Utility

Siddhi

"Siddhi, often referred to as mystical or magical power, basically means "accomplishment"...The siddhis have tremendous potential for practical application in healing and other modes of human service."
-Thomas Cleary

Siddhis are typically thought of as supernatural powers in yogic lore; however the primary meaning, as stated above, is accomplishment, and the one who accomplishes is considered a Siddha. This accomplishment is brought about through spiritual practice or sadhana and/or by the Grace of a Siddha who has already attained it. That other powers might be evident is usually incidental and they are not the point; these powers are the play, or grace of Realization in the field of action. The primary Siddhi is when you sit in the presence of a Master and can feel that attainment; it profoundly touches you, and it manipulates the pranic system of the body-mind. This experiential result defines a true Master, or Siddha.

David Spero is one who has obtained the Siddhi of Mahaprana Shakti, or the cosmic life-force. I believe that this is an incredibly rare thing anywhere, especially here in the West. The more I scan different yogic scriptures such as Kashmir Shaivism, Kaulachara Shaktism, Vaisnavism and other sources, the more I realize that the nature of the way David transmits and teaches is completely in accord with what these traditions indicate characterizes the nature of a true Siddha. Diksha or Shaktipat are an initiation into authentic yogic reality. This Siddhi is the proof of the possibility of attainment and the taste of it. Of course, I don't presume that David Spero is specifically seeking to be found as legitimate within the context of these scriptures, but he does suggest that one study them, so as to corroborate and aid us in understanding the correct context by which to approach him.

Without always saying it explicitly, the scriptures describe the importance of Initiation. That it is not explicit, suggests that we are in the domain of the esoteric. It is a secret, albeit an open one, that the true Master initiates through conferring shaktipat. This initiation awakens the disciple into the vast potentialities of the Bliss of Awakening. Shakti is not something to merely get high on, though; it points to and enlarges the Self into the ultimate Reality of Transcendental Consciousness. It is said that a Guru points the way. They teach and instruct us in the ways of the technologies of ecstasy (to borrow from Georg Feuerstein). The Avatars go further, by initiating and ushering us into Bliss and Divine Love. They open your mouth and shove the nectar into the soul, so that it might remember the Truth of the Divine. Avatars give endlessly, effortlessly and the only thing they ask for in return is that we taste and know the Truth. A person might study scriptures for years, sit for years, but unless that taste has happened, unless that Bliss is known, sadhana might never bear fruit. The true Master introduces you into the highest potentialities of Consciousness so that you might know that the one who asks a question inwardly is the one who answers it--that you are That. There is a masculine and feminine alchemy to this process. In the Tantric scriptures this is often symbolized by Shiva and Parvati. Parvati asks Shiva for instruction into the nature of Ultimate Reality, and Shiva answers.

" The Self, which is present in every form and is self-luminous, does both the questioning and answering itself as if by dividing itself into questioner and the answerer itself, both being itself at the same time."

-Abhinavagupta

Through imbibing the Shakti we can be initiated into this Reality. It plunges us into Ultimate Reality, or Consciousness. The Siddhi of David Spero activates an ever-deepening course. So, Initiation should not be underestimated. For this reason we fix our attention on the Teacher.

"For I am the goal
And the means,
The prosperity and the freedom
From all sorrows
For the Jnana Yogi
Nothing further beyond me
Need concern the vidvat-sannyasin"

and

"Oh Uddhava, know yourself
To be ready for this experience.
Once it is gained
Surrender it ~ and it's knowledge ~ to me
and worship me with devotion."

-Sri Krishna
from the Uddhava Gita, of the Bhagavata Purana

The Siddhi of accomplishment indicates that the Master is the goal and the means. What is shared is this Siddhi. The Siddhi of accomplishment is like a raft, or a rushing river that brings us to the destination. You surrender to the river completely and let it carry you all the way. Of course, effort is required, but the right effort, or correct effort is surrender. We allow ourselves to be carried and transformed; if we were to fight the current, exhaustion might ensue.

Siddhi awakens devotion in us. I used to think that a person is usually a devotional type to begin with, or a Jnani, or a Karma-yogin. You are naturally, constitutionally predisposed to one or the other of these approaches. It was only after I encountered rare Masters that I realized that, through initiation, devotion is produced. Of course these propensities are probably latent, but a Master can, through his/her Siddhi, awaken these potentialities in us. This could be said to be another definition of Siddhi - the power to Awaken. Siddhi also means power. The accomplishment of the Master is simultaneously that power which transmits and awakens Consciousness. I have found myself awakened into profound states of Devotion, Bliss and Self-Abiding Calmness by sitting in David's presence, as have so many others. I have found the same situation with David that I have read about with people who sat with famous Masters. Many described going to the Master with their heads filled with questions, only to take a seat in their presence and have them fall away in the radiant field of his/her Bliss.

