from Living with the
by Swami Rama
established an ascetic order 1,200 years ago, though renunciates had
already lived in an unbroken lineage from the Vedic period. He organized
his order through five main centers in the North, East, South, West, and
center of India [dasnami]. The entire ascetic order of India traces its tradition
from one of these centers. Our tradition is Bharati. Bha means
“knowledge”; rati means “lover.” Bharati means “he who is the lover of
knowledge.” From this comes the word Bharata, the land of spiritual
knowledge, one of the Sanskrit names used for India.
There is one thing
unique to our tradition. It links itself to an unbroken lineage of sages
even beyond Shankara. Our Himalayan tradition, though a tradition of
Shankara, is purely ascetic, and is practices in the Himalayan caves
rather than being related with institutions established in the plains of
India. In our tradition, learning of the Upanishads is very important,
along with the special advanced spiritual practices taught by the sages.
The Mandukya Upanishad is accepted as one of the authoritative
The knowledge of Sri
Vidya is imparted stage by stage and the advanced student is taught
Prayoga Shastra.* (*which explain the practicality and application of
the discipline one has to follow for this knowledge) We believe in both
Mother and the Father principles of the universe. That which is called
maya, or illusion, in our worship becomes Mother and does not remain as
a stumbling block or obstacle on the path of spiritual enlightenment.
All our worship is internal and we do not perform any rituals. There are
three stages of initiation given according to our tradition. First,
mantra, breath awareness, and meditation; second, inner worship of Sri
Vidya and bindu vedhan (piercing the pearl of wisdom); third, shaktipata
and leading the force of kundalini to the thousand-petaled lotus called
sahasrara chakra. At this stage, we do not associate ourselves with any
particular religion, caste, sex, or color. Such yogis are called masters
and are allowed to impart the traditional knowledge. We strictly follow
the discipline of the sages.
It is not possible for
me to discuss in detail the secret teaching of Prayoga Shastra for it is
said, “na datavyam, na datavyam, na datavyam – don’t impart, don’t
impart, don’t impart” unless someone is fully prepared and committed and
has practiced self-control to a high degree. These attainments can be
verified through the experiences of the sages of the past. In our path,
gurudeva is not a god but a bright being who has faithfully and
sincerely attained a state of enlightenment. We believe in the grace of
the guru as the highest means for enlightenment, but never as the end.
The purpose of the guru is to selflessly help his disciples on the way
Our tradition has the
1. One absolute without a second is our
2. Serving humanity through selflessness is an expression of love which
one should follow through mind, action, and speech.
3. The yoga system of Patanjali is a preliminary step accepted by us for
the higher practices in our tradition, but philosophically we follow the
Advaita system of one absolute without a second.
4. Meditation is systematized by stilling the body, having serene
breath, and controlling the mind. Breath awareness, control of the
autonomic nervous system, and learning to discipline primitive urges are
5. We teach the middle path to students in general, and those who are
prepared for higher steps of learning have the opportunity to learn the
advanced practices. This helps people in general in their daily lives to
live in the world and yet remain above. Our method, for the convenience
of Western students, is called Superconscious Meditation. I am only a
messenger delivering the wisdom of the Himalayan sages of this
tradition, and whatever spontaneously comes from the center of
intuition, that I teach. I never prepare my lectures or speeches, for I
was told by my master not to do so.
6. We do not believe in conversion, changing cultural habits, or
introducing any God in particular. We respect all religions equally,
loving all and excluding none. Neither do we oppose any temple, mosque,
or church, nor do we believe in building homes for God while ignoring
human beings. Our firm belief is that every human being is a living
institution or a temple.
7. Our members are all over the world, and for the sake of communication
we also believe in education. Our graduate program imparts the knowledge
given by the sages, thereby fulfilling the inner need of intellectuals.
8. We practice vegetarianism. We teach a nutritional diet that is
healthy and good for longevity, but at the same time we are not rigid
and do not force students to become vegetarians.
9. We respect the institution of the family and stress the education of
children by introducing a self-training program and not by forcing our
beliefs, faith, and way of life on them.
10. Our trained teachers systematically impart all aspects of yoga
relating to body, breath, mind, and individual soul. Awareness within
and without is the key, and the methods of expansion are carefully
introduced to the students.
11. To serve humanity, we believe in examining, verifying, and coming to
certain conclusions regarding the yoga practices, including relaxation
12. Our experiments are documented and published for the benefits of
13. We believe in universal brotherhood, loving all and excluding none.
14. We strictly abstain from politics and from opposing any religion.
15. Of the great importance is the practice of non-violence with mind,
action, and speech.
The knowledge that is
imparted by the sages and masters of the Himalayas
guides the aspirant like a light in the darkness. The purpose of this
message is to awaken the divine flame that resides in the reservoir of
every human being. This flame, when perfectly kindled by spiritual
discipline, mounts higher and higher into the vast light of truth. It
rises through the vital or nervous mind, passes though our mental sky,
and finally enters at the paradise of light, its onw supreme home in the
eternal truth. Then the illumined practitioner sits calm in his
celestial sessions with the highest of powers and drinks the wine of
infinite beatitude. This child of immortality is a child of universal
parents, protected all the time by Mother Divine. This rapturous child
of bliss remains divine – will intoxicated in delight. He becomes a
sage, a sleepless envoy and ever-wakeful guide for those who tread the
path. Such a leader on the path marches in front of human people to
comfort, help, and enlighten them.
Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
This site is devoted to
presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of
the Tradition of the Himalayan masters
in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising
quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest
Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the
center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is
one and the same with the Absolute Reality.
This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga
Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the
intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which
complement one another like fingers on a hand.
We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti
Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha,
and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer
finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final
stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the