What are Siddhis?
Siddhis are psychic or spiritual powers that one attains because of Yoga,
Meditation, Spiritual Practices or Medicines. There are eight
AshtaMahaSiddhis or Eight Great Powers. Further there are ten Upasiddhis
or Sub Powers. There are also five Sudrasiddhis or Minor Powers.
Classification of Siddhis
Let's see Ashtamahasiddhis first:
- Anima: This power allows you to shrink your body as small as an
atom. You can pass through anything easily. You can also assume the nature
of animals, insects or even microcosms (in short anything smaller than you).
In Ramayana there is a story of Hanuman who burnt Lanka. He
used this power to shrink his body and escape through the palace.
- Mahima: This power allows you to expand your body as big as you
Krishna demonstrated this power to Arjuna
during Vishwarupadarshan. Hanuman also possessed this power.
- Garima: This power allows you to become infinitely heavy at will.
In Mahabharata Hanuman used this power to teach a lesson to Bhima.
- Laghima: Through this power you can reduce your weight almost to
nil. You can then travel easily from one place to another along with the
- Prapti: Using this power you can obtain anything that you wish.
In ancient texts there are references of small amount of food being
distributed to thousands of people. It is possible because of this power.
- Prakashaya: This power allows you to fetch anything from any
distance to you. You can bring anything that is miles away from you. You can
also listen distant sounds.
- Ishita: This power allows you to know past, present and future.
You become like a god.
- Vashita: This is a very important power. Once you acquire this
power you can subjugate anything in this world. You can rule anybody.
Now let's see Upasiddhis:
- Anurmimatwa: Because of this power hunger, thrust, sorrow, lust,
diseases and death can not touch you.
- Doorshravan: This power allows you to listen from distant places.
You also understand speech in any language.
- Doordarshan: Because of this power you can see anything from
- Manojawa: This power means astral traveling. You can travel to
any place anytime. Narada Muni possesed this power.
- Kamayukta: This power allows you to assume body of any creature.
- Parakaya Pravesh: Using this power you can enter any other body -
dead or live. Adi Shankaracharya and Mytsendranatha possessed
- Swatchanda Mritu: Using this power one can die at will.
Bhishma possessed this power and died as per his will.
- Surakrida: This power allows you to enjoy the company of gods.
- Sankalpasiddhi: This power allows you fulfill any wishes.
- Apratihat Ajna: Because of this power even gods obey your orders.
Finally, the five Sudrasiddhis are:
- Trikalajana: This power allows you to know the past, present and
- Advandva: Because of this power you remain unaffected by
extremities such as good-bad, pleasure-sorrow, hot-cold and hard-soft.
- Parachittajana: Because of this power you can know what is going
on other's mind. You can also tell them about their dreams.
- Pratishtambha: Because of this power you can combat fire, poison,
ice cold water etc.
- Aparajaya: One who obtains this power can never be defeated.
There are many other lower Siddhis as well.
Are Siddhis important?
The answer to this question is Yes and No. Siddhis are important because they
can tell you your advancement in the practice. They make you realize that nature
is not a boundary to human life. Things beyond nature can be made possible with
the help of Yoga. This is a tremendous confidence booster. You then realize the
true potential of body, mind and soul.
Siddhis are bad if used in wrong way. Siddhis are like capacitors. If
you discharge them by wrong earthing they loose their power. Instead if the same
power is circulated correctly in the circuit it gives constructive results.
There are many stories of Babas possessing Siddhis who used them
in wrong way. They of course got fruits of their wrong deeds.
Siddhis can act as an obstacles to your progress if used in wrong
manner. So it depends on how you use them. If, for example, you use Siddhi
of astral traveling to attempt a robbery, it would be certainly a wrong use of
Though Siddhis can be useful, they should not be considered as the final
result of Yoga. They are just bi-products of your practice. If you get them
that's fine even otherwise you should remain unaffected. To emphasis this point
let me tell you a short story.
Once upon a time there used to be a monk residing in a forest. He used to
stay in his small Ashrama surrounded by beautiful trees and river. The
environment inside the Ashrama used to be calm, peaceful and
tranquilizing. Animals, birds, butterflies used to wander playfully inside his
One day another monk came to the same forest. He built his Ashrama
just next to the existing one. This monk was having all sorts of supernatural
powers. He used to see the other monk every day. He started feeling jealous
about him and his Ashrama. He tried inviting animals, birds and
butterflies to his Ashrama as well but in vein. They used to run away
because of fear. He could never win their hearts.
One day he ordered all his Siddhis to assemble immediately (in ancient
days it was believed that each Siddhi has an associated goddess). All the
Siddhis were standing with their hands folded in front of him. He ordered
them - "Go and do something so that just like that monk those animals, birds and
butterflies will play in my premises. Make the same kind of peaceful environment
in my Ashrama too". The Siddhis politely replied - "We are extremely
sorry master but we do not have power to bring you the peace you want. We can
not also win the hearts of the animals, birds and butterflies for you. These
things are beyond our reach.". The monk thus realized his mistake and took
diksha from the newly found Guru.
The moral of the story is - Siddhis are not the destination. They are just a
bi-product of your practice. Do not crave for them. There is much more to life
than Siddhis. They can prove to be dangerous for your spiritual progress. A Yogi
who can overcome the temptation of showing off his Siddhis alone can reach the
final abode of liberation.
After a Yogi attains Samadhi what happens next? How he lives his life? Is he
like an ordinary person? The next article of the series will throw light on
May the peace be with you.