a prayer in the smoke

I received this email today,

Dear Sharada Devi,

I have found words now to thank you for your beautiful poem! It is one of the nicest things that has ever happened to me! I read your message and I deeply believe what you say. I would like to do tapas and since watching your YouTube videos I have read some about it. The bottom line is I have found no woman who actually DOES IT!! The info is ABOUT it, (tapas) not from their (personal) experience! I believe you practice this yourself. Do you have any suggestions?j

Much appreciated, Gabriel


It’s almost like labeling these things perverts them- surrender, tapas, liberation…but without a name we cannot begin to grasp the concept or understand what we might actually have a hold of, the opportunity we didn’t realize, we create our own blessings or curses based on our understanding of the natural laws. Tapas is only tapas when we know it is, surrender isn’t surrender when we think it is, liberation isn’t liberation when it involves anyone but us in the heat of love totally cooled by our lack of self obsession. Without devotion tapas doesn’t exist, without humility surrender is impossible and without devotion and surrender liberation doesn’t exist. Liberation from what? Samsara? What is samsara? Samsara is YOU. Tapas is what I was talking about yesterday regarding cooking- basically if you’re not making it and eating it yourself, someone is cooking you, preparing you for more ignorance- eating you in the worst way- with tapas, we make the fire or we sit in the fire that was made for us by the holy powers that be- and we consume the fire as it consumes us, we devour the black painful smoke of toxic ego delusion until we rise, as the insignificant one and blow away as a prayer in the smoke, we become the sacred ash from which eternity rises as a snake with wings. Tapas is the pure heat life gives us, the applied discomfort and friction to the cause. The result is purity and a lightening of our karmic load. So we can do tapas by fasting from food, from talking, from sex, from all sorts of things- but it’s only tapas due to our attitude, what we give up our suffering to, the idea that we are purifying for a “someone” or “something” greater than our ego and so the result of the friction changes from pain and suffering to relief and evolving perspective. We cannot see who we are until we burn off the dross- which is our personality clinging to an agenda, a belief of itself so dense that nothing else can penetrate- but when engaged in tapas we surrender that fixation and willingly accept the helplessness of “nowhere to go but here in the burn” fire bath, clean for god. Love is the captivator, not the captive. To grow as an individual spiritually or otherwise, tapas is necessary and there’s no way around it. We pay with our life, that’s the idea, I give up my security and comfort- and instead I will cling to the guru my beloved who I trust and who my heart has made me believe in. Against all odds I have faith in my devotion and the magnetic force that pulls me into her fire is otherworldly enchantment and mystical yearning. Getting closer to the source of the god fire is how we find the lasting love. There are misconceptions and a lot of talk but the real action of genuine tapas is spontaneous and immediate. So we gain through suffering only when we consciously decide that it’s for a higher purpose, for god, for all sentient beings- and it’s larger than us. You’re only going to sparkle and shine equivalently to how much you’ve burned in the sacred fire. It’s not fake-able, we are what we’ve got left, the rest was darkness. Without devotion, or the desire for devotion- tapas is useless. Without surrender or the desire for surrender, divine love is useless. Without a mystical yearning so strong you can’t even think of this love without tears- liberation is only a heady concept. There is an idea that these varying tantric paths can be “chosen by you” I don’t think so. We come into this world on our first breath and that breath imprints the universe of stars- and it if those stars that tell the story of where we’ve been, who we are, and our capacity to burn the illusion- because our capacity is solely based on our desire. Desire for the world is not leading anyone to liberation and so there is no use for tapas because devotion is flawed- desire for the other worldly mystical home is the indicator of how far you’re willing to go, how close to ash can you become, will you cover shiva in white smoke and cinder? We have been burning for a long time. There are two fires, the fire of this world and the fire of true love.
True love will not be found in this world without pure soul, personality obscures pure soul. Eyes meet, hearts touch, there is nothing else- bodies aren’t sexy, they’re vehicles for the soul who desires true love. You look elsewhere, under rocks in dark bars and you get results- or you look for angels in white coming out of the fog of your loneliness, you follow your heart home into a place beyond fear and phantasmic beasts that we would ride and call lovers. Well, nobody is home but you, and you have a fire in your head, your heart and your stomach. The fire in your head is the main issue that blocks all evolution. Tapas sets the mind on a bigger fire, a fire we can’t control so we become helpless and just stop mind tripping eventually- if we don’t cave in- then after that, the fire smolders in the stomach and burns away the dark trash from all sorts of places, the only food is the mantra or prayer, the only salvation is surrender and the only thing that cools the heart is devotion. So once the head is stilled into a steady, focused flame based on the power of the mantra, and once the solar fire in the belly has done sufficient incinerating of the dross- then the fire rises as a goddess into your heart and opens the love you can’t imagine you had. What we hold and what we have yet to discover are a greatness that no worldly achievement or desire could ever compare. There is no tapas unless you know it’s you that’s the fuel for the fire, that you are the food you feed to the ravenous wrathful gods. There is a practice in Tibetan Buddhism called chod- where you basically visualize chopping up your body and feeding it to all the wrathful demons, it’s effective to know you aren’t your body, although it takes some getting used to. We can say we get it, but concept and direct experience of the idea are two different realities- and when you know, because of experience that you are DEFINITELY not your body, you really start to see for the first time how important letting go is- letting go of everything we feel defined by, we desire, we fear living without- this is the purpose of tapas and freedom is the result. You will need to change your life to adapt to the emerging sadhu. You cannot serve two masters and I would say that’s the main wisdom gained through conscious suffering or tapas- how far we fall from the mark of our imagined allegiance to the most high, how frail our trust is, how shallow our devotion. It’s shows where we put our faith and it’s usually in this world whether we like it or not. So courage and facing the denial we live in- that we are somehow father along than we actually are- is the grace and discomfort of tapas. Nobody wants the truth shining in their face, the demons pop out of their eyes and their words- through excuses, defenses, avoidance or mask that suits the occasion- it’s all your loss when you don’t listen, not mine. Hide forever, deny it all, it’s your darkness and you have a right to live in it fantasizing for the light- that’s why I keep saying action, not words- put your body where your mouth is, your soul behind your words and stop backing the lie you live. Tapas will kill you, it’s almost killed me several times and I made the most of it, I can’t describe the white room to you where there’s nothing and especially not me- I can’t tell you we’re only paper with words chosen by time…you can never describe devotion when it’s real, the love makes you disappear into the memory of gods touch. Who is god? Only you can answer that question. Tapas is required. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know. The spiritual path of rapid transformation
is what I preach, I don’t have another way for you but my way, I can only take you where I’ve been, see myself in you… I’m still looking. I would never cower to the light in my face and I would never claim devotion without cutting off my arm as an emblem of sincerity. I throw myself in the fire for the guru lifetime after lifetime, I don’t have anything else to do- that’s all I can show you…

