Letter 56

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10th August, 1946
There was a talk in Bhagavan’s presence today about siddhas. Some people said, amongst other things, that someone had tried to attain siddhi and had succeeded. After hearing them all patiently for a long time, Bhagavan said in a tone of annoyance, “You talk of siddhas. You say they attain something from somewhere. For that purpose they do sadhana and tapas. Is it not really a siddhi or attainment for us who are really formless to have got a body with eyes, legs, hands, nose, ears, mouth and to be doing something or other with that body? We are siddhas. We get food, if we want food; water, if we want water; milk, if we want milk.

Are not all these siddhis? While we experience ever so many siddhis at all times, why do you clamour for more siddhis? What else is required?” About two years back, Manu Subedar, a member of the Indian Legislative Assembly and translator of the commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Jnaneswara, came to have darshan of Bhagavan, and asked Bhagavan during a conversation why it was that there were writings about siddha purushas in all books but none about sadhakas, and whether there were any books about sadhakas. Bhagavan said, “In Bhakta Vijayam, in Tamil, there is a conversation between Jnaneswara and Vithoba, his father. That is a discussion between a siddha and a sadhaka. The state of a sadhaka can be seen in that conversation.” So saying Bhagavan sent for a copy of Bhakta Vijayam from the Ashram library, read out that portion himself and explained it in detail. On reaching home, Manu Subedar asked for a copy of the conversation. Bhagavan sent a copy after getting it translated into English. Manu Subedar added it as a supplement to the third edition of his Jnaneswari. Recently I translated that conversation into Telugu.

You remember when you came here last full-moon day, during some conversation, Bhagavan said that Jnaneswara was a siddha while Vithoba was a sadhaka. Hence it was named “Siddha- Sadhaka Samvadam” (Conversation between a siddha and a sadhaka.) Bhagavan often says, “To know oneself and to be able to remain true to oneself, is siddhi, and nothing else. If one’s mind is absorbed in the enquiry of self, the truth will be realised some time or other. That is the best siddhi.” I give below an extract from the prose writings of Bhagavan regarding these siddhis in his “Unnathi Nalupadhi”* which bears this out: Siddhi is to know and realise that which is ever real. Other siddhis are mere dream siddhis. Would they be true when one wakes up from one’s sleep? Those who are wedded to truth and who had got freed from maya, will they get deluded by them? Please understand.

Reality in Forty Verses, verse 35 - - - -* “The Forty Verses” on Reality or Existence, originally composed by Bhagavan in Tamil under the title “Ulladu Narpadu”, is called differently in different language versions: “Unnathi Nalupadhi,” “Sad Vidya,” “Saddarshanam,” “Truth Revealed,” etc.

* Siddha - Semi-divine people supposed to be of great purity and holiness and said to be particularly characterised by eight supernatural faculties called siddhis.