Historically, Siddhar also refers to the people who were early age wandering adepts that dominated ancient Tamil teaching and philosophy. They were knowledgeable in science, technology, astronomy, literature, fine arts, music, drama, dance, and provided solutions to common people in their illness and advice for their future. Some of their ideologies are considered to have originated during the First Sangam period.
Typically Siddhars were saints, doctors, alchemists, and mystics all in one. They wrote their findings in the form of poems in the Tamil language, on palm leaves which are collected and stored in what is known as the "Palm leaf manuscripts". These are still owned by some families in Tamil Nadu and handed down through the generations, as well as being kept in public institutions such as universities in India, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States.
In this way, Siddhars developed, among other branches of a vast knowledge-system, what is now known as Siddha medicine, practiced mainly in Tamil Nadu as a type of traditional native medicine. A rustic form of healing that is similar to Siddha medicine has since been practiced by experienced elders in the villages of Tamil Nadu. (This is also referred to as Paatti Vaitthiyam" (grandmother's medicine) "Naattu marunthu (folk medicine) and Mooligai marutthuvam (herbal medicine)).
Siddhars are also believed to be the founders of Varmam - a martial art for self-defense and medical treatment at the same time. Varmam are specific points located in the human body which when pressed in different ways can give various results, such as disabling an attacker in self-defense, or balancing a physical condition as an easy first-aid medical treatment.
Tamil Siddhars were the first to develop pulse-reading ("naadi paarththal" in Tamil) to identify the origin of diseases.
Siddhars have also written many religious poems. It is believed that most of them have lived for ages, in a mystic mountain called Sathuragiri, near Thanipparai village in Tamil Nadu.
The Abithana Chintamani encyclopedia states that the Siddhars are either of the 9 or 18 persons listed below, but sage Agathiyar states that there are many who precede and follow these. Many of the great Siddhars are regarded to have powers magical and spiritual.
The 9 Siddhars
The 9 listed in "Abithana Chintamani" are as follows:
- Gadaendranathar or Gajendranathar
The 18 Siddhars
- Nandeeswarar (Nandidevar or Nandi (bull))
- Kalangi Nathar
- Siva vaakiyar
- Pambatti (Pambatti Siddhar)
Apart from the 18 siddars listed above, there is another list of 18 siddars who represent the 9 navagrahas ( two siddars represent each navagraha ) all navagraha doshas /pariharams are performed to the siddars as Siddar velvi ( siddar havan) .The details of the 18 siddars who represent the 9 navagrahas are given below 1.sri siva vakya siddar - Moon 2.sri kailaya kambili sattai muni siddar - Moon 3.Sri Bhogar siddar - Mars 4.sri Kagabhujanga siddar - Jupiter 5.Sri.Pullipanisiddar - Mars 6.Sri Sattai muni siddar- Kethu 7.Sri Agapaisiddar - Jupiter 8.sri Azhugani siddar -Raghu 9.SriKudambai siddar - Kethu 10.Sri Vallalarsiddar - Mercury 11.Sri Edaikaddar siddar -Mercury 12.Sri Pattinathar siddar- Sun 13.Sri Kaduvelli siddar- Sun 14.Sri Kanjamalai siddar - Venus 15.Sri Sennimalai siddar- Venus 16. SriKapilar siddar -Saturn 17.SriKaruvoorar siddar-Saturn 18.Sri Pambatti siddar -Raghu
There is a universal shrine for all the 18 siddars at madambakkam in Chennai called SriChakra Mahameru Sri Seshadri swamigal 18 siddars brindavana sakthi peedam built under divine instruction from Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal by Guruji KVLN. SHARMAJI
The supreme Siddhar is Lord Shiva himself.
Powers of siddhas
The siddhars are believed to have had both major and minor powers which are described in detail in various yogic and religious texts. They also are said to have the power of converting their mass to energy and thereby traveling to different universes.
- Anima (shrinking) -- Power of becoming the size of an atom and entering the smallest beings
- Mahima (illimitability) -- Power of becoming mighty and co-extensive with the universe. The power of increasing one's size without limit
- Laghima (lightness) -- Capacity to be quite light though big in size
- Garima (weight) -- Capacity to weigh a lot, though seemingly being small in size
- Prapti (fulfillment of desires) -- Capacity to enter all the worlds from Brahma Loga to the nether world. It is the power of attaining everything desired
- Prakasysm (irresistible will) -- Power of disembodying and entering into other bodies and going to heaven and enjoying what everyone aspires for, simply from where he stays
- Ishtavam (supremacy) -- Have the creative power of God and control over the Sun, Moon and the elements
- Vashitavam (dominion over the elements) -- Power of control over kings and gods. The power of changing the course of nature and assuming any form
- Abithana Chintamani
- Ayyavazhi mythology
- Maruttuvar community
Notes and references
- Meditation Revolution: A History and Theology of the Siddha Yoga Lineage. Motilal Banarsidass. 2000. ISBN 9788120816480.
- S. Cunjithapatham, M. Arunachalam (1989). Musical tradition of Tamilnadu. International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilizations. p. 11.
- Journal of Indian history, Volume 38. Dept. of History, University of Kerala. 1960.
- Weiss, Richard (2009). Recipes for Immortality : Healing, Religion, and Community in South India: Healing, Religion, and Community in South India. Oxford University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780199715008.
- V. Jayaram. "Study of siddhas". Hinduwebsite.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- "18 siddhars". Palanitemples.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- "Siddhars". Sathuragiri.org. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- Thirumandiram 668
- "Ashtama Siddhis". Siddhars.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22.