not how to be somebody but how to lose it all…

I lose over and over. I’ve lived a life of loss, people, places, body parts, my own face again and again. I’m not exaggerating. This world is going down a dark funnel and I want to breath in the morning to remember I’m One. I don’t want anything here at all.

So when I’m at death’s door once again knocking I know I need to bite the bullet, stare into his eyes and know where god lives and how the guru grew me like a flower. Tapas is a state of mind, like meditation is, it comes naturally when your head and heart are aligned and serving the same master. Otherwise you have excuses not to change, improve, face fears, let go. The unconscious mind lets you think you know why you do what you do, but you don’t. The hidden agenda is always different than how you let yourself believe it is. This hidden cause, selfish need, is concealed to let you think your resistance to growth is serving a worthy cause and that this ITSELF is tapas- having a job you don’t like, being a mother stuck in a bad relationship, living in a city that stresses you out- but it’s not tapas, it’s resistance to tapas actually. Holding onto your feeble familiar security and placing the blame elsewhere isn’t tapas, it’s typical cowardice and contributes more weakness to the world around you. So why I started by saying it’s a hard topic to discuss is because it is- if you don’t really love god more than this world tapas is not tapas it’s just an ego trip. Everything happens inside without an audience. Tapas isn’t a practice, it’s a cause. Tapas is quiet, personal and directed at the flame in your heart as god and guru. You burn to get closer, that’s all.

a prayer in the smoke,
Sharada Devi

10 thoughts on “a prayer in the smoke”

  1. I prepare my food with many mantra.. all organic.. quasi triodeshic.

    Tonight we had..
    Organic Vegetable Coconut Curry

    Start with good music.. bhagavan das usually.. tonight I listened to White Sun II.

