LIVING WITH THE HIMALAYAN MASTERS EBOOK
Read "Living with the Himalayan Masters" by Swami Rama available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. In this inspirational. Himalayan Institute Press. Himalayan Institute Press, - Philosophy - pages. "I will tell you how I grew up and how I was trained, about the great sages with whom I lived and what they taught me, not through lectures and books but through experiences."- Swami Rama Reading. One of the most blessed and richest periods of my life was in , when at Swamiji's behest I began to translate Living with the Himalayan Masters into Hindi.
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Editorial Reviews. From Library Journal. The late Sri Swami Rama recalls his own spiritual Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Politics & Social Sciences. Online Living with the Himalayan Masters: Spiritual Experiences of Swami Rama Book, Read Online Living with the Himalayan Masters: Spiritual Experiences of. (ebook) Living with the Himalayan Masters from Dymocks online store. In this inspirational collection of stories, Swami Rama.
This life-changing book will bring you face-to-face with some great twentieth-century masters, including Mataji of Assam, a ninety-six-year-old sage who never slept; Gudari Baba, who taught Swami Rama the value of direct experience; Yogi Sri Aurobindo, who integrated meditation with action; Uria Baba, who demonstrated that every human being has the potential for healing; and Mahatma Gandhi.
Read the humbling story of the man who founded the Himalayan Institute, and the great teachers who molded him into a Himalayan Master. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Living with the Himalayan Masters , please sign up. Swami rama is so enlightened then why is selling all his books at so higher price He should in fact give all d books at a basic cost What I get here that he is money making guy Who is only after money and nothing else It's sad I don't understand this at all why do they do this?
Tanmay Meher Not sure if this will answer your question. As per my view, the treasures are always costly and may be the publisher regards this beautiful creations …more Not sure if this will answer your question.
As per my view, the treasures are always costly and may be the publisher regards this beautiful creations as treasures. He might want to make sure that every person should value this book and who ever download this , must read it, and probably a higher price can justify this purpose.
See all 3 questions about Living with the Himalayan Masters…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details.
More filters. Sort order. May 13, Nishant Mishra rated it it was ok. I first read Swami Ram's encounters with great mystics and sages of 20th century India way back in and I was overwhelmed with all his detailed incidents of miracles and occult practices.
At many pages in his very book he has criticised these miracles and those who perform them and has advocated spiritual practices which can get one liberated and enlightened, but the book has sort of become a collection of such events which people read with awe and disbelief. I read this book again a few year I first read Swami Ram's encounters with great mystics and sages of 20th century India way back in and I was overwhelmed with all his detailed incidents of miracles and occult practices.
I read this book again a few years back and have it with me. Over the years, I have been attracted more towards spiritual books and texts which do not discuss miracles and wonders of paranormal nature.
It is useless spending time in reading things which can not be backed by proofs and you may not be sure if that really ever happened. I have gone through other books of Swami Ram and would recommend them, however, this one is the most famous of his all.
Thanx to this book, I came to know about many less-known mystics and swamis of India and later read about them in greater detail. View 2 comments. Sep 13, Sarath rated it it was amazing.
Sep 10, Sarath Thampi rated it it was amazing. Living with Himalayan masters is a must read for anyone interested in learning about Indian philosophical thoughts. This book highlights the center of all the mystical teachings in India- The Himalayas. In this autobiographical account, swami Rama tells us about his journey through the Himalayan passes and meeting with various sages and yogis of different sects and branches. This book really make us wonder-"How far are we in the journey of self discovery?
Jul 19, Arvind Balasubramaniam rated it did not like it Shelves: Before I go into the review, I'd just like to point out that Swami Rama has more than 10 allegations of sexual misconduct against him. That should give a lot of insight upon the authenticity of this book. To be on the fair side, he does admit to having a lot of anger and egoic issues as a neophyte, but does subtly hint that his "moral character" was very pure in one of his anecdotes.
I find this to be very hypocritical. The book is written more as a series of anecdotes than a linear autobiography Before I go into the review, I'd just like to point out that Swami Rama has more than 10 allegations of sexual misconduct against him. The book is written more as a series of anecdotes than a linear autobiography.
The initial chapters on life in the himalayas are very interesting, and a fair amount of detail is given upon the lives of villagers and sadhus who live there.
