back to House of the Sun
This article is also available in PDF format.
In Indian religions, Siddhis are material, paranormal, supernatural, or otherwise magical powers, abilities, and attainments that are the products of yogic advancement through sādhanās (ego-transcending spiritual practices) such as meditation and yoga. The number of siddhis and their nature varies among the different disciplines. When the yogi has attained a certain level of development, these inherent abilities spontaneously appear. They are attained as a natural consequence of spiritual development.
Siddhis are powers, and power can corrupt. The yogi is free to use these powers, but when he get too involved in it, or entangled, it will hinder his spiritual progress. It is even said that such a corruption can lead to many more incarnations for the yogi to untangle himself from that power.
Siddhis can be roughly classified in lesser and higher siddhis. The lesser siddhis are psychic abilities such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, healing abilities and prophecies. The greater siddhis include such things as levitation, teleportation and bi-location.
Siddhis or yogic powers are not limited to Indian yogis. They appear in other cultures as well, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Taoism. Their saints and mystics have attained the siddhis as well. Indigenous cultures have shamans who often exhibit such powers as well.
Siddhis can also be obtained by magical practices, regardless of any spiritual development. They can also manifest spontaneously for various reason, such as inherited karma of previous lives.
What follows here are two texts I found very interesting, not so much for what powers are inherent to the human being, but for the manifold qualities each one of us has, manifested or not. We are much more than we are led to believe in our everyday society. They also show how we are connected to everything around us, to the cosmos, to creation.
The first text is Yogic Potentials and Capacities (Siddhis) by Haridas Chaudhuri. Haridas Chaudhuri (1913–1975) was a professor in Indian philosophy, and was primarily interested in the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. Jeffrey J. Kripal, in his book Esalen: America and the religion of no religion, list this text as "Private typed letter-list of Sanskrit terms and definitions written for Michael Murphy". It is an extensive list of Siddhis, followed by an interesting commentary.
The second text is the preface from the book Siddhis and Riddhis by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri. He was one of the pioneers to introduce Yoga to the Western mind in the early 1950s. He wrote twenty-five books on the subjects of Yoga. The text is interesting because of the comparison with psychic powers in the West, an explanation of the 108 classical Siddhis, and the Siddhis of Gods, Nature and animal species.
The third text is an extract from the book Yoga Samyana, also by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri. It gives a clearer explanation of the traditional 8 Siddhis, and the possibility of attachment to Siddhis creating an obstacle on the spiritual path.
Yogic Potentials and Capacities (Siddhis) by Haridas Chaudhuri
Preface Siddhis and Riddhis by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri
Yoga Samyana (an extract) by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri
by Haridas Chaudhuri
Yogic Potentials and Capacities, or siddhis, in Hindu-Buddhist Psychology
Note: A siddhi perceived as a revelation of ultimate truth or reality is termed a vibhuti; perceived as fully actualized abilities, sometimes they are known collectively as aisvarya, spiritual wealth and glory.
A. Monosiddhi, cittasiddhi. Extrasensory perceptions; extraordinary mental capacities.
B. Kayasiddhi, dehasiddhi. Bodily powers and perfections.
C. Jnanasiddhi, brahamsiddhi. Transpersonal Being-cognitions, including knowledge of Brahman, Atman, Dharma, Purusha, etc.
D. Anandasiddhi, lilasiddhi. Yogic beatitudes born of extraordinary self-integration or psychocosmic integration.
Extrasensory perceptions; extraordinary mental powers
1. Subtle knowledge of distant stars and other heavenly bodies, their interrelations and configurations.
2. Knowledge of other planes of existence (lokas).
3. Paracitta-jnanas. Telepathic knowledge of the minds of other people.
4. Citta-samvit. Knowledge of the workings of one's own mind.
5. Tathata-jnana, visista-jnana. Knowledge of individual things and beings in respect of their suchness or being-ness (also called Nama-Rupa-Jnana).
6. Kayavyuha-jnana. Knowledge of one's internal organs, physiological processes, anatomical structures, energy centers, nervous and cerebrospinal systems.
7. Jatismarate, Purvajnama-jnana. Remembrance of one's past lives or incarnations.
8. Adrista-jnana, Bhavitavya-jnana. Pre-cognition of coming events, as well as of one's future destiny. Precognition of the exact time, place, and circumstances of one's own death.
9. Sphota-jnana. Knowledge of the revealing light (sphota) inherent in spoken or written words of people, or in the sounds made by animals, birds, and other living things. This enables the yogi to understand the precise significance of human language and the language of animals, birds, trees, flowers.
10. Akasa-vani-sravana, Daiva-vani. Supernatural auditory knowledge of ethereal records representing the accumulated knowledge of humankind. The tapping of these sources may provide glimpses of the future.
11. Siddha-darsana, or Siddha-sravana. Seeing the sights or hearing the voices of the world's master minds, whether contracted through living communication or through activation of their wisdom deposited in the records of the Vinanja loka.
12. Viprakrista jnana. Experience of normally invisible processes of nature, or very remote obscure things and treasures, e.g. objects hidden in far-off caves or ocean bottoms.
13. Alaukika Vedana. Registering in one's emotional sensibility the feelings of other people, animals, birds, and even tiny insects.
14. Alaukika Asvada. The ability to enjoy the flavors of distant delicacies.
15. Alaukika Vata. The ability to enjoy the fragrance of distant and hidden perfumes, flowers, incenses, etc.
Bodily powers and perfections.
(Among the various psychic powers discussed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the eight mahasiddhis or perfections of the body are probably the best known. They are the first eight in the section below.)
1. Anima . The ability to reduce the body (or the center of consciousness) to the size of atom.
2. Mahima . The ability to expand one's body (or consciousness) to and enormous size.
3. Laghima. To make the body as light as a feather.
4. Garima. To make the body enormously heavy, like a mountain.
5. Prapti. The power to reach the moon (or any object in remote space) and grasp it or touch it with the tip of one's finger.
6. Prakamya. The yogic power of instant wish-fulfillment. The ordinary will power is a function of the mind, a phenomenon of time. In ordinary life there is always a greater or lesser time gap between an effort of will power or the formation of a definite wish and its fulfillment in the realm of actuality. But an advanced yogi, when he becomes united with the timeless creative energy of Being (Paraprakriti or Braham-Sakti) is believed to become a master of time, considerably reducing the gap between his focused will-force and actual accomplishment. He attains what is known in Tibetan Buddhism as Amoghasiddhi, power in the field of action.
