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.
“You cannot live perfectly until you remove the cause of all the kleshas (hindrances to enlightenment) that are deeply rooted in the unconscious. Without rooting out the cause, the effect of the cause will remain, and you will continue to reap the fruits of your actions. And until you understand the cause, you will not be able to help yourself.
If you are performing a karma (an action) and do not know why you are doing that particular action, that karma will continue to motivate you to repeat it. You will be like a machine or robot, living a mindless life. If you chop down a tree, unless you remove all the roots of that tree, after some time many branches will again start to come out of the tree stump. Sometimes you may think you have conquered your internal states, but without rooting out all the causes, you will not be able to control your destiny.”
- Swami Rama in SADHANA The Path to Enlightenment page 36