"In former times," he thought, "the wise and holy men were yogis who had full Mastery of the siddhis and possessed the power to grant blessings. The greatest siddha lives in Kailash, Lord Shiva himself, in the form of Sri Devpuriji, a perfect avadhuta and sannyasi. I will live under the protection of this Master."
According to sacred tradition, even Divine incarnations and Saints must seek a Master. The Guru of Lord Rama was Sri Vashista, Krishna's Master was Maharishi Sandeep.
In The Mahabharata, Lord Krishna describes the perfect Master for his friend Uddhava:
"Find a Guru who can control the body, mind and senses. Only those who have gained complete self-control can realize God the Supreme and attain all siddhis."
Siddhis are natural milestones on the path of the yogi. Further spiritual development is parallel with growing control over the material and spiritual worlds. As a matter of principle one should never aspire for siddhis, nor develop and use them for one's own gain. Those who possess siddhis should use them only in rare circumstances, if at all and never for selfish purposes. Any demonstration of siddhis may result in the aspirant wishing to impress others by this power. The risk in this is to be blinded by ego and pride, ultimately ending by losing sight of the original aim.
Through years of spiritual practice a yogi may eventually obtain some siddhis. However, a Divine incarnation is gifted with all twenty-four siddhis from birth. Such an incarnation stands beyond all worldly limitations.
A Guru is a spiritual teacher. "gu" means darkness and "ru" means light — therefore the Guru personifies the cosmic principle that leads consciousness from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.
The cosmic principle says that paravidya, unable to be acquired through intellect, is the spiritual knowledge, mental power and Divine wisdom that can only be gained through the guidance of a Master.
avadhuta = realized Saint who is completely detached from the world
sannyasi = one who has renounced the world and is a swami or monk
Next Chapter: The Twenty-Four Siddhis
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