7. Isatva. Creative lordship.
a. The power of materialization, i.e. producing visible material things or invisible physical sensations (food, smell, color, etc.) out of the raw material of subtle energy.
b. The power of physical transformation, e.g. transforming water into wine, iron into gold, etc.
c. Rupanirmana. The power to assume different forms and project entirely divergent images of oneself. This is also known as Bahurupitva.
d. Cittanirmana. The power of creating different minds as variously effective means of gaining different perspectives and different means of knowledge and self-expression.
e. Atmarupantara. The power of transforming the physical, instinctual and mental aspects of personality into channels of expression for spiritual values.
f. Pararupantara. The ability to transform other people into what they essentially are, namely images of the Divine.
g. Yugasristi, or Navayugapravartana. The ability to create a new order of civilization, a new era of cultural efflorescence, a new life style, a new system of values. This enables one to function as a figure of history or a person of destiny.
8. Vasitva. Control and mastery over nature, both external and internal, physical and mental. Such control may assume various forms, such as:
a. Control over one's internal bodily organs, endocrine glands, energy centers, autonomic nervous system. This enormously increases one's power of resistance to disease, decay, and degenerative processes. One gains access to the secrets of rejuvenation and physical charm, vitality and longevity. One attains what is known as Icchamrityu, i.e., the ability to die or leave body at will.
b. The ability to control the mind and behavior patterns of other people by projecting powerful suggestions into bioenergetic existence-field.
c. The ability to subdue the savage impulse, wrathfulness and aggressiveness of other living beings, human or animal. This is known as aridaman.
d. Mastery over one's own instinctual drives and urges, passions and motivations. This is known as Atmasamyama.
9. Saktipata. The ability to transmit spiritual energy of the power of illumined existence to others who are sufficiently receptive or ready in their personal growth. This is also known as Gurukripa, Saktisancara, or Diksai.e. spiritual initiation. People can be spiritually initiated and awakened in various ways, e.g. by the Guru's compassionate look, touch, loving embrace, or by spiritual formula or sound-symbol.
10. Vyakhinasa, Rogavimochana. Spiritual healing by transmitting harmonizing vital energy or illuminating psychic energy, or by opening the inner being of a person in suffering to the free current of the universal life force.
11. Vayubhaksana. The ability to draw nourishment from air by turning the elemental forces of nature into food.
12. Amritasevana. The ability to drink the heavenly ambrosia or nectar of immortality. This happens when the awakened psychonuclear energy goes up to the highest energy center at the top of the skull. Out of this union flows a stream of joy and rapture flooding the entire organism. This stream of blissful energy, which has a revitalizing and rejuvenating effect, is known as the nectar of immortality (amrita). Also known as sanjivani suddha.
13. Punarujjivana. The power to bring a newly deceased body back to life.
14. Indrajal vistara. Power of mass hypnosis such as climbing up a rope, assumption of illusory forms of angels, animals or other persons, etc.
15. Indra Sakti. The power of rational will or organized purposive energy carried to the highest limit of development.
16. Rudra Sakti, Kundalini Sakti, Kalimahima. The most powerful cerebrospinal energy, dark yet luminous, like flashes of lightning in dark clouds, originally beyond all control of the rational will.
17. Brahmajyoti. Attainment of the self-shining light. In the Kena Upanishad, Indra receives this Being-cognition by the grace of Uma, the golden goddess, the self-revealing power of Being.
18. Purnajnana Sakti. This is what Sri Aurobindo calls the supra-mental power (Atimanasa Sakti, Ritacit Sakti), in which all the powers of consciousness are integrated.
1. Virat Jnana. Synoptic vision of Being in its visible manifestation, i.e. knowledge of Being manifesting itself in and through the phenomenal world and color, sound and rhythm. In the Bhagavadgita, Arjuna had the cosmic vision known as Viswarupa Darsana, the vision of Krishna as all the forms of the visible world.
2. Suksma Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of Being as the unmanifest background, or as the invisible all-sustaining medium of subtle forces and vibrations. The ordinary world is the visible manifestation of this invisible energy matrix. (The unmanifest energy matrix is also known as the cosmic seed, the golden egg, the Hiranyagrabha).
3. Karana Brahma Jnana. Knowledge of Being as the original undifferentiated cosmic energy from which the cosmic manifold springs into existence, in which it abides and endures, and in which it dissolved again. At this level the infinite Being-Energy (Mahasakti) is not yet differentiated into distinct forms but holds within itself endless diversity as the cosmic seed capable of sprouting and blossoming into the varieties of name and form (nama-rupa). (Spinoza's Natura Naturans?)
4. Nirguna Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of Being as infinite, indefinable, indeterminable, unfathomable Mystery. In other worlds, knowledge of ultimate reality in its transrational, unspeakable, numinous aspect. The same kind of experiential knowledge is described in Buddhism as knowledge of the absolute void or emptiness (sunyata). Christian mystics have variously described it as “the dazzling darkness,” “the absolute nudity of pure Being” or “the dark night.” Bhuma jnana, Taraka jnana, Turiyatita are other Sanskrit words for awareness of pure transcendence.
5. Purna Brahma Jnana. Integral knowledge of Being as the indivisible unity of the temporal and the nontemporal dimensions of the universe - the evolutionary and nonevolutionary aspects, the multitudinous and the absolutely nondual aspects of the real. One implication of this all-comprehensive understanding is that the nontemporal and transcendental aspect of the universe must not be metaphysically converted or reified into an eternally self-existent substance, absolute Idea, absolute Spirit, all powerful God, universal Mind, or absolute Suchness.
6. Dharma Jnana. Knowledge of the cosmic law which controls all operations of Nature and guides destinies of human history and civilization. It is the law that sustains the cosmic whole as an energy-conserving, balance-maintaining, self-adjusting, self-recuperative, creative-destructive, evolving-devolving system of energy.
7. Tattva Jnana. Knowledge of the fundamental structural principles of the universe, the archetypal masculine principle (Siva, Purusa, Yang, Logos, Yab), the archetypal feminine principle (Sakti, Prakriti, Yin, Eros, Yum), the ontological relation of dual-nonduality, or bipolar unity (Dvaitadvaita), the dynamic interplay of opposites (Lila), the laws of identity-in-diversity and diversity-in-identity (akhanda vaicitrya), the psychocosmic correspondence (deha-citta-abhinnata), the circular movement of creation-destruction as the rhythm of the cosmic process (Sristi-Samhara Cakra), the cosmic law of dynamic harmony (sasvata dharma), the natural law of the equality of action and reaction (kriya-pratikriya samatva), the ethical law of the recoil of all moral actions (Karma phalatva), the psychoevolutionary law of energy mobilization (Urdhagami tapahsakti), the creativity of the union of opposites (milana-nihita sristi rahasya). Metaphysics as the science of first principles consists of this kind of knowledge.
