Tapasya means voluntarily accepting some inconvenience. Suppose I am accustomed to smoke or to drink. If I give it up, there will be certainly little inconvenience. But for the better cause, I have to suffer voluntarily. Nobody will die if he does not get facility for illicit sex or enjoying intoxicants and meat-eating. All the members of Krsna conscious society, they have given up. But for that reason we are not dying. It is not difficult. Simply we have to accept in the beginning there may be little inconvenience, but when you come to the platform, there is no inconvenience. So if we actually want to be cured from this diseased condition of repetition of birth, death, old age and disease, we have to abstain from this sinful life. So it is not difficult. It requires little knowledge.
Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.10, Festival at Maison de Faubourg, Geneva, 31 May, 1974