What is Tapas? What are the types of Tapas?
Tapas means Sacrifice, understood as spiritual practice, discipline and it is thanks to this that the great processes of creation, preservation and destruction take place. Tapas is the means for the realization of the Self; If the mind, the intellect and the senses are subjected to tapas, that is to say to the crucible of discipline and spiritual exercise, the Self emerges revealed.
"Make sacrifices if you want to be saved" this is what all the Holy Scriptures of every country declare, but man since ancient times has always preferred to sacrifice everything, animals, etc .. and never the only thing he really should have sacrificed: the own ego.
Sai Baba says: "You don't have to sacrifice a lamb, a cow or a horse, but your animality, bestial lust and greed, hatred and wickedness. Sacrifice them and you will earn the paradise of immutable peace. Killing a sheep is a petty scam that does not deceive anyone. The animal to be killed is within you, the cowardly beast that goes mad in the blind and criminal wrath of the masses. "
The mind, the intellect and the senses are always turned towards external objects, they are perpetually oriented externally. As soon as a sound comes from the outside world, the ear hears it, as soon as the ear hears it, the eye tries to see it. When the eye has seen it, the mind desires it. The intellect immediately approves the idea and is ready to acquire it as soon as possible. Thus, one after the other, each sense organ pursues external objects: one supports the other, miserably and relentlessly. Man must therefore keep the mind, reasoning faculty and senses under control, which wander aimlessly, chasing objective pleasures; he must train them to take on the task of concentrating all attention on the glory and majesty of God, to follow a systematic one-way disciplinary path. Take them and lead them all towards the highest path, keep their illicit behavior in check; They must be educated through the repetition of the Lord's Name, meditation, good deeds, or other dedicated and exalted activities that purify. When words, feelings and activities are directed towards a single end, that is, towards God, this is the process of purification of the internal tools of man, called TAPAS.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF TAPAS?
The types of Tapas can be many as we can also summarize them in one: Offering ourselves entirely to God.
However, here we insert some texts taken from the discourses of Sathya Sai Baba:
PURITY: Eliminate bad thoughts, bad habits, petty activities that weaken self-respect.
SERVICE: Serve others who are like you a reflection of the same entity. None of you have an authenticity, if not referring to the Original
MUTUALITY: Always feel related to all creation. You see the same current flowing through all the objects in the Universe.
TRUTH: Do not deceive anyone, not even yourself, by distorting your experiences.
We must always follow the fourfold path of discipline. THE SADHANA CHATUSHTHAYA
1) NITYANITYAVIVEKA: The discernment between what is eternal and what is transitory, between the immutable and the mutable, that is, the awareness that the universe is constantly subject to change and modification, while only the Brahman (God) is immobile.
2) HAMRITA PALA BHOGA VIRAGA: The detachment from the pleasures of this world and also from the pleasures obtainable in heaven with the belief that they are fleeting and mixed with pain
3) SAMADHANADI SHAKTHKA SAMPATI: The achievement of the five favorable qualifications which are:
· Control of the internal / external senses and their impulses
· Strength and patience in enduring pain and hardship, in joy and victory
· Abstention of all binding actions
Firm faith in the teacher and in the texts he exposes
· Constant contemplation of the Divine without being disturbed by other thought waves
4) UPARATI: The withdrawal of the senses, their internalization and the constancy in maintaining that state
These types of tapas lead man to final bliss, however not everyone is able to practice these difficult sacrifices. But they should at least try to stick to the five kinds of sacrifices (tapas) that every man must conduct in order to live in the dharma:
1. DAIVAYAJNA: SACRIFICE FOR GOD
Each house must have a room or an altar to worship the Lord
2. RISHIYAJNA: SACRIFICE FOR THE WISE (RISHI)
Activities, study, spiritual practice to pay honor and homage to the Sages.
3. PITRUYAJNA: SACRIFICE FOR PARENTS
Adoration or gratitude for parents
4. ATITHIYAJNA: SACRIFICE FOR THE GUEST
Hospitality and reverence towards the guest or those who ask for food and shelter
5. BHUTAYAJNA: SACRIFICE FOR ANIMALS
Take care of and make happy the animals that work for us or those for companionship.
This is the real tapas that every man must do; you don't need the forest or anything else outside. We have been given this body and this life as an instrument to find God and only through the right discipline will we reach the goal.
Love and reverence are the true sources of Sacrifice.