T antra yoga, nad a yoga and kriya yoga

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What is Tapas ?
  • That which purifies the impure mind is Tapas. That which regenerates the lower animal nature and generates divine nature is Tapas. That which cleanses the mind and destroys lust, anger, greed, etc., is Tapas. That which produces Brahma Tejas and destroys Asuric or diabolical nature is Tapas. That which destroys Tamas and Rajas and increases Sattva is Tapas. That which steadies the mind, and fixes it on the Eternal is Tapas. That which arrests the outgoing tendencies, extroversion or Bahirmukha Vritti and produces introversion or Antarmukha Vritti is Tapas. That which destroys Vasanas, egoism, Rag-Dwesha and generates dispassion, discrimination and meditation is Tapas. Tapas is spiritual discipline, Yogabhyas or Brahmabhyas. Tapas is Brahma Chintan, worship, Sadhana and meditation.
  • This is the third Anga of Niyama in Raja Yoga. It is one ofthe three items of Kriya Yoga. Tapas means austerity
    • Austerities study of scriptures, and self-surrender constitute the Yoga of Purificatory Action.
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    • TAPAS
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            • or practice of penance. The man of Tapas is brilliant like a blazing fire. Tapas means restraint of the senses and meditation also. Tapas leads to control of mind.
          • Standing on one leg, raising one hand up for a long time is also Tapas. But this is Tamasic Tapas of an ignorant man. Panchagni Tapas is sitting in the midst of four fires in the hot sun, having sun as the fifth fire. Vairagis practise this very often. Desire moves the senses. Desire can be controlled only if the senses are curbed. Tapas annihilates desires. Practise intelligent Tapas.
        • Tapas is austerity, control of senses and meditation. The aspirant is blazing like fire (Tapaati). His eves are brilliant, his voice sweet and forcible. His body is shining and beautiful. All are attracted towards him. He is like a magnet. All these are due to his Tapascharya. He who does Tapas is Tapaswin. Tapaswins go to Tapoloka. Brahman did Tapas i.e., meditation before He created the universe. He reflected over His grand plan of creation. This is His Tapas. Purify yourself through Tapas and attain the ultimate goal.
    • Forms of Tapas
      • Standing in water in winter is a lower form of Tapas. Standing in hot sun in summer is another lower form of Tapas. Panchagni Tapas is another form of Tapas. Living on sweet neem leaves or dried leaves is another type of Tapas. Perambulating round Goverdhan hill with Namaskar is another form of Tapas. Tratak on the sun, walking barefooted, living naked in snowy regions, fasting and Vratas like Ghandrayana Vrata, Ekadasi Vrata, Pradosh Vrata, Krishchara Vrata, Mouna or vow of silence, Anushtan, Purascharana, vigils etc., are different kinds of Tapas.
    • j Three Kinds of Tapas
    • Tapas is of three kinds viz., physical, verbal, and mental. Brahmacharya, service of guru and saints, practice of Ahimsa or non-violence are all Tapas of the body. Through the power of Brahmacharya Bhisma and Hanuman did marvellous deeds. Through the power of Chastity, Damayanti burnt the hunter, Anusuya converted the Trimurtis into babies,
    • Savitri brought back Satyavan from Lord Yama. The power of Brahmacharya is more powerful than the power of physical Tapas. To speak the truth, to observe vow of silence, not to hurt others by unkind words or harsh words, to speak words that are beneficial, study of scriptures are all Tapas of the speech. Poise, mental restraint or Sama, purity of nature, one-pointedness of mind, mental happiness, cheerfulness, cleanliness of life, are all Tapas of mind.
    • Abandon Tapas Abhimana
      • Viswamitra's Tapas was of a Rajasic type. He had Tapas Abhimana. He was egoistic and was proud of his Tapas. He always fought with the Sattvic Vasishta. His pride was quelled in the end. Both went to Lord Brahma, the creator, to find out " Who is a greater Tapaswin ? " Brahma said, " He who brings the Surya Devata in my presence is a great Tapaswin." Viswamitra approached Surya. Surya said, " Bring somebody to take up my work. I shall come to Brahma now." Viswamitra was not able to do it. Thereupon Vasishta placed his Brahma Danda. It shone with brilliance and did the work of sun. Surya came to Brahma and paid his respects. Viswamitra put his head down in shame. And silently repaired to his abode. Therefore abandon Tapas Abhimana. Practise Sattvic Tapas and give up Tamasic Tapas. Make the Tapas Sattvic and destroy egoism through self-surrender or Atma Bhav.
