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Siddhis

Siddhis

The eight occult powers resulting from the practice of yoga, according to the system of Patanjali (ca. 200 B.C.E.). These powers are anima (to become infinitely small at will), mahima (large), laghima (light), garima (heavy), prapti (to reach anywhere), prakamya (to gratify any wishes), ishatwa (to create), and vashitwa (to command).

There are many accounts of Hindu yogis possessing and manifesting such powers, even in relatively modern times. However, at the same time the siddhis are regarded by many as obstacles to spiritual realization as they might distract the seeker from his or her true goal. In recent years, the Transcendental Meditation movement founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi inaugurated a controversial Siddha Course for advanced students and claimed the ability to teach students the power of levitation.

Sources:

Dvidedi, M. N., ed. The Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1890.

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