Saddarshanam, Class 22


Greetings All,

Shloka # 37:

The knowledge of the established Truth itself is an accomplishment. Other accomplishments are indeed comparable to a dream. How can a dream be true to one who has woken up? One who abides in Truth does not enter Maya again.

Continuing his teaching, Swami Paramarthananda said,

in this shloka Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi points out what the attitude of a Vedantic student towards Sidhi or miraculous powers should be. These Sidhi’s are described in Puranas as well as in Yoga Shastras. The Ashta maha Sidhi’s are:

  1. Anima: To become small or reducing one’s body even to the size of an atom.
  2. Mahima: To become large or expanding one’s body to an infinitely large size.
  3. Laghima: To become light in weight or becoming almost weightless.
  4. Garima: Size being same increase in weight or becoming infinitely heavy.
  5. Prapthi: Capacity to reach any place at will by thought or having unrestricted access to all places.
  6. Prakamya: Capacity to perform anything at will or materialization or realizing whatever one desires.
  7. Ishtwa: Being with God or being over nature or possessing absolute lordship.
  8. Vastva: Controlling others including their minds or the power to subjugate all.

In addition to above many smaller Sidhi’s also are described in shastras. Means of attaining these Sidhis are also described. Thus: Gems, Mantras, Aushadha (herbs) and Yoga Chakras will all get us Sidhis. Poorvajanma, past life, also can give us Sidhis.  Even the Bhagavathpurana has described many Sidhis.

Describing the attitude a Vedantic student should take to Sidhi, Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi suggests the following:

  1. Sidhis do exist. They are in Shastra Pramanam.
  2. Sidhis have nothing to do with spirituality. Spiritual wisdom is possible without Sidhis. Acquisition of Sidhis does not necessarily get you spiritual knowledge. Many Rakshasas were Sidhas who observed it in an Adharmic manner.
  3. All Sidhis come under Karma and Upasana phalam. So, they fall under Maya or Samsara.
  4. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi points out if a person does not understand the limitation of Sidhis he will get distracted in spiritual pursuit. He will get attracted to Sidhis and Sidhas more than Gyanam. Sidhis cannot give one, Self- Knowledge. Bhagawan says don’t value conventional Sidhis. He suggests ignoring them. We need to understand that the greatest Sidhi is Self-Knowledge. All conventional Sidhis will keep a person in Samsara. Self -Knowledge alone will take him out of Samsara.

In Sidhi, jealousy, quarrel etc., occur. All Sidhis will keep one in limitation or in Samsara. Remember, a Gyani is a true Sidha and Gyanam is the real Sidhi.

Explaining the shloka, Swamiji said, Atma Gyanam alone is a real miracle. Atma Gyanam will liberate you. All other Sidhis do not matter. They are like a dream and are Mithya. Only Gyanam is required. All other Sidhis indicate ignorance. Shankaracharya’s greatness is often cited more because of his Sidhi’s than his knowledge. So too with Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi; People say he underwent surgery without any anesthesia. The greatness of Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi is that he encouraged Atma Vichara.

Dream appears real during the dream. Upon waking the dream disappears. So too with conventional Sidhis, every time one uses a Sidhi, it depletes ones Tapas.

With Self -Knowledge there is no depletion or decrease. Giving knowledge to others does not deplete one’s Gyanam.

Patanjali’s yogasutra considers Sidhis as obstacles to moksha. The word Atma Nishta means Atma Gyanam Nishta or non-forgetfulness of Atma Gyanam. Sahaj Samadhi means Atma Nishta. Such a person will not fall under the spell of Maya or ignorance.

idya (wealth) is the only thing that increases in a person by giving knowledge. So, the right attitude is not to respect Sidhis.

Shloka # 38:

In the state of thinking that the body is the Self, the contemplation of “He am I” is helpful to the search of the Supreme. In the accomplishment of the oneness of one’s Self, that (He am I) contemplation is, again, without purpose, just as, to a man, the knowledge of hid manhood is of no help.

Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi warns Vedantic students not to enter Vedantic study mechanically. Original purpose of Vedanta is to be free one of all dependencies.

A student can get addicted to Vedantic study and it can become bondage. Such a student is likely to get upset if he sees any obstacle to the study.

While initially the student has to bond with the Guru and be attached to Shastra and God, he should grow with knowledge and at some point drop all such attachments.

In the initial stages this Soham Vichara is essential and beneficial. This Vichara leads to Paramatma and Jivatma Aikyam. It is a means of acquiring knowledge. It is useful until one reaches the stage where one (Sadhaka) reaches the Sadhyam “Aham Brahma Asmi”. So long as you are a finite Jivatma requiring a transformation (struggling to become someone else, in mind), till then you are in the present “I” working towards a future “I”. Bhagwan says so long as this condition exists it is a misconception about your Self. Satisfaction is not connected with completion of any project. The moment you connect it to a project it becomes Samsara. Therefore, Vedantic study should not become another project. As long as you look at yourself as an ego (connecting to completion of a project) you have to study Vedanta. One has to keep checking if I am in an ego state or not. “I am satisfied” in spite of an incomplete project, this is Gyanam.

I never connect project to its completion. It is ego that converts everything into a project. This postponement of fulfillment is Samsara. Once you reach Gyanam drop the Vedanta Vichara. You can enjoy the classes as a non-binding desire.

Pramanam is irrelevant after Gyanam. A person need not perform the Japa “ I am human”. A fact is not meant for Japa. If I know “I am Brahman” and it is a fact for me, then I do not have to perform Mahavakya Japam anymore. Mahavakya needs to be understood and once you get the knowledge, you should drop it.

Therefore for a wise person (Gyani) “Aham Brahma Asmi” japa is not required.

Shloka # 39:

To say there is duality during the inquiry, but non-duality in the knowledge of the Supreme is not right. The tenth man’s tenth-ness is one and same when he is lost before the search and when he is found later.

This is another important shloka. Moksha is not an external event occurring at Anatma level. Don’t look for any transformation in the outside world. If you practice Yoga, you may acquire a glow in your body. This, however, has nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality will not give you a halo. Gyanam has nothing to do with changing the world, body or sensory perceptions. The change occurs only in our intellect and in understanding that the World, God and “I” are one.

Take Away:

  1. Gyanam has nothing to do with changing the world, body or sensory perceptions.
  2. In Gyanam, the change occurs only in our intellect and in understanding that the World, God and “I” are one.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy

Foot Note:


Ten secondary siddhis

In the Bhagavata Purana, Krishna describes the ten secondary siddhis:

  • anūrmimattvam: Being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other bodily appetites
  • dūraśravaṇa: Hearing things far away
  • dūradarśanam: Seeing things far away
  • manojavah: Moving the body wherever thought goes (teleportation/astral projection)
  • kāmarūpam: Assuming any form desired
  • parakāya praveśanam: Entering the bodies of others
  • svachanda mṛtyuh: Dying when one desires
  • devānām saha krīḍā anudarśanam: Witnessing and participating in the pastimes of the gods
  • yathā sańkalpa saḿsiddhiḥ: Perfect accomplishment of one’s determination
  • ājñāpratihatā gatiḥ: Orders or commands being unimpeded[