[Advaita-l] BGBh and yoga - yama-niyama - I

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 19 11:27:50 CDT 2005

--- Amuthan Arunkumar R <aparyap at yahoo.co.in> wrote:
> namo nArAyaNAya !
> dear list members,
> --- S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Is the word "tapas" ever defined (as in a formal
> > definition) in
> > any of the scriptures (gItA or elsewhere), or is the
> > meaning
> > taken for granted? 
> well, there may be a lot of definitions of tapas
> elsewhere, but one that i can immediately refer to is
> the definition of tapas in a three-fold way given by
> SrI kR^ishNa in SrImadbhagavadgItA,
> devadvijaguruprAj~napUjana.m SaucamArjava.m .
> brahmacharyamahimsA cha SArira.m tapa uchyate ..
> (17/14)
> Worship of deva-s, dvija-s, guru, and the enlightened
> sages, cleanliness, straightforwardness, continence
> and non-violence constitute the tapas of the body.
> (17/14) 

Just want to point out that the above does NOT constitute a
definition of tapas! It merely says what tapas is in relation to
the body.

For example, when asked for a definition of "dharma", one cannot
provide the statement "dharma for a brAhmaNa is to study the
scriptures, dharma for a kshatriya is to protect the people,
dharma for a child is to honor his parents" etc. What has been
accomplished by such a statement is only the relationship of
dharma to brAhmaNa, kshatriya, child etc. The better way to
define dharma is, "dharma is the path that is taught by the
Vedas and smR^itis", or "dharma is that which a person with
discrimination ought to follow and do". This makes the
definition independent of dharma's relationship to brAhmaNa,
kshatriya, child and others.

Therefore, the gItA assumes that the definition of tapas is
known, and explains its relationship to body, etc. and answers
the question, "How can one perform tapas of the body?".


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