Mishra, Ramamurti

Mishra, Ramamurti
(Swami Brahmananda Saraswati) teacher of raja yoga
   Ramamurti Mishra was an Indian-born yogi who founded the ANANDA ASHRAM in Monroe, New York. He wrote many books on YOGA and AYURVEDA and he commented upon many SAN-SKRIT texts.
   Ramamurti Mishra was born in Benares (Vara-nasi), India, on March 6, 1923, into a reli-gious Brahmin family. His mother was a spiritual teacher with many disciples and his father was a high court judge and practitioner of astrology. From an early age, Ramamurti was immersed in the study of Sanskrit, MEDITATION, and YOGA. At the age of six, he became ill and apparently died—for 36 hours, no vital signs of life, includ-ing respiration, were detected. As his father was about to light the fire for his cremation, the child sat upright and declared that he was alive. Rama-murti always considered this date, March 6, was his real birthday.
   At a young age he left home to pursue the study of Sanskrit and medicine. He completed his first medical degrees in Ayurveda and Western medicine at Banares Hindu University. In 1955, he left India to study medicine in the United States and served as a resident in neurosurgery at Bel-levue Hospital in New York City.
   In 1964, he founded Ananda Ashram in Mon-roe, New York, where figures such as Timothy Leary and RAM DASS visited and taught. The ASH-RAM continues to function as a year-round retreat for spiritual practice.
   In 1966, Mishra resigned from his medical career to devote himself to spiritual discipline and the teaching of raja yoga, with a focus on the question, Who am I? Convinced that the cause of suffering is not in the body or the mind, but rather in ignorance of the true Self, he began to teach and explore the path to discovery of the “I AM” consciousness that he believed to be eternal and ever present.
   In 1984 he was initiated into the vow of san-nyas (renunciation) by Swami Gangeshvarananda and was given the name Brahmananda Saraswati. He was a prolific writer who published texts on yoga, meditation, raja yoga, Ayurveda, and com-mentaries on Sanskrit texts. He died on September 19, 1993.
   Further reading: Ramamurti S. Mishra, Fundamentals of Yoga (Monroe, N.Y.: Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust, 1996); ———, Self Analysis and Self Knowl-edge (Monroe, N.Y.: Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust, 1997); ———, The Textbook of Yoga Psychology (Monroe, N.Y.: Baba Bhagavandas Publication Trust, 1997).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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