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 word meditation is used in various ways, but however it is used, it always refers to techniques that deal with one’s inner nature. Through these techniques one finally transcends all levels of the mind and goes on to Christ consciousness and realization of the absolute One. Meditation does not require a belief in dogma or any authority. It is an inward journey in which one studies one’s own self on all levels, and ultimately reaches the source of consciousness. The aim of meditation is Self-realization—a direct vision of Truth. It is not an intellectual pursuit, nor is it emotional rapture. One's whole being is involved. It is neither suppression, which makes one passive, nor is it the acquisition of any experience that is already within us.
Meditation leads one from want to wantlessness. It is a way of going from the known to the unknown. The process can hardly be explained by words, but it leads one from the personal, through the transpersonal, and finally unites one with the highest One. It transforms the whole personality.
Life is a series of experiences, but all experiences do not lead us and become guides in the path of unfoldment. There are experiences, however, that great sages have witnessed from the deeper realms of their being—experiences that do not come from the contact of the senses with sense objects.
The sages talk of the bliss that proceeds from the inner depths of the self, the eternal spring of bliss that lies within the heart of man. Realization of this bliss brings life-fulfillment and wisdom, Like the kingdom of heaven in the parable of Jesus, it is found not in some place remote from life, but within life itself."
- Swami Rama in Meditation In Christianity, pages 11-12