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.
"If you systematically practice, you can receive every day that knowledge which does not flow through the mind but flows through inner vision. Well, there is only one thing that I cannot do for you, and that's called meditation. You will have to do meditation for yourself. I can cook for you, I can wash your bottom, I can change your diapers, I can clean your room, I can do your laundry, but I cannot meditate for you.
As the Buddha said, "Ye, light thy own lamp. Nobody will give you salvation." You are an individual, you do your individual karmas, you have your individual mind, you have individual thinking, you have individual emotions, you know yourself best and only you can know yourself. You have to establish a state of equilibrium and tranquility which gives you peace."
- Swami Rama in OM The Eternal Witness page 111