Swami Sivananda Asramam-
Chapter 5: Sivananda – The Fire of Sannyasa
It is very unfortunate that we have no information as to what transpired between him and his Guru, his austerities, and what sort of meditation he practised.
His reply to queries from his disciples was: “You do not bother about what I did, but you do what I say.”
From the attitude he held in regard to life, till late in his life, we could gather by reading between lines that he was a combination of the heights of Vedanta philosophy and the pinnacle of austerity or tapas.
He used to define tapas as “flaming like fire by sense-control”.
One day he put a question to me: “What is tapas?
Can you define it?”
But, before I could say anything, he himself gave the definition: “Tapas is burning like fire by sense-control.” I remember this definition even today.
Tapas is the heat that is produced in our spiritual body by the control of the senses, as their outward movement depletes our energy and makes us the weaklings that we are.
Can we dream or imagine for a moment that the status and the spiritual dignity which this Institution commands today is the efflorescence, the flower and the fruit of his tapas and his spiritual stature?
All success is the result of tapas.
This is his teaching.
There cannot be a saint without tapas.
There is no spirituality without tapas.
And tapas is the same as Sannyasa.
It is not wearing an ochre-coloured robe.
It is neither an order of life, nor a stage into which one enters socially.
But, it is an entry into the dedicated life of austerity and control of oneself.
To be continued ....