Anyone who wants to visit the mountain ranges would find his descriptions very interesting. There were a few other anecdotes based on his experiences with sages, but i felt he had made up a lot of them; probably just my bias. Several chapters are a description of various eastern philosophies which one could find anywhere else as well as a few chapters on famous sage-like personalities during this period, but again I felt that he was trying to boost his credibility by association with them.
My recommendation would be to just read the first few chapters that deal with life in the Himalayas and toss out the rest. View 1 comment. Jan 05, Asha Mohun rated it it was amazing. This book narrates Swami Rama's mystical journey through the mountain passes in the Himalayan Range. He mastered the science of life Any person interested in learning spirituality, philosophy of life, will surely love this book. Amazing book.
Must read for every person in search of peace. May 04, Kerri rated it did not like it. It's been awhile since I've read quite such a boring book. I'm eternally grateful that I got it for free on my Nook because I would be very annoyed if I had actually paid for it.
This book is basically the story of Swami Rama's life as he grows up living and studying with spiritual gurus in the Himalayas. It started off pretty interesting. I liked learning about life in the Himalayas and some of the stories were fascinating.
Then it just got redundant, boring, and preachy. It seemed like Groan I suppose I probably should have been leery in the first place, but it had so much potential to be interesting and just Lesson learned. Jun 07, Palahalli Rajesh rated it liked it.
If not the greatest spiritual book on the horizon, this wonderful work of Swami Rama is a masterpiece of its own. Or else they will regret way too much. Reprimand should have been made with a quote before starting journey with the narrator.
This is not recommendable for all readers, only if you have some of the kicking in your heart for spirituality; come fall in love with this magnum opus of Swami Rama. This If not the greatest spiritual book on the horizon, this wonderful work of Swami Rama is a masterpiece of its own. This is yet another exemplification how east has mastered the science of life in the true scene.
Perhaps I am too prejudiced to take seriously anyone who writes a book full of miraculous happenings presented as truth. But this book seems the work of a hypocrite, he tries to tell us that magic and wonders are unimportant on a spiritual path, but other than a few confused platitudes, this is all he has for us.
Everywhere are hints of magic powers he has acquired quickly followed up with telling us how he is too noble to use them.
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Further research shows that he is wrapped up in many allegations Perhaps I am too prejudiced to take seriously anyone who writes a book full of miraculous happenings presented as truth. Further research shows that he is wrapped up in many allegations of sexual misconduct with his students. Skip this one.
He is a seeker, with certain strengths and weaknesses.
[PDF Download] Living with the Himalayan Masters [Read] Full Ebook
Just like us, he sometimes fails to distinguish the fakes from genuine masters, mistaking magic for spiritual achievement. At one time, for example, attracted by the magical power and glamorous life of sorcerers and low-grade tantrics, he even considers abandoning his master for another teacher. His human traits are so familiar to us that in reading about them his journey becomes our journey.
The stories in this book infuse our hearts with overwhelming gratitude for the sages who selflessly share their boundless love and yet remain unrecognized by the multitude.
Swamiji is one of them. While he lived among us he lectured, wrote books, and established large charitable organizations, but very few of us perceived his spiritual stature. Swamiji discouraged a belief in miracles, yet every moment of his life was filled with miracles. No one who came near him ever went away empty-handed. His gifts were of different shapes, sizes, and weights — upon touching his feet, a businessman might be blessed with prosperity, a sick man with health, and a student with knowledge.
Some understood what they had received; others did not. Now I look back and wonder at how beautifully he unveiled the spiritual mysteries while skillfully hiding his identity as one of the greatest sages from the Himalayan peaks. Swami Rama was fully established in his own self-nature. A playful child, a carefree adolescent, a gentle sage, a tactful adult spontaneously manifested in him. For him past and future did not exist — he always lived in the present, and the circumstance of the moment called forth whatever persona would help and guide those who were with him.
Transformative energy emanated from him. If he stayed for a time in a rocky, barren land, a beautiful rock garden would emerge; if he stopped to speak to a woman suffering from chronic depression, her face would light up and the years would drop away. He was very fond of cactus. He had a huge collection in India and a smaller one in the States.
It gives me great joy when I see them blossom. Before I was like a speck of dust drifting along the roadside. Then one day Swamiji picked me up and transformed me into living pollen. With his loving touch I became an integral part of that garden which the sages cultivate. What I received directly from Swamiji and what I learned about him by visiting places where he did his sadhana, however, gives me the confidence to say that the stories in this book represent only the tip of the iceberg.
