Is It Possible to Attain Yogic Superpowers?

Levitating

Stories of highly devout and enlightened yogis having psychic or physical superpowers are not uncommon in India. The ability to fly, levitate, garner superhuman strength or effect telekinesis are all supposedly attainable abilities if one spends years meditating and practicing yoga. These abilities are described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and are referred to as the Siddhis. While achieving supernatural power sounds enticing, it is precisely for that reason why they are to be approached with caution.

When Siddhis are described by swamis or those who are well-versed in Vedic knowledge, they are spoken of as not actually being magical in any sense. These powers, which seem to be otherworldly, are actually inherent in all human beings and can be accessed with the proper discipline. Some people are even born with these powers, specifically when it comes to psychic abilities.

But these yogic abilities are thought to be a distraction and waste of time for those who are seeking a path to enlightenment. Getting distracted by these powers can lead people to worship the yogi and inflate their egos. Subsequently, it can prevent the yogi from realizing god and oneness with the universe.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

According to the Sutras, once a yogi attains Samadhi or the state of divine union with meditation, there are several ways one can attain Siddhis.

    1. Birth or GeneticsDue to one’s karma they may be born with psychic abilities.

    2. Herbs – Psychedelic drugs like mescaline or peyote can induce Siddhis, however they must be done under the supervision of a spiritual guide or with the proper knowledge.

    3. Mantras – This is the rational and desired method of attaining Siddhis paired with austerity and the repetition of mantras, basic or sometimes esoteric.

 

Through these primary methods, one can gain abilities including:

  • Becoming invisible
  • Becoming as big or small as one desires
  • Becoming as heavy or light as one desires
  • Flying and levitating
  • The power to manifest and control things
  • The power to be in more than one place at once and more.

 

There are also psychic powers associated with Siddhis including telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and precognition.

While these practices might sound otherworldly, Vedic teachers say they are not as bewildering as they sound. Much like the invisible phenomena in our everyday world, these powers represent realms that are pervasive around us, but not necessarily visible or obvious in our everyday state of consciousness. Because our reality is a product of our consciousness, according to Vedic philosophy, these powers can obviously be manifested by us.

When a yogi reaches the level of attaining these powers, they are said to have reached Samyama. It is a deeply absorbed meditative state where the mind is cleared from wandering thought—a state most people strive to attain just for short periods of time. For advanced yogis this state can be achieved for hours at a time, at which point their mind merges with the mind(s) of other yogis, eliminating the illusion of separation and showing universal oneness. This is the point where yogis can become either distracted by the powers of Siddhis or continue toward a path of enlightenment.



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The belief in oneness has a connection with the future of humanity. We may view ourselves as separate, but we also realize we are part of some greater substance of the universe through element, frequency, or vibration. But who believes in oneness and what are the real-world implications of this belief?

Researchers at Duke University sought to find out how common this belief is and what that means. Scott Barry Kaufman Ph.D., Humanistic Psychologist and author of “Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization” explored the studies in his Scientific American article, “What Would Happen If Everyone Truly Believed Everything Is One?”

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