Friday, August 19, 2011

at 11:59 PM Labels: Posted by Siddhas 0 comments












In old Tamil, "Siththu" means "of Siva", thus Siththar refer to "the disciples of God Siva" . Legend says that God Siva and Lord Muruga prescribed the sciences of the study of the eternal mind and the perfection of health, and the science of Tamil traditional medicine, to their beloved disciple Nanthi, the saint Bull. Nanthi, in turn, taught sage Agastya these chapters and whence commenced the legacy of Siddhar monasteries.

Siddhars are saints in India, mostly of the Saivaite denomination in Tamil Nadu, who professed and practised an unorthodox type of Sadhana, or spiritual practice, to attain liberation. They are people who are believed to control and transcend the barriers of time and space by meditation (Yoga), after the use of substances called Rasayanas that transform the body to make it potentially deathless, and a particular breathing-practice, a type of Pranayama. Through their practices they are believed to have reached stages of insight which enabled them to tune into the powers hidden in various material substances and practices, useful for suffering and ignorant mankind. Typically Siddhars were saints, doctors, alchemists and mysticists all at once. They wrote their findings, in the form of poems in Tamil language, on palm leaf which are collected and stored in what are known today as Palm leaf manuscript, today still owned by private families in Tamil Nadu and handed down through the generations, as well as public institutions such as Universities the world over (India, Germany, Great Britain, U.S.A.).

In this way Siddhars developed, among other branches of a vast knowledge-system, what is now known as Siddha medicine, practised mainly in Tamil Nadu as Traditional native medicine. Easier and common medications from Siddha medicine has since been practised by experienced elderly in the villages of Tamil Nadu, and is popularly known as Paatti Vaitthiyam, Naattu marunthu and Mooligai marutthuvam They are also founders of Varmam - a martial art for self-defence and medical treatment at the same time. Varmams 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-defence, or balancing a physical condition as an easy first-aid medical treatment.

Siddhars also wrote many religious poems.

One of the best-known Siddhars nowadays is Patanjali, the author of the Yoga-Sutra. Another prominent personality is Agasthyar, who is believed to be the founding father of Siddha culture.

Abithana Chintamani states Siddhars are either of the 9 or 18 persons enlisted, but sage Agastyar states that there are many who precede these and follow 9 or 18 persons. Many of the great Siddhars are regarded to have powers magical and spiritual.
All Siddhars in order

Sitthar Karuvooraar, with his disciple Rajaraja Chola, found in the Sanctum sanctorum of Peruvudaiyaar Koil, Thanjai, 10th c. CE

All Sitthars were among the highest disciples of God Siva, and are considered equal in their powers and devotion to the supreme God.