Living with the Himalayan Masters has its own spirit. I have read and pondered over it countless times. And each time I have found something new, something that was just what I needed at that level of my development. The book speaks to each reader at the personal level. I must not try to tell you what I think it is about, because by doing so I might put a veil between you and its message.
May you bask in their grace and receive just what you need. The seed sown in childhood blossoms into the tree of life. The education which is imparted in childhood is more important than the education which is received in colleges and universities.
In the process of human growth, proper guidance along with environmental learning is important. The Sacred Himalayas The Himalayan ranges extend over almost 1, miles in length. Mount Everest, towering upward over 29, feet on the border of Nepal and Tibet, is the highest of all the mountains in the world.
Persians, Indians, Tibetans, and Chinese have all written about the grandeur and beauty of these mountains. The word Himalaya comes from Sanskrit words: I would like to make you aware that the Himalayas are not merely the home of snow, but that they have also been a stronghold of yogic wisdom and spirituality for millions of people, regardless of their religious beliefs.
This ancient and rich tradition still exists there today as these unique mountains continue to whisper their spiritual glory to all who have an ear to hear. I was born and brought up in the valleys of the Himalayas. I roamed among them for more than four and a half decades and was educated by their sages.
I met the masters who live and travel there, studied at their feet and experienced their spiritual wisdom.
From the Punjab Himalayas to the Kumayun and Garhwal Himalayas, from Nepal to Assam, and from Si kk im to Bhutan and Tibet, I traveled to those forbidden places which are virtually inaccessible to tourists. I climbed to a height of 19, to 20, feet without the help of an oxygen kit or modern equipment.
Many times I did not have food and became unconscious, tired and sometimes wounded, but always, one way or another, I found help during such occasions. For me, the Himalayas are my spiritual parents and living there was like living in the lap of a mother. She brought me up in her natural environment and inspired me to live a particular style of life. Once when I was fourteen years old, an unknown sage blessed me and gave me a leaf of bhoja patra, the paper made of bark on which the ancient scriptures were written.
Fet you be on the path of spirituality. Let you be on the path of spirituality. Awadhoot, Gangotri, The love I received from the sages is like the perennial snows which form the silvery glaciers of the Himalayas and then melt into thousands of streams.
When love became the lord of my life, I became quite fearless and traveled from one cave to another, crossing streams and mountain passes surrounded by snow- blanketed peaks. In all conditions I was cheerful, searching for the hidden sages who preferred to remain unknown. Every breath of my life was enriched with spiritual experiences which may be difficult for many others to comprehend. That gentle and amiable sage of the Himalayas had only one entrancing theme: The Himalayan sages taught me the gospel of nature.
Then I started listening to the music coming from the blooming flowers, from the songs of the birds, and even from the smallest blade of grass and thorn of the bush. In everything lives the evidence of the beautiful. If one does not learn to listen to the music of nature and appreciate her beauty, then that which impels man to seek love at its fountain may be lost in the remotest antiquity.
Do you need psychological analysis to discover in nature the source of so much happiness, of so many songs, dreams, and beauties? This gospel of nature speaks its parables from the glacial streams, the valleys laden with lilies, the forests covered with flowers, and the light of stars. This gospel reveals that emphatic knowledge through which one leams truth and beholds the good in all its majesty and glory. When one learns to hear the music of nature and appreciate her beauty, then his soul moves in harmony with its entire environment.
His every movement and every sound will surely then find its due place in human society. The mind of man should be trained to love nature before he looks through the corridor of his life. Then a revelation comes peeping through with the dawn. The pain and miseries of life disappear with the darkness and the mist when the sun rises. Mortality finds its way in the awareness of immortality.
Then a mortal being suffers no more from the pangs and sorrows which death seems to shower upon him. Death has for ages been a constant source of misery, but at death man learns to become one with the infinite and the eternal. When one learns to appreciate fully the profundity of nature in its simplicity, then thoughts flow spontaneously in response to the appeals of his delicate senses when they come in contact with nature.
This soul-vibrating experience, in its full harmony with the perfect orchestra of melodies and echos, reflects from the sound of the ripples of the Ganges, the gushing of the winds, the rustling of leaves, and the roar of thundering clouds. The light of the self is revealed and all the obstacles are removed. He ascends the top of the mountain, where he perceives the vast horizon. In the depth of silence is hidden the source of love. The eye of faith alone can unveil and see the illumination of that love.
