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How rishis perform penance


Dear sir,
I have heard that rishis perform penance for a long period without food and water. they also perform it in a stage called nishtai. they dont even move from the place of dhyanam. many rishis are gruhastas. according to shastras gruhastas are required to perform nithya karmas like sandhyavandanam and oupasanam, etc. my question is as follows:
1. how can they perform tapas for a long time without performing their nithya karma?
2. how rishis manage to penance for a long time without food and water?
3. what is called power of penance (தவவலிமை)?
4. do they need guru's guidance for these things?

i request you to clarify my above mentioned doubts. I know that penance is not kaliyuga dharma.but please answer my questions

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