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.
“Express yourself with all the gentleness that you can, for gentleness and love are one and the same. If you learn this lesson, you can transform many lives. How beautiful is that life knows not the ugliness of abrupt and rough behavior.
The most beautiful person is she who is always filled with joy and moves in that joy. Such movements make one a great dancer. Learn to practice this dance.
If you go to the end of the earth and search for yourself, you will never meet anyone like you. You are the only one and there is none to compare with you. You are exceptionally, uniquely, one piece of art created by the greatest gift of all artists, the Divine.
Don't become a victim of the impositions forced upon you by this society that always robs the simplicity and profundity of the beautiful. Learn to appreciate your own beauty. A human being can never hide his or her ugliness by colorful clothes. The more simple you are the more beautiful you look. By God, you are beautiful, and there is none equivalent to your beautiful face.”
- Swami Rama in The Essence of Spiritual Life page 35