learn to face together the issues of change, aging, and death. If the marital relationship is limited to being a physical relationship and has never grown beyond that, then the partners are not prepared for the challenges and questions of later life.
Plant the seeds of spirituality early in your marriage so they blossom in your old age. Then two people can live together joyfully and peacefully, attaining a shared spiritual height, and married life can become a serene way of living in the world.”
- Swami Rama in Love and Family Life pages 100-101