Mastering the Siddhis

“The idea of Mastering the Siddhis is a full awakening of the capability of any Vedic meditator, to awaken the entire range of creative intelligence, the entire range of extraordinary human capabilities awakened.”

Thom Knoles

Vedic meditators are blessed with a life-changing technique that can make a profound difference in their lives. 

Many meditators, though, seek to progress even further, and tap into the vast well of Vedic wisdom that is available to us all. 

One avenue for further progress is knowledge of and initiation into practicing the “Siddhis.” These advanced practices allow us to tap into extraordinary human capabilities and realize more of our human potential.

In this episode, Thom gives us a brief overview of Mastering the Siddhis, his popular course which covers a vast array of the Siddhis practices, and is available only through approved Vedic Meditation Initiators.

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Episode Highlights


Maharishi Patanjali



Yoga is a State



Sutra – A Short Aphorism



Closing the Gap Between Individuality and Universality



Siddhi – Extraordinary Human Capability



A Foundation for Greater Capabilities



The Ability to Master and Capture Cause and Effect



MTS – A Course of Six Instalments



Enjoy Life to the Fullest More Easily


Jai Guru Deva


Mastering the Siddhis

[00:45] Maharishi Patanjali

Jai Guru Deva. Thank you for listening to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.

Today we’re going to spend some time talking about Mastering the Siddhis. Mastering the what? Siddhis. S-I-D-D-H-I-S. S as in Sierra, I-D-D-H-I-S, as in Sierra, again. So Siddhis. What does Siddhis mean?

This is the anglicized plural of the Sanskrit word Siddhi. When you want to pluralize the word Siddhi in Sanskrit properly, you don’t just add an S on the end. That’s a very English speaking way of doing things. But, Siddhi. Siddhis plural.

Siddhis are a very interesting aspect of a body of knowledge that was brought forth some 2,700 years ago by a great Maharishi, great seer, Maha great, Rishi seer, Maharishi Patanjali. Patanjali, P-A-N-T-A-J-A-L-I, Patanjali is the proper pronunciation.

Sometimes in, western libraries people will go in and say, and I hear it frequently, I want to get a book by “Pat-in-jelly,” forgivable because, we are not raised with knowledge about how Patanjali’s name properly is pronounced, but Maharishi Patanjali was a great Rishi whose existence and the descriptions of him are shrouded somewhat in rather mystery.

He was rarely seen in person and mostly taught from behind a screen.He didn’t want people to be distracted by his appearance, Patanjali. And it’s said that, and we have to acknowledge this is not, I don’t expect you to swallow this as historicity, this is what we call connotative knowledge, not denotative.

It is mythos, not an attempt to be historically accurate, but Patanjali, for a variety of reasons that are part of a consciousness play, was considered to have the upper half of his body looking rather human. Whereas, the bottom half of his body, from approximately below his navel, was a coiled serpent. And why depicted in this particular way, we can go into great detail on some other occasion.

[04:02] Yoga is a State

Maharishi Patanjali produced a document, a text known as the Yoga Sutras. Yoga, we need to come out of our Western tendency to be locked in on Yoga as being a thing you do at a studio somewhere, wearing spandex and lycra and having coffees after you’ve made your breakthrough,where you bend and stretch and lie on your back and listen to other people singing words like Om Namah Shivaya and things like that.

This is a very Western idea of what the word Yoga means and we’ve gone elsewhere into how it is that the word Yoga has devolved into that simplistic understanding. From the Vedic perspective, those bends and stretches are referred to as physical asana, asana, A-S-A-N-A.

Asana means a seat or position or posture in which you station your body that has health-giving effect, physical asana. And, as a result of doing asana, one gets one’s body into a condition in which the mind is supposed to be able to go into the state of Yoga. Yoga is not a thing you do.

Yoga can’t be done because Yoga is not a doing. It’s not an action. It’s an experience. It’s the experience of your own least-excited consciousness meeting the unified unmanifest field. The unmanifest Unified Field of consciousness, the place where the unmanifest Unified Field of consciousness finds itself becoming individuality, or looking at it from the opposite perspective, where individuality finds itself segueing into unmanifest universal consciousness field.

