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Aushadhi For Extraordinary Powers

In Yogasutra of Patanjali (IV.1), the siddhis (extraordinary powers) are said to be achieved through two methods – by practice of Yoga and by the use of aushadhi (s). This can be achieved by taking special preparations made from the powder, decoction or syrup of medicinal herbs like asparagus, ashwagandha, arjuna, amla, brahmi and so on. Two examples of such powers are mentioned by Vacaspati Mishra, a highly learned commentator of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra – agelessness and deathlessness.

In the commentary on Hatha Yoga Pradipika (I:62), five vegetables are mentioned as useful in the diet of a yogi. They are – jivanti, vastu, mulyakshi, meghanada and punarnava. They are conducive to good health, which is an important requirement for success in the practice of yoga.

Saint Jnanadeva has mentioned a preparation called Anjana which is said to give an individual the power to see hidden treasures clearly (jnaneshwari I:23). When Anjana is put in the eyes in the form of an ointment, one can see treasures buried in the ground. In Ayurveda, many herbal preparations, called rasayanas, if regularly used, are said to impart various capacities to the body and mind.