8. Jati Jnana, Samanya Jnana. Knowledge of eternal forms, essences, ideas, class differentia.
9. Pradhana Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality (Being) as the primordial neutral energy or matrix of the world.
10. Anna Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality (Brahman, Being) as universal matter, or cosmic physical energy.
11. Prana Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as the universal life force, the élan vital.
12. Mano Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as the cosmic mind, or world of Ideas.
13. Vijnana Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as the universal gnosis.
14. Sabda Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as the cosmic Sound, the primordial Word, the Music of the Spheres, the symphony of original vibrations.
15. Sphota Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of articulate sound structure composed of intelligently organized symbols. Sphota is the luminous potency of words and propositions to reveal the eternal verities of existence. So language conceived as truth-revealing light is perceived as the essence of the ultimate.
16. Prema Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as absolute love.
17. Sakti Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as supreme and absolute power. Supreme power may be conceived as the cosmic will to power, as unchallenged social or economico-political power, or as all-good, all-loving cosmic creative energy (Mahasakti).
18. Ananda Brahman Jnana. Immediate and intuitive awareness of the ultimate as indescribable and unfathomable bliss.
19. Atma Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as non-different from the boundless light of pure consciousness that shines at the inmost center of every human's own individual being. This gives rise to the experience of perfect self-sufficiency and everlasting nontemporal self-existence (Kaivalya, or the Atma Pratistha of Raja Yoga).
20. Ksana Brahman Jnana. Knowledge of the ultimate as the eternal Now. Knowledge of the entire expanse of time with its three dimensions of past, present and future simultaneously present to the knower in a flash of intuition.
21. Mahakala Jnana. Knowledge of ultimate reality as the cosmic process, as the beginningless and endless creative advance of Time. The Dancing Shiva (Nataraja) whose dance manifests the rhythm of the multidimensional cosmic process. The cosmic dance of Kali, dancing in self-oblivion on the tranquil bosom of Siva, the radiance of eternity.
22. Loka Jnana, Bhuvana Jnana. Knowledge of the different planes of existence-consciousness or psycho-cosmic spheres established by the creative evolutionary dance of Time (Mahakali, Nataraja).
23. Parabindu Jnana. Knowledge of the ultimate as the indivisible sound-light-seed-energy. Here vision, audition, and tactual are rolled into one supreme experience. This shows how our divergent sensations are differentiations of the same indivisible nondual reality.
24. Satya dristi. The vision of the Supreme Being as Truth which is inseparable from the supreme Good and the supreme Beauty (Satya-Siva-Sundara). Which means that the direct knowledge of the ultimate is simultaneous fulfillment of the deepest longing of our intellectual, volitional, and emotional nature.
25. Kundalini or Kali Darsana. Awareness of the awakening of the dormant psycho-nuclear cerebo-spinal energy.
26. Adrista Jnana, Divya Adesha Sravana. Audition of the Divine Command, the categorical imperative of the Supreme.
27. Visyakalyana Jnana, Sarvamangala Jnana. Vision of the cosmic welfare, or of the ultimate good of humanity evolving earth. Such vision of the summum bonum of the terrestrial process is born of the integral experience of the indivisible unity of the timeless transcendence and the creative advance of time in and through planetary evolution. Such a vision is reflected in ideals of the kingdom of heaven on earth.
28. Akhanda Sattajnana. Undivided awareness of the physical, the physical and the spiritual, the subjective, the objective and the transcendental aspects of the universe. Ancient Vedic sages of India laid special emphasis upon such integrated knowledge of reality. Agni was for them simultaneously the physical fire, the psychological fire, and the spiritual or numinous fire of transpersonal Being.
1. Visoka, Klesanasa-ananda. The joy born of elimination of mental disturbances, sensory distraction or deprivation, emotional agitation or fluctuation.
2. Swatahsphurta-ananda. The delight of spontaneous self-expression without any hindrance, inhibition or obstruction.
3. Sadananda. The kind of delight which is intrinsic to being and wells up from the depths without any extraneous cause.
4. Cidananda. The delight of pure undifferentiated consciousness which abides in the midst of all changing emotional moods such as sadness and cheerfulness.
5. Vivekananda. The delight inherent in fundamental value distinctions.
6. Nirvananda. The joy born of the liquidation of the empirical ego-self.
7. Bhumananda. The delight of immediate contact with the depth dimension of existence, the ultimate ground all that is.
8. Gunatita-ananda. The delight arising from nature-transcendence, abiding in the midst of all changes and reverses of fortune.
9. Mahanada. The delight of glimpsing the cosmic energy which originating, sustaining, and consummating all things, beings, events, and processes.
10. Kalinrityananda. The delight born of the dance or rhythmical movement of the awakened spiritual energy within one's own being resulting in the circulation of light (prabhamandala).
11. Sarvatma-ananda. The delight of perceiving the whole universe within one's own Self, and the Self within the universe.
12. Sristi-ananda. The delight of illumined creativity.
13. Amritananda. The delight of union of the energy aspect and the consciousness aspect of our being - the union of Sakti and Siva, Yin and Yang, Prakriti and Purusa, Eros and Logos, Yam and Yab.
14. Rasananda. The all-pervasive delight of perceiving the infinite variations of existence as crystallized expressions of the One.
15. Lilananda. The delight of entering into different kinds of rapturous communion with, or dynamic togetherness with, the Supreme Being.
a. Salokya. The delight of dwelling in the same place of consciousness with God.
b. Samipya. The delight of existing perpetually in the immediate presence of the Divine.
c. Sarupya. The delight of acquiring the divine form or appearance.
d. Sdrisya. The delight of growing steadily into the likeness of God.
e. Sadharmya. The delight of living in accord with the divine law of action.
f. Sarsti. The delight of acquiring the supernatural powers of God.
g. Sayujya. The delight of being absorbed in the abysmal depths of divine existence.
h. Seva. The delight of placing the service of the supreme Godhead above even the soul's deepest and most secret personal longing-the longing for complete liberation.
116. Mahamaya Lila. The delight of worldly affairs in the spirit of sportsmanship or divine playmanship which is born of perfect liberation (moksa).
17. Rasalila. The delight of dancing and singing together with kindred souls in the spirit of common dedication, and total self-giving.
