Tapas is the Sanskrit word for austerities. tapas n. warmth , heat ({pacatapAMsi} the 5 fires to which a devotee exposes himself in the hot season , viz. 4 fires lighted in the four quarters and the sun burning from above pain , suffering religious austerity , bodily mortification , penance , severe meditation , special observance (e.g. ` sacred learning with Brahmans protection of subjects with Kshatriyas giving alms to Brahmans with Vaisyas service with Sudras feeding upon herbs and roots with Rishis (personified , father of Manyu (m. L.) N. of a month intervening between winter and spring the hot season = {-po-loka} the 9th lunar mansion ({dharma}) N. of a Kalpa period