Sakthi is worshipped in various feminine forms – as Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth), Saraswathi (of learning), Durga (of destroyer of evils), Parasakthi (of great all powerful and kind protector) and different manifestations. From timeimmemorial Sakthi is worshipped both with awe and love! There are eighteensakthi peetas – where the power of Sakthi is with added concentration – spreadover in a few states in India, each with its own legend,. Each one has distinctivefeatures and a hoary past. There is not a single village in India without a temple of Devi. Siddhi in simple terms is achievement and in broader terms attainment of perfection or the ultimate. Siddhi is the pinnacle reached by unadulterated Bakthiand acquisition of Sakthi. Without bakthi and sakthi, Siddhi cannot be perceived.Practicing an ardent life with devotion and strict adherence to the norms,regulations and mantras set out in the Atharva Veda to reach the stage of Siddhi,one becomes a Siddha Purusha or Siddha.There are eight types of Siddhis called “Ashta Ma Siddhis”. They areAnima, Mahima, Lahima, Karima, Porpthi, Vasithvam, prakathmiyam andIshathvam.The Siddhas who practice different pursuits with specialization can perform unimaginable acts like walking on the river water, get buried in earth for a number of days, raising above the ground level with movement of limbs,converting things to metals, getting into others’ body (Jala Sthambanam, BhooSthambanam, Vayu Sthambanam, Rasa Vadam, Para Kaya Pravesam) talking to birds and beasts, talking to the dead etc. Another branch of siddha activity is thesiddha system of medicine specifying certain natural ways of life and medicinesmade of simple herbal ingredients of effective cure of all ailments, which isacclaimed as one of the best systems all over the world. There are only a fewsiddhas who practice techniques relevant to the present day situations of thefamily life, influence of bad spirits in one’s life, different types of doshams or evilinfluence of planets, black magic mental agony and other such problems.In olden days there were several Rishis (sages) who became Siddhas. Of these eighteen Siddhas (“Pathinenn Siddhars”) were notable for different kinds of siddha activities. Some were prominent like Kapila, Bhogar and Akasthiyar.Mention of Siddha is made even in Bhagavat-Gita and the Lord says “I am Kapilaamong Siddhas” (Ch: 10-26. Vibuthi yogam). Some Siddhas had setup separate“Peetams” (foundations) to perpetuate the lineage.Contrary to public belief, a siddha is not one who renounced the world(Sanyasi) but one who leads a normal life in the world, utilizing his knowledgeand powers to alleviate the sufferings of the people to the extent possible. He is aliving being, your next door neighbour. He is a person with ordinary looks, but of course, one with some extraordinary abilities!