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.
Fears, if not examined, will develop strong roots, though they are often rootless. Fear invites danger.
Self-preservation is the instinct that remains always vigilant to protect the body. This instinct is useful up to a certain extent, but it should not become an obsession in life. When fear becomes an obsession, all spiritual potentials become dormant. Fears are never examined—that is why they are able to control human life. They should be examined boldly.
Fear has two faces: I might lose what I have, and I might not gain what I want. These two thoughts should not be entertained, and cannot be when you remember your mantra or the presence of the Lord within.
Fearlessness is very important. One should constantly remain in spiritual delight, so that no fear is entertained. Fearlessness comes from knowing that God is with us, and that we are with God.
Faith based on direct experience bestows the clarity of mind that is necessary for functioning in the world of objects, and for penetrating into the many unknown levels of life. Such faith can never be challenged, whereas blind faith is always subject to scrutiny.
Belief in God, and experiencing the presence of God at every moment, are two different things. Before the actual direct experience of the Truth, one may believe in the existence of God, but that belief remains imperfect.
True belief, which is known as faith, comes after direct experience. Faith born from direct experience becomes a part of the aspirant’s being, and such faith protects the aspirant like a mother protects her child.
A belief established on the solid foundation of the Truth is a source of strength. A belief based on the direct experience of the Truth, and not contradicted by logic and reasoning, is known as shraddha, or faith.
Such faith is established over an extended period of time. Repeated experiences add to the maturity of the faith. Direct experience of the Truth removes all doubts and leads an aspirant to a decisive understanding. Such an understanding becomes an inseparable part of his being. Knowledge becomes firm and he does not feel it necessary to seek verification from others. He knows that he knows. Such is his faith.
On the basis of that faith, he starts his quest and reaches his goal. Belief in God may lead one to a series of disappointments. Faith in God leads one to God.