Advanced Yoga Practices
Main Lessons

Previous  |  Next

Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.

Lesson 303 - Siddhis - Super-Normal Powers  (Audio)

AYP Plus Additions:
303.1 - The Greatest Siddhis  (Audio)
303.2 - Are Siddhis/Powers a Valid Reason for Meditating?
303.3 - How to Harness Our Spiritual Gifts  (Audio)

303.4 - Can Powers through Stand-Alone Samyama Practice bring Enlightenment?  (Audio)

From: Yogani
Date: Feb 6, 2009

New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Something that is often asked about yoga practices, most often at the beginning and not so much further along on the path, is how our daily deep meditation and samyama practice might lead to the much-fabled "siddhis," or "super-normal powers."

The possibility of ordinary human beings exhibiting extraordinary powers has always drawn public attention. Stories, myths and legends, both ancient and modern, depicting miraculous performances by heroes and villains alike never fail to find an audience. Everyone loves a super hero. Deep down, we all dream of becoming super heroes ourselves. Why? Because, while we may not believe we are capable of leaping tall buildings, we do sense our infinite inner dimensions and the possibilities associated with that. We are all wired that way.

It is natural for human beings to look beyond the status quo, as miraculous as that status quo may be in and of itself. All of life is, after all, a marvelous miracle.

Our accomplishments in applying natural laws, through applied science for the betterment of humankind, stand as testament to our capabilities. Yet, what we know and have applied so far doesn't even scratch the surface of what is to come. There is more that we do not know than there is that we do know. Of this we can be certain. So, are human beings capable of super-normal powers? Well, why not? We won't know for sure until we investigate further. Much further. If we do so within the context of promoting the natural process of human spiritual transformation with effective daily practices, we will not go too far wrong - powers or no powers. 

It should not be a surprise that the religions and spiritual traditions of the world have always dangled siddhis, miracles and extraordinary experiences as carrots to attract followers to their fold. This is not a reflection on the possibility, or lack thereof, of super-normal powers. It is just good marketing.

Most of the scriptures of the world contain exhibitions of super-normal powers, usually with the proviso that such things come from God. Even so, as eager aspirants, we often will seek the acts themselves before attempting to join with the primal cause - the divine within us.

Patanjali, one of the greatest integrators of spiritual practices of all time, hangs out the carrot in one whole chapter (out of four) in his ancient and very famous Yoga Sutras. At the same time he tells us, "Don't get too attached to these things." 

Nevertheless, we read his chapter on super-normal powers with gusto and secret longings. Either that, or we pooh-pooh it and tell others not to bother with such nonsense that can lead us astray from our real spiritual quest. 

Meanwhile, are we really in a position to judge the existence of super-normal powers, either for or against? It seems that either way we view it, we will be holding ourselves back, because we will be obstructing our true inner nature (whatever it is) with our mental fabrications about such things. Therefore, the best position to take is to have no view at all, continue on the path of purification and opening, and see what happens. If we do that, we will find out the truth of it by and by. It is a scientific approach.

So, in that spirit, we will neither endorse nor debunk super-normal powers here. There is no point in arguing about what we have not experienced for ourselves. Instead, we will be wise to just continue along our path of daily practice, keeping an open mind for whatever may come. If we focus on the how and let the what flow naturally from that, we will have much more success with samyama, and all of our practices.

Super-normal powers can be neither possessed nor denied. If and when they occur, they will be a by-product of our practices and spiritual growth, not a cause. Here we are concerned with causes. If we attend to the causes, all the rest will be there. 

We already know that samyama brings many practical results in daily life, and therefore has an important role to play in our over all unfoldment. So we can continue with that, not for any particular expression of power we may wish, but for a broad-based opening of our full potential. This is something we can see unfolding in our everyday life over months and years of daily practice.

Some might argue against the practice of samyama itself, suggesting that in the wrong hands it could be misused and cause damage to the practitioner and others. The truth is that it is not possible to use real samyama for ill, other than overdoing and experiencing some excessive inner purification. That is simply too much of a good thing, and can be regulated by prudent self-pacing in practices. 

No matter what sutras we are using, no matter how poor our selection, if we are releasing them into inner silence the result will be positive. Negativity cannot flow from pure bliss consciousness. It simply is not possible. This is why we call samyama a morally self-regulating practice. 

If we do not have enough inner silence present when undertaking samyama, little will happen. If there is inner silence, what happens will be positive. If we project a sutra outward, instead of letting it go into stillness, with the intention expressing personal power, the strength of the sutra will be greatly diminished. There are some who spend great effort constructing externally projected things, much to their loss of time and progress. It is the building of castles suspended in thin air. It is not samyama. Such activities have nothing to do with spiritual development.

While there are many possibilities for divine expression that can flow from within, the greatest of all these is Joy

Joy is the spontaneous letting go of all that we are into our infinite and eternal nature. It is surrender into that by which all is manifesting. Joy is the essential constituent in all of life and is the greatest siddhi - the greatest of all the super-normal powers. Joy is what has us laughing heartily as we become consciously One with the miraculous mystery of life.

Click here for more lesson content on the "the greatest siddhis."

The guru is in you.

Related Lessons Topic Path

Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum

Note: For detailed instructions on samyama practice, including multiple applications, and self-directed research on siddhis and supernormal powers, see the Samyama book, and AYP Plus.

Previous  |  Next