Early Life of Swami Isa
In a quiet village on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, a baby was born to Krishnan and Retnamma during the culmination of a festival at the great Padmanabhaswamy Temple in 1956. Young Mohankumar felt even from boyhood a strong passion for God. He was different in His thoughts and deeds right from childhood. Unlike other children who spent their time in sport, the young Mohan time was spent creating the images of gods and goddesses from mud, and worshipping them with flowers, or in fasting and prayer. He loved to hear stories of the great saints and sages of days past. The child had a prodigious intelligence and an extraordinary memory.
At the age of 16 Mohan had his first experience of spiritual ecstasy on a Shivarathri night. He was returning home after delivering a spiritual talk at the Keleshwaram Shiva temple. It was half past midnight. Walking alone in the middle of a paddy field the boy happened to look at the dark sky and saw a beautiful crescent moon. Suddenly, a beam of snow-white light descended towards him. He fell on the ground, entering a trace. Hours passed. When he woke up, a subtle transformation had taken place within him. From that day onwards, Mohankumar had a strong determination about the direction of his life, and began wearing white clothes.
Mohan received a college degree while at the same time performing the duties of a priest at a temple for the Divine Mother, and studying under a great traditional Ayurveda physician.
The intense yearning to see his favourite deity face-to-face had driven the young aspirant across hills and mountains, and he spent a long period deeply immersed in rigorous spiritual practices. On another Shivaratri night at Maruthuva Malai Hill, where he had been living in a cave for some time in silence, he sat with a heart yearning to see the Almighty, and was blessed with the beautiful image appearing before him in all divine glory. Everything else vanished from his sight except the Lord. It was the supreme moment of God realization. Experiencing a steady flow of bliss, he heard the Almighty's divine voice lovingly and tenderly calling him "ISA...!" It echoed again and again in his heart, thus bestowing him with the name Isa.
Overflowing with divine love, visions and yogic powers he began his journey from temple to temple and cave to cave, across the Sahya Hills (the western ghats) and Himalayas, where numerous divine experiences awaited him. Once reaching back home, He realised that a monastic life alone was possible for Him. Convincing His beloved parents of His yogic mastery over the panchabhoota (the five elements - earth, water, fire, air, and ether), they granted their consent for his new life, and He set out on his parivrajaka vruthi (the journey undertaken by a religious mendicant dedicating himself at the feet of God). The grace of the Divine guided Him through innumerable cosmic experiences on His journey.
The darshan (holy vision)of the sage Agasthya at Neyyar Dam; the vision of Lord Muruga and the experience of Nirvikalpa samadhi while meditating at the famous temple at Palani; the Cosmic dance of Lord Shiva to the accompaniment of the divine symphony of flute, veena, and mridangam at Chidambaram; the vision of Lord Dakshinamoorthi revealing the inner meaning of the Dakshinamoorthi Sthothram at Thiruvannamalai, the home of the great saint Ramana Maharshi; the Divine Mother appearing in different cosmic incarnations like Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi, and Maha Saraswathi while sitting in meditation on the famous Sarvajna Peetom of Adi Sankara at Kudajadri near the temple of Mookambika; and wild animals befriending him in the Kudanchikkal hills are only some of the myriad of divine experiences that He lived.
The long journey ended at Rameswaram where the ordained rituals to complete the parivrajaka life were performed. The young saint returned home with all the grace and strength of spiritual wisdom. For a brief period He spent time in silent contemplation of God in a small hut near His ancestral home at Oruvathilkotta. Though He didn't want to be noticed by anyone, many people realised the divine presence in him. People from all walks of life began pouring in to seek blessings from the "Swami." On the day of Gurupoornima in 1991 He formally accepted the name “Swami Isa.” That marked the humble beginning of the ashram Isalayam and its divine mission.
Spiritual seekers and ardent devotees, sensing the great divinity in Swami Isa, are instinctively drawn to Him. Every devotee has the impression of having an individual and personal relation with the Divine. Swami Isa guides earnest devotees to pursue the path of self-realization through His loving care and spiritual wisdom.