Overview of Siddhis.
The Patanjali is a propounder of the modern system of Yoga in the world. The system of Patanjali Yoga Sutras or the Patanjali Siddhis differs from the other traditional Asta Siddhis or the eight superpowers. People often ask ‘How to attain Siddhi Powers? and What are the supernatural powers of Yogis? And they download a bunch of pdf files. There seems to be a great curiosity for Eight Siddhis. Who doesn’t want a superpower? Our favorite superheroes have the perfect natural powers besides the heroes like Iron Man and Bat Man. Their superpower is that they are rich.
There are fantasy stories like that of Doctor Strange and Wonder Woman and yes they are perfect!
The teleportation or throwing energy ball through hands always attracts a curious mind. The book Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a perfect answer to the question of how to attain Siddhi Powers? This list of Patanjali Siddhis is just great.
In movies, the creators mention how they got supernatural powers. Most of the time superpowers are accidental rather than intentional. Although, in the Indian system of superheroes, these powers are intentional rather than accidental. There are stories that say most of the time only demons used to ask for superpowers from the deities. To fight those demons, Avatars of different times pray to three head Deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva to counter them. These were recorded in scriptures, way before Patanjali Siddhis came into the book.
This article is not to ridicule Science but to give you a glimpse of what the Patanjali Siddhis really are. They are mentioned in the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. The superpower seems impossible for modern science; however, stories give hope, stories give life and stories give the motivation to live. The Patanjali Siddhis and other eight classical siddhis can be used in films too. Kids would love them. They also need motivation. Our favorite superheroes are always there for them.
However, before looking for Patanjali Siddhis. Let’s have a glimpse at a list of 8 traditional Siddhis beside the Patanjali Siddhis. These are traditional Ashta Siddhis or Eight super accomplishment.
The Siddhis, list as per the traditional Puranas and other scriptures are as follows.
- Anima Siddhi, the supernatural power to transform into minute objects, just like what Hanuman did to enter the Lanka gate.
- Mahima Siddhi, the power to transform into largest. The greatest example is lord Krishna and Vamana. They transformed their body into Giant and largest in seconds. Lord Krishna did it to show the supernatural reality to Arjuna and Vamana did to destroy some form of the ego of Demon King Bali.
- Garima Siddhi, the power to create a weight on the body on will. Lord Shiva had created weight on his toe so that Ravana wouldn’t take mount Kailash to Lanka. Another example is that of Angad in Ramayana, he created weight on his legs, so that no one could move it from the ground.
- Laghima Siddhi is the supernatural ability to become weightless. It is the power to fly across the sky. Sage Narada used to visit every other planet while flying.
- Prapti Siddhi, the ability to get anywhere in the blink of the eyes. It is like teleportation. Most deities like Indra and Dharma used to visit different places through this.
- Prakamya Siddhi, to get whatever is being thought of or desired. The sages used to have this, they created food or any object on their desire.
- Ishitva Siddhi, the ability which makes a person a ‘Diety’, he/she can control Nature itself. Indra controls the thunder and rain followed by the senses of beings.
- Vashitva Siddhi is the ultimate control over Nature and everything. The three head Deities and the mother goddess Parvati or Kali have this power. Only a few exceptional figures like Hanumana had this Siddhi.
What’s special about Patanjali Siddhis, if the eight super natural accomplishments have it all ?
The Patanjali Siddhis are specific and contains methods to achieve them. Yes, you read it right. There is a different system of Siddhis of Patanjali, all having similar methods. Achieved through Samyama. You can click here to know about elements, limbs of yoga, and Samyama. The Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi once is called Samyama. Dharana is to hold the object in memory for contemplation, Dhyana is the continuous mental flow of knowledge, and the Samadhi is the unity of mind with that object. Philosophically this can be justified through mind-body relation just like a Placebo effect. However, most of the Yogis say that these powers/perfection takes 12 years or more of intense practice.
Given below in the section is the list of Patanjali Siddhis Mentioned in Patanjali Yoga Sutras. The link for the pdf file of the book translated by Swami Vivekananda is given at the end of the article so that you can understand the essence of Yoga. The third Chapter called Vibhooti Pada contains the methodology to get superpowers.
The practice of Samyama gives a yogi a perfect form of knowledge in almost all the desired stuff. Although, Patanjali says to become perfect in every other stage before going into these. You can read the article on elements of Yoga from our website to know all. He further states in the Sutras itself that, these powers are just the distraction of the mind which hampers the experience of Kaivalya, the ultimate destination. Kaivalya is the ultimate liberation of mind called final Samadhi.
The Patanjali Siddhis and supernatural powers are well defined in the sutras. When someone suppresses the disturbed modifications of the mind, this can give control of the mind. The practice makes a man perfect, this is the saying of Patanjali too.