This music resounds in my ears and has become the song of my life. This discovery of the sages binds the whole of humanity in the harmony of the cosmos. Sages are the sources from which mankind receives knowledge and wisdom to behold the light, truth, and beauty which show the path of freedom and happiness to all. They make humanity aware of the mere shadows and vain illusions of this world. With their eyes the unity of the entire universe is best seen.
O Lord! Help us in unveiling so that we can see the truth. Living in the 6 Himalayan caves was very pleasant, and when I was there I was in the habit of roaming through the mountains during the day, taking notes in a haphazard manner, and returning to my cave before darkness would fall.
My diary is filled with descriptions of my experiences with the sages, yogis, and other spiritual leaders of the Himalayas. Temple at Kedarnath This is a land where Sandhya Bhasha was born. It is a purely yogic language, spoken by only a few fortunate yogis, sages, and adepts. Philosophically and ideally, it is very similar to Sanskrit, for every word of Sandhya Bhasha flows full of meaning from its root sound.
Sandhya Bhasha can be used only for the discussion of spiritual matters and contains no vocabulary for the business affairs of the world. When the sun weds with the moon, when the day weds with the night, and when ida and pingala [the left and right energy channels of the human body] equally flow, that union is called sandhya or sushumna. Sushumna is the mother from whose womb was born the language Sandhya Bhasha or twilight. During that period of sushumna the yogi derives the greatest joy that anyone can consciously experience.
When such a yogi speaks with other adepts, then they converse in this language, which is hard for others to understand. Knowledge of the appropriate way of chanting the Vedic verses is slowly diminishing because the grammar of the Vedas is different from the Sanskrit language. The grammar of the Vedas is called Nirukta. Similarly, the grammar of Sandhya Bhasha is completely based on sounds and is diminishing.
As the musicians of classical music can make notes from sounds and their pitches, so the notes can be made from the sounds used in Sandhya Bhasha. When one sits in the mornings and evenings on the tops of the mountains, he can see beauty all around. If he is a spiritual man, he can understand how this beauty is an inseparable aspect of the Lord, whose attributes are Satyam, Shivam , and Sundaram — truth, eternity, and beauty. This is the land of devas. In the Himalayas, dawn us ha and twilight sandhya — when the day weds the night are not mere moments created by the rotation of the earth, but have a deep symbolic meaning.
Morning, afternoon, evening, and night each have their own beauty which no language can ever describe. Many times a day the mountains change their colors, because the sun is at the service of these mountains. In the morning they are silvery, at noon they are golden, and in the evening they look red. I thought that my own mother was dressing to please me in many different-colored saris. Do I have vocabulary to explain this beauty through the language of the lips? It is only the language of the heart in which I can speak, but the words do not roll down through my lips.
I can give you only a glimpse of these beautiful mountains. Their beauty is splendid and beyond description. The morning environment in the Himalayas is so calm and serene that it leads an aspirant spontaneously to silence. That is why the people of the Himalayas become meditators.
Nature strengthened the schools of meditation. When I lived in my cave, Usha dawn , holding the rising sun in her palm, would awaken me every morning, as though my mother were standing before me. The rays of the sun penetrated gently through the entrance. In the cave there lived several yogis studying the wisdom of the Upanishads at the feet of the master.
Any art that exists in Tibet, China, India, and Persia has some influence of the Himalayan beauty on it. A few times I too tried to paint, but I stopped using my brushes because my paintings seemed to be mere scribbles drawn by a child. Beauty remains bound within the limitations of human realms if it is not appreciated heartily. When one becomes aware of the higher level of beauty which projects itself through nature, he becomes a true artist. When an artist becomes aware of that fountain from which arises all beauty, then instead of painting, he starts composing poems.
The brush and colors do not have access to that finest level of consciousness. Spiritual beauty needs to be expressed on increasingly deeper and more subtle levels. The most ancient travelers of the Himalayas are the clouds which roll gently from the Bay of Bengal. Rising from the ocean, these monsoon clouds travel toward the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, hug them, and return roaring to the plains, laden with pure snowy waters.
They shower their blessings and bestow them upon the soil of India. Meghacloota is a solitary example of an excellent collection of these poems. In these poems Kalidasa used the clouds as messengers to deliver his message to his beloved, who was captive in the Himalayas. The Ramayana and Mahabharata, famous Indian epics, are full of praises describing pilgrimages to the Himalayas.
