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.
"Be truthful, be kind, be nice, be gentle – in my childhood I learned those lofty ideals by heart. But I did not know how to practice them, for they are merely words that we use to console ourselves and others.
So my master said, 'You should learn ‘no’ – that is, do not lie, do not do that which is not to be done, do not think that which is not helpful.”
- Swami Rama in Inspired Thoughts of Swami Rama