“Sometimes I’ve believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast”
The siddhis are extraordinary powers, latent within everyone. After a certain level of awareness and energy has been attained through traditional yoga practice , siddhis may spontaneously appear like fruit on a tree.
Yogis have always sought to develop their full potential – the siddhis - and often in service to others.
Almost all 55 sutras of book three (Vibhuti-Pada) of the sage Patanjali’s great work ( the yoga sutras ) are devoted to extraordinary powers, although he warns us about showing off the siddhis – you should never use your Jedi skills to shake up a bottle of Budweiser before opening or to switch channels on T.V.
There are the lesser siddhis and the greater siddhis. The lesser siddhis include psychic perceptions such as clairvoyance (inner-seeing), clairaudience (inner hearing), clairsentience (inner-feeling) and clairgnosis (inner-knowing).
Remote viewing (inwardly seeing objects and locations existing miles away that cannot be physically seen by the viewer) and perceptions of auras and spirits are all part of clairvoyance.
Clairaudient folk have the ability to tune into the subtle impressions of sounds and/or voices from other times and/or dimensions. It is believed that many of the great composers somehow picked up on the music of the subtle realms.
Clairsentients can feel other people’s feelings, often registered as bodily reactions. Clairgnosis occurs when you get that gut feeling that turns out to be true . Intuition, flashes of insight are all part of clairgnosis.
The lesser siddhis also include such things as the ability to transcend pain, to heal (self and others) and to rejuvenate. The power of the siddhis exist to varying degrees, obviously. This group of yogic abilities also features telepathy, prophecy, feats of memory and extraordinary physical prowess. Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other at the same time – amazing to think of the possibilities inherent within that gift !
The greater siddhis (hang onto your hat!) are said to include such marvels as levitation, bilocation (simultaneously being in two places), telekinesis (using the mind to move objects) teleportation, shape-shifting (changes in bodily structure!), soul flight (and projection of one’s soul into the body of another), invisibility, magnification of one’s awareness to encompass the universe and minisculization of one’s awareness to inhabit the smallest particles.
There are other siddhis, too numerous to mention; many are spiritual powers and others are purely physical, although for the Master or Mistress of Yoga there may be no dividing line.
The lesser siddhis may ripen quickly in various ways and are more than worthy of exploration. In my opinion, these gifts are our birthright although they do not have anything to do with happiness or wisdom. If they contribute to brighter and more creative life choices for the greater good of all, then all may be well. If not they may serve to entangle us deeper into the snares and pitfalls of the world.