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By William Walker Atkinson

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Tapas is of three types. It may relate to the body (kayika), to speech (vachika) or to mind (manasika). Continence (brahmacharya) and non­ violence (ahimsa) are tapas of the body. Using words which do not offend, reciting the glory of God, speaking the truth without regard for the consequences to oneself and not speaking ill of others are tapas of speech. Developing a mental attitude whereby one remains tranquil and balanced in joy and sorrow and retains self-control are tapas of the mind. It is tapas when one works without any selfish motive or hope of reward and with an unshakable faith that not even a blade of grass can move without His will.

By its proper practice one is freed from most diseases. Never attempt to practise pra�ayama alone by yourself. For it is essential to have the personal supervision of a Guru who knows the physical limitations of his pupil. a. a means breath, respiration, life, vitality, wind, energy or strength. I t also connotes the soul as opposed to the body. The word is generally used in the plural to indicate vital breaths . Ayama means length, expansion, stretching or restraint. ayama thus connotes extension of breath and its control.

Others hankering for the union of their senses with the objects of their desires, prefer that which at first seems sweet as nectar, but do not know that in the end it will be as bitter as pOison. The yogi knows that the path towards satisfaction of the senses by sensual desires is broad, but that it leads to destruction and that there are many who follow it. The path of Yoga is like the sharp edge of a razor, narrow and difficult to tread, and there are few who find it. The yogi knows that the paths of ruin or of salvation lie within himself.

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