18. Yajna Lila. Atmotsarga Lila. The delight of unconditional self-giving and joyful sharing with other people out of genuine love for man and God.
a. Sampattidan Yajna. The beatitude of sharing one's earthly possessions with other people out of altruistic love or compassion.
b. Atmadan Yajna. The beatitude of sacrificing personal comforts and pleasure with a view to serving the Divine Presence in the social have-nots and untouchables, in the poor and down-trodden.
c. Jivandan Yajna. The beatitude of sacrificing one's own life for the manifestation of divine glory in human society - for the freedom of one's own country, for the elimination of ignorance and injustice, for the restoration of the moral balance of the world.
d. Kamadan Yajna, Brahmacharya, Tapasya. The beatitude of sacrificing ego drives and desires, impulses and motivations with a view to awakening the Divine Energy (Sakti) which lies dormant in the human psychophysical system.
19. Bodhisattva Lila. The beatitude of dedicating oneself, even after the attainment of full enlightenment, to the service of the entire living creation toward the collective liberation of all.
20. Dharma Lila, Jivanmukti Lila. The beatitude of dedicating oneself to worldly activities with a view to maintaining the ethical order of the world (Lokasamgraha), regardless of the fruits of action.
21. Jugantar Lila. Inspired by the vision of new and better world order, an enlightened person may engage in revolutionary action for the ultimate good of humanity in utter indifference to personal, communal, racial, or parochial vested interest.
22. Navayuga Lila. The beatitude of participating in planetary evolution in tune with the superconscient energy of Being.
Siddhis or Miraculous Powers
By practicing the great mantras, you will come across certain tremendous powers called the siddhis. They invariably come to you. (The other, higher meaning of siddhi is perfection or attainment.) It is very important to know about the siddhis because sometimes you can become so flooded with the spiritual energy that you will be at a loss to know what to do with it. Just as a man who obtains but doesn't know how to operate a gun can be a source of danger to himself and those around him, a person who has attained the siddhis without a corresponding wisdom in their use can be equally dangerous. This has been true in the lives of many Masters in the past and in the lives of many gurus in the present.
Not only in the spiritual realm but also in the political, religious, social, historical, and scientific levels, when man gets power, that power corrupts unless he has the humility to receive the blessing and use it for the service of mankind in the service of God. This why the Masters always encourage us to go beyond the siddhis and dwell in nectar. Power used selfishly will kill you or drive you crazy unless you use it for service.
Though there are many siddhis, such as clairvoyance (supernormal vision), clairaudience (supernormal hearing), extrasensory perception, psychometry (matter moving by the power of the mind), eight important ones are described below:
Anima means you know the subtlest of things [Anu: Atom] around you and just by mere will, you can make yourself appear very small to everyone. Or you can become so subtle that you can enter into the dreams of people and guide them, or if you misuse the power, you can misguide them, which is dangerous. Or even though all the doors to a room are locked and the walls are solid, by assuming a subtle form, you are able to penetrate those walls and doors. So anima means very subtle, to be atomic in size or to assume the minutest form with which you could go anywhere you like.
Garima is to be able to assume a mountainous size which means your form appears colossal, mountainous or cosmic.
Laghima means to be very light. By practice of the mantra, no matter how weighty you are, you have the power to make your entire system very light, like cotton or flower petals. That is the secret of levitation and reaching anywhere.
Mahima means to be very, very, very heavy. These are only the surface meanings. There are so many other celestial meanings to these most practical powers which come to you.
Prapti means that whatever you wish for, either for yourself or for others, immediately you obtain the same.
Prakamya means, among other things, that if a soul is not resurrected, that is, it is caught somewhere in the astral worlds, it is visible to you, and you can use that prakamya power to send that soul to a higher dimension. Or if someone is asking for help in conquering the prarabdha karma, the incurable karma, and he remembers the guru, the guru is able to cure that karma and see that the person is healed, restored to his health or pristine purity or lifted from any fall and raised to a higher height. With prakamya, you even have the power to create new dimensions or to ask a special favor from God for certain souls for their enlightenment. This applies not only for individual wishes, but for the collective wishes of mankind.
Ishitva means lordship. You are the lord of your senses, the lord of your mind. It means you conquer and wherever you go, that lordship is there. That is why you call Jesus 'Lord Jesus,' or Krishna 'Lord Krishna." Often these powers come to a social, political or religious leader and all too often, we see how this power is misused. You have to develop humility and remember that God alone is Lord. If you allow the ego to operate this siddhi, then definitely there will be brainwashing and the killing of the spirit of others. You must be very careful to remain humble. All great Masters fall on their knees when this siddhi manifests and pray again to the Almighty to bless them with humility. "Blessed are the poor in spirit ..." it is said, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Otherwise, you will get lordship over certain things, such as continents or wealth, etc., but you'll lose the Kingdom.
The eighth power, with almost the same connotation, is called vashitva. It means attraction. Wherever you go, you are the
magnet, the center of attraction. You attract everything--all the
angels, all the human beings, all the species--towards you.
In the meantime, by the practice of mantra, there might be several other forms of siddhis which will come to you, including the higher siddhis such as walking on water or going to any loka, or entering into another's body (parakaya pravesha), or blessing an individual.
A poor lady, when Shankaracharya came to beg for alms, had nothing except one fruit. Yet she brought that amalaka fruit and with tears in her eyes gave it to the guru in his begging bowl. Immediately, he uttered the kanakadhara stotra, which means invoking the supreme Lakshmi, and showered all kinds of wealth and riches on her. There are many more, such as restoring the dead, or enabling a childless couple to have a baby. All these blessings and more are possible by the proper use of siddhis. If you maintain humility, then you will use the siddhis for the service of humanity and in the eyes of the Kingdom, you will be considered as sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father.
So this is the knowledge and the warning about the powers which might come to you. Ganesha and Hanuman, especially, give the siddhis immediately. These two aspects are quick siddhis. But when the king wants to give you the kingdom, if you beg for a few cents (pray for the siddhis), that would be foolishness. That is what the siddhis are. Do you understand? A parable will clarify this point.
Once there was a king traveling in a golden chariot and he met a beggar who was on his way to ask the king to make him become super-wealthy overnight. But before the beggar could beg of the king, to his wonderment, the king began begging of the beggar. Descending from his chariot, the king asked the beggar to give him something. At that, the beggar began pushing his knapsack behind him, saying, "I don't have anything, I don't have anything at all!
He had seven or eight handfuls of rice in that sack but he said, "I have nothing."
The king replied, "Well, whatever you have, give a little bit of that to me."
But the beggar was not willing. He said, "You are the king, I am the beggar and you are begging of me? Then both of us should go together as beggars!"
The king insisted, so the beggar, much against his will, put his hand into the knapsack and pulled out seven or eight grains of rice from the seven or eight handfuls which he had. And the king accepted that very gladly and in his golden chariot, returned to the palace.