Even modern poets of Hindi and Urdu like Prasad and Ickbal could not resist composing poems on the Himalayan beauty. Many Sanskrit poems, such as Mahimna-stotra, are sung as though a traveler were going up and coming down from the Himalayas.
I also used to compose poems and sing, although I was not a good poet or singer. The classical music of India borrowed ragas like Pahari from the melodious tunes sung by the girls from the tops of the mountains. The Himalayas remain replete with mysteries for poets, artists, musicians, and travelers, but they reveal their most important message only to those who are prepared.
Mystics alone can unveil the real secrets of these wondrous mountains. I used to roam in the mountains with my pet bear, who was very loyal to me. He was fond of me and became very possessive.
I 8 called him Bhola and he was my finest company during those days. For eleven years he lived near my cave and would always wait for me to come out. My master did not approve of my growing attachment to this pet and used to tease me, calling me a bear charmer.
In the morning, carrying a long staff to help me in climbing, I would go to the mountaintops which were four to six miles from my cave. I had my diary, a few pencils and the bear Bhola with me. After the fifteenth of September it starts snowing in the Himalayas, but I continued my long walks to the nearby mountaintops, singing the hymns of the Divine Mother.
Occasionally the thought would flash in my mind that my life belongs to those who follow our tradition. I did not care for my individuality, but was acutely conscious of the tradition of sages which I followed. Even though I broke the discipline many times and became rebellious, I was still forgiven. During those days many profound psychological and spiritual experiences occurred. Sometimes I felt like a king but without any burden of the crown on my head.
Not having human company or communication brought me great peace and serenity. I realized that nature is very peaceful. She disturbs only those who disturb themselves, but she teaches wisdom to those who admire and appreciate her beauty. This is especially true in the Himalayas. Many varieties of flowers are found in abundance in these mountains.
Those with a poetic imagination say that viewed from the snow-covered mountain peaks, these slopes laden with flower beds look like a magnificent vase of flowers which a fully prepared disciple would reverently present to his gurudeva. I would sit next to these natural flower beds and gaze into the sky, searching for their Gardener. Among all the flowers grown in the Himalayan valleys, the most beautiful are the lilies and the orchids. Hundreds of varieties of lilies bloom after winter is over and sometimes even before snowfall.
There is one variety of lily which is pink and very beautiful. It grows in June and July at a height of 8, to 1 1, feet and is found on the banks of the river Rudra Garo that joins the Ganges at Gangotri. This same variety of lily also grows under the trees at Bhoja Basa. The orchids in the Himalayas are more gorgeous than any other flower. They grow at a height of 4, to 6, feet.
The heaviest orchid that I ever found was growing on an oak tree and weighed a little less than one and a half pounds. Some varieties of these orchids can be found in greenhouses a few miles from Katmandu, Nepal, but many still remain undiscovered by horticulturists.
During the blossoming season of orchids, the buds, in their natural obstinacy, delay blooming and sometimes take six to seven days to open. Orchid flowers are amazingly beautiful and their blooming season lasts for at least two and a half months. The mountain cacti bloom suddenly in the moonlit night. I know of more than twenty- five varieties of succulents and cacti in the Himalayas which are used for medicinal purposes. I was told that the soma creeper comes from the succulent family and grows at the height of 1 1, to 18, feet.
Among the great variety of flowers in the Himalayas there are more than one hundred and fifty varieties of rhododendron. The most striking of this species is blue and white.
Pink and red varieties are common, and there is another variety which has multi-colored petals. In the summer, sometimes an entire valley is laden with rhododendron flowers.
One day as I was wandering through the mountains I saw a single blue himkamal as big as a saucer, growing from between two rocks and half-buried in snow. I started looking at it and my mind entered into a dialogue with this beautiful snow lotus. Your beauty is meant to be adored. You should give yourself to someone before your petals fall and return to the dust. All alone means all in one. I enjoy these heights, the purity, the shelter of the blue umbrella above. He had never liked to use flowers and their fragrance except on a few occasions when he instructed me to collect flowers 9 from the forest for worship.
That was the last day that I ever picked a flower. I felt that I had been depriving Mother Nature by snatching her child from her lap. I never picked a flower again. Beauty is to be admired and not to be used, possessed, or destroyed. Aesthetic sense develops when one starts appreciating the beauty of nature.