Chitta, the active mind gets Samadhi after a great focus on one object of meditation. The one object meditation can explain all Bhutas ( Five elements), Indriyas ( Senses), nature of Dharma ( the eternal law). The major thing for achieving the Patanjali Siddhis is to resist the temptations. Resisting the change matters for the mind and to achieve perfection.
The knower of past present and future.
By making Samyama on three kinds of changes comes knowledge of past, present, and future. The three kinds of changes are those of Nature.
One who understands all the animal sounds.
Focusing the sounds of different ‘bhutas’ (five elements) comes the knowledge of all animal sounds.
Past life memories.
Making Samyama on the Samskara, the way of life, gotten naturally, comes the knowledge of the past birth.
Understanding others mind
Samyama on Chitta of others makes Yogis understand the mind of others. Directly this sutra states “Pratyashcha Parichittagyanam”. This is one of my favorite sutras in the Patanjali Siddhis. This can be probably thought of as possible in today’s time also. When you concentrate on the active minds of others, you can understand them very well.
Invisible body with invisible sound.
To make something invisible, understanding the ‘Bhutas’ matters at first, probably not with the mental exercises but with Anuhbhava ( realistic experience). Samyama on the visual body is the answer to get the invisible body. The power of perceiving the forms can be controlled if the light going to the other eyes gets controlled. The last statement seems too good for Science people. The words also can disappear if the focus is made on the sound to resist the sound wave going to the ears of others.
Knower of time of death.
A Yogi can know the time of separation of body by Samyama on karmas to be fructified and what has been fructified.
The power of friendship.
Samyama on friendships comes same strength to the yogis. So basically you can acquire great motivation from friendships too.
Strength of elephant.
When someone does samyama on the strength of elephant comes that power to him/her.
Remote Vision of Patanjali Siddhis
The Samyama on light brings the knowledge of obstructed and small is the direct sutra for Remote Vision in Patanjali Yoga Sutras.
Knower of body, worlds, planets and starts.
The Samyama on the sun gives the Patanjali Siddhis for knowledge of the world. On moon gives the knowledge of a network of stars. Samyama on the Pole star makes a person understand the motion of stars. On the navel chakra the knowledge of ‘Vyuh’ ( formation) of the body.
Cessation of hunger
Samyama on the hole of throat gives cessation of hunger. The person can live without the food for very long time.
There is a nerve called Kurma. Samyama on the Kurma makes the body fix and stable.
Understanding of Siddhas or intermediate celestials.
The Yogis get a spark on the head. It appears like a light to them. Samyama, on the light from the head, comes the knowledge of Siddhas. They are the intermediate celestial beings.
The ultimate, Prativa of Patanjali Siddhis.
Patanjali uses the word Prativa in the Yoga Sutras. This is the perfect practice of Samyama. By Prativa there comes knowledge of all. And, in the heart, there is knowledge of all the minds. This also gives Knowledge of senses belonging to Prativa. There are senses of multiple objects.
Entering others mind.
If the bondage gets loosened, a person can enter other minds. This is just like the movie Inception where a person can enter the mind to get the major ideas. The major bondage is that of Ego. The Samyama can loosen the bondage between the minds.
Aquaman of Patanjali Siddhis
There is a ‘Prana’ called Udana, through Samyama on Udana a yogi cannot sink in water. You can read about Prana Vayus by clicking here. This article provides a modern interpretation of the Prana system.
Samyama on the relation between listening and Akash (ether) element comes divine hearing of the celestials.
The practice of Samyama on the relation between Kaya (a form of the body) and Akash makes yogi very light. By this, a Yogi is able to move through the sky.
Destruction of Covering of light
The Samyama on the outside mind modification gives disappearance of covering of light. This means a person can destruct the flow of light coming to anywhere or anyplace
Control over five elements
This is the ultimate Siddhi. The Samyama on the elements from the Earth ending with superfine Ether comes mastery of the five elements.
Control over nature.
Samyama on the nature of organs with its identity and ‘how it changes?’ brings the control of the Powers of organs and mind. It also gives winning over Pradhan (first manifested nature element).
At the last Patanjali suggest a Yogi should destroy all these powers then only Kaivalya is achieved. A Yogi shouldn’t be lured by the temptation of the celestials and demons. A proper eye for discrimination of good and the best is required.
Samyama on the particle of time and it’s multiple can give that discrimination. Those which cannot be differentiated by species or form or any place even will be discriminated by the Samyama. It is very much necessary.
On final when the Samyama is done on the similarity between Sattva ( Acceptance) and Purusha(consciousness) comes Kaivalya. A Yogi must understand that change is part of nature. Samadhi over the Nirgun Form is far greater than other forms. This itself is one of the ultimate Patanjali Siddhis or best Siddhi ever.
Link to download the full book of Patanjali Yoga Sutras. Click Here.