Stories about Swami Rama:

"Introduction to the meditation tradition of the sages"

Justin O'Brien, Walking with a Himalayan Master, pp 17-18

My return visit to Swami Rama's room a few days later was my introduction into the meditative tradition of the sages. The Swami's room was filled with the usual odor of incense. I liked it, so I peeked over at the incense box and noted the words Padmini Dhoop inscribed in red letters.

"The key to meditative posture is the spinal column. Keep it erect," he instructed. "In this way, the lungs are free to breathe and the energy of the body can travel uninterruptedly."

He then asked me to close my eyes, seal my lips, and follow his instructions in exactly the manner he elaborated. It must have taken about ten minutes for the entire process, and when his voice stopped, I opened my eyes into the calm, serene atmosphere. I was hooked.

He handed over to me the tape recording of the process and looked me steadily in the eyes, "I am now giving you permission to teach Superconscious Meditation." he said steadily. "You are the first to use this name for the ancient method of our tradition. I have not yet given this permission to anyone else. Go out and lecture in the cities and institutions, teaching this tradition systematically whenever the audience is ready. I have taught you exactly as my master taught me."

I sensed by his commitment to me that something of major importance was taking place, but I couldn't even imagine its magnitude. It fascinated me just to anticipate exploring the mind's terrain. His presence gave such credibility to the adventure that I couldn't wait to begin.

"At the hospital morgue"

Justin O'Brien, Walking with a Himalayan Master, p 169

"Many years ago I needed a quiet, undisturbed place to do a certain meditation practice that required leaving my body for a few days. A physician friend of mine gave me an empty room in his hospital to use. 'Make sure so one enters this room,' the doctor told the floor nurse. So I folded my legs and sat in my meditation posture on the bed, closed my eyes, and began my practice.

"After about a week, the doctor was called away on an emergency and left the hospital. He forgot about me in his rush to leave. Meanwhile, the head nurse was looking for an empty room for a new patient and, hearing that no had come in or out of my room in a week, unlocked the door. She was surprised to see me sitting there on the bed, and not finding a heart beat or any sign of breathing, decided I was dead.

"Orderlies took me down to the hospital morgue. They could not get my legs unfolded, so they simply covered me with a sheet and left me there. It was cold in the morgue; I began to come back into my body because of the temperature change.

"Into the morgue that evening came a simple sweeper, cleaning the floor. He swept his broom close by the table where I was placed just as I pulled the sheet off my face and asked, 'Where am I?' The poor man was so frightened that he screamed, threw down his broom, and ran out of the hospital. He was never heard from again."

When the audience stopped laughing and heard Swamiji's assurance that the strange event had really happened, he continued his lecture.

"Food at a lawyer's home"

Justin O'Brien, Walking with a Himalayan Master, pp 285-286

"I once dropped in on a lawyer's home when I was very hungry. He was upstairs cleaning his shotgun while his wife was preparing kheer, an Indian pudding, in the kitchen. I came into the house and said I was hungry and asked for some of the pudding. The woman refused me so I raised my voice and insisted. She implored me to go away, but I felt insulted and reminded her that she must have forgotten her manners to a wandering sadhu. Then I went over to the pot to help myself to some of the food.

"Meanwhile, the husband heard the commotion downstairs and thought his wife was being molested behind locked doors. He blasted a warning shot through the floor, rushed downstairs, blasted the kitchen door off its hinges and ran into the room. He looked at me calmly praying over my bowl of kheer, saw his wife standing on the far side of the kitchen, and could not make sense out of the situation since it didn't match his emotional expectation. At the some time, I thought that it didn't matter to me if they wanted to kill each other, I was going to eat kheer. The frozen moment between the three of us was broken suddenly by the wife screaming to me not to eat the kheer for it was poisoned. She slapped it out of my hand and began to cry. The husband calmed down, apologized to me, and turned to his wife, weeping in the corner. It turned out that she and her lover had planned to poison the husband that day. I had spoiled it by wandering in and demanding food.

"My master scolded me for going into people's houses uninvited. He told me not to force my hunger on anyone and never to beg. That's why I rarely stay with people. Here in Nepal many influential people criticize my lifestyle, but I follow the orders of my master. Others expect me to live in a hovel, wearing worn out shawls. It shocks their portrait of a holy man that I enjoy the things of the world, but I take whatever God gives me."

We then had chai, which on those winter nights was the best possible elixir.

"Swamiji, my mentor"

Justin O'Brien, Walking with a Himalayan Master, pp 357-358

My relationship with Swamiji had always involved the freedom to candidly explore all his statements. I questioned whenever I needed to. I was disinterested in competing with him at any level, not because I feared losing, but because I had too much respect for him. I had always enjoyed working with him on projects, often acting as his liaison in the West, his reporter in the East, his researcher in philosophy and theology, his practical man on the street. Once he called me his 'universal bolt' because I could fit in anywhere. I relished doing tasks that he would not entrust to others. From the beginning of our days together, I felt I could always approach him in a combination of teacher to student, man to man, friend to friend. He had actually verbalized those terms to me when I first met him at the farmhouse in 1972. I firmly believed that there was nothing I could reveal to him that he wouldn't listen to and advise on for my best interests, no matter the cost to himself. I always strove to preserve that sense of homage for him. I could get frustrated and mad and swear at him under my breath, but he was still the only mentor in my life and the man I most cared about.