Saturday Morning Sanskrit: Tapas

Good morning! The word of the day is tapas. It means heat or austerity.

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A Costa Rican sky illuminated by the fiery sun

The root of the word, tap, means to burn. Tapas is traditionally interpreted as “fiery discipline” (here’s a Yoga Journal article on the subject). Tapas is the burning desire and motivation to keep going. It’s also consistency.

How many times have I started something with full vigor only to forget about it a few days later? This blog is a running record of all the great ideas I’ve jumped on. But sticking with something? That’s another story. Patanjali tells us that we should use our inner fire to change negative habits, whatever they are. We can recognize that we have a choice to follow or change our patterns. Simply put, tapas is self-discipline.

For background info, click here.

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