Vastiva

Definition - What does Vastiva mean?

Vastiva is a Sanskrit word that means “self-command,” “mastery of oneself,” “bewitching,” and “being one's own master.” It is one of the ashta siddhis, or eight main special skills or unusual abilities that a yogi may attain through deep and prolonged meditation and other yoga practices. These siddhis are described in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

More specifically, vastiva is the power to control living beings and objects (both organic and inorganic), as well as one's own and other people's minds.

Yogapedia explains Vastiva

In the siddhi of vastiva, the yogi has the ability to make people bend to his wishes and to control wild animals. Vastiva also represents the restraint of emotions and passion. A yogi develops the siddhis through years of devoted practice of the eight limbs of yoga (Ashtanga yoga), particularly pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), and dhyana (profound meditation).

In addition to istiva, the other ashta siddhis are:

  • Anima – the power to shrink one's body to the size of an atom
  • Laghima – the capacity to make the body weightless
  • Mahima – the power to increase the size of one's body
  • Garima – the capability to make the body physically heavy
  • Prapti – the ability to travel anywhere
  • Prakamya – attaining whatever one wishes
  • Istiva – the attainment of lordship

In Hindu mythology, these siddhis represent the eight primary powers that gave Hanuman (the monkey god and devotee of Rama) his god-like powers.

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