#Lord Nandi, principal disciple of God Siva and Lord Muruga #Lord Parasuram of Vallam, head of Celloor monastery #Agastyar from Anantasayana, head of the monasteries at Pothigai and Kumbakonam#Poagar of Pazhani, disciple of Agastya, 6th c. BCE( rough estimate ) #Thaeraiyar of Ten Pothigai, disciple of Agastya, 6th c. BCE #Korakkar of Paerur, from Thirukonamalai monastery, ?4th c. BCE#Pulippaani of Pazhani#Thadangann Siddhar#BramhaMuni, ?3rd c. BCE #Machamuni of Thirupparankundram, ?3rd c. BCE #Poonaikkannanaar of Egypt, ?3rd c.BCE #Romamunivar of Rome, ?2nd c. BCE#Kaaraichchiththar, ?2nd c.BCE#Kudhambai Siddhar of Mayilaaduthurai and Kumbakonam, ?2nd c. BCE#Kabilar I of Mithila, 2nd c. BCE.#Kaagaivanna Siddhar [i] of Kediya(South Sri Lanka), from Pothigai monastery, 2nd c. BCE#Dhanvantri from Kasi, of Vaitheeswaran Koil, ?1st c. BCE#Valmiki, aka Vaanmeegar of Ettukkudi, ?1st c. BCE#Maarkkandeyanaar#Koonkannar#Kaalaichchittar II #Konganar of Thirupathi, 1st c. BCE#Punnaakkeesar from Naangunaeri, head of Saanganachaeri monastery, 1st c. BCE#Kaalangicchitthar of Kanchipuram, ?2nd c. CE#Kaaduvelichchiththar #Aenaathichchittar, 2nd c. CE #Idaikkaadar of Oosimuri(in Thondai Nadu), from ThiruAnnaamalai monastery, ?2nd-3rd c. CE #Pulasthiyarfrom Maanthai, head of Aavudaiyaar Koil and Yaazhppaanam monasteries, 3rd c. CE#KamalaMuni of Thiruvaarur, ?4th c. CE#Pathanjali of Rameswaram, 4th c. CE #Azhaganiyaar of Nagapattinam, ?4th c. CE#Kailasanathar, 5th c. CE #Kuranguchchittar of Pazhani, 5th c. CE #Sattaimuni of ThiruArangam, ?5th c. CE #Vaamathevar of Azhagarmalai, ?5th c. CE #Agappaei Siddhar of Azhagarmalai, ?3rd c. CE #Sivavaakkiyar from Kollimalai, of Thirumazhisai monastery, ?4-5th c. CE #Sundarandandar of Madurai, ?5th c. CE#Ramadevar of Azhagarmalai #Thirumoolar from ThiruAaAduthurai, of ThiruAathavoor monastery, head of Thillai Citrambalam[i] monastery, 6th c. CE#Sri Jnyaaneswar of Gujarat#Later Siddhars include -Thirujnana Sambanthar, 7th c. CE #Arunagirinaathar of ThiruAnnaamalai, 7th c. CE#Kaagapusundar, disciple of Thirujnana Sambanthar, 7th c. CE #VaasaMuni#KoormaMuni#Kumbhamuni#Nandeeswarar of Kasi, from Thillai monastery, 6th c. CE #Pattinattaar of Pugaar, 7th c. CE #Avvaiyaar III, ?8th c. CE #Karuvoorar from Karuvoor, of Thanjai monastery, master of Rajaraja Chola, 10th c. CE#Pambatti Siddhar from Jnaneswaram( near Dwaraka, in Gujarat ), of Vilaimalai( Vriddhachalam ) monastery, 15th c. CE #Vaalaichchaami of Valangaimaan#Edaikadar II, ?15th c. CE#Ganapathi Siddhar#Subrahmanya Siddhar #Sooriyaananthar#Lokaayuthar#Bathragiriyaar of Badrachalam, from Thillai monastery #Kaesayogi of Badri-Khedarnath#Sri Ramana Magarishi of ThiruAnnaamalai, 19th c. CE

The 9 list as Abithana Chintamani states is as follows:

#Sathyanathar#Sadhoganathar#Aadhinathar#Anadhinathar#Vegulinathar#Madhanganathar#Machaendranathar#Gadaendranathar or Gajendranathar#Korakkanathar

The 18-list of siddhars is:

#Agastyar#Bogar#Korakkar#Kailasanathar#SattaiMuni#Tirumoolar#Nandhi#Koonkannar#Konganar#MachaMuni#VaasaMuni#KoormaMuni#Edaikaadar#KamalaMuni#Punnakeesar#Sundarandandar#Romarishi#BramhaMuni

Powers of siddhars
The siddhars are believed to have had powers both major and other ‘minor’ powers. They are explained in detail in various yogic as well as religious texts;Thirumandiram 668:

#To become tiny as the atom within the atom (Anima)#To become big in unshakeable proportions (Mahima)#To become as light as vapour in levitation (Laghima)#To become as heavy as the mountain (Garima)#To enter into other bodies in transmigration (Prapti)#To be in all things,omni-pervasive (Prakamya)#To be lord of all creation in omnipotence (Isatvam)#To be everywhere in omnipresence (Vasitvam)

These eight are the Great Siddhis.

Reference for the above statements:http://en.allexperts.com/e/s/si/siddhar.htm
source: http://yogascience.angelfire.com/18siddhars.htm

From: http://yogascience.angelfire.com/tamilsiddars.htm

An Introduction to the Tamil Siddhas:
Their Tantric Roots, Alchemy, Poetry,
and the True Nature of their Heresy
Within the Context of South Indian Shaivite Society
by Layne Little

(Please Note: This paper was originally presented at a symposium on world religions at the University of Utah in the spring of '97. It was haphazardly strung together almost overnight. Unfortunately, I failed to carefully list my sources and footnote their contributions. I have tried to list the most significant references at the tail of this article, but it is by no means complete. Nor to give them proper credit in the body of the work. I apologize profusely for this oversight, and welcome comments and criticism on this or any other issues. I must especially acknowledge how much Dr. David Gordon White and Dr. Kamil Zvelebil have contributed to this raggle-taggle introduction to Siddha tradition. Thanks!)