    • Mental Tapas
        • Mental Tapas is more powerful than physical Tapas. He who bears heat and cold does physical Tapas. He increases his power of endurance, but he may not be able to bear insult. He, will be easily upset by a harsh or unkind word. He may take revenge and do tit for tat. He has not control over the mind. He has disciplined only his physical body. To keep a balanced mind in all conditions of life, to bear insult, injury and persecutions, to be ever serene, contented and peaceful, to be cheerful in adverse conditions, to have fortitude in meeting danger, to have presence of mind and forbearance are all forms of mental Tapas.
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    • Highest Tapas
    • Conventionally, eating neem leaves, standing in water, sitting in the hot sun, bearing heat and cold, standing on one leg with raised hands, etc., are considered as Tapas. People speak of such persons as Tapaswins. They say, " Ram Brahmachari is a great Tapaswin, He lives on leaves and has no clothing. He does Panchagni Tapas in hot summer." These are all forms of physical Tapas. Philosophically meditation is the highest form of Tapas. Fixing the wandering mind on God or Brahman is great Tapas. Vichara and Nididhyasana are the highest Tapas. Enquiry of "who am I ?" is the supreme Tapas. Pratyahara, Pranayama, Dharana and Samadhi, practice ofthe four means, Navavidha Bhakti are great Tapas.
    • By study of Scriptures comes the communion with the tutelery deity.
      • Swadhyaya is the study of scriptures such as Gita, Upanishads, Ramayana, Bhagavat, etc. The study should be (.lone with concentration. You should understand what you have studied and try to put in your everyday life all that you have learnt. There will be no benefit in your study, if you *do not exert to live up to the teachings of the scriptures. Swadhyaya includes also Japa, the repetition of Mantras. By constant study and its practice in daily life will lead one to have communion with God.
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    • He has not even the thought of salvation ; rather he does not want salvation, even, he merely wants God and nothing hut God. He is satisfied with the love of God, for by that there is nothing that is not attained. What is there to be attained when God has sent His Grace upon the devotee ? The devotee does not want to become sugar but taste sugar. There is pleasure in tasting sugar, but not in becoming sugar itself. So the devotee feels that there is supreme joy more in loving God than in becoming God. God shall take complete care ofthe devotee. " I am Thine," says the devotee.
      • This self-surrender is Absolute Love for God alone. There is nothing but God-consciousness in the devotee. Even against his own wishes, the devotee shall become one with God and lose his individuality. This is the law of being. The Highest Truth is Absoluteness and the soul rises above through different states of consciousness until it attains Absolute perfection when it becomes identical with God. This is the culmination of all aspiration and love.
        • There are innumerable verses in the Bhagavadgita and the Bhagavata establishing the truth that self-surrender is the only way to attain the Supreme. Krishna teaches to Arjuna that self-surrender, total and exclusive, alone can give him peace and relieve him from all sins.
          • One who studies the Bhagavadgita and the Srimad Bhagavata will come to know what a great importance is given to total self-surrender. For self-surrender is the annihilation of individual consciousness and the attainment of Absolute Consciousness. This is equal to Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
            • The devotee flies to the state of the highest Mahabhava and merges himself in God. The wave subsides in the ocean. The spark becomes one with fire. The ray is absorbed into the Sun. The mind merges in the Atma. The individual loses itself in the Absolute. The devotee becomes one with God. Worldly consciousness vanishes into universal consciousness. Man becomes God and the mortal becomes-Immortal.*
        • By self-surrender ccmes the attainment of Samadhi-superconscious state.
          • The self-surrender should be free, perfect, unconditioned and ungrudging. Then the Samadhi will come by itself. This Swara Pranidhana is highest self-surrender.
      • Atma Nivedana is self-surrender. In the Vishnu Sahasranama it is said : " The heart of one who has taken refuge in Vasudeva, who is wholly devoted to Vasudeva, gets entirely purified, and he attains Brahman, the Eternal."
