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Sec.3.1/Part 2/ Miracles
Date: Thu Jun 18 1998 - 07:45:45 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
Presented below is Section 3.1 of Part II Miracles from my book " Myths,
Miracles and Mysticism"
Anbil Ramaswamy
============================================================Section  3.1  :
Siddhi and Non- Siddhi Miracles
There are two kinds of miracles viz those inspired by special powers acquired
by certain individuals called ' Siddhis' and those revealed by divinity
itself. The former are performed by practitioners of 'Yoga' while the latter
are revealed for the benefit of humanity by the supernatural force, we call

The word 'Siddhi' means 'miraculous powers' and 'achievement of perfect
abilities'. Siddhis can be achieved by meditation. Meditation is a discipline
enabling one to achieve higher states of consciousness. Scientific research
has shown that regular practice of meditation can result in health benefits.
Meditation starts with contemplation but what is actually effective is
concentration or mental control that can transform consciousness to go beyond
thinking to a state of non-thinking.

Combined with breath control, mantra and yantra (geometrical shapes), it sets
in a sense of detachment and a queer sense of ecstasy. The Upanishads
recommend such a meditation to free one from the bondage of the material
world. As one progresses in such transcendental meditation, one might
experience happiness, lucidity, luminosity and rapture and the body mechanism
might work at a minimal level just enough to exist physically.

Prayer is an inherent part of Meditation. Prayer consists in directing psychic
energy for achieving objectives by communication with divine or supernatural
forces. The basis of prayer is love. Prayers by unbelievers would be
ineffective. Prayer can not only eliminate an existing disability but can also
create a desired condition of happiness. The ultimate object of prayer,
however, is union with the divine. When this stage is reached, words, symbols
and images which propped up prayer automatically fall away. 

Though group prayers create an upbeat mood because of the synergy buoyed up by
the synchronization of the brain waves of the participants, it is the personal
prayer in meditation that invests spiritual enlightenment and supernatural
powers in the individual.

Yoga is also an important instrument in meditation. The word "yoga' derives
from "Yuj" which means 'yoking'. The object of yoga is to seek union with the
divine reality. Hinduism recognizes several yogas like Raja Yoga ( Kingly
Union), Hata Yoga ( Forceful Union), Gnana Yoga (Union through Knowledge),
Karma Yoga ( Union through Action), Bhakti Yoga ( Union through Devotion) and
the most important and easiest means of Prapatti Yoga ( Union through
surrender to the will of God). Of these,  only Bhakti Yoga and Prapatti are
the direct means to God realization, the others being the steps leading to
either of these.

In the process, the Yogi attains miraculous powers and psychic abilities. But,
these are only by products since the ultimate objective of Yoga is to attain
the ultimate. Yoga  of the Hata Yoga variety  practiced by some Tantrics  is
extremely dangerous as it can lead to extreme introversion, spiritual
hedonism, regression and emotional fixation on something other than the real

Those who practice Hata Yoga  specializing  in  Kundalini seem to develop a
'holier than thou' attitude quite unjustifiably not knowing that it is a
double edged weapon with some advantages if followed within prescribed limits
under proper guidance and positively harmful when practiced indiscriminately.
Kundalini is a dangerous exercise for one who is not adequately initiated or
supervised by an adept.

If one meddles with it,  it will be a short cut to a mental hospital but what
is worse is the kind of damage they can cause  to themselves and to  others
before  landing up there. Also, in the hands of the unscrupulous, these Tantra
techniques can turn out to be ' black magic' (Aabhichara).

Some tantric practitioners have pushed the Hatayoga to ridiculous extents so
that they lead to the use of drugs, dopes, speed, crack, angel dust,
tranquilizers, trips, psychedelic inhibitions, hallucinogens, marijuana,
hashish, peyote, mescaline, cocaine, LSD, and other chemical designer  potions
in order to gain what they had missed due to improper yoga practices like
twisting  themselves in the shape of human knots or other odd shapes with
disastrous results of bodily degeneration and mental alteration bordering on

As a matter of fact, one could be quite hale and hearty indeed without all
these contortions  that serve as no more than exhibitionist stunts. The only
thing that happens is that these Tantrics develop a bloated idea of self
importance which in reality they do not possess. 

This only shows how unevolved they are in spiritual terms  which, however,
calls for an opposite kind of quality viz., humility. Really evolved persons
do not indulge in these stupid acrobatics since they divert attention from
what is most important spiritually.

Such strenuous physical exercises are claimed to be `Rajayoga'. But Rajayoga
actually belongs to another category of  a benignant kind whereas Hata yoga
especially the Tantra part of it bristles with those of a malignant kind. In
any case, these  practices are neither necessary nor desirable nor are they
authorized by Sastras which describe in detail how Jeeva escapes  through
about 72,000 Nadis  of which 100 move upwards including 'Ida' and 'Pingala'
and how the Jeeva of a Prapanna  ( surrendered soul) avoids all these and
rising through the spinal column escapes through a special 101st Nadi known as
Sushumna, Murdhanya or Brahma Nadi on the top of the crown of the head  at the
time of death with minimum effort  ensuring maximum effect. All these Nadis
are invisible nerve fibers of energy channels of the subtle inner bodies
(Sukshma Sareera) of Jeevas.

But, one thing is certain. Practicing Yoga properly as prescribed in Yoga
Sastras bestows on the practitioner certain extraordinary powers called
(Section 3.2 will continue)