Siddha – The Accomplished Ones

The idea of a siddhi – psychic or supernormal power – is universal in Indian philosophy. Almost all schools of belief in India and other Asian cultures – that were influenced by Buddhism and Sanatana Dharma – attach great importance to yoga. It is understood that the practice of yoga yields these siddhi’s or powers. And a Siddha is one who has attained these supernormal powers. Siddha – which means “accomplished one” – refers to those who via practice or grace have accomplished a supernormal ability. While these abilities make the Siddha appear superhuman – Siddha’s are always human. Siddha’s are just fully functioning humans or superconscious humans. All they have done is overcome limitations to use abilities that all humans possess to a greater level.

Although we all have the potential to do it, the attainment of a siddhi is a challenging task that requires patience, perseverance and skilful practice. Hence there were just a few special schools which specialised in these practices. These mystery schools were never large organisations, nor commercial or publicised ventures. They were small organisations developed by Siddha’s and designed to attract only a special kind of student. This special student is one who is committed to developing his or her human potential to the fullest. In order to only attract the correct student – these schools were shrouded in mystery and secrecy.

However if we look at any of the great esoteric, spiritual or yogic schools, even those in existence today – we can trace back the original teaching to a Siddha. The schools founder or the founders teacher, will have been inspired by a solitary being. A person they may have met only a few times, or spent many years with. But this being would have initiated a transformative change or enlightening experience. For this is the only goal of a Siddha – to enable others to achieve their full human potential.

Hence while the Siddha lineage has been in existence for millennia – and references to Siddha’s are made in most classical Buddhist, Brahmanical and Daoist texts – very little is known about them.

Why are Siddha’s so secretive?

It is often said in classical texts that the Siddha’s used a secret language called “sandhya bhasya”. They practiced in isolation. They shied away from publicity. They had special healing abilities which they used to help people from all walks of life – yet they never sought to use this healing ability for commercial gain. WHY?

Regarding the secret language – there is not really one. It’s just then when Siddha’s talk about experiences, states of consciousness or perception that individuals cannot yet understand or relate to, it seems like they are talking in code. Yet as one develops their practice, perceptive ability and alters their state of awareness… this once secret code makes absolute sense.

They practiced in isolation and shy away from attention because vital to the Siddha practice is Ego-lessness. The only way to lose your limitations and achieve unlimited human potential is to lose the limitations of your ego. And in an ego-less state – there is no need to call attention to the self. There is no need to create a persona or to aspire to celebrity status. This is a real challenge in our modern social media driven culture. Yet the Siddha will value their ego-less state more than anything else – even to detriment of their own social standing – for it is in this ego-less state that real potential emerges.

They refused to gain from their healing abilities because these abilities arise as features of the higher states of awareness. And this higher awareness infuses them with overwhelming bliss. This blissful state is all they desire. If their focus shifted to the healing ability – their blissful state my be diluted. Hence the Siddha would use their abilities to benefit others but never for personal gain – as the blissful state is worth more than anything else.

How do I find a Siddha school or teacher?

It is often said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This is true. If your desire to achieve your highest potential is strong, your teacher will appear. All you need to do is commit to your current practice and live your life authentically.

Why is Siddha and Siddhi’s of importance in this modern world?

Never before has the human race been as aware of our ability to shape our own evolution as we are now. With the advent of AI, robotics, transhumanism, gene modification therapies – we have already begun altering our evolutionary process. Yet this practice is not new – Siddha’s have transformed themselves over the ages – however they did it in keeping with nature. Many of the technologies we are now developing could have detrimental effects as we try to overpower nature and natural evolution. The reality is that the planet will go on – it is humanity who will disappear if these new technologies go wrong. It has therefore, become ever more important for a larger group of humans to embrace the wisdom of the Siddha’s.

To discover more about Siddha’s or their practice please comment, ask questions or make suggestions for future articles.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

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What is Spontaneous Enlightenment – Sahaja?

Sahaja means spontaneous enlightenment. Sahaja practices became popular in India during the 8th century amongst yogi’s called Sahajiya Siddha’s.

Spontaneous enlightenment is described as “a deep understanding of spirit and matter, subject and object”. It refers to a method of perceiving the world as it is, instead of being limited by our ego based mental attitudes.

