By Swami Harshananda
Siddhas literally means ‘the perfected ones’.
Definition of Siddhis
The word siddha has been used in several senses. Literally, it means anyone who has attained perfection. The siddhas, like the gandharvas, are a group of demigods endowed with certain miraculous powers. Those of the human beings who have attained the aṣṭasiddhis, are called siddhas.
Siddhas as Other References
- Alchemists who tried to convert base metals into gold or transform the internal body-chemistry to make an old body into a young one by the process known as kāyakalpa, were also called siddhas.
- Some physicians who broke away from the traditional Ayurveda and formed the school of Siddha System of Medicine wherein only the products of plants, roots and trees were used for preparing medicines, came to be known as siddhas.
- Some Tamil poets of the seventh and eighth centuries like Tirumular and Śiva-vakkiyar who were heterodox in their attitudes and rebels against the hierarchy
of the caste system were also known as the siddhas.
- Aṣṭasiddhis means eight miraculous powers.
- Yogasutras 3.45
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore