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mahasiddha Sanskrit: mahāsiddha

An eccentric yogi in Tantric Buddhism, often associated with the highest levels of enlightenment.

Mahasiddhas (Sanskrit: maha - great, siddhas - achievers) are a type of eccentric yogis or adepts important in tantric Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism. They represent the mystic and unconventional which, in tantric thinking, is often associated with the highest levels of spiritual enlightenment. They are typically contrasted with arhats, the austere saints who achieved Buddhahood but not much else.

Mahasiddhas are a form of bodhisattva, meaning they not only have the spiritual abilities to enter nirvana whenever they please, but they are so compassionate they decide to remain in samsara instead to help others. Mahasiddhas are often associated with historic persons, but nonetheless typically have magical powers which they achieve by the efficacy of their spiritual practice.


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