    • The devotee offers everything to God including his body, mind and soul. He keeps nothing for himself. He loses even his own little self. He has no personal and independent existence. He has given up his self for God. He has become part and parcel of God. God takes care of him and God treats him as Himself. Grief and sorrow, pleasure and pain, the devotee treats as gifts sent by God and does not attach himself to them. He considers himself as a puppet of God and an instrument in the hands of God. He does not feel egoistic, for he has no ego. His ego has gone over to God. It is not his duty to take care of his wife, children, etc., for he himself has no independent existence apart from God. God will take care of all. He knows how to lead the world in the right path. One need not think that he is born to lead the world. God is there who will look to everything which man cannot even dream of. He has no sensual craving for he has no body as it is offered to God. He does not adore or love his body for it is God's business to see to it. He only feels the presence of God and nothing else. He is fearless for God is helping him at all times. He has no enemy for he has given himself up to God who has no enemies or friends. He has no anxiety for he has attained everything by attaining the grace of God^
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    • of these Slokas, he will realise the goal of life soon. There is no doubt of this.
      • The self-surrender must be total, ungrudging and unreserved. You must not keep certain desires for gratification. Mira says : " I have given my whole heart, mind, intellect, soul, my all to my Girdhar Gopal." This is perfect self-surrender.
        • A real devotee will not ask the Lord even for Mukti. So long as the subtle desire for liberation lingers in one's heart he cannot claim himself to be a true devotee of the Lord. Though the desire for emancipation is of Sattvic nature, yet the devotee has become a slave of Mukti. He is still selfish and so is unfit to call himself a sincere lover of God. He has not yet made total, unreserved self-surrender. To ask for Mukti is a variety of hyprocrisy. Can a true devotee dare ask anything from God, when he fully knows that He is an ocean of love and compassion ?
          • A real devotee never complains against God. A raw Bhakta speaks ill of God when he is in distress. He says " I have done 25 lakhs of Japa. I am studying Bhagavat daily. Yet God is not pleased with me. He has not removed my suffering. God is blind. He has not heard my prayers. What sort of God is Lord Krishna ? I have no faith in Him."
            • A real Bhakta rejoices in suffering, pain and destitution. He welcomes grief and sorrow always, so that he may not forget God even for a second. He has the firm belief that God does everything for his good only. Kiinti Devi prayed to Krishna : " О Lord ! give me pain always. Then only I will remember Thee always."
          • In Puri a saint who completely dedicated himself to Lord Hari was seriously ailing from chronic dysentery. He became quite helpless. Lord Hari of Puri was serving him for months in the form of a servant. The Law of Prarabdha is inexorable. Nobody can escape from the operation of this infallible law. The Lord did not want the Bhakta to take another birth for the exhaustion of his Prarabdha. So His devotee has to suffer from protracted ailment. This was his Karmic purgation. But He himself served him, as the devotee surrendered himself completely. Look at the un-11
            • Sakrudeva prapannaya tawasmiti cha yachate Abhayam sarvabhutebhyo dadamyelad vritanmama.
    • " I remove all fears of all beings even if they come to Me only once and seek My refuge ; calling themselves as Mine—This is My vow." [Sri Ramachandra's Vow.) Throughout the Gita there is a ringing note that surrender and devotion are absolutely necessary for the attainment of God-consciousness. In reality, the nine modes of devotion (Navavidha Bhakti) are reducible to one, viz-, Atmanivedan. The following Gita Slokas will impress on your mind the importance of devotion and self-surrender.
        • Tameva saranam vachha sarva bhavena Bharata Tat prasalatparam sthanam prapyasi saswatam. l: Flee unto Him for shelter with all thy being, О Bharata;
      • by His Grace thou shall obtain supreme peace, the everlasting
      • dwelling-peace." {Chap. XVIII, 62)
          • Manmanabhava madbhakto madyaji mam namaskuru Mamevaishyasi satyam te pralijane priyosi me.
