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 are to take responsibility for your own life. This point seems especially important in America these days, where so many people are in the habit of blaming someone else for their unfortunate situations. Their parents may have abused them, neglected them, or in some way failed to appreciate or understand them. They say the result is their own unhappy marriage, difficult relationships with their children, or career failures.
Perhaps the parents were abusive, neglectful, or misunderstanding. They did their best with what they knew. Undoubtedly there is a link from one generation to another. If a parent is abusive with a child, there is an effect. However, when a child realizes the cause and effect, then it is time to begin releasing the parent from blame and responsibility. Until that happens the child cannot progress. Until then, he or she is bound to the past.
The same kind of blaming goes on towards siblings, spouses, and children. It goes on toward the government, the educational system, culture, and history. Whatever is wrong in a person’s life is blamed on unfair sibling relationships, uncaring spouses, needy children, taxes, imperfect schools, or having been born at the wrong time.
Understand your relationships, your government, and your history, but let go of blaming. There is nothing in your life that is not your own choice, your doing, your karma. That may sound harsh but it is a liberating reality. If everything is your own doing, and your choice, and everything is right for spiritual growth, then nothing is really wrong. Everyone has an opportunity to grow. There is nothing to fear."
-Swami Rama in Sacred Journey, pages 47 – 48.