This has definitely been my experience.

Salutations to David Spero!

Comments

Thanks for this excellent post. David is rare. I wish I could convey in words what changes I've had since meeting him. I find it impossible to describe the immensity of love and the divine intoxication which took all over. Each satsang is like a feast in heaven. We're all blessed in the presence of his light.

By ocean

David is the Divine Lord.

By Steve

Beautiful synthesis of what many of us have experienced with what the scriptures have portrayed.

By Abha --

Abha

Oh Well, Chuck deleted his post/comments. These were responses to him.

Hi Chuck,

I appreciate your response and all that you shared.

I need to clarify that nowhere in my post did I intend to state that Shakti is the only aspect that characterizes a Master, but I was being specific. David, himself explicitly clarifies that Shakti is one important aspect and that there are other aspects of Meditation/sadhana involved. The Shakti can be a powerful initiating, awakening, catalyst force and it is proof of attainment, a significant attainment. Is it the end result? Not always, but that will differ from context to context. It depends on many factors. What is the nature of David's Transmission? I have my own ideas and I'll keep them private for now, but I believe it is unique and special.

"a Master is one in whom the various pathologies of manifest form, whether identified with or not, have been subsumed and transmuted by Love, and from whose speech and actions no pathologically-born harm arises. "

Sounds good, ideally, but it doesn't always work out ideally. I think David spoke about this in his video about "Forgiving The Teacher."

" A true Master is heavy. he's heavily qualified to guide you, heavy with qualities. Also, a true Guru can manipulate your prana."
-Robert Svoboda, during a lecture entilteld 'Guru as Heavyweight'

I think there is a great mystery with David and a lot more than meets the eye going on --that is my experience. I'm not going to defend that, or split hairs. This is simply where I wan't to be.

I agree with you about the virtues. David is a very sweet teacher and he can be fierce when he needs to, but essentially, I think he's trustworthy and I believe he does have the power to awaken Love in the highest sense; but then again, as the old saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water..."

Namaste,

Michael

By michael ortega

Hi Chuck,

I completely appreciate you post and think it is valuable. I agree with many of the points you made. I think the distinctions you make and the problems you address about Shakti and Enlightenment are important. I don't think abuse should be tolerated, either. I don't believe this Siddhi necessarily means one is '"fully-baked" either, but that wasn't my emphasis. My emphasis was on the notion of Siddhi as accomplishment, or attainment. It is debatable within the Siddha tradition as to what extent each siddha was realized, but that they were Siddhas and had accomplishment, or attainment in Sadhana is implicit in their being called Siddhas. When I said that "this experiential result defines a true Master, or Siddha", the accomplishment aspect is what I meant to emphasize, so perhaps I could have worded it differently. Beyond that, I'm not personally interested in defining David within a hierarchy of Awakening. What matters to me are the implications of this Siddhi as transmission/initiation. I agree with you, that there are different flavors to Shakti, different temperatures and effects, etc., but it is the implications of that transmission within Consciousness and Life and that one can feel and sense and intuit the pregnant possibilities of what is being offered. With David, I find the implications of his Transmission to be quite profound, in what it shows me, teaches me and specifically what it allows me to see and feel. That is all I will confess about that. Again there is more, as to why I think there is something very special and rare going on here, but that is something that shouldn't be discussed, it might be personally discovered, or not.

In conclusion, I think your post was valuable and highlighted important distinctions about this mysterious world of Shakti. I could not always tell where you were coming from when you were making those distinctions, though. Maybe the "it is not enough" statement is more a reflection of how you feel about yourself in your process? Certainly, I agree, "it is not enough" if the power to awaken Love isn't present and further I'd say requires responsibility of the sadhaka to capable of receiving and awakening Love in him/herself and being able ascertain whether their teacher is rightly guided and responsible, or even potentially abusive. I think in the latter case, the signs are usually right out in the open, so that you can know what you might be getting. if you ignore that, that's your responsibility. The last 35 yrs of activities with teachers in the west has taught us that, hopefully.
As, I stated previously, I think David does possess this power to awaken Love.

Anyway, maybe you'll reconsider not deleting your post's. I think they are helpful and people need to hear this stuff. It doesn't need to necessarily be "spiritually politically correct" to be useful.

Namaste,
Michael

By michael ortega