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The Tamil Siddhas are a religious order of mystics found in the southern part of India, who's origins can be traced back to the eighth century. They form a distinctive part of a larger movement which spread throughout South Asia, from Sri Lanka in the South to Tibet in the north, between the seventh and eleventh centuries. Siddhas everywhere share common practices, cosmology, and symbols derived from Tantrism whether the practitioner is Hindu, Buddhist, or Jain. All are part of a "pan-Indian tantric yoga movement" which Eliade described as formulating over a five hundred year period, between the 7th and the 11th centuries, but fully flowering only after the 12th century.

Excluding perhaps the Buddhist Siddhas, all such groups are considered radical, if not dangerous, by the orthodoxy.

An intriguing aspect of the Tamil Siddha cult is that it shares with the orthodox Saiva Siddhanta sect a common text which defines the philosophy of both groups. Since each sect emphasized different aspects of the teaching they quickly became widely divergent, with the two orders often at odds. The Siddhas would be scoffing at temple worship, reliance upon Brahminical authority, and proclaiming the injustice of caste; while the Saiva Siddhantins would berate the Siddhas much as M. Srinivasa Iyangar did in 1914 when he wrote that the Siddhas are "mostly plagiarists and impostors" and in addition, "Being eaters of opium & dwellers in the land of dreams, their conceit knew no bounds".

At times the Siddhantins have even engaged in an organized effort to eliminate the Siddhar faction. For example, one movement, observed in the latter half of the nineteenth century, systematically sought out any copy of the writings of the heretical Siddha-poet Sivavakkiyar, and promptly destroyed them.
The rift between the two orders has been sharply polarized by the fact that some Saiva Siddhantins, who mostly worship their God Shiva as the Lingam or sacred Phallus, have had a difficult time accepting the Siddhas tendency to emphasize the Goddess. To the Tamil Siddhas, Shiva is the unqualified and ultimate reality beyond form or comprehension, but Shakti, the Goddess, is immanent and accessible as the divine force abiding within the body itself. There she can be coaxed & subdued, manipulated & directed. As the serpent power Kundalini, flowing through the subtle body, she can propel the consciousness of the Siddhar into union with the Absolute. Though the orthodox Saiva Siddhantin may content himself with the worship of Shiva in the temple through the rituals of the priest, the Siddha placates the goddess to intercede on his behalf and expand the consciousness of the Siddha beyond all limitation, where he may become Shiva himself. Notions, such as this, being fundamental to the Tamil Siddha, has struck the Shaivite orthodoxy as heretical.
Within the context of Hindu myth the name Siddha originally denoted one of the eighteen categories of celestial beings. These beings of semi-divine status were said to be of great purity and their dwelling was thought to be in the sky between the earth and the sun. Later they became associated with a class of more adept human being, often an accomplished yogi. The term had been derived from the Sanskrit root sidh meaning "fulfillment" or "achievement," so the noun came to refer to one who had attained perfection. Because the Tamil language lacks the aspirated consonants of Sanskrit the word has been written and pronounced by the Tamils as cittar. This has lead the Tamils to associate the word more with the Sanskrit term chit, meaning "consciousness."

This appellation is evident even in the Shaivite devotionals known as the Tevaram hymns of the 6th & 7th centuries that would later become part of the Saiva Siddhanta canon. There the term is applied not only to one of the 18 categories of divine beings but also to God Shiva himself, who is a cittar because the very nature of God is consciousness. Likewise, it describes the devotee as also being a cittar since his consciousness is always immersed in the Divine presence. By the 12th-13th century the term has taken on new meaning as we learn from the writings of Perumparrapuliyur Nambi who describes the God Shiva as the cittar alchemist who is working strange miracles in the city of Madurai.

