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Swami Ramananda

Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Swami Ramananda
Swami Ramananda

He's a man who whistles and the hawks come, fly in circles over his head. He builds steps out of the mountain on the grounds of The Sadhana Society in Skull Valley and the baby javelinas nibble on his shoes. He is Swami Ramananda, who founded the Sadhana Society in California in 1968. Swami Ramananda is an ordinary looking man. He doesn't always adorn himself with robes or icons. It's hard to say how old he is.

"I stopped keeping track of that (age) in 1939, when I took vows as a Swami. That's part of the vows," he says. "It's not forgotten, but it's not important."

The Swami took his vows in India, where he spent a total of about eight years with the Gandhi people. "In the process I became a Swami," he says. "The purest translation (for Swami) in English might be Teacher. People like to put fancier things to it. In India, a teacher is a teacher, whether teaching mathematics or religion. In our society, titles can put you in a bad position - they can keep you from being human.

"I'm fortunate. I've been with and known an endless number of great people, historic people, well known people and the ones l held in highest esteem were the one's who were most human - human enough to have failings along with greatness. People like Gandhi, Rabindrinath Tagore, Swami Yogananda, Krishnamurti and Swami Prabhavanada, Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts.

While in India, he met and traveled with Gandhi. "He had a lot of idiosyncrasies, but that's what made him marvelous." Swami Ramananda studied with Gandhi. "I was there at the assassination. Two days later, I came home," he says. There were about 50 to 60 people in the group who followed Gandhi at that time. "We were devastated, but we expected it. He was trying to keep India a single unit. It was going the other way. The Muslims wanted it divided. Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Swami Ramananda
During his years in India, Swami Ramananda also spent time with Rabindrinath Tagore, a Noble Prize winner for literature. Tagore gave Ramananda a copy of his book "Sadhana" with the wish that it could be used as a textbook in America. Swami Ramananda has been teaching from this book for over 50 years.

Gandhi and Tagore were the teachers who influenced him most. Other teachers who had no famous names like his grandmother, also had their influences. The Swami's grandmother was a full-blooded Mohawk. "In my reading, I began to realize the things she talked about - the legends, the stories, the traditions - there were similarities in Eastern religions."

As a boy, the Swarni spent most of his childhood in bed. "I was born with a bad vertebrae that never joined. I had all the childhood diseases and couldn't walk until I was 18." When he was 18, he began to crawl, then walk with crutches, then walk with a cane until he walked strong and sure. Since then he's walked seven times across the continent of India and walked all over the United States. "Sixty years of walking - it s almost a hobby with me."

As a child he read books on religion and philosophy. At age 4, he completed reading "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman.

Born and raised in the Roman Catholic Church, listening to his grandmothers Native American stories, reading avidly about all religions, studying with Gandhi, and in experiencing his own life, Swami Ramananda realized there is a "Unity within Diversity".

As a teacher, he has dedicated his life to helping others discover their own unique Spirituality through the pathway of direct experiences. He lives and teaches at the Sadhana Sanctuary in Skull Valley.

"In most of Western philosophy, there is a distinction a line is drawn, between animate and inanimate objects. "Everything is Being. Everything created is Being. A rock is a Being. A rock has built-in information that we as human beings have long forgotten. "In the crystallisation of a rock, there is a kind of dance that takes place. Like the dance of DNA in the human body. Each rock has its own DNA. Crystals break down exactly like DNA. Rocks, have a life of their own." Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Swami Ramananda
In Native American tradition God is called Great Spirit, the Swami says. "Great Spirit is the Unknown Source. The Great Spirit is God, the Ultimate Mystery in all things. There is no ending to the Unknown anymore than there is an ending to Creation.

"In Native American tradition, when Great Spirit dreams his dream, it became a Great Power, a visible aspect of the Unknown. It got everything moving. It got light to create shadows, and shadows to create shapes and forms.

"In creation, everything is created perfectly. The purpose of the human being is to be a co-creator - to continue this perfection. "Humans must try to expand perfection. The creation of everything - Humans, trees, flowers, blades of grass - is ongoing, becoming something greater.

"In creation story of the bible, God says 'It is Good.' But He never says 'It is finished.' A misinterpretation over the ages implied it meant it is finished. "Human beings are co-creators. This is our whole purpose for being. We are the co-creators we are continually expanding creation.

"There is nothing out there in the universe that we're not part of. The human bag of bones has no limitations. If the physical side of us is filled with possibilities, think of the possibilities in that Mysterious Something within each one of us.

"One cannot breathe the breath of life without being on the brink of great achievements. "To fully live one's life, there is no such thing as a passing hour that isn't filled with wonder and mystery.

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Published on: 2003-02-01 (7172 reads)

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Swami Ramananda
Swami Ramananda
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