The heat sweltered around young Swamiji, manipulating the air around him, making every thing beyond the circle of fire that he sat within seem like an oasis. Inside his body, he seemed to radiate the heat of the ball of fire that he was staring at, the sun itself. Through all the sweat that crowded the pores of his face and dripped down, making sure not to tip over the pot of embers balanced on his head, he gazed at the sun unblinkingly. He had been doing this since sunrise and would continue until sunset- as long as the sun burned in the sky, he would burn in this position.
He left it to well-wishers and fellow tapasvis in order to rekindle the fire when it went low. He received a whole spectrum of looks from the onlookers.
“Swami, you’re so young! Why are you trying so hard?” An old lady asked him, as she limped by in a yellow and lime green sari.
“The fire within me rages! I’m doing this to at least abate that fire!” he responded quickly.
She didn’t say any more. How much does the wild fire of seeking need to burn within you so that you do this extremely physically strenuous tapas? How far would you go?
Today, Swamiji’s incredible healing power- that brings people back from the edge of existence and makes people walf out of a wheelchair after thirty years- is an effect of this incredible tapas. He visualizes a strong beam of light, just as he felt within him during this panchatapas and targets the disease he wants to eradicate. He is even giving us these powers as a gift to his disciples. We often would ask what it takes to manifest this kind of power. We are obsessed with what we would gain. But none of us ever think about how much we would give up. For Swamiji, that was even his life.