By Indu Nair May 2005 Know that you are part of the universe and the universe is part of you. This will pave the path to energy consciousness, says Swami Isa. Energy ParliamentThe Isalayam ashram will hold a nine-day Energy Parliament at Thiruvananthapuram from October 12-20, 2005. This international parliament will focus on harnessing the positive and negative effects of energy at various planes and on uplifting the individual and the world, materially and spiritually. Under the guidance of Swami Isa, conference participants will seek practical solutions that, through the awareness of energy consciousness, will translate into the vision of total consciousness. The event will also include workshops on energy consciousness in the areas of language, arts and social sciences, as well as in the fields of biology, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, physics, engineering and earth sciences. “A layman who walks through all these nine platforms will be able to appreciate the path of living in the energy plane and working towards total consciousness,” assures Swami Isa. The totality that is not within you does not exist anywhere else in the universe.What is the essence of your philosophy? Total consciousness; the realisation that all entities in the universe are manifestations of the same energy. The individual as a mini-universe should learn to identify positive and negative energies in each of his actions and balance them to reach this state of consciousness. What is your mission? What is most needed in today’s world? To help seekers achieve realisation of total consciousness by living on the energy plane. This can revolutionise life in today’s world. There are several spiritual paths and as many gurus in the present age. How will a seeker recognise his destined path and his guru? Each path focuses on one or more aspects of spirituality like bhakti, knowledge, tantra, yoga and so on. We are conducting the amba yaaga this Navratri, which has nine different platforms, corresponding to bhakti, knowledge, yoga, mantra, tantra, yantra, dhyana, manasa yaga and dravya yaga. This is a complete approach to spiritual development. Incidentally, the amba yaaga was last held 5000 years ago, during the reign of King Parikshit. What is the next step after enlightenment? There is no next step, it is the ultimate state of realisation. Can the pursuit of spirituality be balanced with a householder’s life? There is no difference between the material and spiritual worlds. A seeker is as complete as the consciousness he aspires for. Look outwards and you see the material world. Look within, and you realise the self. They are essentially the same. What is the ultimate goal of human life? To achieve the understanding that one is complete in himself, and is also part of the completeness of the universe. Every human being is whole, the totality that is not within you does not exist anywhere else in the universe. You also write spiritual poetry. What is the relationship between spirituality and creativity? When you feel happy, you smile. From where did the smile come? It is a reflex of the happiness within you. When your consciousness is elevated to a state of bliss, it manifests as creativity– poetry, literature and other arts. Your mission has visions of developing instruments to measure thought-waves. How can an abstract entity like thought be quantified? Thought is not an abstraction but a form of energy. The mind, intellect, ego, ignorance are all various forms of energy and all of these can be analysed scientifically. We are researching towards this objective. Looking at the world today, what do you think lies ahead for mankind? What do you think of the belief in the New Age when society as a whole will be transformed? Mankind is on the threshold of a New Age of awakening and realisation. With the awareness of harnessing and manifesting positive energy in everyday actions, the world will be edified to a state of bliss and peace. What is your message for Life Positive readers? The self is energy, the world is energy and all actions are manifestations of the same energy. Knowing and living this knowledge will help a seeker realise his oneness with the universe. Contact: www.isalayam.com The ashram stands out as one drives through the small, irregularly sloping roads in Anayara, on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. ‘Take the second left turn from here. You can see the signboard,’ an old man on the road points out when asked for directions, adding helpfully, ‘Swami Isa just passed this way, returning to the ashram.’ The ashram is located in a residential area, a tall building that stands out amidst houses lining either side of a narrow side-road. The main entrance opens into a courtyard with steps leading into a large, somewhat dark hall, where a satsang is in progress. Swami Isa sits on a velvet cushion with a tiger-skin pattern beneath the platform decorated like a natural forest. A number of musical instruments lie on one side. Soothing bhajans fill the air as devotees sing to the rhythmic beat of cymbals. In the courtyard stands the Swasthilingam (of which more later) enveloped by several copper wires projecting from its centre, looking like a complicated piece of spiritual circuitry. There is a small queue on the first floor consisting of devotees, members of the ashram and others apparently from diverse backgrounds, waiting to meet the swami. The passage is lined with bright, laminated collages of photographs of various pujas at the ashram. A multicolored poster of the swami with the inscription ‘Aum sweet Aum’ is pasted at the entrance. The swami looks much older than his 49 years, like a venerable rishi. His voice is unusually vibrant and the words ring out emphatically when he expounds on his teachings. Yet there are no mystical airs about him, only a sense of peace that pervades his friendly conversation. His face reflects a deep serenity and his eyes radiate peace. He inquires if I pray. Yes, I respond, I meditate. ‘Show me your hands,’ he says, taking some fruit and a few flower petals from a plate. As he gives me the prasad something else falls into my hand with a forceful thud-a beautiful black shaligram, the sacred stone found in the Himalayan rivers. Swami Isa smiles affectionately all around, as if to say that the shaligram was a blessing, not meant to be a miracle. Swami Isa heads the Isalayam ashram, a spiritual organisation that believes in promoting spiritual consciousness through a strong scientific approach. The ashram also engages in holistic research and education through the application of this dictum. Born in Thiruvananthapuram in 1956, Swami Isa was spiritually inclined even as a child when he would fashion images of gods from mud and worship them with flowers. ‘My quest started right from childhood,’ reveals the swami, a smile playing on his lips. He recounts how he had his first experience of spiritual ecstasy at the age of 16. Returning home after delivering a spiritual talk on a Shivaratri night, he looked up at the crescent moon in the sky and had a vision of a beam of light descending on him. He went into a trance and awoke from it transformed. While in college, he served as a priest in a Kali temple. Here, the concept of woman as the Divine Mother took root in his mind. As a young seeker, he spent a long time in rigorous spiritual practices that culminated in a divine vision on yet another Shivaratri night in a hill cave in Kanyakumari. In that state of bliss, he felt a celestial voice calling him ‘Isa’. After this experience, he was blessed with the yogic power of materialization and gained insights into the Vedas, Upanishads and other holy scriptures. Swami Isa undertook an extensive pilgrimage visiting temples and caves across the Western Ghats during the course of which he had visions of the sage Agasthya, Lord Muruga, the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, Lord Dakshinamoorthi and various incarnations of the Divine Mother. At Palani, he experienced nirvikalpa samadhi. This journey ended at Rameshwaram where he formally commenced a monastic life. On the day of Guru Poornima in 1991, he assumed the name of Swami Isa and founded the Isalayam ashram in Thiruvananthapuram, dedicated to working towards energy consciousness. ‘Energy constitutes, sustains, and dissolves the universe. Everything is made up of energy, from a blade of grass to a fleeting thought to the entire cosmos. Recognizing this knowledge from both its objective and subjective aspects will reduce the gap between the seeker and the universe, and elevate him to a state of total consciousness,’ says Swami Isa.Energy consciousness is what Swami Isa prescribes to attain this state of heightened awareness. The swami continues: ‘ A seeker who understands the equivalence between him and the universe will experience his inherent oneness with the universe. The individual is a miniature of the universe at both physical and subtle levels. ‘ Just as the human body is composed of the same elements as the manifested universe, the individual subtle body also has the same powers of the universal subtle body that can be realized through energy consciousness. This is the underlying principle of Swami Isa’s philosophy. ‘I and my Father are one,’ said Jesus Christ. To comprehend this idea in its entirety would be to achieve the ultimate goal. Main hoon manzil, main toh safar bhi, main hi musafir hoon, sings the wandering minstrel. I am the destination, the journey and also the traveler,- the ultimate realisation that the self, the seeker and the sought are the same. There is no difference between the seeker and the Supreme Truth. Om purnamadam purnamidam purnat purnamudaschate,Purnasya purnam adaya purnameva vashishyate. (That is a complete entity. This is a complete entity. F
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