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Patanjali Yoga Sutras III-56

Janmauadhi-mantra-tapah samadhi-jah-siddhayah.

Janma = birth; aushadhi = drugs; mantra = incantation; taps = penance; Samadhi = state of super consciousness; Jah = born of; siddhayah = powers.

The Siddhis are born of birth, drugs, mantras, penance OR Samadhi. (IV-1)

From this issue onwards we will look into sutras of chapter IV-Kaivalya Pada, the last chapter that discusses the ultimate goal of human life-Kaivalya, the FREEDOM. The great master Patanjali, apart from Kaivalya, discusses some philosophical problems of human life in this chapter, mostly related to mind and its play viz nature of perception, mental impression carried from life to life, basis of yogic powers (siddhis) etc.

As we saw in the sutras of previous chapter Vibhuti Pada, the systematic way of getting siddhis is through Samyama (Dharana, Dhyana & Samadhi). In this first sutra of Kaivalya Pada, Patnjali, the Great Master mentions (as if to warn us of not-so-deep) various other methods of acquiring siddhis.

Of course, there are cases where some people are born with certain siddhis. Is it just an accident? According to yogic philosophy it is because of the past impressions of advance yogic practices carried forwarded to this birth. For some such yogis siddhis may just come with birth without any effort while some others may have to work a little even in this birth to revive those powers.

It is told of Sri Satya Sai Baba that, in his childhood, he used to materialize school days items like eraser etc for his classmates when they needed the same.

In next issue we will see other factors that are responsible for the achievement of siddhis.

This article appears in the Yoga Magazine, Yoga Sudha June, 2001 edition. This article has been published courtesy www.yogasudha.com

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