Wisdom has invariably walked tall in the mystical Himalayas ...

By Sayantan Chakravarty
  • Swami Rama

Wisdom has invariably walked tall in the mystical Himalayas of Uttarakhand, high mountains abundant with sacred places, and abode to some of the greatest sages that have traversed this earth. But when the sages would physically become enfeebled due to age, or serious illness, and their bodies cried out for immediate attention, there was not even one modern medical facility at hand to treat them. Even the Himalayan foothills, until very recently, were bereft of such facilities. It required the wisdom of a sage—in this case Bengali Baba—to get things moving. He instructed his dearest and ever-loving disciple, Swami Rama, to have a state-of-the-art medical facility built at a location that he had chosen. The primary objective would be to help out the ailing sages who otherwise had to somehow cobble together the means and resources to make their way to hospitals in far away Delhi, Meerut, Chandigarh or Lucknow.

And so with the help of a group of close and dedicated disciples, Swami Rama initiated the process of fulfilling the wishes of his beloved Master, Bengali Baba, and today we’ve the very impressive Swami Rama Himalayan University (SRHU) at Swami Rama Nagar in Dehradun. It was established as Himalayan University in 1993 and renamed as Swami Rama Himalayan University in 2013. Its sprawling campus is close to the Jolly Grant airport in the Uttarakhand capital. The SRHU has an in-campus PG teaching hospital with over 1200 beds, including a 40-bedded ultra-modern intensive care unit and a comprehensive 250-bedded cancer treatment centre. Indeed it compares favorably with the 880-bedded AIIMS, established in 2019 in nearby Rishikesh by the Union Government. The SRHU Chancellor is Tan Sri Datuk Dr Mohan Swami, widely considered the spiritual son of Swami Rama. The Vice Chancellor is Dr Vijay Dhasmana, whose interview we are carrying. He has been mentored by Swami Rama from a very young age and belongs to the same part of the hills as the great Himalayan sage.