Saturday, July 24, 2010

Raja Yoga and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Lecture by Swami Rama

I don't know if this happens to you too, but sometimes I just waste hours and hours surfing the net for something to be discovered, not knowing exactly what I'm looking for.

Luckily sometimes I do find some hidden jewels on the web and then I feel like sharing them with others.

I found these videos probably like a year ago. They are from a lecture given by Swami Rama of the Himalayas about the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Raja Yoga path.

85 videos in total!! hours and hours of video. Believe me, these are just priceless, I feel really fortunate to be able to watch these teachings.

I think these videos were uploaded by Swami Jnaneshvara, a disciple of Swami Rama and the author of the website, a vast resource of the teachings of Swami Rama.

I suggest you subscribe to their YouTube channel swamiramahimalayas. You can find there not only the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali lectures but also lectures about: How to Tread the Path of Superconscious Meditation, Sri Vidya Tantra, Ishopanishad, Mandukya Upanishad and Mundaka Upanishad. Yeah, this is probably the best online resource for yoga philosophy.

Unfortunately, there is some bad news.

I normally try to do a quick background check of anybody that I might like to learn from, so I google Swami Rama and right in the first result, in Wikipedia, I found that he was convicted after his death because of sexual misconduct.

I went through several articles on the web and I felt quite disappointed, especially cause I like his character, his posture. However, every time that I read his articles and watch his videos I find it very hard to believe that he was indeed guilty.

I concluded that sometimes people try to discredit swamis or gurus out of jealousy, envy or just because of personal issues.  So I've decided to believe that he was innocent so I can continue without prejudice to learn from his teachings, but I will keep my eyes and ears open, just in case.

You will need to make your own conclusions but do watch the videos with an open mind and heart before.

Update November 2012: Since I published this article (already more than two years ago) I have spent many hours studying Swami Rama's books, watching many of the lectures that he gave during his lifetime, visiting his ashram Sadhana Mandir in Rishikesh and the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama ashram founded by his disciple Swami Veda Bharati. I even joined the Himalayan Yoga Tradition Teacher Training Program

After all these experiences and after meeting other students of this tradition and many disciples of Swami Veda and Swami Rama I have concluded that those accusations were indeed an attempt to discredit Swami Rama. However, that's still my personal belief.

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  1. i have found guru's to be imperfect also, sivananda was overweight, osho terrified of aids, accusations swirl endlessly around them all..the real lesson imo is learn to not idealize a guru, to realize they are human beings like ourselves, and on a journey just as we are..why is it so devastating to ones own ego to discover that ones guru is not perfect? this to me is the real question that seekers should strive to answer for themselves.

  2. Well, actually I think that a real guru is beyond human comprehension. Externally they might look and behave like a regular human being but within they are in a deep transcendental state, and they don't need to show it off. At this stage they don't care anymore about their own physical body, so yes they might be fat and unhealthy and they even use their body to assume the karma of their disciples. That's a reason why they suffer diseases and even accidents.