The beggar was very unhappy thinking, "not only did the king not give me anything, but he took from me also! How unfortunate I am!" Thinking thus, the beggar with great agony came back to his mosquito-infested hut and emptied the sack. Lo! To his surprise, among the seven to eight handfuls of rice, there were seven to eight grains of rice which had been converted into gold. Now he began beating his forehead, lamenting, "how foolish, how dull-witted I am! Had I known what I gave to the king would return to me in pure gold, I would have given all seven to eight handfuls of rice. I would have emptied everything there so that I would have been filled here!"
We are all like beggars. We have something and we go to God to ask Him for more and more. Instead, God asks us to give what we have. But our ego says, "I don't have anything, I don't have anything!" We try to hide the knapsack behind us. God insists, but still we don't agree to give our time or our breath for meditation. God has given us our whole life to realize Him and we say "We have no time, we have no energy. We are very busy, we have no money, we have no health, we don't have this, we don't have that." Yet God insists.
Still, when you do not behave, then God 'kicks,' throws bricks,' sends difficulties, problems, ill health, headaches, etc., to make us give something to Him so that we could be blessed. Then, much against our will, we give seven to eight minutes of meditation in twenty-four hours, or seven to eight hours in a month. Some people do not even give an hour in a whole lifetime. Then the time comes to empty the sack, to depart from this body, and you realize that those days, those minutes, those hours, those breaths which I spent with the Lord or in the company of saints--those moments alone are the golden moments of my life, like the seven or eight grains of rice converted into gold. At the time of death, you beat your forehead and cry with agony, "Had I known that this would be completely golden and I would be basking in that yellow, healing light and God Himself would come with His messengers to take me to the immortal kingdom of Truth, I would have dedicated all my breaths and all my time for God!"
But, by then, it is too late. You'll be reborn again. Still, with that lament as your last thought, when you are reborn, you'll come as a yogi to end your evolution. This parable is a great parable, related to every one of us. Life has value only relative to the time you have spent in realization of your great Self or doing any action with the spirit of God. All the rest is, compared to the immortal Truth, worthless. The moments which we spend with God are golden moments which will be returned to us as golden moments. So make the whole life a golden moment. Get initiated into the Truth and represent God in every work which you do. A little more kindness added to our work, a little more selflessness, is an expression of that love for God. That is what will make on earth the Kingdom of Heaven.
Do the sadhana (spiritual discipline). Never eat your breakfast without doing sadhana. Never go to sleep unless you pray and conduct your sadhana daily, without fail. Because that alone is life. That alone is divine. Morning prayer gives you energy throughout the day to work with all alertness in healing and helping. All those who come to you will take with them that kindness and compassion which you manifest by the power of the prayer. Just as you take time for sleep, time for food, time for recreation, time for everything else, you must take, similarly, time for meditation until you make the meditation or prayer constant in the midst of all activities, and in every breath. Then you shall not be reborn, and if you do come back, you'll come back with compassion in order to help humanity reach that higher state.
Each one of you, along with your other works, kindly bring this potential healing power in you to the surface and bless people around you who really require these great mantras and ashirvada (the benediction). Become the great healers of humanity. It is neither caste, creed, color, country nor anything else that counts nowadays, other than the power to heal, the power to love, the power of God to manifest in each and every one of you. It is potentially in you, but hidden. The guru invokes it and brings it to the higher level. Do not allow it to go back. Instead, recite the mantra, get those powers and, with humility, heal humanity.
by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri
I was invited to attend and participate in the Second International Festival of Yoga and Occult Sciences in London, England, August 3rd to 16th, 1973, and I wanted to make a major presentation to this august body that would bring into the fore the philosophy, science and practice of Yoga and also bring into the awareness of the West a vast field of psychic sciences that in sonic ways are comparable to the Arcane and occult schools of Europe in particular and the West in general. 1 prepared a gigantic thesis on the Siddhis and Riddhis of Yoga and Tantra and presented a synthesis of this material in my numerous talks before vast audiences assembled for the Congress and distributed material I had earlier printed up in a pamphlet containing much of the -matter I presented. Most of that material was serialized in YOGA LIFE during early and mid 1973 and subsequently, the same material was bound up as Vol I to be distributed to scholars of the Arcane and Occult, to Yogacharyas and to libraries around the world. Vol. I had an unprecedented response from all of those who managed to act art original copy. But these original volumes became so scarce that Orientalists, Yoga Ashrams, and libraries seeking a copy for their shelves had to be turned down as copies were extinct. *Because of this and other encouragement I decided to serialize an updated version of the earlier SIDDHIS AND RIDDHIS again in YOGA LIFE beginning from February issue 1987. We heavily overprinted this series so that they could be bound tip appropriately and re-issued as a Second Edition (1987) of SIDDHIS AND RIDDHIS. This Second Edition does carry sonic additional information and material, particularly the section on RIDDHIS—A STATE OF PSYCHIC PROSPERITY (Pg 41), the material on LORD GANESHA-CONTROLLER OF THE SIDDHIS AND RIDDHIS (Pg 45) and the SIDDHI-RIDDHI-SADHANA (Pg. 49). The appreciation in the form of a foreword to SIDDHIS AND RIDDHIS by Yogramani Nrittayogini Dr. Meenakshi Devi adds a further dimension to this study. The Index and the Addenda will be valuable to seekers and researchers. Material front this present edition I will be presented at the upcoming World Yoga Conference in New Delhi, January! 7th to 12th, 1989. A Yoga section is to be convened during the First World Conference on World Peace through Super Power Spiritual Technology. That proposed Conference is sponsored by Vishwa Unnyayan Samsad (World Development Parliament) of which I have been appointed the Governor-General for Yoga.