    Prayer to the stove
    Prayer to the fridge
    Prayer to the cupboards
    Prayer to the home
    Prayer to the farmers
    Prayer to the earth
    Prayer to the wok
    Prayer to the spoon
    Prayer to the knife
    Prayer to the raw food
    Prayer to the water

    Get out red onion cut up and leave it out for 5 minutes (apparently there is some healing benefits when doing this). Get large wok prepared with organic vegetable broth(preferably home made) and add 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic on low simmer.. add health infused onion. Then add organic reshi mushroom sweet poatatoes carrot rainbow cauliflower green beans and season with ginger and gharam masala again on low heat to preserve the nutrients in the food. Then after 10 mins add some garbanzos(only if you need protein other wise they might just weigh you down – too much chickpeas can back you up) coconut milk organic of course then add curry and turmeric (liberal) maybe more vegetable broth if it’s running low.. add as much VB as you want for your desired thickness, personally I like mine to be a little soupy.. at this point you should have already started your rice cooker with organic white rice and mung beans cooked in spring water. All the while Om mani padme hum about 540 times give or take a couple hundred.

    Add as much organic red pepper as you want for spice, or none – delicious either way..

    The curry should take 20-30 minutes simmer low heat

    Om mani padme hum

    ***All organic ingredients :
    Vegetable Broth
    Mung beans
    Sweet Potatoes
    Reshi mushies
    Chick peas(optional)
    Green beans
    Curry Powder
    Tumeric Powder
    Gharam Masala
    Crushed red pepper(optional)

    You can also add mango to make organic mango curry 🍛 just chunk a mango or two in there.

    It’s pretty medicinal
    And magical ✨

    If you have access to virgin coconut cannabis oil you can add for medicinal purpose, but again cannabis seems to slow down the digestive process .. at least for me it does.

    I have tasty Channa Saag recipe also..


    1. Oh my goodness! I feel like I’m watching the cooking channel! Thanks! You should start a food blog or class or something/ it seems to be a great love and talent! You look like a chef too my friend ❤️❤️❤️

    2. What a blessing! A man who willingly cooks. And with love!
      Right on Brother Paul!
      Keep the mantra imbued magical meals flowing.
      ❤️ 🍲

  2. Some years back when reading a book about Neem Karoli Baba,
    i had just come to a story about Him as a very young man.
    His going out into the noonday sun and setting up multiple wood burning fires
    surrounding Him while He sat within the circle of the flames.
    It touched me so deeply, that extreme tapas. The intensity of His devotion.
    It caused me to immediately begin repeatedly chanting the gayatri mantra,
    going out into the late afternoon sun, surrounded by water.
    After a while i began to see rainbows and prisms dancing all around me.
    i know you said that tapas is a personal thing. But this instance of inspiration
    and being kindled by another beings tapas, from another time and space was – remarkable.

  3. Thank you both for kind words.
    I love food and cooking for people.
    I did it for work$$ for a long time.. got burnt out on it. Worst hours, especially if your a good cook they want you on busy nights and weekends.. then I started baking bagels doing overnights. That was deep meditation – and a workout. I wound up tearing both my rotator cuffs being the only one there for 8 hrs to roll out bake and prep 2000+ bagels a night. So I got hurt or whatever, did yoga and Tai chi to strengthen and repair. Lots of green veggies too. The physical therapists were horrible – that electrical pulse thingamajig .. eek. So yea I love food I love to cook n feed people.. now that I think of it – I’ve probably helped feed 1000’s of people lol.. it’s a major attachment. I’m glad I only cook for family and friends now. I get to enjoy the alchemy of it now.
    Food has always been a huge attachment for me.
    Weekly fasts have helped.
    Portion size is always something I struggled with..
    All work in progress.
    Thanks again

    If I started a cooking blog would you help write for? Just kidding.. hehe

    1. anything for the one who
      sings to the wolf🌙
      and feeds the fire🔥
      then covers herself
      in ashes and snakes🐍

  4. Ok so i live right in the city. I had been smoking a pack to two packs a day. Its probly impossible to convince the chain smoker in me to give up smoking on a whim and making myself have faith on a whim is equally silly. Guess ill have to take a plunge and hope i end up on the other side om tare tutare soha

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