QUESTION:

A student asking:

What about austerity? Like it seems that if we follow Him no needs to do austerities?

ANSWER:

Without austerity you cannot achieve anything. One of the big, big austerities in this world these days is to stay together, to stay together is a big austerity. So wife and husband they don’t want to perform that austerity, so many others, so many nations are getting broken into pieces. There is a big crowd in brahmachari ashram.

Anyways that is one austerity. There are varieties of austerities to be performed by the body, some by tongue vacha, some by mind, austerities one must perform. In every satya, treta, dwapar, kali there are different means to achieve that goal or purification, the austerities are there, with austerity comes the purification tapo divyam putrakayena satvam esmad suddhe bhrama saukhayam tvam anantam.

So as one performs austerities tapa tapa tapa, Brahma heard these two words in the very beginning. He did not know. What should I be doing? What is my goal?

What is expected of me? And he was curious to know athato brahma jigyasa he heard two words, two letters ta and pa and as he puts those together tapa tapa tapa tapa.

He goes back to the lotus he sits there and he performs austerities. So he is the very first and only being that time in the whole universe. He starts his spiritual life with austerities and that tapasya, purifies one and with that comes the real ananda, real bliss, real life. So tapasya is for cleansing, cleansing body, to make our talk refine in our speech, no vulgar language, no nasty, dirty things and speak the truth.

This is austerity, be kind and with mind, of course. Whole things start with the min. If the mind is not purified then the words, through the words and through the body we will be committing sins and offences. So the austerity of mind is there, of the speech, of the actions, Krishna describes this in Bhagvat Gita. So austerities ya! He performed, Buddha performed and so we also perform. Chanting of Hare Krishna is tapa. This japa is tapa.This japa is yagya.This japa is archana.This japa is dhyana.So tapa is there.

samo damas tapah saucam (18.42) Krishna is talking brahama- karma svabhavajam – so tapasya is there.