Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 15: Lord Kṛṣṇa's Description of Mystic Yoga Perfections

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.15.4-5

aṇimā mahimā mūrter

laghimā prāptir indriyaiḥ

prākāmyaḿ śruta-dṛṣṭeṣu

śakti-preraṇam īśitā

guṇeṣv asańgo vaśitā

yat-kāmas tad avasyati

etā me siddhayaḥ saumya

aṣṭāv autpattikā matāḥ


aṇimā — the perfection of becoming smaller than the smallest; mahimā — becoming greater than the greatest; mūrteḥ — of the body; laghimā — becoming lighter than the lightest; prāptiḥ — acquisition; indriyaiḥ — by the senses; prākāmyam — obtaining or performing whatever one desires; śruta — things invisible,, about which one only hears; dṛṣṭeṣu — and things visible; śakti-preraṇam — manipulating the subpotencies of māyā; īśitā — the perfection of controlling; guṇeṣuin the modes of material nature; asańgaḥ — being unobstructed; vaśitā — the power to bring others under control; yat — whatever; kāmaḥ — desire (there may be); tat — that; avasyati — one can obtain; etāḥ — these; me — My (potencies); siddhayaḥ — mystic perfections; saumyaO gentle Uddhava; aṣṭau — eight; autpattikāḥ — natural and unexcelled; matāḥ — understood to be.


Among the eight primary mystic perfections, the three by which one transforms one's own body are aṇimā, becoming smaller than the smallest; mahimā, becoming greater than the greatest; and laghimā, becoming lighter than the lightest. Through the perfection of prāpti one acquires whatever one desires, and through prākāmya-siddhi one experiences any enjoyable object, either in this world or the next. Through iśitā-siddhi one can manipulate the subpotencies of māyā, and through the controlling potency called vaśitā-siddhi one is unimpeded by the three modes of nature. One who has acquired kāmāvasāyitā-siddhi can obtain anything from anywhere, to the highest possible limit. My dear gentle Uddhava, these eight mystic perfections are considered to be naturally existing and unexcelled within this world.


Through aṇimā-siddhi one can become so small that one can enter a stone or pass through any obstacle. Through mahimā-siddhi one becomes so great that one covers everything, and through laghimā one becomes so light that one can ride on the sun's rays into the sun planet. Through prāpti-siddhi one can acquire anything from anywhere and can even touch the moon with one's finger. By this mystic perfection one can also enter into the senses of any other living entity through the predominating deities of the particular senses; and by thus utilizing the senses of others, one can acquire anything. Through prākāmya one can experience any enjoyable object, either in this world or the next, and through īśitā, or the controlling potency, one can manipulate the subpotencies of māyā, which are material. In other words, even by acquiring mystic powers one cannot pass beyond the control of illusion; however, one may manipulate the subpotencies of illusion. Through vaśitā, or the power to control, one can bring others under one's dominion or keep oneself beyond the control of the three modes of nature. Ultimately, one acquires through kāmāvasāyitā the maximum powers of control, acquisition and enjoyment. The word autpattikāḥ in this verse indicates being original, natural and unexcelled. These eight mystic potencies originally exist in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, in the superlative degree. Lord Kṛṣṇa becomes so small that He enters within the atomic particles, and He becomes so large that as Mahā-Viṣṇu He breathes out millions of universes. The Lord can become so light or subtle that even great mystic yogīs cannot perceive Him, and the Lord's acquisitive power is perfect, because He keeps the total existence eternally within His body. The Lord certainly can enjoy whatever He likes, control all energies, dominate all other persons and exhibit complete omnipotency. Therefore it is to be understood that these eight mystic perfections are insignificant expansions of the mystic potency of the Lord, who in Bhagavad-gītā is called Yogeśvara, the Supreme Lord of all mystic potencies. These eight perfections are not artificial, but are natural and unexcelled because they originally exist in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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