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.
Approach your life wholeheartedly. Whatever you do, do with your whole heart and fullest attention. When you are with your children, be with your children, not your work. When you are at work, be with your work, not your children. Be in the moment at hand, not in the moment or day that has passed, or in the moment or day yet to come.
Be decisive. Exercise your buddhi, that aspect of your mind that chooses, makes judgements, and decides. It is a very powerful part of mind. Make the best decision you can, and take action accordingly, leaving the outcome up to the divine force. Choose your friends, activities, and livelihood wisely. All of them should be compatible with your higher goals.
Be gentle with yourself. This is a long and difficult journey. Your goals should be reasonable so as not to create frustration and disappointments. Be willing to crawl before you walk. Perfect each skill as you move along on the journey, and forgive yourself when you stumble, or even slide backward. Setbacks are temporary and meant to be instructive. Let yourself slide backward, observe what has occurred, get back on your feet, and move forward. Sliding backward is part of the pattern of growth. Just don’t slide backward and stay there. Don’t ever give up. Progress is made of perseverance. Never lose hope.
- Swami Rama in Sacred Journey: Living Purposefully and Dying Gracefully pages 69-70