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.
If you want to live positively and joyfully, learn to give the fruits of your actions to others, and determine that you will not allow yourself to be bothered by anything in the exterior world. If you do not learn to give, then you are being selfish and negative. A negative person is selfish; a positive person is generous. You cannot rely on a negative person. There are some people who never come in contact with their positive emotions – they only remain negative all the time. And because of this they are unable to give to others.
So learn to give to your own people, those with whom you live, those who are closest to you. Learn to give spontaneously in your mind, action, and speech. That is your first step to freedom. It is attained when you learn to do your actions with love and learn to give. Love means non-harming, so you should resolve that you will not harm, hurt, or injure your spouse, children, or friends – that means that you love them. The expression of your love is not hurting or harming others. Love does not consist of telling someone that you love them and cannot live without them – that is mere selfishness. If you love someone, then don’t harm or hurt them – that is the real expression of your love.
- Swami Rama in The Art of Joyful Living