That exact meeting point, the point at which union is realized. Union is not created by meditation. Union is revealed by meditation. So the place where our unity with Totality, that meeting point, is exactly referred to is Yoga. Yoga is a state. It’s a state of consciousness that can be experienced.

[06:47] Sutra – A Short Aphorism

Yoga was the first word in Maharishi Patanjali’s book. The Yoga Sutras. A Sutra. Sutra, S-U-T-R-A, Sutra. Sutra, whenever we hear that word Tra, T R A. We know that something is a conveyance or a vehicle.

Tra, Sutra. Sutra is distinct from Mantra.So in Vedic Meditation, we use a particular class of Mantra. “Man” in Sanskrit means mind, “tra” means a conveyance, and so a mind vehicle, mantra.

And our particular class of mantras that we use in the practice of Vedic Meditation are referred to as Bija; Bija mantras, but we just say mantra to shortcut the whole thing, which we use in a particular effortless fashion when we have learned properly the technique of Vedic Meditation from a qualified teacher.

So what is a Sutra? A Bija mantra has no intended meaning. It’s a vehicle of sound. When you learn properly how to think the mantra effortlessly, then the mantra will pull the mind inward into less-and-less-excited states, transcending the least-excited state, the mind touches on the state of pure consciousness, where all thoughts evaporate.

This is the practice of Vedic Meditation and that practice is an essential component of the use of one of Maharishi Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

So a sutra, unlike a mantra, is an intention-laden packet of thought. It is, if you like, a short aphorism. An aphorism is a concise statement that, compactified into it is deep and rich meaning and intention. Sutra aphorism.

[09:22] Closing the Gap Between Individuality and Universality

And so the Yoga Sutras are the sutras that unite the individual mind with the universal mind. They produce the state of Yoga. And a sutra also is a stitch and in fact etymologically is the source of our English word suture.

You know when you have a little split in your skin or tissue and it has to be sewn up by somebody who’s qualified to do so,the thread that is used is referred to as sutures, and sutures are the stitches that are put to bring one thing together with another thing. The apposing side of a wound is closed and brought together into a meeting point, the Yoga of the two sides are brought together by virtue of a stitch or a suture. And so Sutra gave us the word suture in English.

And what is it that these sutras are doing? They are binding our individual awareness to the unbounded, unmanifest, Unified Field of Consciousness.

So using sutras, we’re able to close the gap between individuality and universality. It is a gap-closure set of techniques.

And Patanjali cognized, meaning from deep within his consciousness, he was able to experience and then describe the mechanics by which the closure of the gap between individuality and universality could be affected.

And so this is the process of uniting or bringing Yoga using sutures, using sutras.

[11:36] Siddhi – Extraordinary Human Capability

And so these sutras are used by practitioners of Vedic Meditation from their least-excited state. There’s a specific technique of you meditate first, and then you bring into your awareness a particular sutra.

And what are these sutras intending? Well, their intention is to awaken and deliver the direct experience of an extraordinary human capability. Extraordinary human capability is the best way of defining the word Siddhi. A Siddhi, sometimes is roughly translated as the English word “power.” A power, you know, like Superman or Batman or Spider-Man or Wonder Woman, the woman who has powers. Really this is a kind of trivialization of the concept. I hope you realize that of course.

I tend not to use the word power. I like to use the more elaborated version, extraordinary human capability. These are not super-natural capabilities. They are totally natural capabilities.

[13:07] A Foundation for Greater Capabilities

And so Patanjali asks us to begin with creating a foundation that makes the experiencer a completely safe bet for layering on greater and greater capabilities.

The first sutras, therefore, have to do with creating universal experiences of friendliness, of compassion, and of happiness. Astonishingly, perhaps, these three, friendliness and compassion and happiness, are considered by Maharishi Patanjali as the most basic and greatest and most powerful of the extraordinary human capabilities of the Siddhis.

Why? Because if you have friendliness, if you have compassion, if you have happiness, then you are a safe person upon whom to layer, and in whom to awaken, ever-greater human capability. And so it’s a safe bet to make you strong, very strong.

If you are not feeling friendly, if you’re not feeling compassionate, if you’re not feeling happy, then it’s dangerous for you to feel strong. We even have this in our modern day Marvel Universe mythos. The Hulk, angry, wants to rip things apart, uncontrollable, smashing everything, not friendly, not compassionate, not happy, Hulk.