    • " Merge thy mind in Me. be My devotee, sacrifice to Me, prostrate thvself before Me, thou shalt come even to Me." (Chap. XVIII, 65)
    • Sarvadharman Parilyajya mamekam saranam vraja Aham Twa sarvapapebhyo mokshayikshyarni ma sucha. " Abandoning all duties come to Me, for shelter ; sorrow not, I liberate thee from all sins." (Chap. XVIII, 66) Slokas 65 and 66 of Chapter XVIII are the most important Slokas of the Gita. The gist of the teachings of Lord Krishna is here. If anyone can live in the true spirit
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    • secret of surrender
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    • bounded mercy of the Lord, fie becomes a slave of His devotee when they entirely depend upon Him.
      • Self-surrender does not mean retirement into the forests. It does not mean giving up of all activities. Tamas or inertia is mistaken for self-surrender. This is a sad mistake. What is wanted is internal surrender. The ego and desire must be annihilated. This will constitute real surrender. The Rajasic mind stands 'obstinate to effect complete self-surrender. Obstinacy is a great obstacle to surrender. The lower nature again and again rises up to assert itself. There is resurrection of desires. Desires get suppressed for some time. Again they manifest themselves with redoubled force. Man is dragged hither and thither by these desires. Believe in the Divine possibilities. Completely dedicate yourself to the Lord. Have full trust in Him. Rest in peace. All cares, worries, anxieties, tribulations and egoistic efforts will terminate now.
        • Look at Prahalada's surrender and faith in God ! He completely resigned himself to Lord Hari. No other thought save thoughts of God occupied his mind. He had His full Grace and benediction even though he was ill-treated by his father in a variety of ways. He was hurled down from the top of a cliff. He was trampled upon by the elephant. He was poisoned. He was thrown into the sea with the legs tied by iron chains. Cobras were thrown over him. His nose was filled with poisonous gas. He was thrown into fire. Boiling oil was poured over his head. Yet his faith in Narayana was not shaken even a bit. The name of Narayana was always on his lips. Such must be the faith of every devotee.
          • Pray to God fervently. " О Lord ! Make my will strong to resist all temptations, to control my Indriyas and lower nature, to change my old evil habits and to make my surrender complete and real. Enthrone Thyself in my heart. Do not leave this place even for a second. Use my body, mind and organs as thy instruments. Make me fit to dwell in Thee for ever."
            • Give up all ideas of duty and responsibility. Allow the Divine Will to work unhampered now. This is the secret
    • of surrender. You will feel you are a changed being. This exalted state is ineffable. A great transformation will come upon you. You will be enveloped by a halo of divine effulgence. You will be drowned in indescribable bliss, peace and joy. Your old little self is dead now. You are now a changed spiritual being. Your individual will is merged in the cosmic will. You are now illumined by the divine light. All ignorance has melted now. Enjoy the immortal divine life wherein there is neither despair nor fear, neither hunger nor thirst, neither doubt nor delusion. Shine in Divine Splendour and Glory.
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    • little self and the fruits of one's actions at the feet of Lord." Self-surrender is one ofthe three limbs of Kriya Yoga. Then again Self-surrender is one of the five items in Niyama. The Kriya Yoga destroys the five Kleshas (afflictions) and prepares the mind for union with the Lord.
        • Lord Krishna says in His Gita : " Abandoning all duties, come unto Me alone for shelter, sorrow not. I will liberate thee from sins." This is a powerful Saranagati-mantra that will help the devotee in effecting his self-surrender if he keeps up the Bhav of this Sloka constantly before his mind.
      • This corresponds to the Saranagati-mantra " Sri Rama Saranam Mama " " I surrender myself to Sri Rama " of Bhaktas of Sri Rama, " Sri Krishna Saranam Mama " " I surrender myself to Sri Krishna " of Bhaktas of Lord Krishna, " Sreeman Narayancharanau Saranam prapadye " " I surrender myself to Lord Narayan " of Bhaktas of Lord Hari. Those who repeat the above Mantras with Bhav will get the grace of the Lord soon. They will be able to do perfect self-surrender.
