The Hindu

In Search of Divine Light

22 April, 2005

Performing yoga regularly helps control one's inner energy

CHENNAI: Indian youth, at least by the hundreds go abroad in search of lucrative careers, every month. But then the country is also witnessing an on rush of young persons seeking to share India's USP — spiritual enlightenment.

Isha Yoga's Inner Engineering programme has around 300 participants in the United States while the experiential Bhava Spandana attracts around 500 people.

Thirty-five meditators from abroad are staying at the Centre in Coimbatore of which one third are undergoing teacher's training course in yoga. There are also similar programmes in Lebanon and Germany.

Jim H. Broom, a psychiatrist from Tennessee says, "One's intuition and ability to choose what is healthy, steadily increases with meditation. Negative self-defeating patterns and lifelong anxieties vanish and is replaced by inherent motivation through the Isha yoga programme". Barry Taylor, an Ohio-based doctor says that most people in the West understand yoga as primarily a physical exercise for the body. But for him, the physical benefit of performing yoga is of supplementary value.

The major achievement is the ability to control one's inner energy and slipping into a deep state of relaxation. Swami Akshara, a yoga guru who visits Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo, has a huge following in Japan and China. "While the Indian wisdom has touched Western nations, it has not had much impact on the East. Not surprisingly, spiritual tourism from the eastern countries to India is negligible." 

The inputs traditionally received from India get refined in the presence of a spiritual master. Toshie Sakada, a young entrepreneur from Tokyo, spares an hour every morning practicing meditation. "Master Akshara  removed my psychological fear and guilt. This helped me move ahead in life," she says. Swami Suddhananda who founded the Samvit Sagar Trust at Uthandi has been taking his teachings to South Africa. In the first international Yoga Teachers' Training Course for Self Knowledge at Tiruvannamalai, 38 students from 14 countries participated.

Similar to a gurukula system, students lived with the teacher in the ashram for a month, working on a tight schedule of yoga, meditation and lectures on Vedanta. Isabelle Brosche said the place was filled with energy and the lessons made her start thinking about life. Herman Mathews from Texas who listened to Swami Suddhananda said: "The talks explore the fundamental question of who am I, or more succinctly, who is the 'I' that asks that question."

Amanullah Khan, who hails from a 12th century noble family in Paris, wanted to know more of Sufism and is today talking of "establishing a connection with a tapestry of light." In India he has learnt that the eternal religion Din Al Qayyim and the Sanatana Dharma are the same. "The Vedas are in complete agreement with the Koran," he says. He wants to establish an Oneness Institute in his country to help people find spiritual solace. Speaking through a translator, Sebastian and Camila from Chile said they had discovered their inner peace here. They want to launch a youth movement in South America. Anette Carlstrom from Sweden found that her "fears which were in the way are now a joke." She is going to take the "oceanic experience" to similar seekers in Denmark, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belgium.

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