Bakthi Sakthi & Siddhi Bakthi is devotion.

The term usually refers to the devotion by a lesser being to the higher one. Thus we have Mathru Bakthi, Pitru Bakthi, Guru Bakthi and Divine Bakthi representing devotion to Mother, Father, Guru and Almighty respectively. The level and kind of bakthi is of varying degree. In mathru bakthi, there is a mixture of affection and endearment. In Pithru bakthi, the mixture of entitlement and efficacy is more pronounced. In Guru bakthi, the mixture of reverence and abdication is keenly felt. And in Divine bakthi, all these and much more form the mixture with devotion! Divine bakthi should be pure and unadulterated. Rituals alone do not form bakthi. They are only tools in the process. Prayer is a means to reach the stage of bakthi. Faith and sincerity are the essentials of prayer. A perfect understanding and concentration in what we do form the basics of proper prayer. Repetitive sincere prayers are borne out of bakthi on one hand and on the other hand go towards increasing the level of bakthi in one’s self.. You can pray and worship the Divine in any form. The great Nayanmars and Alwars expressed their bakthi in different formats and also by singing the praise of the Lord in various ways. The bakthi of various saints was of different type. Meera Bai and Andal had the ardent bakthi and longed to be in unison with the Lord. The rustic hunter, Kannappa Nayanar, adored the Lingam as a living being and offered his eyes, one after the other, when he found trace of blood on the face of the Lingam. For Nandanar, the very sight of the temple tower of Chidambaram evoked great ecstasy before entering into the temple. For Arjuna the Lord was a relative, driver, friend, philosopher and guide. For Bhadrachal Ramadas’ bakthiful lamentations, Lord Rama presented himself before the Sultan. Thyagaraja’s soulful musical renderings on Lord Rama reverberate among the hills and dales of South India. Many episodes in the scriptures and puranas depict the devotees rendering bakthi to the Divine in their conceived forms. But the basic tenets of bakthi – resolute faith, sincerity and steadfastness – reigned supreme. Lord Krishna reiterated these tenets in Bhagavad-Gita. (Ch:12-Bakthi Yogam) Sakthi is energy in simpler terms and power in a greater term. Matter without energy is of little use. Scriptures describe the status of matter as “Chethana and achethana”,. Sivam (the Supreme matter) combined with Sakthi (the supreme power) pervades the world. One of the six forms of worship enunciated by the Aryans was Saktham- Worship of the Divine in feminine form. For any movement, energy is required. The supreme Sakthi energizes the world. Scriptures describe Sakthi as of three kinds – Icha Sakthi, Kriya Sakthi and Gnana Sakthi. Icha Sakthi is the energy that creates and motivates the desire (Icha). Kriya Sakthi is the energy that is required to do and act (kriya) as per the motives and desires. Gnana Sakthi is the energy required for the achievement and culmination or the fruition with utmost wisdom and profundity of knowledge (Jnana). For any great action the combination of the three is a desideratum.

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 time immemorial Sakthi is worshipped both with awe and love! There are eighteen sakthi peetas – where the power of Sakthi is with added concentration – spread over in a few states in India, each with its own legend,. Each one has distinctive features 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 Bakthi and 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 are Anima, Mahima, Lahima, Karima, Porpthi, Vasithvam, prakathmiyam and Ishathvam. 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, Bhoo Sthambanam, Vayu Sthambanam, Rasa Vadam, Para Kaya Pravesam) talking to birds and beasts, talking to the dead etc. Another branch of siddha activity is the siddha system of medicine specifying certain natural ways of life and medicines made of simple herbal ingredients of effective cure of all ailments, which is acclaimed as one of the best systems all over the world. There are only a few siddhas who practice techniques relevant to the present day situations of the family life, influence of bad spirits in one’s life, different types of doshams or evil influence 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 Kapila among 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 knowledge and powers to alleviate the sufferings of the people to the extent possible. He is a living being, your next door neighbour. He is a person with ordinary looks, but of course, one with some extraordinary abilities!

Let Bakthi and Sakthi join hands with Siddhi in an effort towards making the world a better place to live!