The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive


Tapasyā is the Sanskrit word that is used to detail spiritual asceticism. Though as is always the case in the translation of a word from an ancient language there can be a lot of interpretations, but, in brief, the term Tapasyā is used to define the techniques an individual uses in order to remove the karmic obstructions they have created in their own life and to spiritually move forward into order to obtain spiritual liberation and realization.

Tapasyā was first discussed in the ancient Hindu text, the Vedas. There it was/is described as a method of rebirth—a pathway where the ascetic would perform self-deprecating rituals and meditation in order to cleans one’s self to move towards Samadhi.

Throughout time, various religions have expanded upon this concept but at the heart of Tapasyā is the individual caring enough about overcoming desire and personal unworthy deeds to actually attempt to make things right, cleanse one’s self, and come to a deeper, more god-like realization of Self.

Now, ask yourself, how much time do you spend attempting to make yourself a better person? How much time do you spend correcting your karma, and attempting to undo any badness you have unleashed? How honest are you with yourself about the things you have done that have negatively affected your life and/or the life or other people? And, what are you doing to truly bring yourself into a closer contact with the goodness, the god-ness of this universe?

Many people in the western world, who follow the pathway of Christianity, simply believe that going to church, praying, and perhaps going to confession is all it takes to become a good and holy individual. But, all anyone has to do is to look at any damage that was done to them, by the hands of anyone else, and they will quickly understand they do not care if that person goes to church, prays, or confesses, for that does nothing to undo any damage that they have done onto others.

But, here lies the problem, most people only see life from the very limited perspective of Self. They only view reality from the perspective of how they feel and what makes them feel good. They never look to the inner reaches of Self and/or come to terms with the fact that there is a greater reality—that there are other people who also feel and if they are not taken into consideration that all acts simply become an act of Selfishness.

The practice of Tapasyā begins with the conscious awareness of the fact that there are, in fact, other people and all other people have the same spiritual rights and the same physical desires as yourself. Even those who practice the ancient understanding of Tapasyā often miss the point as they are seeing only a pathway of, “Self,” realization. But, that is not true Tapasyā. True realization is a pathway of, “All,” realization.

Is it time for you to stop thinking only about yourself? Is it time for you to step beyond the confines of selfishness? Is it time for you to take the other person into consideration? Is it time for you to chart a higher path leading to higher good? If you have not reached that decision point in your life by now, you may never grasp it. If that is the case, what becomes the definition of your life? Answer: A life based upon selfishness. And, what does a life lived via that definition actually equal? We all know the answer to that question.

Tapasyā is you doing what it takes to clean up your life, your karma, your mind, your doings, and your next doings. Clean is always better than dirty.

It takes time to clean things up. It takes effort and it takes work. Maybe this is the time in your life for you to understand Tapasyā and not only make you but all of the everything a better representation of humanity.