Perpetual Youth

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.

A yogi does not measure his life by the years but by the breath he takes. To say that he is old is an impossibility and a joke. Old age is a mere reflection of the mind, and not of years. Weakness and decrepitude creep in for lack of trust in truth, in justice, in oneself, and in one's kinsmen.

Perpetual YouthThese are the signs of old age:

  • As soon as the freshness and interest is gone out of one's life, he is old.
  • When one talks about killing time, he is becoming old.
  • He who is interested in nothing new is old.
  • He who is timid and afraid to take on new enterprises is old.
  • He who has no self-reliance is old.
  • He who repeatedly calls for help is old.
  • The habitual fault-finder and complainer is old.
  • He who values mundane wealth more than uplifting thoughts is old.
  • One who clings to life and does not let go is old.
  • One who does not enjoy humor and has lost his smile is old.
  • One who does not enjoy the song of the birds or the beauty of the flower is old.
  • One who has no control over his limbs and is horrified of death is old.
  • One who does not enjoy stillness, quietness, and silence is old.
  • One whose mind is like a crowded abode full of strife and misery is old.

But one who remains in the garden of delight and smiles perpetually is young.
One whose heart is ever fresh, ever green, is ever young.

From the book Love Whispers by Swami Rama, published by Himalayan Institute Press.

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