Essentially though, the term Siddha or Cittar has the same connotations as it does when referring to the 84 Siddhas of Vajrayana Buddhism, the Natha Siddhas of North India, or the medieval alchemists known as the Rasa Siddhas. It is a movement born of a synthesis of Vajrayana Buddhism, Shaivite Tantrism, Indian Alchemy, magic, and the hatha yoga and pranayama disciplines as expounded by the ascetic saint Goraknath. Although, in the present era, the term is often applied to any form of unorthodox mystic or saint.

All of the writings of the Tamil Siddhas, whether defining philosophical viewpoints, yogic practices, or presenting alchemical recipes for herbal tinctures and base metal amalgams were presented in poetic form, often employing the more difficult meters that harkened back to the ancient Tamil Sangam Age. These works are also riddled with tantric imagery, references to Kundalini, and clues to control the dangerous feminine power through breathing practices or the recitation of the Goddess's secret names. Because of the enigmatic nature of the Siddha imagery, and their philosophy structured in direct defiance of human logic, few scholars have ventured to address the Tamil Siddhas and then often only as mere curiosities. Needless to say, the vast majority of the Tamil Siddha works have never been translated, as has been the case with some of the verses presented here.
One of the most basic characteristics of Tamil composition, and one that is particularly relevant to Siddha poetry, is the tendency to layer the work so that each word or image builds upon the last. Because each component image is presented so as to be viewed autonomously and in relationship both sequentially and to the totality of the verse, the images of the poem may seem slightly disjointed and contradictory. Though this may at first seem to undermine the aesthetic quality and over-complicate the simple act of enjoying poetry, the Tamil Siddha compositions pattern the imagery to expound the subtle complexity of their philosophical concepts or to map out the terrain of the inner landscape which is dominated by the dormant serpent energy.

Though most of the Indian Siddha schools did not come into their own until the 12th century, we find that the southern variant, the Tamil Siddha school, had a fully defined system in the eighth century itself. It was at this time that Tirumular, himself one of the 64 canonized Shaivite saints or Nayanars of the Saiva Siddhanta sect, authored the Tirumantiram which fully defined the nature of the Tamil Siddha cult up until the present era. The text also became the 10th book of the Saiva Siddhanta canon, which is referred to as the Tirumurai. Though it was the one work outlining the philosophy of the Saiva Siddhanta cult, the orthodox followers within the Saiva Siddhanta sect have always had a difficult time fully accepting the many passages which discuss the worship of the Goddess and the Kundalini Yoga practices so characteristic of Tantrism. On the other hand, the Siddhas have viewed these same passages as the most critical in formulating their esoteric doctrines on the arousal of the serpent energy.

As we can see in verse 730, the Siddhantins were confronted with the tantric orientation of their philosopher Tirumular, when he relates that it is the human body itself that is the temple of the Goddess Shakti...
In Shakti's temple
if you control
the left & the right
you can hear a lute
in the center of your face.
And Shiva will come out
dancing sweetly.
I swear upon Sada Nandi
we have spoken the truth.

Here Tirumular discusses the basis of Kundalini Yoga whereby the breath, carrying one of the vital airs known as prana, flows into the solar and lunar currents which run from the right and left nostrils down to the base of the spine and are there brought into union. The point of this union is at the root chakra Muladhara, the first of six chakras or nerve plexuses through which the Kundalini energy will flow. This energy is moved by the solar and lunar streams of vital breath that have entered the central current at Muladhara and will ascend upwards through the six chakras, each corresponding to a higher and more expansive state of consciousness. The individual awareness is sublimated into divine union at the crown of the head. It is a kind of inner journey towards the infinitude of the Divine, but begins only after the two streams flow into the central current as we learn from verse 801 of the Tirumantiram...

801

Left hand
Right hand
Both hands...
Change!!!
He who eats
with the hand of worship
need not be depleted.
The conscious ones
capable of abandoning sleep
need not die...
they can live forever.

The term used to denote the 'hand of worship' is Tutikai. Tuti is a verb meaning "to worship," kai is the noun meaning "hand". Together, as Tutikai, the expression also means the "elephant's trunk." This interpretation is equally viable in that Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of gateways and new beginnings is said to reside in the body at the base of the spine, at the root chakra Muladhara where the two currents flow together and enter central current Shashumna. Shashumna is sometimes envisioned as the trunk of Ganesha raised aloft and holding the full blown lotus of enlightenment, Sahasrara, at the crown of the head. What is eaten is amrita, conceived of as both the nectar of spiritual ecstasy and the elixir of immortality.

