yogis : an essential understanding 

Today the word Yogi is as misused and misunderstood, as the subject of Yoga.

Anyone with a yoga mat, leggings and yoga clothes , going to a Yoga studio on a daily basis - is today referred to as a Yogi in the western world.

If nothing else - everyone who is a Yoga teachers is considered or believed to be a Yogi. If we were to consider the classical concept and truly understand who the Yogis were then all the above references will be absolutely incorrect.

Being a yogi is not a lifestyle that one can lead in just about any condition. Yogis in the Indian culture, are essentially people/hermits who have given up their usual life, relationships, jobs and every bond to go into the mountains, places of solitude , jungles and places where humans may not exist, in the enquiry of the Self , or to meditate in order to connect with the Supreme Consciousness ( also in many yogic texts referred to as God ) . Here without any comforts of regular life, they pray, they chant or meditate for days, weeks, years until at some point in time in their practice, they naturally through the practice of deep meditation end up awakening energies that gives them control over the natural boundaries of environment. Yogis are known to survive the sub zero temperatures meditating in extreme temperatures, with almost nothing on their bodies. They are able to sustain super high temperatures while staying unaffected and in complete health. 

In deep practice of yoga , they unlock such energies that they are able to see nature and universe in a totally different light. They find answers to the unanswered questions, from such practices. For Indians,  Yogis are almost super human & sacred in their mental powers ( not physical looks ) and if we were to come across a Yogi anywhere while being in such rare spaces, we bow down to them, seeking their blessings, knowing well enough that even without telling they know what we need or what we are seeking. We seek their blessings.

Now Yogis don't have these powers from birth, but they develop this para normal powers through austerity and very deep meditations in conditions far away from comfort of home or relationships.

For anyone living in society teaching or practicing Yoga & living a regular life, of desire , need, comfort, expectations, this word Yogi just does not apply .

If such a person claims to be a Yogi, either they have no deep knowledge of the subject of Yoga and think it is all about physical postures, or they know nothing about true Yogis and the depth of path of Yoga.

 enlightenment : what and when ? 

Enlightenment is not as simple as saying that anyone who is a Yoga teacher or looks spiritual and nice is enlightened.

Enlightenment in the path of Yoga is the highest stage of Yoga where the yogi becomes one with the Universe. The union of his consciousness with the with the supreme consciousness is complete .

Where ever in whatever form the supreme exists, so does the consciousness of the Yogi. At this point in time, there is very little to differentiate between the Yogi and what in human terminology we term as God. A fully enlightened being will have all paranormal powers mentioned below.

 when 

When through path of Yoga ( which could take several decades ) the mind purifies itself completely and totally and through various practices, the Yogi is able to awaken and raise his Kundalini from its resting place ( The Root Chakra ) and make it move all the way up to the Crown Chakra. At this point in time the Yogi becomes the bearer of 8 Super Powers ( asta siddhis ) and several other powers even before full enlightenment is attained. The 8 super powers are

  1. Aṇimā: Ability to reduce one's size to as small as one desires

  2. Mahima: Ability to increase one's size as big as one desires

  3. Garima: Ability to increase one's weight infinitely

  4. Laghima: Ability to become lighter than the lightest

  5. Prāpti: Ability to Obtain anything ( from any time and space )

  6. Prākāmya: Ability to acquire anything desired

  7. Iṣiṭva: Lordship over creation

  8. Vaśitva: Having control over things and all beings

 

The other powers that the Yogi achieves as a part of full enlightenment are

  • Tri-kāla-jñatvam: Knowledge of past present and future

  • Advandvam (non-duality): not being subject to dualities of heat/ cold, pain/ pleasure, sweat/ bitter, good/ bad

  • Para citta ādi abhijñatā: Knowing of others' minds

  • Agni arka ambu viṣa ādīnām pratiṣṭambhaḥ: having fire, sun, water, poison in control and stopping their effect

  • Aparājayah: becoming unconquerable

  • Anūrmi-mattvam: Being undisturbed by hunger, thirst, and other body generated cravings

  • Dūra-śravaṇa: Hearing things/ events happening very far

  • Dūra-darśanam: Seeing  things/ events happening very far

  • Manaḥ-javah (manojvitva): Moving physical body wherever one wants

  • kāma-rūpam: Attaining/ assuming desired form

  • Para-kāya praveśanam (vikranabhav): Entering another persons body (spirits are believed to enter a person's physical body whose astral body is weak, but the power mentioned here is different and superior)

  • Sva-chanda mṛtyuh: To die only on one's wish (like that of Bhishma from Mahabharat, like that of many sages who left their bodies by their own wish)

  • Devānām saha krīḍā anudarśanam: Witnessing the pastimes of demi-gods (or Witnessing the events of 3 worlds as pastimes like god does)

  • Yathā sańkalpa saḿsiddhiḥ: Achieving as one determines

  • ājñā apratihatā gatiḥ: One's commands unstopped

  • Memories of past lives

  • Clairvoyance

  • Levitation

  • Bi-location/ multi-location

  • Materialization

  • Control over natural phenomenon like raining, sunrise/ sunset

  • Prakhya Siddhi: ability to chose the womb to be born in before birth

  • Surya Vijnan: Transforming one material into another by the use of sun rays

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