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All Types of Tap
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Austerity (Tap) means restraint, which is done willingly by giving away some of the bodily comforts to discipline our minds from patience and pleasures. Taps are performed at various occasions and in various different ways. All 12 types of Taps have their own uniqueness and they are performed at two levels, first Bahiya Tap ( physical tap) and second type is Abhyantar (Psychic) and both are of 6 types. In physical manner the person performs the tap but doesn’t have the inner desire to change his/her life therefore it is just a physical act. While in psychic manner, the person controls his or her inner desires along with performing physical act. Unless the taps are performed in psychic manner they do not produce the much needed results, after all the whole purpose of Tap is not just to simply make the body suffer, but to change our desires. Once that happens the person will be on path to spiritual upliftment. Thus tap is part of right conduct.


First kind of Bahya Tap is Anshan, it means fasting for a day, or for some days or throughout one's life and renouncing food and water completely. The Tap called Upvas takes its place among those that constitute the beginning of Anshan. Anshan or fasting completely is in vogue in respect of one's last days or last movement of one's life to render death auspiciously. Anshan is of two types - Yaavajiva and Itwarik. Salekhan or Santhara is Yaavajiva type of Anshan. Itwarik is again of two types - Sarva and Desh. Any upvaas done without 4 types of Aahar is called Sarva and Nakarshi and Poursi is called Desh type. The aim of Itwarik Anshan is to purify both the body and mind.

During the period of Upavas (fasting) when the consumption of food has been stopped, the remaining part of the food gets burnt and assimilated. Hence, during Upavas (fasting period) the fats soon decreases; and like fats the strength of the liver, the spleen and muscles also gets reduced but the brain never grows weak and never sustains even the slightest loss; so we get sound sleep. The thoughts become wholesome and pure. The body experiences weakness by fasting and hunger but that weakness is not caused by the absence of food but because the impure stuff is cast off. After the body is purified strength returns to the body. It acquires freshness and agility.


UNODARI - is second type of bahya tap. Una - means empty, Uder-means the stomach.

Unodari is of two types:

Dravya unodari - means keeping less things than required and eating and drinking water less than what one desires to eat and drink at the time of eating and drinking than the extent of one’s hunger and thirst.we should keep the stomach empty to some extent. It is believed that when one is healthy,one needs food that can supply 2500 calories of heat to the body. This is considered enough. Jain dharma prescribed 32 handful of food for male and 28 handful of food for female. And in order to perform this tap,one may eat a few handful less than the prescribed amount.

Bhav unodari - means to limit our desires to some extent and also controlling our kashayas.i.e anger,pride,greed and deceit. Bhav unodari is more difficult than dravya unodari but once this stars then we will limit our desires for things in our daily life and it is Dravya unodari that leads us to Bhav unodari.

One can have many negative emotions that can lead him to wrong path. Therefore,it is important that one not only reduces his normal diet but also reduces his passions. By reducing the intake of food and controlling the kashayas, one not only gains physically but also benefits mentally,emotionally and spiritually.

Unodary keeps us healthy and keeps us way from the doctor and diseases but most importantly it strengthens the spirituality.


Vriti Sanksepa - is third Bahya tap. In this one takes abhigraha (make some resolutions).

This tap is carried out in four ways :

1) Dravya - to have pre-determination of having certain item is called Dravya abhigraha.
2) Kshetra - to take food at a specific location is called kshetra abhigraha.
3) Kal - to fix a specific time is called kal abhigraha.
4) Bhav – to get the food only from a particular individual or certain type of person is called bhav abhigraha.

Such type of abhigraha was undertaken by Lord Mahavira. He vowed that he would accept food only if soaked black peas were offered to him from a winnower,by a princess in chains,with shaved head,who had fasted for three days and who had tears flowing from her eyes. All these conditions should be fulfilled at one time.

For months he used to go for alms and came back without food because his stipulations could not be fulfilled. After six months of fasting,Mahavira saw a princess in chains with cleaned shaved head,having fasted for three days,offering black peas from winnowing pan,but one thing was missing that was tears in Chandanbala’s eyes so Mahavira declined the offer and turned back.

Chandanbala started crying because Mahavira did not accept the food. The lord looked back and saw the tears rolling down her cheeks. Now all his hard stipulations were fulfilled and he willingly accepted the food offered by her.

This tap is very important for developing the will power.


RAS-TYAG is the forth type of bahya tap. This is very important and psychologically significant. It means renouncing those kinds of food and drink that provoke the passions and encourage the instructive excitements and provocations.It involves renouncing tasty food that one likes. There are many ways to limit the consumptions of tasty food. For example performing Ayambil tap, avoiding or reducing six laghu-vigay i.e-milk,curd,oil,ghee,sugar and jaggary and four maha-vigay i.e-honey,non-veg,liquor and butter.

This can be done in two ways:

Such type of abhigraha was undertaken by Lord Mahavira. He vowed that He would accept food only if soaked black peas were offered to him from a winnower,by a princess in chains,with shaved head,who had fasted for three days and who had tears flowing from her eyes. All these conditions should be fulfilled at one time.

Second way is to renounce the raw vigai and in this case,one should not consume only its raw form. Means he can not drink milk but he can consume its modified form. Like he can consume paneer,tea,coffee,sweets etc.

The same principle applies to other vigai also.

Mahavir’s preaching in this respect is now more adopted by western doctors. They tell their heart patients to reduce or stop the intake of milk,butter etc.

By willingly putting limit to the tasty foods, one can eradicate the karmas and better health also lowers the risk of heart diseases, diabetes etc.


KAYA-KLESH TAP- Is the fifth bahya tap.

Kaya means body and Klesha means forbearance. Body is an instrument that is needed in good condition for undertaking spiritual sadhana and therefore, it is important to develop its endurance power. By developing physical endurance power, jiva is enabled to tolerate the bodily inconveniences with equanimity. There are several ways one can practice the austerity of Kayaklesh;

1) LOCATION : This involves practicing sadhana while standing.
2) YOGIC POSTURE : This involves practicing of various yogic postures like padmasan, vajrasan, virasan etc.
3) SHAYAN : means lying down, this involves practicing karyotsarga, relaxation by experiencing that body aad soul are separate.

4) ATAPANA : This requires standing steadily while facing the sun and bearing the heat of the sun.
5) APARAVARAN : This needs tolerating cold, specially in the winter season, without any or with few cloths on.
6) SHARIR-PARITYAG : This involves putting on an exotic makeup on the body.

Such type of abhigraha was undertaken by Lord Mahavira. He vowed that He would accept food only if soaked black peas were offered to him from a winnower,by a princess in chains,with shaved head,who had fasted for three days and who had tears flowing from her eyes. All these conditions should be fulfilled at one time.


We use our senses to satisfy our external needs and that is supposed to give happiness. Pratisanlinta involves restraining the senses from external happiness and divers their use for spiritual uplift. To control the sensual desires is also Pratisanlinta. As regards the sensual things, not to see them by eyes, not to hear them by ears, not to smell them by nose, not to taste them by tongue, and not to touch them by skin is called controlling by senses means Pratisanlinta.

One should not develop a possessive attitude to what is seen, to what is listened, to what is smelled, to what is tasting and to what he is touching. Sense organs are useful, if they are used for spiritual purposes.

Pratisanlinta is of four types;

1) INDRIYA SANLINTA : means to control our senses
2) KASHAY SANLINTA : means to control our kashays, i.e Anger, pride, deceit and greed.

3) YOG SANLINTA : means to use our body, mind and speech for the upliftment of the soul.
4) VIVACTACHARYA SANLINTA : such places should be avoided that obstruct our spiritual progress.


We have covered types of Bahyantar Tap in past newsletters and now we start with types of Abhyantar Tap. Abhyantar tap means that which cannot be seen externally as they are mainly related to mind. Abhyantar tap is also of six types;

One should not develop a possessive attitude to what is seen, to what is listened, to what is smelled, to what is tasting and to what he is touching. Sense organs are useful, if they are used for spiritual purposes.

1) Alochana Prayaschhit : means confess one’s mistake in the presence of Guru Bhagwant and with a pure heart.
2) Pratikraman Prayaschhit : to repent for the mistake that has been committed and to refrain from it, as also to remain alert that now no new mistakes are committed.

3) Mishra Prayaschhit : When Alochana and Pratikraman are performed together.
4) Vivek Prayaschhit : When forbidden food or drink happen to have been received and the fact comes to light, then to discard these food and drink with proper system as prescribed by the Lord.

5) Karyotsarg Prayaschhit : To regret for the mistake committed, one adopts concentration and gives up the operations of body and speech.
6) Tap Prayaschhit : To regret for the mistake committed, one performs external austerities like Anasan etc.
7) Chheda Prayaschhit : Corresponding to the gravity of the offense committed, the reckoned period of monkshood is reduced by a day, a fortnight, a month or a year.

8) Mool Prayaschhit : On account of violation, the adopted vratas are deemed to be forfeited.
9) Anavsthapya Prayaschhit : He will not take Mahavrat, unless he does Prayaschhit for his wrong deeds.
10) Paranchit Prayaschhit : One cannot come back to the Gutchh, unless he does Maha-shasan prabhavana for his wrong deed.