Tantra appears in its definitive form around the 4th century, but its beginnings seem to reach back much earlier. Elements of tantric thought had already pervaded the south by the time of Tirumular, as they had seeped into yogic theory and practice at some antecedent time and even impacted temple ritual and the budding bhakti cults. Tantra was more deeply rooted in a fluid set of symbolic constructs than a static enunciation of doctrine. It represents a profound refinement of the symbol system of Hindu-Buddhist South Asia. It's emphasis on the experiential aspects of the individual's religious experience collided with the Shaivite orthodoxy like the Gnostic heresy did with the early Christian Church.

In an effort to demonstrate that the macrocosm is reflected within the microcosm, Tantra began to emphasize that the universe, in all its totality, is contained within the body of the individual. It superimposed universal symbols over the human body to help demonstrate this relationship. The spine, along which the Shashumna or central channel ran, became the cosmic axis. All the Gods that oversaw the mechanism that is this universe we-re hidden in the lotus centers of the body's chakras, like blossoms flowering on the vine of the spine. But it was the portly god Ganesha, who guarded the gate to the inner world. He became a patron of Kundalini yoga in the South and was invoked by the female Siddha mendicant Avaiyar, in this excerpt from her 14th century work Vinayagar Agaval. Here she relates how the elephant-headed god has reconciled the dualistic nature of the universe as the various manifestations of Shiva were taught to be part of her inner savoring.

He has concentrated my mind,
clarified my intellect,
and said,
"Light & Darkness
share a common place."
He presses me down
into the grace giving ecstasy.
In my ear
he renders limitless bliss.
He has revealed Sada Shiva
within the sound.
He has revealed the Shiva Lingam
within the mind.
And he has revealed that...
The smaller than the smallest,
The larger that the largest,
stands within...
like ripe sugarcane.

In about 1661, as Aurangzeb set about to expand his kingdom throughout the subcontinent and free the land of heretics, he was at the same time extending his protection to an obscure Hindu monastery in the Punjab. At the time in question Aanand Nath, the abbot of the monastery and a Natha Siddha alchemist, was providing history's great persecutor of Hinduism a regular supply of treated mercury which promised to confer longevity. At the same time in the deep south, the Tamil Siddha alchemist Bhogar, who had supposedly migrated from China along with his guru Kalangi Nathar, was establishing a shrine to the God Murugan on the top of Palani Hill. It was there that he composed his 7000 verses on Kundalini Yoga, alchemy, and Siddha medicine. By medieval times Indian alchemy had come into vogue much like tantra had done almost a millennium earlier. And though the Indian alchemists also sought to develop the chemical processes of transforming base metals into gold as in Europe & the Middle East, they often emphasized the pursuit of bodily perfection and the preparation of the elixir of immortality as the Chinese alchemists had sought. They often viewed their experience of the inner processes of Kundalini Yoga as mirroring the chemical process of the alchemical work.

Though nine hundred years after Tirumular, Bhogar is still wrestling with the serpent energy, even in the midst of his alchemical operations. Though now, the Kundalini is personified as the consort of Ganesha, the Goddess Vallabai...

9 The green-hued Vallabai
will become subservient
and bow down.
She'll tell you
the appropriate time
for the appropriate chakra.
If the basis of Muladhara
is perfected...
You can go anywhere,
wandering freely
throughout the three worlds.

The dull-hued body
will mellow
and shine.
All impurities
will be removed
and the six chakras
will become visible
to the eye.
The gold-colored alchemy
will heed your every word.
In the Sleepless Sleep
all subtlety
can be perceived.


Look and see.

In a particularly odd verse of Bhogar, we find him describing a visionary experience involving the ingestion of an unidentified substance and the wearing of mercurial amalgams.

80 Bhogar's Leap Into the Universe
As the Principle of Intelligence itself
I leapt into the cosmos.

Shiva clearly elucidated
the nature of this universe.
For the sake of all beings
there is a path
that becomes a vehicle
for the five senses.
The universe that appeared before me
was arranged in layers.

Grandfather (Tirumular) said,
"Enter the tenth one."
I took what was given me
and put it in my mouth.

And a bunch
of mercurial amalgams
I tied onto my wrist.
Off I went.
Entering the universe
of fire and light.