So to avoid you becoming Hulk prior to awakening in you enormous physical strength, you must layer into your extraordinary human capability base friendliness and compassion and happiness.

[15:23] The Ability to Master and Capture Cause and Effect

The way that these sutras work is that you practice your technique of Vedic Meditation first and then, while you are still in that least-excited state, at the end of meditation there is a particular methodology whereby you introduce the sound that is known to cause and to stimulate that least-excited state into the experience of great universal levels of friendliness and of compassion and of happiness.

See, the idea is that you never meet a bank robber who’s friendly, compassionate, and happy? Happy people don’t rob banks. Happy people who are friendly, compassionate, and happy don’t beat other people. Happy people who are friendly, compassionate, and happy don’t engage in antisocial activities.

And so, Patanjali’s greatest concern is for us first to awaken these three qualities, and then we can begin to layer into one’s experience the ability to explore a broader range of extraordinary human capabilities.

Things like, extensive intuition, the ability to experience the sequences of the future in the making, to be able to see that which is very obvious to someone who is a seer, which is the sequential elaboration, the unfolding of what’s coming next. The ability to master and capture cause and effect. To see what all the causes are that are right in front of you and to know what their subsequent effects will be.

So this is what we call intuition. It seems very simple, intuition, but in fact it involves that process of being able to harness that capability. And so on, and so on, and so on, and there’s even one particular sutra which one learns, that gives the mind and body the impression of being extremely light, where the body may even have some moments of feeling so light that it hops, it kind of hops, hops around a bit.

[18:12] MTS – A Course of Six Instalments

And these experiences that are gained, these so-called powers, extraordinary human capabilities, which you learn in a sequence, I’ve put all into a course entitled Mastering the Siddhis, abbreviated appropriately MTS, Mastering the Siddhis.

And Mastering the Siddhis is a course of six installments. You are entitled to apply to join installment one only after you have ingested and taken another course which I’ve described elsewhere, another advanced course called Exploring the Veda, ETV.

Exploring the Veda is another course of six installments that I’ve created, all about the source, the course, and the goal of all Vedic knowledge, sometimes abbreviated as Rishi Training. A rishi as a seer, training. Anyone who has learned Vedic Meditation, from a qualified instructor, is entitled to apply to take the course Exploring the Veda. It has six installments.

After doing Exploring the Veda I, the first installment, one is qualified to then apply for and to take Mastering the Siddhis I. It also has six installments, Mastering the Siddhis.

After taking and completing Exploring the Veda II, one is entitled, at the earliest, to apply for and take Mastering the Siddhis 2.

So they could go in lockstep like that, but this is a very rare way of doing it. Most people dive into Exploring the Veda as an entire six part series and ingest that prior to tackling Mastering the Siddhis, the six installments of Mastering the Siddhis.

The idea of Mastering the Siddhis is a full awakening of the capability of any Vedic meditator, to awaken the entire range of creative intelligence, the entire range of extraordinary human capabilities awakened, and then you practice that each morning and each evening as a strategy.

[20:51] Enjoy Life to the Fullest More Easily

It takes a little longer than does the simple 20 minutes twice-a-day practice of Vedic Meditation, but the payoff is a fantastic set of experiences. The unification of the individual mind with the Universal Mind, and knowledge of how to awaken from within oneself an intention and to have that intention manifest as a palpable experience, a palpable capability through which you can enjoy life to the fullest more easily.

So these two courses, Exploring the Veda and Mastering the Siddhis have this relationship. And completion of both of these, Exploring the Veda, all six installments, and Mastering the Siddhis, all six installments, happens to be the prerequisite for applying to take Initiator Training with me. That is to say, for you to come away to India to train with me for 12 weeks to become a teacher of Vedic Meditation.

So all teachers of Vedic Meditation now, as of this year, all would-be teachers, all applicants are now required to have completed the entirety of Exploring the Veda, ETV, 1 through 6, and the entirety of Mastering the Siddhis, MTS 1 through 6, and this is a qualification for applying to become a teacher of Vedic Meditation.

Jai Guru Deva. 

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