Ashtama Siddhi means eight types of siddhis that a man attains by sheer concentration. Ashtama siddhi is eight types of super human or super natural powers. Here concentration means total concentration coupled with constant practice. In general we do not attain these siddhis because lack of concerted efforts. To get these types of siddhis we have to practice at least 12 to 18 hours a day. In ancient days, rishis used to spend most of their time only on meditation and as a result of which they acquired these siddhis. Now, we are going to discuss about the ways and means of acquiring these siddhis. Though we may not be able to devote more time for meditation, our concerted efforts might possibly give marginal effects. Secondly, you will not get the desired results immediately. You may have to practice continuously for months together to see some symptoms of result. More importantly you have to be patient. Rishi Patanjali in his yoga sutras often refers to samyam. Samyam means the highest form of concentration and earnest and conscientious efforts. The purity of mind, controlling the mind, lack of thoughts, detachments, lack of desires, lack of other aspirations all these contribute to strong samyam. You have to kill your mind to have a perfect samyam. With the help of samyam, it is said that one can achieve something that would not have been possible otherwise. Now let us look into some practical examples. Let us assume that a situation arises for you to lift a heavy article. There is nobody around to help you. If you start concentrating on an elephant or on a rock, you will gain enormous strength and you can easily lift the article. To achieve this, you have to practice regularly. Certainly you cannot have these powers overnight. For viewing a distant object you have to concentrate on your inner self illuminating light. Suppose you have a relative residing thousands of miles away, by attaining this siddhi you will be able to watch each of their activity at a particular point of time. Such things can happen only if you attain siddhi. Siddhi can be attained only by dedicated and persistent meditation.
Suppose you want to acquire the siddhi of carrying a heavy weight easily, you have to meditate on a rock. This is because you have a thorough knowledge about rock, its weight, the components of its formation, the shapes, its location etc. You know everything about rock. It is easier for you to meditate on a rock than meditating on other heavier objects, about which you are not aware. It is better to meditate on a known object than on an unknown object. The knowing of object means knowing everything about that object, every minute details about it. If you meditate on the sun, you come to know everything happening in this earth. If you meditate on the moon, you gain knowledge about stars, planets and their movements. Patanjali has identified objects on which one has to meditate to attain a particular type of siddhi. From his own experience he has identified these objects. When you meditate on these objects, ultimately, you become the object itself. Unless you identify with the sun, how you can know what is happening in this earth? Sun is visible to every living being, though timing of its visibility differs. Likewise, moon is called the leader of stars (tara nayakan) and that is why when you meditate on moon, you know everything about stars and planets. We will discuss more in our next posting.