(1987 to 1992). Siddhis are psychic accomplishments and powers attained by the practice. of Yoga and Tantra. The counterpart or corresponding states of psychic prosperity are termed Riddhis in Yoga and Tantra tradition, and are apparent magical powers acquired either by long training and subjection to the control of "outer forces" or as acquisitions through the inner disciplines of Yoga and Tantra (Pg 3). It must be acknowledged that Siddhis or psychic accomplishments can be attained by other than Yoga Sadhana and Tantric Tapas. Ancient authors of the Tantra and even Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras which details Ashta Siddhis, enumerates at least twelve sources of psychic states including Siddhi and Riddhi. These sources are: 1. A carry over from past lives into the present incarnation. Those having occult accomplishments often mention that they are in contact with elementals or forces associated with their past lives. This force of carry over from the past life should be considered at the psycho-mental level only. 2. Genetic inheritance. No doubt the psyche influences even the genes in the human cell. Those having occult accomplishments often mention that they have a psychic parent or grandparent. This development is at the somato-psychic level. 3. Aberrations in. the nervous system, brain or mind function. It is to be noted that many suffering from mental aberrations radiate psychic states or accomplishments in their madness. 4. The use of drugs or hallucinogens Patanjali mentions the use of herbs, etc. In recent times the world has suffered greatly because of young people wishing occult and psychic states through the drug cult. Although proponents of these drugs claim that they produce spiritual states, it is now proven they produce only psychotic aberrations, hallucinations, and drug induced fantasies. They do produce altered states of consciousness, but these states are always lower levels, even levels manifesting at the plant and animal stage Of evolution. 5. When seriously injured, critically ill, and sometimes when chronically diseased, in feverish and morbid disorders, and while moribund or dying. Many patients display psychic phenomena when ill, injured or moribund on the death bed. Some have reported "after death experiences" when saved from the death experience if only temporarily. A famed African explorer recalls in his autobiography, that when he was severely mauled by a ferocious lion, he experienced much to his great astonishment, an ecstasy and bliss (which we would call in Yoga a Samadhic state), rather than the pain, fear and anguish one would expect. in such a horrifying situation. 6. While under hypnosis, or in narcoleptic states. Under clinical or experimental hypnosis, subjects have displayed psychic power and later related psychic experiences even reporting experiences from past lifetimes. Narcoleptic phenomena like sleep walking and talking in the sleep fall into this category. Sleep walkers have been seen walking on the window ledges or on the rails of balconies of high rise buildings with eyes closed, or walking serenely down the banisters of staircases. 7. Psychic possession. Our ancient Sanskrit texts suggest that certain earthbound Siddhas, sometimes termed "Ascendant Masters" possess the body of a living vehicle to manifest psychic states and accomplishments, The trance state of the medium in a séance, the expertise of the psychic surgeon, and the miracles of many past and present Babas or Masters, must be attributed to takeover of the mind-brain function by an external force or power. That power may be evil, even Satanic. 8. By a practice of the Arcane sciences, Shamanism, the occult sciences, Voodoo or witchcraft. Most arcane and occult practices are at the materialistic level, desiring powers to control elementals or humans. Most fields of ancient and modern Magika, the field of magic, lack a spiritual or universal goal and can open up the unwary to physical disease, mental disorders, and psychic possession. 9. Powers attained by the grace of God, the grace of the Guru, or bestowed through prayer and meditation. Eastern Yoga and Tantra accept that the Grace of God is obtained only through an enlightened Guru and by deep supplication to the Divine by Adhyatmika meditation. 10. By religious rites and rituals, the holy Mass, or Puja. The higher Karma Kanda Puja of Hinduism is equal to the religious Mass of the West. Jnana Kanda is internal worship of the Divine, with, deep supplication to the Cosmic Atmik force within. 11 Yoga Sadhana is the total dedication to the pursuit of Truth (Sat, through Dharana). Yoga Abhyasa is total adherence to the Ashtanga Yoga directives as outlined by Patanjali in the YOGA SUTRAS or by Mantra, the science of vocal vibration; Yantra the science of cosmic geometry; and Kundalini arousing Laya Yoga techniques. It should be noted that the attempt to arouse Kundalini Shakti without Sadhana or Abhyasa can lead to the development of Siddhis but at, the expense of spiritual development. 12. Tantric rites, rituals, and practices. The Tantric school is made up of ten distinct sections: five schools are Varna Marga, the left-hand path and lead only to physical, mental and spiritual depravity and destruction, while the five schools of Dakshina Marga Tantra do lead to spiritual evolution, and like in classical Yoga educe or produce Siddhis, as a natural part of the evolutionary process. WARNING: All ancient writers including Patanjali, state that the development of Siddhis and Riddhis is a natural correlate to the practice of Yoga (Pg 11) and all are adamant that an indiscriminate development of the Siddhis is dangerous, to spiritual progress, even to evolutionary development (Pg 9 and 10). Yoga Sadhana, Yoga Abhyasa alone is considered to be the proper method of development of Siddhis and Riddhis. In the foregoing list, the first two sources of the Siddhis may be unavoidable even inevitable to individual spiritual aspirant. But, all other means of developing Siddhis and Riddhis but by Yoga must be eschewed. Yoga practices develop the transcendental area of the right pre-frontal lobe of the brain while all other activity is associated with the transactional left pre-frontal lobular, or the hind brain or rear brain alone.
Divine Siddhis, Nature Siddhis and Species Siddhies
According to the LINGA PURANA even the Gods have their Siddhis (Vers. 48 to 51), although of a Divine nature. The following powers or Siddhis pertain to Brahma, the four-faced Creator. 1) Creation of the world by mere conception 2) protection 3) dissolution 4) exercise of authority 5) functioning of the world at will 6) dissimilarity with all 7) creating separately all visible things 8) creatorship of the universe. The Siddhis associated with Lord Vishnu are said to be beyond and higher than the powers of the creator Brahma. Vishnu has the Siddhi to sustain the universe and all that is in it. The implication is that it is easy to create anything, from a society to a religion, or even a child, but sustaining it may be another question. It is stated that only Brahma alone can really understand the Siddhis of Vishnu. It is said, in the LINGA PURANA, that even Lord Vishnu is not able to comprehend the Siddhis of Lord Shiva. Shiva is the only one of the Hindu Trinity that is said "to be known" or "understood" by a human aspirant. Shiva, the pure entity, is possessed by the many qualities of Goodness. He is the Lord of Tamas, Rajas, and Sattwas Gunas. He reigns over the twenty seven categories of the Cosmos, yet He can be known by the Siddhi of Vivek Darshana, discriminative insight. All of the major Devata, the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism have Siddhis, as well as the Divine Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Particularly Divine Mother as Shivaa is propitiated for her Varada, the granting of boons. Varadaana or Pradaana is the Sanskrit term for boon or wish fulfillment. Varadaa Devi or Uma Shivaa also includes other forms of Divine Mother such as Durga, Kali and Lakshmi. Just like on the earthly plane, children go to their mother for boons and