To satisfy and fulfill my desire to be all alone I wandered here and there, admiring nature just by being with her. Sometimes I would go down to the snowy streams and look at the ripples kicking each other as they moved forward. The rivers and streams running from the tops of the glaciers looked like many long locks of hair. The music created by the streams is quite exhilarating. I would compare the stream of life with these ever-flowing streams and watch how a mass of water running toward the ocean would not leave a gap.
The currents would never turn back, but another mass of water would fill the gap. There was always continuity. Those streams are like the perennial flow of life. For hours I would watch these snowy streams flowing from the glaciers and waterfalls.
Both banks of the streams glittered like silver on moonlit nights. Living in that part of the Himalayas where the Ganges flows, I would stay seated on its rocky banks and gaze at the blue sky and the clear moon, which paled its light on the sands. I watched the twinkling lights coming from the small homes of the distant villages, and when the clouds parted I saw the sky glittering with the lamps of a million stars. This grand assembly and long procession of the stars is beyond human imagination.
Below on the earth, the peaks of the Himalayas silently enjoyed this fair of stars. Some of them seemed as though they were playing hide and seek among the mountain peaks. In all directions, the mountain peaks and snowy streams were illuminated with that milky light emanating from the starry multitude which I remember even today.
In the evenings mist formed a thick white quilt over the Ganges between the two ridges of snowy peaks, and before sunrise a layer of mist would cover the Ganges like a white blanket. It seemed as though a sleeping serpent were snoring from beneath it. The rays of the rising sun rushed to drink these holy waters as eagerly as I rushed to bathe in the Ganges every morning.
The mountain water was crystal clear, soothing to the eyes, and stimulating to the senses. There are many rivers that flow from the great Lake Manasarowar at the foot of Mount Kailas, but of all the rivers which have their source in the Himalayan mountains, the Ganges is unique.
When the Ganges flows from its sources in the glaciers of Gangotri, it carries in its water a variety of minerals which have nutritional and therapeutic value. Skin diseases are rarely found among villagers who live on the banks of the Ganges. A bottle of Ganges water is kept in every home and practically all of the villagers give it to a dying person to drink. This glacier at the base of the Bhagirithi Peaks is the source of the Ganges When bottled, this water does not become stagnant, and bacteria do not survive in it, although they do in the water from other rivers.
Long ago, sailors learned that drinking water from the Ganges carried by ships traveling from Calcutta to London did not stagnate, but water from the Thames carried by ships traveling from London to India had to be replaced by fresh water along the way. The unique chemical components and minerals of this water have been analyzed by many scientists from all over the world. Jagdish Chandra Bose, a prominent Indian scientist, analyzed the Ganges water and concluded: Its mineral qualities have powers to cure many diseases.
Some of the villagers throw the bodies of their deceased into the Ganges, 10 believing that by doing so the souls of their loved ones will go to heaven. I was instructed by my master not to drink from or bathe in the water of the Ganges with any idea that by doing so my sins would be washed off. The law of karma is inevitable and is accepted by all the great philosophies of the world: Taking a bath in a river and making pilgrimages from one shrine to another will not free you from the bondage of karma.
Such belief is only superstition and has no logic. Writers dare say that the Himalayas are economically disappointing, having few mineral deposits and being unable to support enterprises on a large scale. I agree with them: They are spiritual mountains and provide for renunciates, not for the materially wealthy. Those who have tried to explore the riches of the Himalayas from an economic viewpoint have met with failure, and those who will undertake such ventures in the future will be similarly disappointed.
Himalayan villages have not received their share of modem education, technology, and medicine, even though the Himalayas are the reservoirs for the drinking and irrigation waters for the whole of India. Indian planners are unwise in not placing greater emphasis on this important resource. However, the Himalayan inhabitants prefer things to remain as they are. The economy of the villages is supported by the nearby tiny terraced fields, where barley, wheat, and lentils are grown.
Livestock include buffaloes, sheep, cattle, ponies, and goats. The villagers living in the Punjab and Kashmir Himalayas, in the Kumayun and Garhwal Himalayas, and in the Nepal and Si kk im Himalayas have many common characteristics. They are poor but honest; they do not steal or quarrel. In the villages high in the mountains, no one even locks his house — locks are not needed. There are places of pilgrimage there. If you go to a shrine high in the mountains and drop your purse on the path, it will still be there when you come back weeks later.
