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Spiritual Practices : What is Siddhi?

Siddhi meditation ideas

Siddhi is an important concept in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a term which means superpower, a magical capability accomplished through spiritual disciplines. This includes practices such as meditation and yoga.

What is Siddhi?

Buddhist monk dressed in orange meditating at the walls of a temple


The word Siddhi means “perfection” or “success” in English. It refers to the fact that the siddhis are the fruit of the achievement of spiritual meditation and practices. Generally, siddhis are the powers to control the self, the natural world and other people. These powers may appear to be supernatural, but they are actually accessible to all humans. They can be achieved through new age practices as well as meditation religion and yoga that are ancient.


Types of Siddhi

Spiritual practices woman dressed in white doing yoga on the beach



The siddhi arises naturally through the openness and the emptiness of the mind. According to Buddha, there are two types of siddhis: the normal and the extraordinary. The normal siddhis are the forces that transform and shape the elements. The extraordinary siddhis, on the other hand, are the result of the ability to open up for the truth and achieve enlightenment.


Woman meditating at sunrise on a lake shore- stones close up


Walking on water, flying or becoming invisible, these are all advanced siddhis. Buddha says that in order to manifest them, the spiritual person must reach perfection in their spiritual practices. This means to bring themselves to a state of no thought, just emptiness.


Spiritual Practices to Attain Siddhis?

Siddhi - woman practicing meditation in front of a Buddha painting


Patanjali explains in great detail how to attain the siddhis in the book Yoga Sutras. A book which is more than two thousand years old. This is what it says about the siddhis.


Book Cover Yoga Sutras By Patanjali


Inborn – some people are born with spiritual abilities or powers which come from their karma.

Substances – the use of special substances can trigger siddhis, although they may come temporarily and in an uncontrolled manner which may ultimately lead to trauma.

Spiritual discipline – regular spiritual practice and the use of mantras can develop siddhis in the most natural way. This is the desirable way to achieve them because it happens step by step and is intentional and controllable.


monk dressed in bright orange meditating in front of a tree


In his classical text, the sage Patanjali also speaks about siddhis attained through contemplation of sacred symbols, ascetic practices or repetition of mantras. However, in the yogic tradition, siddhis gained through the use of amulets, mantras or drugs are not regarded with respect or considered permanent. In contrast, the ones that come through dedication in the spiritual practise and meditation deserve respect. The promise of the siddhis has little to do with supernatural miracles or traditional religious faith.


supernormal abilities siddhi - two boys on a street one floating in the air


The yogic books don’t describe the siddhis as supernormal abilities or divine gifts but as natural powers available to everyone. They appear as consequences of intense meditation practice. Most of these abilities are different psychic phenomena in the modern world, but according to the yoga books, anyone can reach them if they have discipline in their spiritual practices.


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