“Siddha refers to a yogi who has perfected yoga and achieved mastery over the gunas, so that his or her body and mind are composed primarily of sattva guna, the quality of nature associated with lightness and consciousness. With this lightness, great powers, called siddhis, can be attained. The siddhis are discussed in the third chapter of the yoga Sutra and include having the strength of an elephant, the ability to change size and shape, the power to create objects at will.”
~ Excerpt from Myths of the Asanas by Alanna Kaivalya & Arjuna van der Kooij
There is a story about a yogi named Durvassa who achieved these great powers but was very quick tempered. He became enraged with King Ambarish while visiting and created a great demon to ambush and kill the king. The king, too, was a yogi, but one of devotion. Because of this he was protected by the shield of Vishnu so the demon was killed the minute it came towards the king. The shield, a spinning chakra, then turned toward Durvasa. Durvasa ended up begging the king for forgiveness, which the king readily gave because he operated from a place of love. It turned out the great siddhis were no match to the devotional path of yoga.
This story speaks to the humility needed in life. It’s easy to get caught up in the ego that comes with achievements. But the achievements aren’t what matters. It’s the surrender to a higher power, the humility that comes when we recognize that all we can really control is our reactions to others and events happening in our lives.
Lately I’ve written a lot about my struggle with coming to terms with health issues.I’ve written about losing faith that at one time felt completely unshakeable. I’ve been contemplative lately. Last night I was taking a bath and reading from Myths of the Asanas and realized that I’ve let my ego take over and lead the way. I forgot that it wasn’t mine to question whether or not healing was real because I still have kidney disease; it was mine to react. And with that I thought about the early days of quitting drinking when I was intense about taking care of myself. It was life or death. I developed rituals, although that wasn’t what I called them, that saw me through every day. They included daily meditation, reading something of a spiritual nature every day, journaling everyday, exercising every day and taking a hot bath every day. I filled up my time with things that supported my sobriety. I surrendered. Not the wave a white flag and give up kind of surrender – I surrendered by recognizing the work I had to do and just doing it. Peacefully and easily. I flowed. And stayed sober and still am.
Now is a time of spiritual crisis for me in a sense. It’s time for me to surrender again- To develop rituals that support healing if not in my body then in my mind so that I can find peace with my health issues. So that I can stop fighting. And so, starting now (because there is no other time) I will once again meditate every day. I will journal everyday, sometimes here on my blog, other times more privately. I will take care of me every day. I’m more tired than I used to be so a full work out won’t be in the cards every day, but I can always do a restorative yoga practice when I don’t have the energy for more. It’s time for me to look after my wellness once again.
I’ve decided the re-read the Bhagavad Gita and will post as I go through the verses. Maybe you’d like to join me on this journey? On the intense restructuring of a yogi.
My meditation for today: Deep healing and Relaxation