No one will touch it. There is no greed, for their needs are few. They do not suffer from materialistic insanity. Terraced fields below a Himalayan village The villagers are dependent on the plains only for salt and for oil to bum in their lamps. Life there is calm and peaceful. When they leave the mountains they do not feel comfortable around the people of the plains, with their many tricks and games and pretenses.
In the mountain areas most influenced by modern culture, however, lying and stealing have begun to occur much more frequently.
Modern society is considered to be advanced and cultured, but it is not genuine. It is cultured like a cultured pearl.
Few value genuine pearls today. The modern human being has weakened himself and his human nature by culturing it again and again, losing touch with nature and reality. In modem culture we live for showing off to others, not for serving others. Do you have a place to stay? The people of the Garhwal and Kumayun mountains are intelligent, cultured, and hospitable. Kangra Valley art and Garhwal art are renowned for their unique pen and color work.
Education in some of these mountain communities is better than in many other parts of India. The priests of the different communities know so much about astrology mingled with tantrism that it sometimes surprises travelers from the plains.
The people here lead simple lives close to nature. They live in beautiful wooden houses and weave their own clothes. In the evenings they assemble for chanting, and sing their folklore in beautiful melodies. They dance in a group and sing folk songs which are harmonious and moving. The mountain drummers are excellent, and bamboo flutes and jaw harps are used by the shepherds and schoolchildren.
As the girls and boys go to the mountains to fetch grass for cattle and wood for fuel, they spontaneously compose and sing poems. The children have their own way of enjoying life by playing hockey and soccer.
Reverence for parents and elders is one of the striking features in the Himalayan culture. Most of the trees which grow at heights of 4, to 6, feet are oaks, pines, and devadaru fir trees of various kinds.
In the high mountains, bhoja patra grows and supplies bark paper, which the villagers use to record their experiences, their ways of worship, and the usage of the herbs.
Every villager knows something about herbs, which are useful for many purposes in daily life. All the villages from Kashmir to Punjab, Nepal, and Si kk im have a reputation for providing strong and healthy soldiers for the Indian army.
The life span of the people is often over one hundred years. The Himalayan community which lives in the mountains of Pakistan is called Hunza. There they eat meat, but the community that lives in the Indian part of the Himalayas is called Hamsa, and is vegetarian.
The swan is said to have the power of separating and drinking only the milk out of a mixture of milk and water. Similarly, this world is a mixture of two things: The wise person selects and takes the good and leaves the bad.
Throughout these mountains, Shakti worship is prominent, and in every village there are at least one or two small chapels. The sages, however, travel and do not form communities such as the villagers do.
These sages are treated very nicely by the villagers and are given free food and shelter. They come from different cultures and parts of the country and world and live in caves, under trees, or in tiny thatched huts.
These dwelling places are considered temples and are situated outside the villages. There is always at least one wise man and sometimes several staying there whose bare necessities are maintained by the villagers. When any wandering sadhu [renunciate], yogi, or sage comes by, the villagers freely offer whatever food they have.
They enjoy entertaining guests and easily establish friendship with them. As I traveled throughout the Himalayas I did not enjoy staying with the villagers or the officers stationed here and there, but preferred to stay in the hermitages, caves, and thatched huts of these sages.
Culturally the Himalayas are not obstacles, and do not create any barriers to the countries situated on either side. There are hundreds of communities and nationalities in these mountains which are conspicuous for the peculiarities in their ways of life, resulting from some unusual blend of Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese cultures. Different languages are spoken in different parts of the Himalayas.
Knowledge of these mountain languages helped me in communicating with the local spiritual leaders and herbalists. The month of July is the finest month for traveling in the Himalayas. The snow and glaciers are melting then, and there are thousands of streams rushing all over.
It is not unpleasantly cold, and those who know the nature of glaciers, avalanches, and landslides can travel comfortably if they are careful. The dangers of the Himalayan mountains are the same today as they have always been. Avalanches, fast-running streams and rivers, overhanging cliffs, and high, towering, snow-covered peaks will not change their ways for any traveler.
Nonetheless, the spiritual heritage of the Himalayas has long motivated travelers to explore their unknown wisdom. Over a thousand years ago hundreds of Tibetan and Chinese travelers took Buddhist literature from India and translated it into their own languages, thereby disseminating Buddhist teachings to their own countries. The Great Vehicle of Buddhism, Mahayana, passed across the Himalayan borders, first to Tibet and then to China, greatly enriching Chinese culture and religion.