In 1293, on his way back from China, Marco Polo got a taste of South India when he stopped along the Malabar Coast. He records a meeting he had with a group of yogi alchemists who, by preparing a tincture of mercury and sulfur, were afforded a lifespan of 150-200 years. Mercury was viewed as the seminal seed of Shiva. It formed a part of the alchemical triad of mercury sulfur and air, corresponding to the trinity of moon sun, and wind. Breath controlled through the practices of Pranayama, transformed the body's winds into a spiritual mediator that could unify the solar and lunar currents within the body. Much like the alchemical process applied air to mercury and sulfur to form the amalgam that brought the work to completion.
Consciousness was seen to ride the vehicle of breath into union with the absolute in the Sahasrara chakra at the top of the head. The Siddha could, through the intercession of the Goddess, placated by manipulation of the breath, expand consciousness to the point where it becomes what is called the Maha Chitta or "Great Awareness" which is the God Shiva himself. Here is one of the closing verses of Bhogar's discussion of Kundalini Yoga..

94

Invite the breath,
the outer space,
to come within your house.

If you are unwavering,
placing it there
as though you were
putting oil in a lamp,...
They shall meet.
Breath and God
becoming one.
Like wind becoming breath
there is no individual intelligence.

The Great Awareness becomes Siva.
He and breath
merge into one.

It is this light becoming breath
that redeems the soul.
Surely this is the truth
of Siva Yoga!

In the modern era, the Siddhas have had a profound influence on contemporary Tamil society because of the impact of a single poet who lived in the last century. Ramalingar was born in 1823 near Chidambaram, the greatest of all Shaivite temples. Naturally, the heretical nature of his teaching and the growing number of his disciples caused the protest of temple officials and a variety of Saiva Siddhanta institutions throughout the region. Eventually they were forced to call in Arumuga Naalavar from Jaffna to put an end to Ramalingar. As a Tamil scholar and Shaivite authority, the orthodox religious leaders throughout the area, were confident that he could expose the fallacy of Ramalingar's teaching and defrock the heretical saint. Arumuga quickly set about organizing public meetings to provide a platform on which to abuse Ramalingar and a horde of pamphlets were circulated issuing public warning about this dangerous little man. Eventually though, Arumuga was forced to take legal action and filed a suit against the saint. The gentle Ramalingar was dragged into court, but eloquently speaking in his own defense, easily won the case.
The nature of Ramalingar's heresy is found to be all the more insidious when we learn that he also cherished and called his own the devotional hymns of Saiva Siddhanta saints other than Tirumular. One of these, the last of the canonized 64, was Manikkavasagar, who had a profound influence on Ramalingar and Siddha devotionalism in general. Manikkavasagar's name means "He who's utterances are rubies" and in the 9th century he beautifully wrote this mini creation myth in flowing verse...

Becoming sky & earth
Wind & light
Becoming flesh & spirit
All that truly is
& all that which is not
Becoming the Lord,
He makes those who say,
"I" & "mine"
Dance in the show
Becoming sky
& standing there...
How can my words
praise Him?

In this final work of Ramalingar, we see a different side of the heretical Siddhas. Not the enigmatic ramblings or harsh riddles of the ascetic, but a tender ode, that views the Siddha's experience of union as the distilled essence of life's sweetness. In this poem Ramalingar praises Saint Manikkavasagar, and weaves his verse with a complex echoing of sound as he speaks again and again of the sweetness of his mystic absorption experienced when hearing the poetry of the saint. This fervent merging, savored by the ecstatic Ramalingar is described with the Tamil word Kalantha, from the verb root Kala meaning "to flow together", "to make as one", as it also denotes a sexual union.

One with sky Manikkavasagar,
your words...
One with me when I sing
Nectar of sugarcane
One with honey
One with milk
and one with the sweetness
of the fertile fruit
One with my flesh
One with my soul
Insatiable
is that sweetness!

