"Practice of Tapa", i.e., observance of austerities
is one of the important supplements to Ahimsa-vrata which is considered useful
in achieving Samvara, i.e., stoppage of influx of Karmic matter into the soul.
These austerities are regarded as essential things for achieving Nirjara, i.e.,
the shedding of Karmic matter from the soul, which is a necessary condition to
the attainment of Moksha, i. e., salvation. The Jaina scriptures distinguish
twelve kinds of austerities, as the expedients of Nirjara, grouped together
under the two headings of Bahya Tapa, i.e., external austerities, and Abhyantara
Tapa, i.e., internal austerities.
The six external austerities are:
Anasana, i.e., periodical fasting,
Avamodarya, i.e., eating less than the capacity of the
Vrtti-parisankhyana, i.e., putting restrictions in regard
to food, for example, to accept food only if a certain condition is
Rasa-parityaga, i.e., daily renunciation of one or more
of six kinds of delicacies, viz., ghee, milk, curds, sugar, salt and oil,
Vivikta-sayyasana, i. e., sitting or sleeping in a lonely
or isolated place, devoid of animate beings, and
Kayaklesa, i.e., mortification of the body so long as the
mind is not disturbed.
The six internal austerities are
Prayaschitta, i.e., expiation,
Vinaya, i.e., reverence,
Vaiyavrtya, i.e., service of the saints or worthy people,
Svadhyaya, i.e., study.
Vyutsarga, i.e., giving up attachment to the body, etc.,
Dhyana, i.e., concentration of mind.
All these external and internal kinds of austerities are
practiced with the object of burning or shedding out all karmic impurities from
the soul. These austerities are meant mainly for the ascetics, but it has also
been enjoined upon the householders to practice them to the best of their