The people who do the most in the world are often surrounded by controversy, whether the reason for the controversy is real or contrived.
While Swami Rama has been called great saint, yogi, avatar, and one of the most advanced spiritual teachers of the 20th century, there were also critics. As seems to be the case with the population in general, there was a tiny percentage of the millions of people who knew of, or had contact with Swami Rama who were looking for a target, and were determined to undermine the work and the teacher. They spoke of him as thief, con-man, fraud, and lecherous. Some even threatened to ruin him by having him framed for crimes such as murder.
When attacks would come from time to time, Swami Rama would say, "Do not defend me." On he would go, undaunted, continuing his teaching, giving, smiling, laughing, loving and serving others.
In the world of today, defending oneself against such charges can require publicly humiliating, discrediting, or defaming the attacker and their supporters. However, the foundation principle of yoga is ahimsa, or non-violence. This principle applies not only to students, but even more so to teachers and masters. [Master means mastery of oneself, not over other people.]
In the face of attacks, while a master may or may not choose to deny the charges, it would be virtually impossible for the authentic master to turn against his own student by publicly attacking that student in defense of himself. In the spirit of ahimsa, non-violence, Swami Rama and the tradition of the Himalayan masters would rather the name of the teacher be defamed than to protect that name at the expense of the student.
After Swami Rama had already left the body, some students allowed his name to become defamed, as they distanced themselves and their institutions from him in order to save their own financial and other interests. Even Swami Rama's own legally documented written statement of denial and the voices of those closest to him were not permitted to be seen or heard in public forums. Ironically, these self-protection efforts failed financially, and served only to bring down the name of the teacher.
Thus, it seems unlikely that the public at large will ever be fully informed of the true nature of, and motives for such charges. It is also unlikely that the public at large will ever know why the would-be defenders later chose to act in ways intended to serve their own interests at the expense of the reputation of their deceased teacher. Because of the combined actions of the accuser, co-conspirators and supporters, and the would-be defenders, there will therefore always be an air of uncertainty.
While staying focused on his mission, Swami Rama also respected the rights of all people to think, feel, and act independently. He consistently taught students to use reasoned faith rather than blind faith, encouraging people to be self reliant rather than to become mere followers.
Whether one thinks of him as rascal or rishi, as sinner or sage, Swami Rama has had an indelible positive effect on our modern world, and has left a tremendous legacy of presenting the ancient teachings of the Himalayan masters in such simple, straightforward, and practical ways that all people may understand and benefit.
Swami Rama's presentation of this perennial wisdom and methodology is so clear, concise and accessible that it will continue to serve humanity for many years to come.
The invisible force of the meditation tradition of the Himalayan masters will continue to guide. This grace is itself who Swami Rama truly was and is.
Related Editorial: Hinduism Today, January 1995 Click Here