Sahajiya Siddha’s (Siddha means “one who is accomplished”) believed that enlightenment could be achieved in this lifetime, by all people living in samsara (the entanglement of the world). The Sahajiya Siddha’s practiced yoga which included various meditation techniques and a form of ritual union which was supposed to bring the female and male elements in each person together and in balance. Hence the Sahjiya Siddha’s pre-empted Karl Jungs theories of Individuations and Anima and Animus by over 1000 years. The aim of this practice was to unify all aspects our our personality.

The Sahajiya Siddha concept of spontaneous enlightenment influenced many Eastern religious traditions including Buddhism and Hinduism. Spontaneous enlightenment was alluded to indirectly and symbolically in the twilight language (sandhya bhasa) used by the Siddha’s throughout the centuries.

One of the early Buddhist Sahajiya Siddha texts the Hevajra Tantra describes four kinds of Joy (ecstasy).

From everyday Joy – there is some bliss. However from Perfect Joy there is even more bliss. From the Joy of losing the ego comes a passionless state. And the Joy of Sahaja is the finality.

The first or everyday Joy comes by desire for contact, the second or Perfect Joy comes from desire for absolute bliss, the third Egoless Joy comes from the passing of passion and by this, the fourth or ultimate Joy of Sahaja is realised.

The first Joy is Samsara (mystic union), The second Joy is Nirvana (the goal) The third Joy is Vairagya (dispassion) which shows you that there is no difference between samsara and nirvana. The fourth Joy of Sahaja (Sahaja-Siddhi) is free of them all. For there is neither desire or nor absence of desire, nor a middle to be obtained. You are free.

Yoga was a big part of the Sahajiya Siddha tradition. The development of the human body (kāya-sādhana) through Haṭha-yoga was of paramount importance in all Siddha schools. The strength of the body was deemed necessary to enable the supreme realisation. Supreme realisation was called Sahaja-siddhi or the fourth Joy.

Sahaja-siddhi means “accomplishment of the unconditioned natural state”. There is also a text by the same name. This text was revealed by Dombi Heruka, one of the eighty-four Mahasiddha’s or most accomplished ones. The following quotation from this text shows how the state of Sahaja-Siddhi. differs from the ‘mental flux’ of our everyday minds.

Although this translation uses the masculine pronoun for siddha, it must be remembered that the term ‘siddha’ is not gender-specific and that there were many female senior teachers within the siddha communities.

On achieving the fourth state or sahaja-siddhi, the practitioner is known as a siddha, a realised soul. He becomes invulnerable, beyond all dangers. For him all forms melt into the Formless.

Surati dissolves into nirati and “japa is lost in ajapa“.

The disolution of surati and nirati is one of the signs of  the accomplishment of sahaja-siddhi. 

Sahaja-Siddhi by Dombi Heruka

Surati is the act of will that occurs even when you try to disengage from worldly attachments. It refers to the self protective or ego-driven choices we make even when we decide not to be selfish. Surati can only be destroyed when the ego is destroyed. If we are able to destroy our ego then we achieve nirati – the cessation of the mental flux, which implies cessation of all willed efforts. 

Cessation of willed efforts does not mean that we are no longer active in the world. All it means is that our actions are not driven by conscious or unconscious personal desires.

The concept of Nirati or Sahaja-Siddhi is found in many schools of spirituality and yoga.

In Surat Shabd Yoga, nirati is the dissolution of the mind in “Sound,”.  In terms of Layayoga – when the ego dissolves – “Japa is lost in Ajapa” – sound becomes soundless. Words no longer matter – for you feel the truth.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s begin with “citta vritti nirodhaya” – the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.

Modern Sahaja Yoga was popularised by Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011). She taught a meditation technique which aims to enable self-realisation along with the experience of thoughtless awareness or mental silence. While I have no experience of this meditation technique, intellectual understanding of Mataji Nirmala Devi’s philosophy suggests that her idea of thoughtless awareness alluded to nirati and Sahaja-Siddhi.

Dr Nitasha Buldeo is an Integrated Medical Practitioner, Entrepreneur, Scientist and Yogi. She created  I-Yoga & Organic Apoteke and is Director of the Centre for Exceptional Human Performance. She researches human potential and delivers programs that encourage you to live exceptionally. Nitasha believes that every one of us is striving to be the best we can. Her passion is bringing you experiences that inspire you. Her intention is for you to unlock your genius.

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