Swami Rama was one of the rare ones of the 20th century. Swami Rama served millions of people. Though installing no successor, he is succeeded by at least seven swamis, several pandits, and many other teachers.
Swami Rama sacrificed a life of simplicity and serenity in the Himalayas to come out into the hustle and bustle of our modern world for the benefit of others. This service was most visibly given through a handful of organizations or institutions that were either founded directly by Swami Rama, or were established by students at his instruction or encouragement. However, he taught and served wherever he went, as an emissary of the Himalayan masters, often independent of any particular worldly organization.
He also quietly gave direct guidance to the leaders of many spiritual organizations with which he was not publicly affiliated. Some of these spiritual leaders are extremely well known internationally, and their relationship with Swami Rama was not a public matter.
Swami Rama submitted himself as research subject to scientifically prove the validity of yogic techniques. The results of these experiments gave the researchers much insight into the nature of the involuntary systems of the body and how they might be regulated voluntarily by other people as well. This has been one of the major cornerstones of the mind-body movement of the past few decades.
Less visibly, the results of these demonstrations set off waves of change in the fields of medicine and psychology. Swami Rama was like a first domino, which quickly becomes unnoticed as strings of domino-like change occurred in the scientific, professional, and social cultures.
Even less visibly, he touched the lives of many, many people as a modern, wandering teacher of the tradition of the Himalayan masters. He has taught in the cities, towns, and villages of well over 100 countries. It is amazing how many people have spoken of how their lives were so positively affected after even a single meeting with Swami Rama, whether it was in his last year in the body or 10, 20, 30 or more years before.
Having been born in the Himalayas, having spent many years with his own and other masters in the ancient cave monasteries, having studied and taught medical and spiritual subjects in leading universities, having lived the householder life with wife and son, and having demonstrated yogic feats to modern scientists, Swami Rama was eminently qualified as a messenger of the Himalayan masters serving modern people.
Teaching, giving, smiling and laughing, along with a profound presence of certainty were the ways he worked. He was one whom people wanted to follow, though his insistence was that students learn and live self-reliance.
On the evening of November 13, 1996, Swami Rama was in his apartment on the campus of the Himalayan Institute Hospital near Dehra Dun and Rishikesh, India. Shortly after 11:00 pm, he consciously dropped the body, entering into Mahasamadhi.
To hear the voice of Swami Rama, click here.