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.
The music that fills the outer ear is but an echo of the inner harmony. One who learns to make his whole being an ear, alone hears the music of eternity. The unstruck sound, without drums and trumpeting, soothes my senses, stimulates my mind, and fills my heart. This inner music has consumed all the longings I had for external stimuli. How chaotic but exquisite!
Insight and imagination are my wondrous wands through whose powers I roam where I will. Silence is the source of all, from which the universal currents of thought flow spontaneously. I have been able to create a sixth sense – an inner ear. I am a traveler of three worlds, roaming without any bondage or care, though my permanent abode is the state beyond.
Fearlessness has now become my religion, for I believe that to lose something is to gain and to gain something is to lose. In actuality, there is no gain or loss: forms change, names change, but the existence remains unchanged. All transformations and transitions are trivial; there is no change to the absolute Reality.
I have been able to build certain convictions that have not been obtained from anyone but are filtered through my innermost visions. These gifts have been given to me by Providence, and they have been received freely by me. For years I cried in bewilderment in search of this treasure. When I looked at the heights and summits of the mountains, I found that they stand solitarily – all alone. By observing these heights, I realized that anyone who attains the heights remains alone. All great heights stand alone, but they are never lonely, for they pervaded with the awareness that they are all in one.
- Swami Rama in Love Whispers, page 5