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                    Tapa (Penance or Austerities)

Uttama Tapa Dharma: Sarvarthasidhi (by Shri Pujyapad)

Tapa (penance or Austerities ) is a great purifier of soul. As a  heap of rubbish will be destroyed by fire in the same way the spiritual fire genereted by Tapa or Dhyana will completely burn the impurities of Karma associated with the self or Atma. Written in   Sarvarthasiddhi  by Shri Pujyapadda's Tapa (penance) or austerity  is of two kinds, external and internal. Each is of six subdivision.
(a) Bahya Tapa (external austerities)


(The external austerities are) fasting, reduced diet, special restrictions for begging food, giving up stimulating and delicious dishes, lonely habitation and mortification of the body.
   
Fasting is intended to promote self-control and discipline, destruction of attachment, destruction of karma and attainment of meditation and scriptural knowledge and not temporal benefits. Diminished diet is intended to develop vigilance in self-control, suppression of evils, contentment and study with ease.  Special restrictions consisting in limiting the number of houses etc. for begging food, and these are indented for overcoming desire. The fourth is giving up stimulating and delicious food. The ascetic has to make his abode in lonely places or houses in order to maintain without disturbance celibacy, study, meditation and so on. This is the fifth austerity. The different postures of living namely mortification of  body  is the sixth austerity. 
(b) Abhyantra Tapa: 
The division of internal austerities are described as


  Expiation, reverence, service, study, renunciation and meditation are the internal austerities.
 
The removal of sins committed by negligence or under the influence of passions is expistion. Reverence to the holy personage is 'vinaya'. Service is the help rendered to the saints in diffculty by bodily activity or with things. Contemplation of knowledge or giving up sloth or idleness is study. The giving up of the attitude of 'I" and 'Mine' is renunciation. Checking the rambling of mind is medtaion.
  The subdivision of internal austerities are mentioned as


Prior to meditation these are of nine, four, ten, five and two kinds respectively.
 
Expiation is of nine kinds. Reverence is of four kinds. Renunciation is of two kinds. It is mentioned prior to meditation (which is described in details later on). 
 
The subdivision of the first are described as


Confession, repentance, both, discrimination, giving up attachment to the body, penance, suspension expulsion and reinitiation.  
 
Relating one's transgression to the master without the ten faults is confession. Expression of penitence by uttering, ' my deeds be condoned' is repentance.  As the sin is corrected by the combination of the two, it is two fold expiation,. The separation of food, drink, implements of sense-control, etc. is discrimination. The next is performance of austerity by standing in a place etc. without any attachment for the body. Penance is fasting. discounting the period of penance by a week, a fortnight, a month, etc. is suspension. Expelling one from the order for a fortnight, a month etc. is expulsion which is another kind of expiation. Reinitiation consists is initiation into the order once again. 
The subdivision of reverence are mentioned as


  Reverence to knowledge, faith, conduct and the custom of homage
 
Acquiring knowledge, practicing knowledge, recollecting knowledge and so on with the object of attaining salvation constitute reverence to knowledge. Belief in the nature of reality without doubts etc. is reverence to faith. Absorption in conduct with knowledge and faith is reverence to conduct. With regard to the great ones who are not present, making obeisance with the body, speech or mind, extolling their merits and
recollecting them also constitute reverence to the custom of homage. 

                                                                                         (continued....)

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