Tapasaya (October 2014)

What image does come to your mind when you hear the word Tapasya? For the majority of people, it is of a sage sitting under a tree in the meditative pose with his back straight, eyes closed, and hands in gyan mudra. However prevalent this association may be, relevancy of tapasya is much broader than meditation only: without tapasaya, no worthy goal can be achieved in life. By now it must be clear that this month’s topic is Tapasya (self-discipline). The words Tapasya and Tapas are derived from the Sanskrit root word tapa (tap means hard work and taap means heat).

There is a misconception that intelligence is an in-born quality. Of course, some people are born with a ready mind, which can create wonders when exposed to the right environment; but, that doesn’t mean others can’t. With a strong willpower and passion, anybody can achieve more than what anybody has ever achieved.

Many of you must have heard the story of Sant Kalidaas. It is very interesting and illuminating how he from being a complete ignorant (was known as maha-murkh) became the world renowned poet and writer in the Sanskrit language when he resolved to do so. Rather than capturing the story here, I will encourage kids to do their own research. The goal is to reflect on his achievements, viewing it in the context of the role of tapasya in success. In addition to this story, kids are also encouraged to research and use stories and real-life experiences that resonate with this month’s topic.

Harsh Mendiratta