The mahasiddha (Skt. maha, ‘great’, and siddha, ‘accomplished one’) is the ideal ofBuddhism. The records eighty-four mahasiddhas, four of them women. Each one is considered an expert in the practice of a particular spiritual or technique. Mahasiddhas are viewed as ‘awakened beings’, have developed magical powers, and (unlike ordinary mortals) are not subject to the laws of nature. They can fly, for instance, or stop the progress of time, and can perform all sorts of . With their unconventional behaviour, they tend to provoke strong reactions, and not infrequently flout the rules of the day. In doing so, they make others aware of the limited nature of their own perceptions, and that what is considered reality is only an illusion.