About the Book
What exists after death? Explain it to me," insists the young student Nachiketa as he puzzles over this supreme mystery in the Kathopanishad. Swami Rama's penetrating commentary on the ensuing dialogue between Nachiketa and Yama, King of Death, reveals a clear, profound philosophy of death and immortality.
Raised since early childhood by the great Himalayan sage Bengali Baba, Swami Rama draws upon the wisdom he gathered from the hidden Himalayan adepts with whom he studied, as well as his mastery of esoteric yogic practices, to share his experiential knowledge of death and what lies beyond. This approach makes this book uniquely valuable, for as he states, "Those who attain the highest knowledge and immortality by reaching the state of super-consciousness, they alone can unravel the mystery of death." Available again after many years, this book shares practical guidance on how to understand the various levels of consciousness and conquer the fear of death by learning to walk on the path of immortality.
One of the greatest masters of the 20th century, Swami Rama is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in the Himalayas, he studied in both India and Europe, and received his spiritual training in the Himalayan cave monasteries and in Tibet. His best known work, Living with the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living Himalayan Tradition.
About the Author
ONE OF THE greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in the Himalayas, he was raised from early childhood by the great Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster, who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally, in 1969, came to the United States, where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best-known work, Living with the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living Himalayan Tradition.
Life Here and Hereafter is drawn from the lectures given by Sri Swami Rama during one of his world tours. Students and staff of Risso University in Japan, the University of Hawaii, the Unity Churches, and the Menninger Foundation in the United States were only some of the audiences that heard this teacher from the Himalayas.
While it is difficult to represent the insightful spontaneity provoked during the tour, the reader possesses, nevertheless, an advantage unavailable to the former audiences. For these pages retain the nectar of those lectures but in a distilled and cohesive presentation. The liberties of Swamiji's extemporaneous speech have been transformed into the clarity of his written form, in this way reaching the ever-widening circle of aspirants, to quench their spiritual thirst.
The inspiration of these lectures came from that portion of ancient wisdom called the Upanishads. One of these scriptures, the Kathopanishad, describes a perennial mystery that most people are fearful to face: the enigma of death. A story unfolds into a dialogue between Yama, the King of Death, and Nachiketa, the young seeker of Death's meaning. The characterization has a universal quality. For the inevitability of this dreadful mystery finally overtakes even the most courageous. Who can withstand Death?
The resolution of Death and his fearful presence remains the challenge of these pages.