The meditative traditions of Zen are aspects of this Buddhism that were then passed on to Japan. The original teachings were imparted by Indian teachers who traveled to Tibet and China ten centuries ago. The followers of Taoism and 12 Confucianism adore the Himalayas and the Himalayan teachers, for they have received much wisdom from those who traveled and lived in these mountains.
The principle of inaction emphasized by Taoism is found precisely formulated in the Bhagavad Gita. The concept of nirvana, clearly present in early Indian philosophy, has influenced all the religions of Tibet, Mongolia, China, and Japan. Today Tibet is a communist country and it appears that its ancient wisdom, and the culture based on it, have vanished.
However, the Dalai Lama and a handful of his followers have migrated to the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in India. These mountains were my playgrounds. They were like large lawns spread as though Mother Nature had personally looked after them so that her children who live in the valleys would remain happy, joyous, and aware of the purpose of life. It is there that one can come to understand that from the smallest blade of grass to the highest of mountain peaks, there is no place for sorrow in life.
My forty-five years of living and traveling with the sages of the Himalayas, under the guidance of my gurudeva, enabled me to experience in a few years that which normally would not be possible for anyone to experience in several lifetimes.
I was able to do so because of the grace of my beloved master, who wanted me to experience, choose, and decide for myself. This series of experiences and my learning with the sages have helped me to attain and maintain a center of awareness within. I will tell you how I grew up and how I was trained, about the great sages with whom I lived and what they taught me, not through lectures and books but through experiences.
The stories collected here are a record of some of these experiences. Whenever I want to tell a story to the world, I think that the world itself is a story. I pray that others may benefit from these experiences also, and that is why I talk about them as I lecture and teach. Memories of these experiences awaken me even today, and I feel the Himalayan mountains are calling me back. My Gurudeva and Parents My father was a well-known learned Sanskrit scholar and a highly spiritual man.
Mostly brahmins lived in his village and they would come to my father for consultation and to study with him. My parents were moderately wealthy and generous landowners. My father did not plow his fields himself, but would share the yields with the field- workers who did.
For six months no one had known where my father was, and his family had concluded that he was either dead or had taken a vow of renunciation. Actually, he had gone on a long retreat because he was having problems with his spiritual practices. He was meditating intensively in the forest at Mansa Devi, not far from Hardwar. My master, on a trip which took him by Mansa Devi, arrived one evening at the place where my father was staying.
Upon seeing my master, he knew immediately that this was his gurudeva. Often in such initial contact between master and disciple, the two hearts respond and spontaneously open to each other. This can happen with only the contact of a single glance.
Thereupon begins communication without action or speech. My master stayed there for a week, guiding my father and finally instructing him to return to his home, which was at the height of about 5, feet in the hills of Uttar Pradesh. My mother had given up hope of her husband returning and had started an intensive practice of austerities. When my father returned, he told her about his experiences with the master who had initiated him at Mansa Devi.
He told her that his master had said that although they were forty-three and sixty years old, they would have a son who would also follow him. My father was having dinner when my master arrived, and my mother answered his knock at the door.
Without knowing who he was, she requested him to please wait because her husband was taking food and she was serving him. I want you to give me something. The day I was born, my master arrived at our house and asked my mother to hand me over to him.
As a protective new mother, she was reluctant to comply, but my father asked her to do so. I told him that I already knew the mantra and had been remembering it all the time. I am only confirming that which you remember. I thought of him so much that sometimes my parents seemed to be strangers. It was a mark that my master had predicted before I was born.
I remembered at an early age that the purpose of my life was the completion of the unfulfilled mission of my previous life. As a child I clearly remembered details of my past life. Himalayan Institute. January 1, Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget. You can still place a hold on the title, and your hold will be automatically filled as soon as the title is available again. The OverDrive Read format of this ebook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser.
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Have a card? Add it now to start borrowing from the collection.This grand assembly and long procession of the stars is beyond human imagination. Anyone who wants to visit the mountain ranges would find his descriptions very interesting. My mind ranged over the kingdom of plants, then the kingdom of animals, then human beings. Living with the Himalayan Masters has its own spirit. A tender mind can be bent easily. His every movement and every sound will surely then find its due place in human society.
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