Often TAPAS, a commonly known “Niyama” is encountered and found to be a fascinating word, but is gravely misunderstood by the young enthusiasts on their path of learning Yoga. It is not the perception of the understanding but the appropriate knowledge one needs to have before moving further in the understanding of the basic principles of well-being and spiritual growth, as defined in numerous texts and Patanjali Sutras for Yoga.
Often, we come across people who have developed skills and talent in certain aspects (which could be common or very unique). For ease, let us consider the common ones, such as singing, dancing and sports. It is quiet obvious that it takes certainly a great deal of effort and patience to excel in these fields. Some inherited skill and ability does exist in all of us, BUT the one’s who stand apart in these fields are also the ones who have employed greater amount of time and focused energy. Those who excel or possess extraordinary skills are the ones who must have certainly put more efforts and increased their endurance in their respective fields.
So what factor or ‘base element’ helps or has been instrumental towards this? One can say – Practice, focus, luck, ability to adapt, desire etc… The number of factors may just continue. Aren’t these all factors available in all of us and at some point? Weren’t we all at the same point where a person with extraordinary skill also started and we all must have been on the same platform?
At what point the defining moment changed is the factor of austerity. It can be a considered as a kind of discipline (or severity) towards the practice of every aspect mentioned above. Discipline by force and compromise may not be permanent, and will look for options to vent out, austerity on the other hand is the result from desire – to achieve or be at a level where you discover yourself at peace.
This article was first published here: http://shrimantrana.com/2016/04/austerity-tapas-is-not-a-form-of-compromise/