Living With The Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama is my first spiritual book which I have read word to word till the last page. Before it, on the insistence of my father-in-law, I’d tried reading many spiritual books but yawned each time to close it without any intention to reopen it. But with, Living With The Himalayan Master, it was different.
Why I loved this book is difficult for me to convey in words but I could relate to the book and charisma of Swami Rama’s personality and other sages mentioned in the book kept me glued till the end.
The book is not about overly lecturing and preaching about spirituality, from which we all Gen Next run away, but it is about sharing experiences towards spirituality.
Swami Rama in his way towards spirituality has met many sages, learned man, intellectual people, sadhus, spiritual personalities. In this book he has shared his experience and lesson of wisdom he got from them. And speaking truly, those experiences which he shared were brief but very enriching and fulfilling to read.
There are many sages Swami Rama met in his lifetime, we might not know about them heard but there are also few names which we are grown up with. He met many respected personalities of India like Mahatma Gandhi, Maharshi Raman, Sri Aurobindo, Rabindranath Tagore, Brahmananda Saraswati. And shared their version of spirituality.
I particularly liked his conversation with a sage called Uria Baba about Karma and non-attachment. The sage says,”Whether you live in the world or outside, it does not make much difference. Attachment to the object of the world is the cause of misery. One who practices non-attachment faithfully and sincerely obtains freedom from the bondage of karma.”
I felt very close to this Swami Rama’s conversation with Uria Baba as it was inspiring for householders like me and others. We as householders have duty to fulfill and it is difficult to get freedom from it. In such a scenario, Uria Baba says that to develop non attachment for the worldly materials.
We have Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi as legendary example of it. They remained surrounded by the worldly pleasure, but never formed any attachment for it and served mankind on a wider way.
Similarly there are many chapters on virtues like selflessness, self control, fearlessness, determination, loneliness and many others. Swami Rama was not born with these virtues but has imbibe them trained himself. Even we householders can train our-self and become a better human being. Thus moving towards the path of enlightenment.
I learned one important thing from this book. To keep meeting learned and spiritual people. They will guide you from time to time to become a better human being.
Swami Rama has met a swami who was a eminent mathematician of India. He has drawn an analogy between Absolute Reality and science of mathematics. It was absolutely riveting to read it.
His view points on meditation were very clear. He says that one needs purified mind and discipline over actions, speech, dietary habits and other appetites before practicing meditation. Otherwise he says, “The untrained and impure mind cannot create anything worthwhile.” There is also a comparison between meditation and worry. There is a idiom in hindi: Chintan karo Chinta chodo. Swami Rama also professes the same thing when he compares meditation and worry.
The book has the best description of Himalaya, I’ve ever read. Even the best of the most sensitive aesthete would failed to describe the beauty of Himalaya, as done by Swami Rama.
Verdict: It is a must read book. There is no spiritual lecture in the book. But has many valuable wisdom of pearls. Swami Rama’s memoir on the Himalayan sages is a timeless classic.
Thanks to my husband for referring this book. I find myself at solace and full of energy after reading it.
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