The importance of
tapas & swādhyāya

Contd. from knowledge sheet 79

The biggest problem with lovers is that though they love each other, they start demanding from each other: “Look, how much I love you! What did you do for me?” or, they say, “Do you really love me? Prove it to me now!” Proving each other’s love becomes a burden. Many a time, couples try to play the game of not being happy and look to the other person to cajole them and make them happy. You are losing your dignity when you make others cajole you and make you happy. You be happy! You are the source of happiness. Nobody else, other than yourself, can make you happy. You need to show (without saying) that, “Hey, come on. You cannot put me down or spoil my mood.” This should be your message to others.

kāyendriyasiddhiraśuddhikṣayāt tapasaḥ ॥43॥

कायेन्द्रियसिद्धिरशुद्धिक्षयात् तपसः ॥४३॥

Doing tapas brings purity to the body and senses, removes impurities, and makes them strong.

- Patañjali Yoga Sutra 2.43

By tapas, the body and the senses become strong because you are willingly doing something that is not easy. When you fast, you are not pleasing God, you are not going to heaven, or getting enlightened. So, what happens when you practice tapas? Your body becomes strong. Your resistance power increases. The effect of tapas is that the body and senses become strong. Ashuddhi kshaya, the impurities in you are eliminated.

Tapas means endurance.

Tapo vay dwanda sahana

Tapas is indeed endurance of the opposites.

Life is full of opposites - of pain-pleasure, good-bad, friends-enemies, and praise-blame. When these things appear in life, just learn to take them with equanimity. The more you have the ability to endure the opposites, the higher is your tapas. What does tapas do? It brings strength to your body and mind. Kayaindriya siddhi. The body gets prepared to hold the infinite consciousness. The body-mind complex gets prepared to emit the divinity that is there in everyone. 


svādhyāyād iṣṭadevatāsaṁprayogaḥ ॥44॥

स्वाध्यायादि् इष्टदेवतासंप्रयोगः ॥४४॥

By self-study, the desired deity’s presence is felt.

- Patañjali Yoga Sutra 2.44


By self-study, by observing, by becoming hollow and empty, we become the Divine’s channel. You are part of the Divine. You are able to feel the presence of divinity. All different angels and devās, which are different forms of your consciousness, start to blossom.

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(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)