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TAPAS
THE EARLY YEARS

This was the beginning of a period of deep meditation and intensive tapas.  Neither rain, sun, heat or cold could distract him from his single minded concentration.  .  .

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Distractions and obstacles were many. A few tried to pull his legs, a few tried to pry open his closed eyelids, a few threw filth and even burning rags on him as if to test his resolve. Insects and rodents bit and gnawed on him while he was in deep samadhi, oblivious to his body or physical surroundings, twenty-three hours a day.

In the twenty-fourth hour (midnight) he returned to ordinary consciousness to take perhaps a cup of milk and bathe himself. That was when he felt the suffering of his body. On more than one occasion as he went to bathe he was bitten by cobra snakes that inhabited the area.

Although his body was poisoned and racked with pain, each night he concentrated and resumed his meditation. He never deviated from his twenty-three hour daily austerity. The balayogi (child yogi), as he became known, never broke his concentration and remained in samadhi.

Swamiji once said, "A true yogi must never back down or change the course of his determined path no matter what the obstacles."

 


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