Hansaji on ‘Tapa’ (Fortitude) at the Satsang

The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 23rd June, 2013 was ‘Tapa.’ (Fortitude).

Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.

Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra
Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra

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“Why should one do Tapa in yoga? Because sometimes a person becomes a slave of his weaknesses. As Dr. Jayadeva said, learn to say ‘no’ and mean it. What is not to be done, should not be done. But our determination wavers and we keep doing it. We are not able to develop our inner strength.

Yoga philosophy says with great clarity that we must overcome our weaknesses because they will keep getting into our way to progress. Every individual has weaknesses and even certain parts of the body may be sensitive. So he/she must work on it. If you think that your body is not flexible, you will have to work at it constantly, make a time-table, at least four times a day do something for that area, then only will you achieve some results. Just doing Asanas one time will not help. If you have diabetes, you must refuse sweets. First bring yourself and your body in a balanced state. If you have high blood pressure, decide to sit quietly and peacefully for five minutes every two hours. This hard work that we do by taking a personal decision to overcome our weaknesses is Tapa.

It is not so convenient, but it has to be done to remove the weakness. And so in the area of health we have to make a time-table and strictly follow it. Being householders, if we cannot find enough time for example to do Asanas for 15 minutes, then we should do it for 1 minute. But it must be done without fail. This much determination must be there. A little flexibility in the rules would be there as there are other responsibilities for example, you might have to take care of someone who is hospitalized. But mentally remember the commitment and do some or other exercise even while sitting in the hospital.

God helps those who help themselves. Why should someone else do anything for you if you haven’t done anything for yourself? Even Nature will help but are you sincere? Do you really want to be pain-free and free from diseases? Then do Tapa. If a person has determination, a good amount of strength and energy comes automatically because the mind is very focussed. And this strength comes useful in everything, even in living life. This energy helps in burning weaknesses.

I can recall many examples. There was a young boy who used to drive down here from Borivali. He used to like the Mithibai area’s sandwich a lot. He realized it was his weakness. He decided to stop eating it and so he began taking another road to avoid that area. Because of his determination, his concentration increased, memory and studies improved and recently I got the news that he has now become a Chartered Accountant. He has now become focussed. So a different kind of strength develops in a person because of Tapa.

Tapa even leads to miracles. In our scriptures it is written that the Tapasvis of the past could perform many miracles. Durvasa for example was a Tapasvi. If he cursed someone, it would come true. Householders tend to want to please others and so they adjust. Even if we are not well we will go to someone’s wedding so that they will not be displeased. But we must decide that the first important thing is to maintain balance in yourself.
While the weakness is still there, we must work at removing it and later as a result we will tend to use only how much energy is required by us. If you using up too much energy in worrying too much, stop it. This awareness and understanding starts coming.

So Tapa is something that each individual needs to do because we are all born with some or other physical, mental and emotional weakness. So let’s work on ourselves and see to it that we overcome our weakness and then enjoy good health and a good life.”
– Smt. Hansaji J. Yogendra


Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.
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