favours, so also the Divine Children seek out the Mother in various religions. Siddhis are also associated with Lord Ganesha, also known as Ganapathy and Lord Shanmugan, who is also approached as Lord Murugan. The lesser Devattas in the hierarchy of Gods and Goddesses are also evoked but usually for mundane psychic powers. The elements of nature called "The Pancha Maha Bhutan" are also stated to have appropriate Siddhis in the LINGA PURANA. (Verse 30 to 43). Actually, these Siddhis are more like Gunas or qualities of the elements. There are eight Siddhis pertaining to Parthiva, (Prithvi) the earth; sixteen Siddhis associated with Apya. (Apas) water; twenty-four Siddhis associated or pertaining to Taijasa, (Tejas) the fire element; eight Siddhis are associated with Vayu, the element of air; and another eight Siddhis are allotted to Akasha, the ether element. Siddhis are associated with the mind element, Manas, and Ahamkara, literally, the "ego-maker". The "I-maker" or the personality, has eight devastating Siddhis. They are the ability to I. cut and wound 2. to strike 3. bind 4. create 5. destroy what has been created 6. bless or curse 7. conquer space and time 8. challenge death and even conquer the Lord of Death, Yania. Although Ahamkara, the “ego-maker” is the greatest obstacle to spiritual progress it is listed in LINGA PURANA with some positive Siddhis such as the power to create and to conquer time and death. Certainly, modern science, which is the latest vehicle for the Ahamkara, has conquered time and space, and is doing its best, through its offshoot, modern medicine, to conquer death! But at what spiritual cost? Although Manas and Ahamkara are not a part of the Five Elements, they are listed in the LINGA PURANA as such along with the Supra Conscious Intellect of the Buddhi, which has the Siddhi of Viveka, or spiritual discrimination. The Siddhi group associated with the Buddhi is also referred to in the LINGA PURANA as Tushthi, a state of spiritual satisfaction or satiety attained by a special Sadhana (Verse 37 to 44). This Sadhana extolls the use of Pranayama, contemplation of Shiva, and meditation upon the five syllables Panchakshara Mantra, "OM NA MA SHI VA YA" (OM NAMA SHIVAYAH). There are Siddhis associated with natural phenomena, like mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, deserts, sea coasts and even "ley lines," like at Tiruvannamalai and Madurai or gravitation wells such as at Chidambaram or psychic forces above and below the earth. Certain holy places on the earth's surface are said to impart their Siddhis to pilgrims. Spiritual boons, recovery of health, progeny, even physical material wealth can be associated also with countries, cities, and certain places. Every species has its appropriate Siddhis. Birds are able to migrate by a special Siddhi according to our Masters. The bat has its in-built "radar system"; the bee, its direction finder and time indicator from the Sun; the electric eel has a paralyzing sting; the oyster creates a pearl; certain species hibernate; a cobra can carry deadly poison without harm. Certain bugs, birds, reptiles, even animals can fly, defying the law of aerodynamics. It is said that there is a Siddhi for every species calculated in the Hindu scriptures to be 84,000 basic species with sub-species totaling 84,000, 000, 000.
108 Classical Siddhis
Most authoritative writers on the subject of Siddhis refer to a total of 108 psychic accomplishments. However, if a search is made of the relevant, available literature plus the oral tradition of Siddhas, a total far exceeding that is to be found. Many terms are duplicates or simply extensions or parallels to the original phenomena. My editor inadvertently printed up in this text (Pg 13) that there are 180 Siddhis. An obvious typographical error may be a psychic impulse to extend even this extensive enumeration. Some writers claim there is only one Mahasiddi. Others enumerate six, eight, sixteen, sixty-four, eighty-one, one hundred and one hundred and eight. It should be known that every religion from early Nature Worship, the BON, archaic Shamanism and religious magic has its Siddhis. The Jewish tradition (Pg. 8) has its miracles, Christianity (Pg. 8) its Seven Gifts of the Spirit; Islam (P,, 8) particularly the mystic Sufi cult, has its version of the Siddhis; classical Buddhism (Pg. 5) and the later Buddhist Tantra is filled with reference to Siddhis. Early Jainism (Pg. 5) was interested in Siddhis, later rejecting them. The Siddhas of Tibet (Pg 6) and Hindu Yoga (Pg 13) particularly Patanjali's work, enumerates Siddhis and Riddhis, although Patanjali decries their development independently of spiritual Sadhana. Modern science is certainly little more than a materialistic field for Siddhis, acquired through machines and gadgets, rather than direct action of mind upon matter. In the Hindu tradition, some confusion exists. The LINGA PURANA mentions both six and eight Siddhis (Verse 13 to 16). Through the practice of Yoga and the conquering of impediments, Kleshas, the six Siddhis attained are: 1. Pratibha, super keen intellect also called Buddhi Siddhi; 2. Sravana, clairaudience, or super sensitive hearing; 3. Varta, super-sensitive sense of smell; 4. Darshana, clairvoyance or super-sensitive sight 5. Asvada, super-sensitive taste 6. Vedana, psycho-kinetic, super-sensitive touch. It should be noted that these are the equivalents of the modern Para-psychological phenomena of para-normal Western researchers. It should also be understood that each of these six Siddhis has a psychic parallel other than the psycho-material states enumerated The same LINGA PURANA lists Eight Siddhis by those who pass through "The Noble Northern Path" and comprise: 1. Anima, the power of becoming as small as an atom. 2. Laghima, the faculty of assuming excessive lightness at will; 3. Prapti, the power of obtaining everything; 4. Prakamya, irresistible will; 5. Mahima, the power of increasing one's size at will; 6. Ishitva, total supremacy; 7. Vashitva, the power of subduing all to one's will; and 8. Kamavasfyita, the power of suppressing desire. The last one is sometimes substituted by Sarvajnatva, which means a state of Omniscience of mind. Ishitva and Vasitva are sometimes coupled together as the Siddhi to attain immortality, the Amritam Siddhi (p. 13). Patanjali in the YOGA SUTRA also lists Eight Siddhis but they are not consistent with those mentioned in the LINGA PURANA. Indeed, the various remnants of the original manuscript of Patanjali are conflicting itself, not always being consistent. The twenty-four most valuable expositions or Bhashas of Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS, from earliest times to the modern also are inconsistent. One manuscript suggests the Ashta Siddhis to be: 1. Anima is the power of feeling or becoming-minutely small, like an atom: 2. Mahinia is creating the sensation or actualizing a sense of size or infinite greatness; 3. Garima is the sensation or actualisation of becoming as heavy as lead and being immovable; 4. Laghima is the feeling or actualization of weightlessness; 5. Prapti is the Siddhi of abundance on all planes; 6. Prakamaya is to experience success in all fields of action and endeavour and irresistible will; 7. Ishitva is Omnipotence or supremacy in all the Three Worlds; 8. Vashitva is the Siddhi of mastery over the Three Worlds. In this enumeration Garima, No 3, is included in the eight Siddhis but not listed in LINGA PURANA while Kamavasayita No 8 is excluded. There is no doubt that Siddhas and great Yoga Rishis had