Niyama (3): Tapas |


Niyama (3): Tapas

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What are you working towards right now? Do you have any plans or projects?
Creating a new garden? Finding a new job? Moving house? A dream holiday? Running a marathon? Improving your health? Helping others in practical ways? Helping others to live better lives? Finding more peace and contentment in your own life? Seeking union with the Divine?

Your goal may be material, practical, psychological or spiritual but if we intend to truly succeed at something in life then in addition to a clear vision, necessary skills, a degree of luck or good fortune it most definitely requires determination, hard work and a degree of discipline. Agreed?

When we embark on a mission or a project we may start off with determination but there are often moments along the way when we lose our momentum, we just don’t feel like doing something even though we know that it’s good for us and our goal. Fears may arise, challenges rear these moments that is when we must apply TAPAS.

Nothing to do with small plates of tasty Spanish food! Patanjali set this as one of the Niyamas as he realised that in order to succeed we need fiery discipline. The word ‘tap’ in Sanskrit simply means to burn. For those of us on the true yogic path, seeking union with the Divine, tapas provides the element needed to burn away impurities physically, mentally and emotionally in order to reveal our true greatness and ultimately to burn away ego revealing the Higher Self or soul. Self discipline is essential, for this work often involving reading scriptures, praying, contemplating or meditating on the Divine in addition to living out our true purpose in life, often serving and helping others. 

So whether you are working towards a spiritual goal or a slightly more mundane goal, do tap in to your inner wisdom (not your ego) and find that fiery discipline required for success. And I also wish you good luck to help you get there!!

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21 Oct, 2020
Jan Hall
Thank you for your reminder to revisit the Niyamas, and re-invigorate my tapas! :)