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|Born||Brij Kishore Kumar Dhasmana|
|Honors||Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham|
Swāmī Rāma (1925–1996) was an Indian yógī.
Early life and education
Swāmī Rāma was born Brij Kiśore Dhasmana or Brij Kiśore Kumar, to a northern Indian Brahmin family in a small village called Toli in the Garhwal Himalayas. From an early age he was raised in the Himalayas by his master Bengali Baba and, under the guidance of his master, traveled from temple to temple 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 he held the position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham (also Karveer Peeth or Karweer Peeth) in South India. After returning to his master in 1952 and practising further for many years 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 and Europe.[page needed]
One of the greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama (1925-1996) is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. In addition to his intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. In 1969 he came to the United States where he started a Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy.
His best known work, Living With the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition.
After leaving the post of Shankaracharya and going back to the master, he afterwards travelled to Nepal in the Himalayas barefoot with nothing but a kamandalu and tiger mat. It was here where he created his first ashram. It is at the outskirts of Kathmandu on the way to Dhulikhel on the mountain of Janagal. He later granted it to Swami Vishuddha Dev. The ashram is known as Hansada Yoga Ashram. Now it is the headquarters of the characterology movement. However, other programs are also conducted there.
Then in 1966, the original Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science & Philosophy was established by Swami Rama himself in Kanpur, India. 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the institute.
Organization and achievements
He was the founder of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, which has its headquarters in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and branches in the United States, Europe, and India. Swāmī Rāma also founded other teaching and service organizations, some of which are linked below. One of his significant achievements is the establishment of a large medical facility in the northern part of India (Dehradun) to serve millions of poor people in the nearby mountains. Until about 1987 the rural poor in this region did not have access to health care, water, sanitation, and education. Dedicated disciples of Swāmī Rāma have contributed to make his dream of a region free of poverty come true. Stories of his leadership style and the way he achieved his goals are documented in several books about Swāmī Rāma.
Swami Rama authored several books in which he describes the path he took to 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 yogis to use supernatural feats to demonstrate their enlightenment, arguing that these only demonstrated the ability to perform a feat.
- Webster, Katharine (December 1990). "The Case Against Swami Rama of The Himalayas". Yoga Journal.
- Tigunait, Rajmani (2004). At the Eleventh Hour: The biography of Swami Rama. Himalayan Institute Press; Honesdale PA.
- Rama, Ballentine, Ajaya, Yoga and Psychotherapy (Glenview: Himalayan Institute 1976), p. xv.
- Rama,Swami: Living with the Himalayan masters and Hansada Yoga Ashram.
- Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust