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If a pure hearted soul wished to undertake it, how is a Tapas performed?

Is a manthric procedure laid down in the scriptures aimed towards visible visitation of deity penanced to grant boons. Is the number of manthra repetitions presribed for each God? (I know of numbers needed for some desired goals ..ishta kamyardhams recommended by swamis). Are there specific mantras prescribed to propitiate particular Gods ? (Like Beejaksharas included in Gayathri for short /daily prayers)

Is there a normal time for appearance of the God? Is it allowed to take breaks during the tapas? ( because it is not only a spiritual act but also a bodily performed action with concentration).

What recent accounts are there of spiritual persons who saw God or attained peace and internal power transmitted as divine messages? Are there accounts of those who quit in the middle?

I know of a religious person about whose integrity I have absolutely no doubt. When he did hear pleasing divine musical sounds he was enthralled and confided to me. At first I thought it as tinnitus or some such medical condition of weakness. Motivation in asking the question is to remove present skepticism in such ancient intensive meditative practices so that in the present times too the practice lives on... Mahesh Yogi had said a certain percentage (square root of 0.1%) of a group meditates, then the entire group is influenced towards peace and harmony.

marked as duplicate by SwiftPushkar, Community Aug 8 '17 at 5:24

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Tapasya is usually said to be of 3 types

  1. vAcika : of speech (and silence)
  2. kAyika (aka zArIrika) : of the body
  3. mAnasika : of the mind (actually the 4 antaHkaraNAs)

All 3 are attained by the practice of ashtAnga yOga.

"If a pure hearted soul wished to undertake it, how is a Tapas performed?"

It can be performed through bhakti, gnyAna or karma/upAsana paths. The latter two are not for everyone. Bhakti is accessible to all.

"Is a manthric procedure laid down in the scriptures aimed towards visible visitation of deity penanced to grant boons."

Usually. If your aim, however is Atma sAkSAtkAra, then yOga (such as rAja, ashtAnga etc) is the way to go.

[> Yogaat sanjaayatey Jnaanam Jnaanaad Yogah pravartate,

Yoga jnaanaabhi yuktasya praseedati Maheshwarah/] See1

"Is the number of manthra repetitions presribed for each God? (I know of numbers needed for some desired goals ..ishta kamyardhams recommended by swamis)."

Usually.

"Are there specific mantras prescribed to propitiate particular Gods ?"

Yes. These necessarily have to be obtained from a guru who has attained siddhi in that particular mantra.

"Is there a normal time for appearance of the God? Is it allowed to take breaks during the tapas? ( because it is not only a spiritual act but also a bodily performed action with concentration). "

The guru who gives the mantra will explain the rules and regulations as well. Also refer to the types of tapas above. Even if one is not chanting the mantra at a particular time, following the 8-limbs of yoga does count as tapasya.

"What recent accounts are there of spiritual persons who saw God or attained peace and internal power transmitted as divine messages?"

Many known and innumerable unknown - Sringeri Jagadgurus, Mouna Swami, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Narayana Teertha, Trilinga Swami, Kanchi Paramacharya etc. etc.

" When he did hear pleasing divine musical sounds he was enthralled and confided to me."

These are called nAdA. There are 10 types of nAda that a yogi hears in deep meditation. Hearing nAdAs is a graduation of sorts in sAdhana. I provide the link only because the site mandates references. It is better to not know these things ahead of time as it is very much possible to trick one's mind into "creating" these experiences as opposed to letting them come to one.

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Tapas (penance) is to be performed with concentration. As per Veda Vyasa in Kali Yuga the easiest way to attain liberation is Naama Sankeertana - singing / repeating the Divine Name of the Lord. In the Fourth Canto of Srimad Bhagavat Mahapurana 8th Chapter: Verses 45 - 53, Maharishi Narada describes the appearance and form of Lord Narayana to the young prince Dhruva and in the 54th verse tells of the mantra that devotedly repeated for seven consecutive nights and day will grant all wish fulfillment and one can see the siddhas traversing the skies and the mantra is "ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय". When such an easy way of tapas is available does one need any other beeja mantra.

However, neither having done this penance nor even tried it I will not be able to elucidate as to when the Supreme Being will be pleased and appear before the seeker.

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