            • Repetition of these formulae,
          • "I am Thine, My Lord, All is Thine, Thy will be done" will help you in getting Lord's grace and in effecting self-surrender. Even if you say once from the core of your heart, from the central, inner being, with one-pointed devotion, with ICO percent of your mind or 16 annas of mind ' I am Thine, My Lord ' the gulf that separates you from God will be bridged over at once. The mind, Chitta, heart, intellect and soul should all combine harmoniously effecting the surrender. Then only the self-surrender will be true, complete and perfect. If the mind says ' I am Thine my Lord,' if the Buddhi says " I am Mr. so and so. I am an M.L.C. I know everything. I am a powerful judge," if Chitta says " I must have the Siddhi to get whatever I want" and if the soul says "lama great devotee," you are only a hypocrite. You have not made any kind of self-surrender. Beware of moral and spiritual pride. Maya assumes various subtle forms. Moral and spiritual pride of aspirants are more dangerous than the ordinary pride of wealth, power and position of worldly-minded persons.
      • Self-surrender is Saranagati or Atma Nivedan. This is one of the nine modes of Bhakti. The Bhakta (devotee) starts with Sravan or hearing the Lilas and Gunas of the Lord, slowly ascends the different rungs in the ladder of Bhakti Yoga and ultimately reaches the highest rung, Atma Nivedan. The will of the devotee becomes one with the cosmic Will. The devotee becomes one with the Lord and enjoys all divine Aiswarya (Vibhutis). Eight siddhis and nine Riddhis roll under his feet. They stand with folded hands to obey implicitly the commands of the devotee. The devotee feels and sees the Lord in every hair follicle of his body, in every atom and molecule. This state is Achintya (unthinkable) and Anirdeshya (indescribable). Lord speaks and works through the different organs of His Bhakta, as his egoism is totally destroyed. The obstacles that stand in the way of Self-Surrender are desires and egoism. The self-surrender must be total, unreserved, ungrudging and unconditioned. Sometimes the devotee keeps certain desires for his own gratification. That is the reason why he is not able to make perfect self-surrender and have Darshan of his Ishtam. The egoism is very stiff and obstinate. It is like hard granite. It has to be split asunder through constant hammering with the chisel of Bhakti. Even the very hard diamond is pierced through by another harder material and a slender wire is passed through the hole in the diamond when a necklace is made. Even so this hard Antahkaran or heart must be pierced through by self-surrender and the slender thread of Bhakti must be passed through the heart. Then only Lord will take His seat in the heart of His devotee.
        • The devotee even expects God to do the self-surrender for himself. This is mere foolishness only. He will have to do the self-surrender himself. Remember this point well.
    • Tamas or inertia is mistaken for self-surrender. In Patanjali Yoga Sutras there is an aphorism " Ishwara prani-dhanaadwa " " Samadhi can be attained by surrendering the
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    • ward motion. Contract sphincter muscles. After this practice, you will have a free motion.
    • Jala Basti : This is more effective. Squat in a tank or river, very near the shore, where the water is not more than knee-deep. The buttocks should not touch the ground. The trunk may be slightly bent forward. Now perform Uddiyana Bandha twice or thrice and thus throw out all the air from the abdomen. Then do Nauli Kriya. Open the anus through Aswini Mudra. Now a vacuum is created within the abdomen and water automatically enters the colon. Then, come out of water and again with the help of Uddiyana Bandha and Aswini Mudra expel the water from the colon.
      • You can sit in a tub containing water and do this. In the initial state, you may need to insert a small bamboo tube five inches long, to help you keep the anus open. If you use the bamboo tube, then lubricate one end of it with vaseline.
        • This is only for occasional practice to remove accumulation in intestines.
    • Neti
        • Unclean nostrils will lead you to irregular breathing. Irregular breathing will make you sick. Neti Kriya is intended for the purification of nostrils. Take a fine piece of strong thread. There should be no knots throughout. Insert the ends ofthe thread into each nostril and catch hold of the loose thread firmly. By deep inhalation, you can draw the thread inside. Then slowly pull it out. Do this through both nostrils. The nostrils will be thoroughly cleansed.
    • Nauli
          • Nauli is a powerful exercise for regenerating, invigorating and stimulating the abdominal viscera and the gastrointestinal or alimentary system. For the practice of Nauli, you should have a good practice of Uddiyana Bandha.
            • Stand, legs a foot apart and rest your hands on the thighs with a slight curve of the back. Do a strong and
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