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 path of the heart is not mere emotionalism or sentimentality. If a person just allows whatever emotions arise to come into action without properly channeling them, the goal of life will remain unattained. One must learn to control that emotional power and channel it toward spirituality. Emotions are of two varieties: one is negative and the other is positive. When a negative emotion arises, one is distressed and becomes passive, depressed, or imbalanced. This is not control; this is being helplessly tossed about by an emotional outburst. But when a positive emotion arises, it makes one calm, joyous, and happy. The emotional body is like a fish tossed by the currents in the lake of the mind. If the mind is agitated by unfulfilled wants and desires, the emotional body is also disturbed; but when the mind is calm, the emotional body functions properly. Emotional maturity comes when one starts guiding his emotional powers consciously for creative use. In the path of bhakti, the devotee learns to tap that emotional force within and to control it properly so that it is channeled positively in one-pointed devotion for the Lord. He does not suppress his emotions, but intensifies them and directs them toward God.”
- Swami Rama in Choosing A Path page 56