[Advaita-l] Tapas

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Mon Nov 25 00:28:00 CST 2013

undoubtedly tapas has many different meanings ( just as many other sanskrit
words in vedanta ) and has to be understood depending on the context. it
has different meanings even as between the various darshanas. broadly it
could be classified ubder two categories namely karma marga and jnana
marga. tapas under the first category leads to the attainment of the first
three purusharthas ( dharma/artha/kama ) while tapas under the second
category leads to the attainment of the fourth purushartha ( moksha ). what
the asuras performed come under the karma marga and was characterized by
severe austerities etc. the goal was to get some favours/boons etc. in fact
thanks to the pauranikas narrating the various stories from the smrities
like puranas this meaning has almost been considered by the general public
as the only meaning of the word tapas.
however in vedanta tapas has a totally different meaning. here again it can
be classified under two headings namely for gaining eligibility for brahma
vidya and secondly as sadhana for brahma vidya. in the first category which
enables the sadhaka to become a sadhana chatushtaya sampannah, tapas
consists of strict discipline pertining to all actions, body/verbal/mental
( kaya,vacha,manasa ) . sadhana chatushtaya refers to viveka,vichara,
shamadi shatka sampattih (shama/dama/uparathi/titiksha/shradha/samadhana )
and mumukshutva. during this phase tapas is basically relating to action
including mental actions. in the second category, tapas mainly means
 continuous uninterrupted atma tatva vichara ( references have been given
in sri Subramaniam's mail ) leading to moksha/jivanmukti.



On Sun, Nov 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM, Sumitha Ramachandran <
sumitha.rama at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste.
>                What is Tapas? What is its importance in gaining
> Moksha/Jivan Mukti? Is Tapas done always with an end result in mind like
> Asuras/Devas did?
> Kindly requesting for answers with scriptural references.
> Thanking in advance,
> Regards,
> Sumitha Ramachandran
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