There are many yoga siddhis in scriptures: Anima, Mahima, Garima, Laghima, Prapti, Prakamya, Isitva, Vasitva.

I wonder why no yogi exhibit them.

I heard several reasons. But I don't know whether there is any scriptural statement that forbids exhibition of siddhis.

Is there any such scriptural statement of forbidding exhibition of siddhis?

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    Exhibition of siddhis is not a sin as such I think ,but using them for wrong purposes surely is. Also exhibiting pride or ego arising from achieving them is avidya.Mainy saint's exhibited their siddhis for welfare of people and to enlighten them. For e.g. There is story of pride of Changdev Maharaj (a yogi) and Sant Dnyaneshwar which is related to the topic. google.com/amp/s/www.speakingtree.in/blog/… Dec 14 '20 at 15:00
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    @Wikash_ If you want to discuss about claims and evidence, fact then Skeptics Stack Exchange may be better place. We expect everyone here respect the belief system of this community.
    – Pandya
    Dec 25 '20 at 1:39
  • 1
    @Pandya The user is not in a mood to listen. He continues to post the same type of comments whenever he gets the opportunity. See here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/43866/…
    – Rickross
    Dec 25 '20 at 6:36

In any spiritual practice the Sadhana (the effort) and the Siddhis (the fruits of that effort) are better to be kept secret. This is the very basic of any spiritual Sadhana. Same is the case with Yoga.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chapter 1, Verse 11 says:

Hathavidya param gopya yogina siddhim-ichchata |
Bhaved-viryavati gupta nirvirya tu prakashita ||

Hatha yoga is the greatest secret of the yogis who wish to attain perfection (siddhi). Indeed, to be fruitful, it must be kept secret; revealed it becomes powerless.

On this verse there is a long commentary by Swami Muktibodhananda. I am producing here some parts from it which talk about why Yogis keep Siddhis secret and why it is necessary to do so.

This sloka is typical of any yogic shastra expounding higher knowledge, i.e. the science should be kept to oneself. Whatever a sadhaka gains or achieves during the period of sadhana should be a private affair. This may seem a little out of context as the book itself appears to be disclosing the secrets of the practices, but in fact, when you learn under the guidance of a guru, you will find that Swatmarama has only stated the bare essentials as guidelines for the practice of asana etc., so that the science of hatha yoga will be preserved for humanity.

Gorakhnath used to tell his disciples that hatha yoga is the science of the subtle body. It is the means by which the body’s energy can be controlled. He said that hatha is the means of controlling the two main energy channels of the positive/negative currents.

The positive/negative nature of energy exists in every part of our being. Hatha yoga not only brings a balance in the energy, but also in the duality of the mind, and between the lower nature and the higher mind, between the individual soul and the universal spirit. It involves yourself and the atma, so why bring anyone else into the picture? In the Shiva Samhita it says that the practitioner should keep his practice secret “just as a virtuous wife keeps her intimate relations between herself and her husband quiet.” This develops the love between husband and wife. Similarly, if you have any respect for your own beloved, the pure atma, whatever experience and power you are bestowed with is your own affair and has to be cultivated privately.

This is a purely logical and scientific process. When you have a small light burning in a room at night, the whole room is illumined. If you take your little light outside into the vast, open space, the light is engulfed by the night and absorbed in the darkness. The same principle applies to the power gained through your sadhana. The power may enlighten your own consciousness, but displayed and dissipated in the magnitude of the outside world, it loses strength

Keeping sadhana and siddhis under cover has a powerful psychological effect. If you talk about and display your attainments, the sense of ‘I’ or ego becomes very acute. I have achieved, I had this experience, or I can do this. If you want to experience cosmic consciousness, ego or ahamkara is the greatest barrier. Siddhis never last long, they are impermanent. After a certain stage of evolution they disappear. If you associate yourself with the feeling that ‘I’ have perfected this and that, you will expect yourself to be able to perform a great feat and so will others. You will be living to meet the expectations of others, otherwise they will not think that you are great. One day when the siddhi leaves you, how are you going to cope with the situation? In spiritual life it is very important to keep ego under control. Most of the great saints and siddhas who had powers rarely displayed them. Only the people who lived very close to them knew their greatness. Many siddhas who did display their powers were persecuted, e.g., Christ. Therefore, for your own good and for the good of others it is said, as a warning rather than mere advice, that sadhana and siddhis are to be kept secret.

We have verse 9 from Chapter 3 (from the same text) too, which asks for the Siddhis to be kept secret.

These must remain secret just like precious stones, and not be talked about to anyone, just as one does not tell others about his intimate relations with his wife.

And, on this verse we have the following commentary:

We are repeatedly reminded that neither the practices, the siddhis, not the sadhana can be divulged to anyone. It is the guru’s decision who should be given the knowledge, and it can only be gained through experience. There is no merit in trying to share one’s spiritual experiences with another.

So, while it might not be a sin, a Yogi has good reasons in favor of not displaying his Siddhis to others.

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    Makes sense too.
    – Just_Do_It
    Dec 14 '20 at 20:12
  • Showing a siddhi could convince many people the truth about Hinduism. Therefore I think it is a shame to keep this a secret while many people can benefit from it. Also, think of all goods deeds one can perform to help others.
    – Wikash_
    Dec 15 '20 at 17:53

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