Swami Rama

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H.H. Sri Swami Rama (1925-1996) was born Brij Kishore Dhasmana, to a Northern Indian Brahmin family and became lineage holder of the Sankya Yoga tradition of the Himalayan Masters. He was raised in the Himalayas by his master Bengali Baba, and, under the guidance of his Master, traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster who was living in a remote region of Tibet. From 1949 to 1952 held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. After returning to Bengali Baba in 1952 and many years of further practice in the Himalayan caves, Swami Rama was encouraged by his teacher to go to the West where he spent a considerable portion of his life teaching, specifically in the United States. [1]

He is especially notable as one of the first yogis to allow himself to be studied by Western scientists. In the 1960s he allowed himself to be examined by scientists at the Menninger Clinic who studied his ability to voluntary control bodily processes, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, body temperature, etc. that are normally considered to be non-voluntary, or autonomic.

Swami Rama's Legacy

He was the founder of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy which has its headquarters in Honesdale, PA and branches in the USA, Europe and India. Swami Rama also founded other teaching and service organizations, some of which are linked below.

Swami Rama authored several popular books during his life, in which he describes the path he took toward becoming a yogi and lays out the philosophy and benefits behind practices such as meditation. One of the common themes expressed in such books as Enlightenment Without God and Living with the Himalayan Masters is the ability of any person to achieve peace without the need for a structured religion. He was critical of the tendency for a yogi to use supernatural feats to demonstrate their enlightenment, arguing that these only demonstrated the ability to perform a feat.

External links


  1. Tigunait, Rajmani (2004). At the Eleventh Hour: The biography of Swami Rama. Himalayan Institute Press; Honesdale PA.