Tapas – Inner Clarity


What is Tapas?


Tapas (Sanskrit for “heat”) is a practice bestowed upon humanity by the Siddhas, based on ancient knowledge. This practice of self-discipline allows an individual to deeply understand their inner states, overcome internal obstacles, and evolve spiritual progress.

Tapas places an individual in an unusual situation in terms of everyday life. One sets personal limitations and rules for a fixed period, typically lasting from 15 to 41 days. Throughout this period, one adheres to these promises. Traditionally, individuals leave their homes during Tapas to go on a pilgrimage, carrying only the bare essentials and practicing austerity.

Tapas is a process of calming and clarifying. In solitude, one confronts their inner landscape and has the time to get to know them. For example, a person may become aware of their psychological or physical issues and understand them. They notice their negative thoughts about themselves and others, negative aspects of their character (such as envy, pride, etc.), attitudes, or habits that are not beneficial and create imbalance and conflict. Through deep understanding of these impacts, one realizes they do not want these traits in their life, creating an opportunity to cleanse themselves of these problems.

Everything that arises during Tapas is released through prayers, repentance, meditation, mantras, Practical Consciousness or Kriya Yoga techniques, and Karma Yoga. This requires the use of awareness, resolve, and determination. These qualities, combined with self-discipline and practice, have a purifying effect on the psyche.


Lilleoru provides the necessary conditions conducive to conducting Tapas


    • Participants have the opportunity to stay in Lilleoru throughout the retreat, receiving the practical knowledge and instructions needed for conducting Tapas.
    • Being present at Lilleoru’s sacred site, participating in daily fire ceremonies known as havans, and prayer services known as aaratis, plays a crucial supporting role in achieving results.
    • Should any questions arise, guidance and assistance are available.

For more information about Tapas retreats and their schedules, click here.


Tapas Retreat


The retreat lasts fifteen days, and participants arrive on the eve of the retreat.

Tapas begins with a special ceremony where participants make a sacred vow. The vow describes the purpose of entering Tapas, lists self-imposed restrictions, planned practices, and to whom the benefits achieved through Tapas are dedicated. A kapu is tied around the wrist. Traditionally, this is a sacred root combined with a string and a strip of fabric, intended to protect the devotee during their time in Tapas. During the retreat, participants withdraw from daily life – family and work –, practice austerity, and focus on the selected Tapas practices. Austerity is facilitated on-site in Lilleoru through a fixed schedule and simple rules.


What to Consider During Tapas


  • Full-time presence on site;
  • Social isolation (including no use of phones or computers);
  • Sleeping on the ashram grounds, on a yoga mat or thin mattress;
  • Following the daily schedule, including early wake-up, practices, participation in havans and aaratis;
  • Implementing niyamas and yamas (yogic ethics and habits);
  • Keeping a practice journal;
  • Fasting (one meal a day plus some healthy additions, abstaining from coffee-tea, salt-pepper, alcohol-tobacco);
  • Preparing one’s own food in the ashram house;
  • Wearing yellow, red, orange, or beige clothes (which facilitates Tapas);
  • Abstaining from shaving and makeup;
  • Walking barefoot (where possible and sensible, outdoors according to the weather)


Tentative Daily Schedule


5:30 AM – Wake-up, practices
8:00 AM – Havan and Tapas opening ceremony
10 AM – Personal practices
1:00 PM – Lunch (in ashram house)
2:00 PM – Personal practices
6:30 PM – Group satsang or meeting with Ishwarananda (on the 5th, 10th, and 15th days)
8:30 PM – Aarati
10:00 PM – Night’s rest


For more information tapas@lilleoru.ee