Eight Psychic Powers - Extra Sensory Perceptions
as mentioned in Hatha Yoga, Patanjali Yoga Sutras
Yoga is regarded as an Indian mystical science, mainly described in Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga (Patanjali Yoga Sutras), both this texts along with many other ancient Indian scriptures talk about psychic powers. Yogi floating in the air, staying underwater etc are some of the examples. Some of these texts even mention the systematic practices to achieve these powers like clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, telekinesis, psychic spying etc. The book "Autobiography of an Yogi" written by Paramhansa Yogananda talks about many Gurus with these powers.
Now whether to believe in or not is still a dilemma to many of us. But in these texts, the other effects of Yoga and Pranayama techniques can be seen and experienced with great benefits, and for this reason one is compelled to believe that the description of psychic powers may be true.
Mainly eight types of psychic powers are described. The first is "Anima" that is the ability to become as small as atom. There are some stories of Lord Hanuman, the Monkey God who transformed himself in to a small object and could enter in to the kingdom of Ravana, the demon who captured wife of Lord Rama.
The second power is "Laghima", the ability to become weightless. Some people claim that they can walk on water, or fly in air without any external help or floating in the air or a yogi levitating during the meditation.
Third power is "Mahima", ability to become as big as universe. Again the story of Ramayana mentions that Hanuman, the monkey God transformed himself in to a very big object while crossing the sea and fighting with demons.
Fourth is "Garima", the ability to become very heavy, Bhima, one of the Pandavas in the story of Mahabharat, had this ability to become very heavy at times and no one could beat him.
"Prapti" is the fifth power. It is the ability to reach any place as per will and within no time. There were some psychic spying experiments carried out for getting more information of remote place, and some of the experiments were proved to be 95 % correct.
"Prakamya" is the ability to get the desired. It is like a Genie of Alladin, what ever one wish for, it comes true. If one wishes for Youth for ever, he will be young for ever.
"Vashitva" is to control other objects, live as well as other objects. And finally the last power is "Ishtatva" and this is the ability to create and destroy the objects at will, it equals the role of God, this is the ultimate power one can achieve with dedicated practice of Yoga techniques.
Though it is very difficult to achieve these powers, especially living the life as a family man and in society, the texts say that it is not impossible. But at the same time texts call these powers as hurdles in the path of self realization. So there are ways mentioned in the books to overcome these problems which one may face after achieving the psychic power. There are examples of Yogis who got fascinated by the powers they acquired and ultimately were responsible for their downfall. So Patanjali in his Yoga sutras talk about the powers as hurdles in the path of self illumination.
So now what should be the aim of practice of Yoga, whether it is to achieve any of these or to realize the self & God. Undoubtedly it is to realize the Atman, and not achieving these powers.
Lot of practitioners of Yoga talk about extra sensorial powers, Swami Niranjananda of Bihar school of yoga raised a very practical point of view; one should be the master of his sensory organs and mind first to talk about extra sensory powers. Mastering your own mind and sense organs in it self is very difficult to achieve. So the objectives of practice of yoga should be to master your own mind first...
Hari Om Tat Sat
- Hatha Yoga Pradipika
- Patanjali Yoga Sutras
- Gherand Samhita