Vinay is an internal quality of jiva. Vinay is considered the root of the religion as per Jain canonical books. Vinay is given the utmost importance in Jainism, for example, it is discussed in the first chapter of Uttaradhyan Sutra and also in the 9th chapter of Dashvaikalik Sutra. True meaning of Vinay is absence of ego. There are eight types of ego, and the person with Vinay does not have any of them.

Vinay is of seven types :

1) Gyan Vinay - means Vinay for knowledge which is of five types.
2) Darshan Vinay - Vinay for Perception which is of 55 types.
3) Charitra Vinay - means Vinay for conduct which is of 5 types.
4) Man Vinay - means Vinay of mind. We should be very careful regarding our thoughts.
5) Vachan Vinay - means Vinay of speech. We should be very careful while speaking.
6) Kaya Vinay - means Vinay of Body.we should be very careful while doing any activity.
7) Upchar Vinay - means Vinay for paying homage which is of 7 types.


Vaiyavrutya is third abhyantar tap.

To serve Sanyami who practices self-restraint, with devotion and without any selfish motive is called Vaiyavrutya. It means serving with devotion, religious teachers, ascetics, virtuous people, Sadhus and colleagues and companions. One should render services especially to the sick and the weak, and give them the necessary help. This quality is very efficacious as internal Tapas. The Tirthankaras themselves have considered this quality as of great significance. There are 10 types of people who are considered as deserving vaiyavrutya;

1) Acharya – chief of the religious leader.
2) Upadhyay - who teaches others.
3) Tapasvis - who perform some great and severe penance.
4) Shaiksha - new ascetic.
5) Glan - ailing ascetics.
6) Gana - Group of older ascetics.
7) Kula - Group of disciples under one acharya.
8) Sangh - constituted of Sadhu, sadhavi, Shravak and Shravikas.
9) Samanojna - who is spiritually equal.
10) Sadhus

Vaiyavrutya means rendering services to the worthy ones is like serving Tirthankar. That enhances the unity of the sangha, strengthens the religious order, helps the needy and stabilizes the aspirant on the right path.



Swadhyay means to study scriptures or can also mean to understand the self. Through study we try to answer the questions; who am I? Who should I be?. Through swadhyay one realizes that a soul is a pure thing. This will lead us to contemplate on the question; what am I doing in this body? Thus, study will lead us to be a pure soul. This study is divided into five levels;

1) VANCHANA - Means reading the scriptures.
2) PRUCHNA - When we read the scriptures, doubt may arise, to resolve the doubt, one ask question is called pruchna.
3) PARIYATTANA - Revising the scriptures again and again, memorise them is called pariyattana.
4) ANUPREKSHA - After understanding what is right and contemplating on it is called anupreksha.
5) DHARMAKATHA - when we read scriptures, we come across different stories, telling that a religious story to others is called dharmakatha.

All five types of swadhyay are external, but they will lead us to do internal swadhyay about the self. Thus, one will aquire right perception and right knowledge which will lead to right conduct and will open up the path to ultimate liberation.


Dhyan is fifth abhyantar tap.Dhyan means concentration of thought.

Dhyan means concentration of thought. This concentration could arise from intense passions like attachment, lust, or animosity or from the search for the truth and from absolute detachment towards worldly affairs.

Dhyan is divided into four categories:
i) Arta dhyan,
ii) Roudra dhyan,
iii) Dharma dhyan,
iv) Shukla dhyan.

Arta dyan means focusing our energy to attain the material thing. In arta dhyan a person reflects on the
i) loss of dear ones (Ishta Viyog),
ii) development of a new relationship with an undesirable or unpleasant person (Anishta Samyog),
iii) physical illness (Roga chinta) and
iv) future planning (Agrasocha or Nidanartha).

Roudra dhyan means focusing our energy to protect the object. In roudra dhyan one is absorbed in taking total revenge for some damage or loss caused by others.

There are four types: i) Hisanubahndhi, ii) Mrishanubadhi, iii) Steynubandhi, and IV) Samrakshanubandhi.

Both arta and roudra dhyan lead to accumulation of bad karmas and therefore art and roudra dhyan should be avoided. Dharma dhyan means reflecting on the ways and means towards realization of self. Shukla dhyan means reflecting on the purity of the soul.

Dharma dhyan and shukla dhyan lead to the removal of karmas. Therefore,for the purpose of nirjara we shall contemplate on dharma dhyan and shukla dhyan. If contemplation on dharma dhyan is at the highest level then we can completely destroy Mohniya karma and within 48 minutes of the destruction of Mohaniya Karma, Jnanavarniya, Darshanavarniya and Antaray Karmas are also destroyed

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