Know Yourself
Himalayan Institute
Swami Rama Links


Swami Rama wrote in 1978 "My purpose is to create a bridge between the East and West by establishing a center of learning from where I can faithfully deliver the message of the sages." Even though he had already started several institutions, he also added "I have still to complete my task. This sometimes makes me pensive but I know that when the Lord gives me the opportunity, I will fulfill the purpose of my life." 

In 1986 he wrote of the underlying problem: "I have been facing a serious difficulty: either I meet material scientists or I meet religionists and philosophers, but not aspirants who are prepared to evaluate and verify the effects of these practices. I hope that one day this science will be popular and available for the true seekers in modern society." 

Swami Rama added, "The majority of people view yoga as a system of physical culture. Very few understand that yoga science is complete in itself, and deals systematically with body, breath, mind, and spirit. When one understands that a human being is not only a physical being, but a breathing being and a thinking being too, then his research does not limit itself to the body and breath only. For him, gaining control over the mind and its modifications, and the feelings and emotions, become more important than practicing a few postures or breathing exercises. Meditation and contemplation alone can help the aspirant in understanding, controlling, and directing the mind."

In 1988, just before starting to build a modern hospital near Rishikesh and Dehra Dun, India, Swami Rama wrote, "Disappointingly, I find these days that aspirants do not seem to aspire to lead a balanced life. They search for perfection in the external world, ignoring human potentials and internal states. There is no coherence or harmony, and thus in our society today, leaders and intelligencia seem drawn to building hospitals and research centers to cure diseases that actually are born because of our ignorance, sloth, and lack of awareness."

During the last year in the body, Swami Rama was asked why he built the hospital. Although he had publicly explained that he wanted to serve the medical needs of the poor people of the region, he added another reason privately. He added, "I don't have anything else to do" explaining, as he had many times, that nobody did what he was teaching, that nobody understood what he was teaching, and that nobody wanted what he was teaching. For years he attempted to present the teachings to Self-Realization in "as simple a manner as possible," distilling the practices of self exploration in a way that he called "the short cut" or "the shortest cut."

Why would people not want to follow the suggestions of the ancient sages? In a word, "Fear." (Swami Rama had been told by his master that the first message of the Himalayan sages is to get freedom from all fears). 

Swami Rama has taught "Taking their present condition for granted, most people refuse to explore the possibility of other states of existence. Afraid to explore the unknown and unseen, they emphasize the existence of the manifest aspect of Truth. We must not be afraid to ask questions and find answers. We must not be afraid to discard illusion and embrace the Truth."

"If you don't want to know yourself or don't care to know yourself, then no one can force you. But as you grow you will come to a point where you will want to know your deeper Self, and then you become committed to the idea that you will know yourself in this lifetime."

"Today you cannot face yourself; you don't want to know yourself because you are afraid."

"As you examine your fears, you will learn that all your fears are somehow false and based on misunderstandings. There is no truth or reality to your fears. You are afraid to examine your fears, but you should learn to examine each fear, one by one, and to encounter them and then be free of their control."

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