Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The eight Siddhis

From the ancient times, acquiring power has been dwelling in the deeper trenches of man’s mind. The one with physical power such as wealth, strength and army was considered as a mighty soul. Kings were considered equal to gods. The one with mental strength such as knowledge, metaphysical abilities etc was worshipped as the great Gnyani – the one who knows. Knows what? Knows what moksha is. The Atma is god. The one present outside is the one present inside. ‘Tat Tvam Asi’. The one who knows Advaitha. The one who ‘practically’ lives the advaithic way.

Such people were called Gnyanis. They guided people to know the meaning of life. The Samsara Saagara. The endless cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth and how to overcome it.

It’s been well observed that once the Gnyana – the practical truth of realizing the Atma as god - is obtained, the Gnyani automatically inherits most of the powers of the supreme god (Brahman – as mentioned by the scriptures. But if I mention that word, then suddenly I’m sure of someone raising the question – ‘Don’t use the name of a caste! It’s Brahman – not Brahmin. Anyway). Attention. Most of the powers. Not ‘all’ the powers. Once the Gnyani acquires the powers, he uses them with the kindness and compassion of guiding the people around him to overcome the cycle of birth and death. All the Gnyanis we know have done the same thing.

Take the Gnyanis of our times:

The Paramacharya of Kanchi - The embodiment of Advaitha, Bhagavan Sri Ramana maharshi, Ananthamayee ma, Sri Arobindo, The holy Mother, Swami YogiRam Surath Kumar - Visiri Swamigal, Sri Seshadri Swamigal, Sri Bhagawannama Bodhendra, Sri Abhinava Vidhya Theertha Sankaracharya Swami of Sringeri Mutt and many more.

Now, the advaithic realism attained by a Gnyani is the one which comes to him directly once he realizes the Atma. He didn’t crave for these special powers but he yearned ONLY to realize the true self. This is one kind of power. A power which is like a shirt – the Gnyani can also live without such a power. The power is unimportant for a Gnyani who has realized the true self.

Now, there is one more kind of power. This power is acquired by practicing what is called as Yoga. The Yoga is different from Gnyana. Bhagawat Gita clearly bifurcates these two categories. A Gnyani is someone who has realized the true self – the Advaitha – which states the Atma and the supreme god are same. Whereas, the Yogi is the one who, in search of Gnyana, practices certain principles, which yield him the desired Gnyana.

But – in big red bold – there is a huge pitfall. While going through the several steps of the process, every step yields a special power to the Yogi. This is not the case in a Gnyani’s practice. The Gnyani meditates scrupulously chanting the upadesa he received from his guru and at one stage he practically realizes the truth. He is not getting any special power while moving on the spiritual ladder towards Gnyana. But, the Yogi’s case is different. Since he chose this particular path, he will also get the fruits of the particular steps while climbing up the ladder.

It is mentioned that the Yogi gets eight special powers – The eight siddhis while he is moving up the spiritual ladder. They are:

Anima – The power of shrinking the body to that of an atom.
Mahima – The power of growing one’s body to a very large size (like vishwaroopa)
Garima – The power of increasing the weight of one’s body
Lagima – The power of reducing one’s own weight. Becoming totally weightless
Praapthi – Acquiring the material of one’s choice
Praakamyam – The power of unrestricted access to any place
Isitwam – The power of creation
Vasitwam – the power of attraction – to change another mind to obey us

These are the eight special powers. If attained, these powers have the ability to throw the practitioner back in to the mortal world again, letting him enjoy the fruits of these powers, instead of continuing his journey towards Gnyana. Hence, they are stated as dangerous by many.

Our country has witnessed numerous numbers of yogis with the above mentioned powers. Just take a look at ‘An Autobiography of a Yogi’. You will be astounded by the details given in that book about the yogis found all over India.

I will try to give more details in the subsequent posts.


balu said...

Wonderful man!!

Stylus said...

"The eight siddhis" - Nice post. I look forward to more details. I have added this blog to my favorites and I will keep checking.

Peace and love all

Shree said...

Good post about Yogic Siddhis...

I heard recently that Lord Hanuman is the best Yogi that the world has ever seen. I also heard that he is treated as the God of Yoga... if am not wrong.

logesh said...

Dear Rajesh,

Simply Superb Rajesh.

Expecting more information like this.


The S c o r p said...

Hi Shree,

Welcome back :). Yes. Hanuman is considered to be the adept in 8 siddhis and 9 kind of wealth - 'Ashta siddhi nava nidhi ke dhatha- Hanuman Chalisa. A great god to get rid of demons and enemies in our life.

Hi Logesh,

Sure. I will write more and more sure in the future :)

The S c o r p said...

Hi Stylus,

Thanks for adding my blog to ur fav. You can expect more to come in this regard sooner.

Ur signature is real gud :)

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