The Himalayan Institute was founded in 1971 by the renowned Himalayan sage, Sri Swami Rama. A messenger of the living tradition of the Himalayan Masters, he shared a universal and timeless message of inner discovery and self-transformation. As Swami Rama expresses in his classic spiritual autobiography, Living with the Himalayan Masters, “Humanity thrives on three principles that lie at the heart of all human life: inner strength, cheerfulness, and selfless service.”
Through his teachings, Swami Rama links the Institute to an unbroken lineage of yoga masters, the Himalayan Tradition, reaching back many thousands of years. This tradition includes the teachings and disciplines of the sacred texts of the Vedas and Upanishads, and of such esteemed masters as Patanjali, Shankaracharya, and many others.
The collective experience of these masters, gained through intense spiritual practice, revealed through intuitive flow of wisdom from the highest state of meditation and consciousness, and filtered through countless generations, is known as the wisdom of the Himalayan Tradition.
Following Swami Rama’s Mahasamadhi in 1996, the work of the Institute has been carried on by his successor, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, and a supportive faculty. Many significant milestones have marked the decades since the Institute’s founding, including pioneering professional yoga certification programs, wide-ranging educational initiatives and residential offerings, international conferences, and spiritual pilgrimage excursions to sacred shrines in the Himalayas and beyond.
Swami Rama first visits the US
“You have a mission to complete and a message to deliver. That message is from the Himalayan Sages, and you are their instrument”—Swamiji’s Master
Swami Rama at the Menninger Foundation
Swami Rama participates in groundbreaking research demonstrations on the yogic mastery of the mind-body connection at the Menninger Foundation.
Himalayan Institute is founded in Chicago
The Himalayan Institute is founded by Swami Rama to build a bridge between East and West, spirituality and science, ancient wisdom and modern life.
Himalayan Institute hosts the first of many excursions to India
A group of 100 students embark on the Himalayan Institute spiritual excursion to the Kumba Mela in Haridwar, India. Annual pilgrimages evolved into the Voice of the Himalayas Spiritual Excursions, which continue today.
First International Yoga Conference held in Chicago
The inaugural International Conference on Yoga and Meditation is held at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. This first yoga conference in the U.S. hosted 50 presenters and 3,000 attendees from around the world. The Himalayan Institute has gone on to present 19 acclaimed conferences, and counting.
Campus in Honesdale, PA selected as Headquarters
The Himalayan Institute international headquarters moves to the Honesdale, Pennsylvania campus.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait moves to the United States
At the request of his Master, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait travels to the United States to begin his lifelong teaching mission and assist Swami Rama in spreading the message of the Himalayan Sages.
Graduate Program inaugurated
The Himalayan Institute Program in Eastern Studies, a two-year Master of Science degree program, begins at Himalayan Institute Honesdale.
Founding of Yoga International Magazine
Yoga International magazine, founded by Swami Rama, is launched. The publication goes from strength to strength and touches thousands of seekers looking for authentic teachings on yoga.
Swami Rama passing (Maha-Samadhi)
Swami Rama’s Maha Samadhi—November 13, 1996
Dynamics of Ayurvedic Rejuvenation
Co-sponsored by the Aveda Corporation, representatives from the medical profession and industry come together for this first-of-its-kind conference, to delve into the practical and spiritual aspects of ayurveda, ayurvedic rejuvenation, and the application of ayurveda with modern medicine.
Living Tantra seminar series begun
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait delivers the entire range of tantric history, philosophy, and practice through the 6-seminar series, Living Tantra, taught live at the Himalayan Institute headquarters from April 1998 through October 1999.
500 students travel to Maha Kumbha Mela in India
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Swami Avdheshanand address students together at the Maha Kumbha Mela in Allahabad, India. The Himalayan Institute hosts more than 500 students from around the world at our Allahabad campus.
Art of Joyful Living 70-city workshop tour
The Art of Joyful Living tour with Pandit Tigunait brings a day-long workshop to 15 cities from September to November, 2002. Relevant to the issues of the times, Art of Joyful Living teaches thousands of participants techniques on how to live with joy and purpose.
Release of Touched By Fire: The Autobiography of a Spiritual Seeker
The Himalayan Institute releases Pandit Tigunait’s 13th book, Touched by Fire—a glimpse into his life and experiences. Praised by leading yoga teachers and scholars, and treasured by students and seekers, it remains a living and ever-inspiring text.
Akhanda Japa—Year Long Meditation
For the first time, The Himalayan Institute holds a year-long, unbroken group meditation for world peace and prosperity. Members from around the world join Himalayan Institute student residents in attending the flame 24-7-365, and Panditji teaches each evening and weekend, throughout.
Founding of Himalayan Institute center in Cameroon, West Africa
Himalayan Institute Cameroon is founded. In the following years, the center has enabled a huge transformation for the local community and to this day continues to empower and transform the lives of those connected with it.
Living Tantra 6-part series
Living Tantra, taught by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, begins. Living Tantra is the Himalayan Institute’s first hybrid live-and-digital course, offered live and in more than 17 cities.
The Himalayan Institute embarks upon its second Akhanda Japa—a year long meditation in which both residents and the global HI community join together for practice.
Consecration of Sri Vidya Shrine at HI Khajuraho in India
Coinciding with the Institute’s Kumbha Mela pilgrimage, 500 students from around the world joined Pandit Tigunait in consecrating the Sri Vidya Shrine at the newly constructed Himalayan Institute campus in Khajuraho, India.
Yoga Sutra: Volume 1 published
The Secret of the Yoga Sutra: Samadhi Pada, by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, is published. This groundbreaking commentary on Patanjali’s seminal scripture, focuses on the sutras from a practitioner's standpoint, and expounds upon the verses as they pertain to sadhana.
Yoga Sutra book tour
This national tour to 70 locations from April to December by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait infuses the yoga community and broader reach with inspiration, guidance, and instructions in practice, while featuring a guided meditation experientially summarizing the teachings.
The Power of Tantra: Advanced Techniques
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait lectures on the art of deepening practice with the combined forces of tantra and kundalini to infuse the body and mind with vitality.