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 qualities of peace and purity are often misunderstood. When we talk of peace, it is not the peace of the tomb to which we refer. Rather, it is a peace which permeates all aspects of life. It fuses our mind, actions, and speech, keeping us balanced and harmonized. It illuminates our life. Its source is not found in temples, churches, or mosques, nor is it found in the rigidity of rituals and ceremonies or in the external worship of idols. It resides in the human soul as a manifestation of divine love. Purity, also, is often misunderstood. Purity means to accept no influence other than the influence of the divine. Mere external washing is meant to keep the body pure, but mental purity leads from intellect to intuition.
Two other qualities of action characterize the life of the aspirant whose method is self-surrender: faithfulness and sincerity. Faithfulness is to admit and to manifest no movement other than that which is prompted and guided by the innermost consciousness. Sincerity requires the lifting of all movements of mind, body, and action to the level of the highest consciousness, where there is no individuality, duality, or body consciousness. Sincerity is the unification and harmonization of man around that one central will, the divinity through which we speak, hear, think, and feel.”
- Swami Rama in The Royal Path: Practical Lessons on Yoga page 107