Know Yourself
Himalayan Institute
Swami Rama Links


The tradition from which Swami Rama comes is a lineage of sages of the ancient cave monasteries of the Himalayas. This unbroken lineage of teachers is at least 5,000 years old, and includes Swami Rama's direct teacher, Bengali Baba, and his grand master, the famous Mahavatar Baba, known simply as Babaji of the Himalayas. It is the tradition from which the stories of Shangrila or Shambala have emerged.

However, while the lineage is an ascetic tradition of the Himalayas, many of the sages themselves are also related to the monastic order of Shankaracharya of the 9th century.

This tradition of the Himalayan masters is not itself representative of any formal institutions. Individual sages, teachers, or students of the tradition of the Himalayan caves have started various teaching organizations or service institutions from time to time. Thus, a variety of modern teaching centers may link themselves to this ancient lineage, while none of them are themselves sole representatives.

A diversity of swamis, yogis, and others practice and train seekers in these methods of self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-realization.

  • The ancient, oral yoga system, recorded by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra is accepted as a preliminary step.
  • Philosophically, the Advaita Vedanta system of one absolute Reality without a second is practiced, particularly the Mandukya Upanishad, relating to AUM and the states of waking, dreaming, sleep, and the fourth state, turiya.
  • Both Mother and Father principles of the universe are acknowledged, practicing purely internal Tantra. Maya (illusion) is seen as the creativity of the Mother principle, and is thus not an obstacle.

While this ancient meditative tradition has influenced many of the world's religions, the tradition itself is not a religion. All religions are acknowledged as an expression of the one absolute reality, called by many names, including God.

All of the practices are internal and no rituals are performed. (However, since Swami Rama left the body, some of his students who are also teachers are actively promoting rituals along the lines of their personal religious preferences. These rituals are being performed in institutions or ashrams where there were no such religious rituals while Swami Rama was in charge.)

There is not a belief in conversion, changing the cultural habits of others, or introducing any face of God in particular.

Serving humanity through selflessness is an expression of love which one should follow through mind, action, and speech.

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