Swami-Rama

"Do your duties skillfully, selflessly, and grease them with love". This was a favorite saying of this great yogi, scientist, philosopher, mystic poet and humanitarian, Swami Rama of the himalaya. This was not only a saying. His whole life reflected this philosophy in his work to help others. He created a legacy of lifelong engagement to combine the ancient teachings of the East with the modern approaches of the West and through his contributions to improve the lives of millions of people in India, America and Europe.

Swami Rama was born in a Himalayan valley of Uttar Pradesh, India in 1925 and was initiated and anointed in early childhood by a great sage of the Himalayas.

He studied with many adepts, and then traveled to Tibet to study with his grandmaster. From 1949 to 1952 he held the position, prestige and dignity of Shankaracharya (spiritual leader) in Karvirpitham in the South of India. He then returned to the Himalayas to intensify his meditative practices in the cave monasteries and to establish an ashram in Rishikesh.

Later he continued his investigation of Western psychology and philosophy at several European universities, and he taught in Japan before coming to the United States in 1969. The following year he served as a consultant to the Voluntary Controls Project of the Research Department of the Menninger Foundation. There he demonstrated, under laboratory conditions, precise control over his autonomic nervous system and brain. The findings of that research increased the scientific community's understanding of the human ability to control autonomic functioning and to attain previously unrecognized levels of consciousness.

Shortly thereafter, Swami Rama founded the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy in the United States, with its headquarters in Honesdale, Pennsylvania as a means to combine the ancient wisdom of the East with the modern approaches of the Western civilization. He played a major role in bringing the insights of yoga psychology and philosophy to the attention of the physicians and psychologists of the West. He taught students around the world while continuing his own writing and meditative practices. He has written many books, such as Art of Joyful Living, Book of Wisdom, A Call to Humanity, Enlightenment Without God, Living with the Himalayan Masters, Path of Fire and Light, Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita, Science of Breath, and The Wisdom of Ancient Sages. Among his latest literary works was a masterful, two-volume work The Valmiki Ramayana Retold in Verse.Swami Rama's most remarkable and awe-inspiring project is The Himalayan Institute & Medical City. His bold vision to bring medical services to 15 million mostly poor people who have little or no health care in northern India began modestly in 1989 with an outpatient program in the Himalayan foothills of Western Uttar Pradesh. Today that vision has grown to include a fully operational 500-bed state-of-the-art hospital 20 kilometers from the city of Dehra Dun; an adjacent nursing school and the P.V. Narasimha Rao Medical College; a combined therapy program that joins the best of modern Western medicine and the time-tested wisdom of the traditional methods of healthcare; a rural development program that has adopted more than 150 villages; and housing facilities for staff, students, and patients' relatives. The hospital offers a range of services never available to people in rural northern India, or throughout most of the rural country.

Guided by the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, the hospital, medical city, and rural development program are considered models of healthcare for the whole of India and for medically under-served people world-wide. It is also costly, with total project expense approaching $1 billion dollars."The Lord of Life in the Universe is within me. I am not the body, but a shrine of that Lord, the Lord of Love and Life. Through my thoughts, speech and actions, I will emanate love". So spoke to us our beloved teacher, master and friend: Sri Swami Rama of the Himalayas.


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