their own preferences and therefore, the listing of Siddhis is inconsistent. In a deep study of Yogic and Tantric lore, we find many term used in conjunction with the Siddhis and Riddhis. Such term which parallel the use of Siddhi are: Twa, Jna, Drishthi, Darshana, Abhijnaa and Tushti. Each of these terms is usually appended to the Siddhi or accomplishment. Generally, only the term Siddhi stands alone. While the suffix "Twa" is used, it means to have that power; “Jna” means knowledge of the power and its use: "Drishthi" means a view or insight of the power, while "Darshana" means much the same, but that the power has come intuitively rather than being produced by some Yoga technique or practice. Some Siddhis are known by alternative terms in Tantra. The Buddhists prefer the term "Abhiji-itia" meaning "higher wisdom, attainment”. The term "Tushthi" meaning attaining to satisfaction is more closely associated with the Sanskrit term "Riddhi" than any of the others. All of the terms used in this work are conventional Sanskrit terms used in ancient manuscripts or palm frond scrolls. I want to expound somewhat on that high state of psychic satisfaction termed as Tushthi. One write translates this term as "possessing immense powers". Nine in number, these Tushthis are 1. Bhuta Bhavishya Jnana, or knowledge of the past and future; 2. Dooradrishi, or clairvoyance; 3. Doora Shravana, or clairaudience; 4. Parakaya Pravesha, entering into another's body; 5. Kaya Vhulia, or materialising simultaneously in many places; 6. Jivadana or bringing the dead back to life; 7. Jiva Karana or causing the death of anyone at will; 8. Sargakarana, or creating new galaxies; 9. Arga Karana, or destroying that which is created. LINGA PURANA (Verse 37 to 39) states the characteristics of Tushthi are obtained by being satisfied with the sustenance one gets by justifiable means. In introducing this second edition of my earlier SIDDHIS AND RIDDHIS, I feel strongly that I must convey Patanjali's, warning that the pursuit of Siddhis alone may be at the price of one's spiritual development. One cannot have double gain under the Karmic law, any more than there is double jeopardy under the same law. It requires a very mature psychic individual, a great Yogi, Siddhar or a Tantric Master to control the forces unleashed. The lure of the Siddhis is no doubt great for the undeveloped, immature mind seeking powers for personal gratification and for control over others. But a warning. The entanglement of the Siddhis can steal away lifetimes of evolution. The true Siddha is he who overcomes the temptations of the Siddhis. I write for you, my readers, not only as a source or authority, but as one who has experienced many of the Siddhis. No doubt, I am enjoying that state of Paramtushthi or Riddhi, psychic prosperity in this, the later part of my life. I have been an observer of the destruction of many a great Master both East and West by an undue preoccupation with the Siddhis. I have had to resist numerous temptations in the field myself. I know of the lures, the pitfalls, and the disasters to which I allude in this work. But, I am also keenly aware that I have been blessed by God, have the grace of my Guru Paramparya, and the discipline of Yoga Abhyasa. For those ready to join me and others on the evolutionary Yoga Marga I call Sadhu! Sadhu! Straight on! Straight on to the goal! What you seek is here and within!
Yoga Samyana (an extract)
by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri
A disruption of the psycho-kinetic sense creating whooziness or the sensations of rocking as if in a boat at sea are indications that the Yogi could probably develop some psychic accomplishments or Siddhis, but most of the Siddhis should be avoided, as they are distracting to higher Yoga States. The lower or lesser Siddhis are usually attained through the Pratyahara as taught in this section.
These Siddhis are Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapiti, Prakamya, Ishitva and Vashitva. Anima is the sensation of being as small as an atom, as though one were the core of the Universe itself. This helps remove an inflated ego much as does gazing at a star-filled sky on a summer's night. The awe of being such an infinitesimal part of an infinite, endless Universe often sets aright false illusions about one's true nature. Mahima is the sensation of largeness or greatness, as of filling the entire universe, of being the occupant of time, eternity and all space. For a person who is depreciative of himself, this sense of real greatness and the responsibility that comes with it is uplifting. Garima Siddhi is the power to become as heavy as lead, to be firm and stable in thoughts and actions and is an accomplishment which helps the unstable and fickle of mind and the footloose to settle into a Sadhana. Laghima is the Siddhi of feeling as light as a feather, of weightlessness. This helps to adjust earth-bound feelings of heaviness of the physical body and the false sense of responsibility so destructive in some students.
Prapti is the Siddhi to attain anything one wants—all wishes are fulfilled at every level. Prakamya is the Siddhi to have success in every field of endeavour. Ishatwa is the Siddhi to be able to possess or control anyone or anything. Vashiwa is the Siddhi to have mastery over all situations and to direct the course of events as desired. There are 108 Siddhis or Psychic Accomplishments in all and some aspects of Tantra and misdirected Yoga get involved. My advice is to shun Siddhis.
Patanjali warns those unable to suppress the lure for the power of the Siddhis that they will fail in the Cosmic Conscious attainment of Moksha. In SUTRAS 38 through 54 he warns: "Siddhis are obstacles to the attainment of Samadhi....because they distract the mind. .and lead to the production of greater Karma. When the Siddhi is manifest...Samadhi is suspended. The Yogin must entirely destroy pride or pleasure in the power to evoke and use the Siddhis. When this cannot be done, the very fault from which the Yogin seeks release is redoubled in strength and , preoccupies him." The Bhuchara Siddhi of dominating any being or thing is considered to be the most enslaving of Siddhis for all but the Jivan Mukta. Yet this very dominion is necessary for the state of mastery embodied within the general meaning of the title "Siddha" or "Swami".
The wise ones know that by releasing the attachments to the Siddhis, Siddhi Sannyaasa, that the state of psychic prosperity known by the general term of Riddhi is to be enjoyed. This psychic prosperity is also known as Abhyudaya, the higher prosperity conferring benevolence and compassion and by the term Punyodaya, or benevolence merited by the Yoga of Right Action. Punyam represents the meritorious results of Karma; the reverse is called Paapa or demerit. Ancient texts also use terms like Sampatti, Utkarsha, Unnati and Udays to describe prosperity, luxurious comfort bordering on ecstasy, well being and affluence.
These states do not necessarily have their material counterpart, but give the "illusion" to others that the material state exists. Yogis, Sadhus, Swamis and Siddhas who have the Riddhi of psychic prosperity want for nothing in the material world. Even the slightest need is fulfilled, without the "need" to think or ask. Vibrant health, joy and longevity are assured. The spiritual goal will be reached. Such an Accomplished One has learned to give with no desire to receive, yet receives abundantly. He has learned to die to the self, to live Cosmically. It is learned. It can be learned!