Debashish Banerji, PhD, is Haridas Chaudhuri Professor of Indian Philosophies and Cultures and Chairman of the East West Psychology Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He is author of Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo and also The Alternatate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore, a book about his great grandfather. He edited an anthology about his great uncle, Rabindranath Tagore in the Twenty-First Century. His newest anthology is titled Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures.
Here he discusses the different approaches toward the siddhis in Tantra and Vedanta. He argues for a balance between these; and notes that, in the yoga system of Aurobindo, balance itself is considered one of the siddhis. He describes the cultural impact of colonization and eventual liberation of India as it influenced and, conversely, was influenced by the long tradition of yoga. He points out the enormous, potential social utility of the siddhis — such as the ability to convert pain into pleasure.
(Recorded on May 24, 2019)
Published on June 25, 2019