Siddhi (सिद्धि) is a Sanskrit word which means perfection or accomplishment. All the religions have a belief in supernatural powers. They have described different types of powers in their own words. Hindu philosophy has explained 8 major siddhis (Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Isitva, and Vasitva) and 10 minor siddhis.
Anima: The power to minimize the size of the body, even to the size of the atoms, is termed as Anima Siddhi. It is the availability to become smaller than the smallest. For example, Hanuman had subtilized his body in the time to search Sita in Lanka.
Mahima: It is the ability to increase the size of the body as desired. It is also described as “the power to become larger than the largest”. Lord Krishna had increased his body size in the course of Bhagawat Geeta in the 11th chapter. Similarly, he had maximized his body in Vaman Avatar to measure the three worlds in three steps. Hanuman had taken a huge form to burn Lanka, and to fight with Kumbakarna.
Garima: The capacity to become infinitely heavy in weight at will is said to be Garima Siddhi. It is also said as becoming heavier than the heaviest. Hanuman had made his tail heavy so that Bhima, who was having the energy like that of ten thousand elephants, could not lift it up.
Laghima: It is the accomplishment to become almost weightless (becoming lighter than the lightest). Levitation and flying are examples of this power.
Prapti: Prapti is the ability to attain anything desired.
Prakamya: It is the ability to realize whatever one desires. Such as travel/go anywhere at will in a moment, even faster than a second, the power of entering the body of another (parakaya pravesh), ability to reform and adapt as per circumstances, the power of keeping oneself youth for any length of time.
Isitva: It is the absolute lordship over the entire creation or nature. The natural phenomenon obeys to such person having Isitva power.
Vasitva: It means the ability to have control over other. Through this accomplishment, one can control senses, mind (of self and others) and matters (including elements). Through this siddhi, one can tame wild animals and enthralled people etc.
Patanjali has mentioned the ways to attain the supernatural powers as well. “Janma aushadi mantra tapah samadhijah siddhayah” which means attainment of supernatural power is by birth, medicine (drugs/herbs), mantra (incantation), penance (self-discipline), and samdhi.
Attainment of siddhi by Birth: Sometimes it happens that children born from spiritually advanced parents acquire some of the divine powers due to good karma (action) of their previous life. It is also said that they might have attained those powers in their past life as well which continued in this vary life.
Medicine: In nature, there are some special herbs, use of which can help to attain some miraculous powers. For example, Sanjivini herb could bring Laxman back to life.
Mantra: Incantation of powerful syllables or words with proper discipline helps to acquire an accomplishment. Mantra works in two ways: 1) due to the effects of the power of sound, 2) due to self-discipline that mantra brings.
Penance: Self-mastery or self-discipline makes the mind clear and purer which provides the great strength. This helps to control all five elements just by will. However, one should have an unperverted mind. The practice of Ashtanga yoga as taught by Patanjali helps to acquire this stage.
Samadhi: Through regular practice of meditation and other spiritual practices, one reaches to the stage of Samadhi i.e. oneness with consciousness or uninterrupted consciousness. After this stage, he starts acquiring different types of siddhi.
- Kamarupam (कामरूपम्): The ability to change the body in the desired form
- Durashravanam (दुरश्रवण):The ability to hear the voice of any distance location.
- Duradarshan (दुरदर्शन):The ability to see the things of any distance as will.
- Manojavah (मनोजव:):Ability to travel at the speed of thought.
- Svachchhanda Mrityuhu(स्वच्छन्द मृत्यु:): The power to leave the physical world (to die) only on desire. One can choose the time of death.
- Devanam Saha Krida Anudarshanam (देवानां सह क्रिडा अनुदर्शनम्): Ability to witness and participate in the activities of demigods.
- Aagya Apratihata Gatih (आज्ञा अप्रतिहता गति:): Giving orders that are completely obeyed.
- Yathasankalpasansiddhi (यथासंकल्पसंसिद्धि): The power to fulfill whatever is thought.
- Parakayapraveshanam (परकायाप्रवेशनम्):The ability to enter in the body of others and feel the sense through their organs.
- Tri-Kala Darshanam (त्रि-काल दर्शन):The vision or knowledge of past, present, and future.
- The caliber to know all the language including those of animal
- Knowledge of one’s and other’s past life.
- The cathexis to read other’s mind.
- The ability to make one’s body and matter invisible.
- The merit of making everyone happy and joyful
- The knowledge of all universe and planetary system.
- The knowledge of arrangement and movement of stars
- The ability to make body’s sound inaudible
- The capacity to be motionless.
- The to understand bodily anatomy
- The aptitude of finding hidden and secret things.
- The eligibility to behold the celestial beings
- The knowledge of soul and consciousness.
- The power to surround oneself with the blaze of fire
- The potency to walk on thorns, water, fire etc.
- The ability to tolerate extreme hot and cold.
- The power to be effectless from the elements: not burn by fire, not drown in water, not harmed by poison etc.
Note: Lord Buddha, Lord Krishna and other all the enlightened person have stated that it is wiser to go to the path of enlightenment than to seek for supernatural powers because these powers hinder on the path of enlightenment. These powers can never give real peace, harmony, and happiness. The final goal of human beings is enlightenment. Whenever the practitioner gets diverted towards power, he will miss the true path. So, it is suggested that not to be motivated by those siddhis. However, due to true spiritual practices, one acquires it. In other words, these powers are by product to the path of enlightenment. If one misuses it then he will ruin. One should not generate ego on the achievement of power and should not do whatever he likes. If he ignores those powers or uses them in a positive way then it will not block the path to enlightenment.