H.H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas (1925-1996)
A disciple of the Himalayan adept, Sri Bengali Baba, Swami Rama (1925-1996) was born and raised in the legendary Himalayan mountain caves where countless generations of yogis have been trained and initiated into the deepest mysteries of yoga. Throughout his childhood and adolescence he lived and travelled with many saints and yogis. At the young age of 24 years he succeeded the great spiritual leader Dr. Kurtkoti as Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham.
He renounced the dignity and prestige of this high office to return to the Himalayas to intensify his meditative practices. After completing an intense, eleven-month meditation practice in isolation, he emerged with the determination to serve humanity, particularly to bring the teachings of the East to the West, and directed his life toward the unification of science and spirituality. He began his synthesis of eastern and western traditions with his research work at the Menninger Foundation in the United States and helped to revolutionize scientific thinking about the relationship between body and mind.
He founded the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy with branches throughout the world, and the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, a 350 million dollar health and rural development project located near Dehradun in Garhwal, designed to serve this region’s population of millions of people in great medical, economic and social need. From a small outpatient clinic started in 1989, the Trust has grown into a huge medical city that incorporates an ultra modern SOD-bed hospital, medical college, school of nursing, Rural Development Institute and holistic centre.
Through his life and teachings, Swami Rama sought to combine the ancient teachings of the East with modern approaches of the West. He was a great yogi, scientist, philosopher, humanitarian, and mystic poet, all rolled into one. Having reached the heights of spiritual enlightenment, he always strove with seemingly endless energy to attain perfection in his actions in the external world. His life and teachings are the inspiration behind AHYMSIN and Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG).
The Method for Inner Study
Human beings are always disappointed in the external world, yet they have not turned inward to understand anything about the internal world.
You have to light your own lamp. No one will give you salvation. I am talking of enlightenment. All individuals have the responsibility to enlighten themselves. Do not think you cannot do it. You have that spark. You are fully equipped. You simply need to discipline yourself. Discipline is not a prison. It simply means practice.
Streams of Negative Emotion
When you study the emotions you find that there are seven main streams of negative emotions that arise from the four primitive fountains or appetites. Desire, or kama, which we have already discussed, is the first stream and the mother of them all.
My Swollen Ego
When one begins to tread the path of spirituality it is essential to be humble. Ego creates barriers, and the faculty of discrimination is lost. If discrimination is not sharpened, reason does not function properly and there is no clarity of mind. A clouded mind is not a good instrument on the path of enlightenment.
With palms together, I pray to Thee, Oh Lord, grant these kind blessings to me: To be with the sages, their darshan to enjoy, And to have a pure heart filled with love and joy.
Swami Veda Bharati (1933-2015)
Mahamandaleshwar Sri Swami Veda Bharati (1933- July 14, 2015), former President of Sadhana Mandir Trust, was a rare Sanskrit scholar of our time, unsurpassed in his profound depth of knowledge, philosophy and practice of Meditation. He was born in a Sanskrit-speaking family and raised in the centuries old Vedic tradition. He taught the Patañjali’s Yoga-sūtras for the first time at the early age of 9 and the Vedas from age 11. Having never attended any school, he received his M.A. from the University of London and a D.Litt. from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
From 1952-1967, he spread the Yogic and Vedic teachings in many parts of the world, including Africa and the West Indies. In 1969, he received the highest initiations into the mysteries of Meditation from his Guru Swami Rama of the Himalayas who linked him to the sacred lineage of the Himalayan Yogis. Thereafter he established and guided Meditation groups and centers in all parts of the world. He had access to 17 languages and taught Meditation in all of the major languages of the world and to followers of all religions.
In continuation with the oral tradition of the living lineage of the Himalayan Sages, Swami Veda taught: “योगः समाधिः | yogaḥ samādhiḥ | Yoga = samadhi | Yoga [is] samadhi. He proposed that the entire yoga science must be studied and practiced on the basis of this definition of yoga. All other definitions are subservient to it. He revealed the authentic teachings of Classical Yoga through his 1500 page commentaries on the (first two chapters) Yoga-Sutras. This commentary has been hailed among scholars and practitioners both as the most authentic and authoritative. He has recorded more than 3,500 hours of courses on all aspects of meditation, its texts, and philosophical systems apart from teaching the ancient texts like the Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita in an experiential context for meditation. Following on the footsteps of his Guru, he maintained a keen interest in the scientific studies of yoga mediation and subjected himself to a number of researches in the field of Neurophysiology of the Meditative states.
Swami Veda Bharati emphasized the universality of yoga as a science, which transcends chronological time, geographical boundaries, religious discrimination, and manmade sectarianism. Although he always liked to keep a low profile, he was well known for his teaching in different communities and cultures all over the world and for his expertise in instructing students in accordance with their own religion-philosophical background. During his lifetime, he participated in numerous interfaith dialogues, activities, and conferences with an aim of improving understanding among various religions. He found the experience of meditation to be the common ground among all religions. Prepared on the occasion of the United Nations 2000 World Peace Summit of Leaders in Religion and Spirituality, his short work, “Unifying Streams in Religions,” provides a fresh perspective for bringing the different faiths closer together.
In 2002, he founded Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, which houses the headquarters of the Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International (AHYMSIN) and serves as the centre for his global network among nearly 100 groups in 26 different countries; spreading the teachings of the Himalayan Tradition. We can best repay his extra-ordinary efforts by availing ourselves of the fruits of his experiential teachings to further our own yogic practice for our own enlightenment and the welfare of all.
The earth is a light. The sky is a light. The beauty of your skin, the softness of your child's cheek, the love in your eyes is a light. The light has become a leaf, a twig, a tree. Light flows as a river from a mountain of light. Whatever you do not experience is not light. All the rest is waves in a sea of light, the light that is the infinite delight, the bliss of God. The lake of Truth and mirage of falsehood is all light.
Mantra for Freedom from Fear
O Divine Mother, upholder of the universe, grant me strength that I may see all beings with the eyes of a friend. May all beings look at me with the eyes of a friend. May they all, all of us living beings, look at each other with the eyes of a friend.
A Giant Roped
One astrologically auspicious morning, the guru whispered into the disciple’s ear the mantra whereby the latter may call a giant to serve him on command. The disciple was overjoyed at having gained such power as a reward for his services to the Master.“But”, said the Master, “do not rush to use the mantra yet, not until I have taught you all the controls. Do promise”.
Story about Lala Babu
The story is about a scion of one such banking house in Mathura. He was known as Lala Babu. He was spiritually inclined and the Guru claimed him. Slowly, slowly, as is usual with the Gurus, he was dragged over the hot coals of purification. After his duties were done for his family he began the process of renunciation, spending his time in spiritual pursuits and meditation.
Historical View of the Swami Tradition (Sanyasa)
The stage of life when one takes the vows of renunciation also makes a difference.
Swami Ritavan Bharati
Present Ashram Pramukha and Spiritual Guide:
Swami Ritavan Bharati has lived a life dedicated to serving Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati since 1970. After having been initiated at the age of 20, he transited through all the three Ashrams of Vedic life (Brahmacharya, Grihastha, and Vanaprastha) under the direct guidance of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati. He was then initiated into Sanyasa in 2007.
He holds master’s degrees in Management, Education, Holistic Philosophy, and Eastern Studies. A highly experienced yoga meditation practitioner, he has conducted and guided numerous silence and meditation retreats throughout the world and has been instrumental in guiding the international Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP). He is also a Mantra Initiator within the Tradition of the Himalayan Masters. Swami Veda Bharati chose Swami Ritavan Bharati as his successor; as the Ashram Pramukha and Spiritual Guide of SRSG and the AHYMSIN community, before he took Mahasamadhi in 2015.
A man of few words, his primary focus is on the inner life.
Transitioning from Ganesha Gayatri to the essential Ganesha Mantra
Lord Ganesha, the divine force who is the remover of obstacles in our life, in our sadhana; and provides the physical and emotional stability that we all aspire for by removing such obstacles, resistances, and conflicts enhancing our clarity and spiritual understanding lighting and enlightening our path of sadhana.
New Year, and New Moon Meditations
Good tidings to you at this auspicious period of "resting", receiving the gift of void - emptiness. What is this incessant urge, desire, and need to fill? The art of fulfilment is the art of giving. Through giving you receive. By emptying you create the "space" - the opportunity to receive and thereby to be nurtured.
Tamaso-ma-jyotir-gamaya: Jyoti Meditation
OM; Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya…Lead me from darkness to light, lead me from darkness of ignorance to the to enlightenment! Let this become a prayer encompassing your entire heart and mind; an affirmation: jyotiraham, jyotiraham, jyotiraham. I am light, I am light, I am light!
Learn to unconfuse your mind and illuminate the darkness of bondage. Learn to unconfuse your mind with the identity that never changes. The nature of realization, the nature of purity is everything of its surroundings reflect in it without making it impure. Yet, we allow anything and everything to reflect in our purity with ever-changing thoughts and emotions as habit patterns, as our identity. The ever-changing, the impure, our false bondage becomes our identity crisis.
Special Message from Swami Ritavan Bharati
Special Message from Swami Ritavan Bharati, for the newly initiated Swami, and as a message of moksha for all who aspire
I Bow to the Truth-Bearing Guru
I bow to the Truth-bearing guru, who is the bliss of Brahman; who bestows the highest joy; who is infinite, free of the bonds of the 36 tattvas; who is One, the embodiment of Wisdom, Pure, and Eternal; and who exemplifies the great Vedantic proclamations, such as 'That Thou art;' the witness beyond all duality.