Although Ramalingar's hymns were penned in praise of the God Shiva, they were often addressed to a feminine audience with unqualified personal designations such as 'Amma' or 'Akka', 'Mother' or 'Sister'. Perhaps indicating that the hymn was meant for an internal and distinctly feminine force that could propel the invocation along the proper channels of the inner cosmos, towards Shiva's divine abode.
The fact that his songs began to be sung in the schools, villages and even the temples of 19th century Cennai, began to outrage the orthodox Shaivites in the area. He, as all other Tamil Siddhas, was somewhat iconoclastic, not adequately deferential to temple or Brahminical tradition. He did not worship the linga. Forgoing all such images, he perpetrated the greatest of heresies by blatantly revealing the true face of God veiled within volumes of tantric lore. At the shrine he established at Vadalur, behind the curtain that housed the holy of holy's, he established a single flame's light to illuminate a mirror that would reflect the image of the worshipper as the secret face of god and final mystery of the Tamil Siddha cult.


According to the web-site viz: http://www.experiencefestival.com/siddhar:

I.Siddha - Tamil Nadu Tradition of Siddhahood

In South India, a Siddha reffers to a being who has achieved physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. The ultimate demonstration of this is that Siddhas alledgedly attained physical immortality. Thus Siddha, like Siddhar or Cittar (indigenisation of Sanskrit terms in Tamil Nadu) refers to a person who has realised the goal of a type of Sadhana and become a perfected being. In Tamil Nadu, South India, where the Siddha tradition is practiced, special individuals are recognized as and called Siddhas, or Siddhars or Cittars, who are on the path to that assumed perfection after they have taken special secret Rasayanas to perfect their bodies, in order to be able to sustain prolonged meditation along with a form of Pranayama which reduces the number of breaths taken by them considerably.

Due to the obscurity of the art and practice of becoming a Siddha, many false prophets of this art have arisen. A general sign of genuinity of a Siddha is the fact that he does not advertise himself, but is going into hiding. Generally Siddhas are continually itinerant, and do not gather a following. Most practitioners of Siddha medicine are not Siddhas themselves, but use some of the remedies described by Siddhas.


II.Siddhar - All Siddhars in order

1. Sri Pathanjali
2. Sri Agasthiyar
3. Sri Kamalamuni
4. Sri Thirumoolar
5. Sri Kuthambai
6. Sri Korakkar
7. Sri Thanvandri
8. Sri Sundaranandar
9. Sri Konganar
10. Sri Sattamuni
11. Sri Valmiki (Vaanmeegar)
12. Sri Ramadevar
13. Sri Nandeeswarar
14. Sri Edaikkadar
15. Sri Machamuni
16. Sri Karuvoorar
17. Sri Bogar
18. Sri Pambatti

The 9 or 18 list as Abithana Chitamani states is as follows, and the following list seems to be more correct than the one above because the siddhars like Karuvoorar, Paambatti are Siddhars of more recent times than those in the list below. Of course all the people mentioned in the list are considered as Siddhars and are unparalleled in their own respects.

The 9-list of Siddhars is:

1. Sathyanathar
2. Sadhoganathar
3. Aadhinathar
4. Anadhinathar
5. Vegulinathar
6. Madhanganathar
7. Machaendranathar
8. Gadaendranathar or Gajendranathar
9. Korakkanathar

The 18-list of siddhars is:

1. Agastyar
2. Bogar
3. Korakkar
4. Kailasanathar
5. SattaiMuni
6. Tirumoolar
7. Nandhi
8. Koonkannar
9. Konganar
10. MachaMuni
11. VaasaMuni
12. KoormaMuni
13. KamalaMuni
14. Edaikaadar
15. Punnakeesar
16. Sundarandandar
17. Romarishi
18. BramhaMuni

Apart from these there are several others like Dhanvandhri, Pulasthiyar, Pujandar or Kagapujandar, Pathanjali, Karuvoorar, Ramadevar, Theraiyar, Kabilar, Kumbhamuni, Paambaati Siddhar, Kudhumbai Siddhar

III.Siddhar - Powers of siddhars

The siddhars are believed to have had powers both major and other ‘minor’ powers. They are explained in detail in various yogic as well as religious texts;Thirumandiram 668:

1. To become tiny as the atom within the atom (Anima)
2. To become big in unshakeable proportions (Mahima)
3. To become as light as vapour in levitation (Laghima)
4. To become as heavy as the mountain (Garima)
5. To enter into other bodies in transmigration (Prapti)
6. To be in all things,omni-pervasive (Prakamya)
7. To be lord of all creation in omnipotence (Isatvam)
8. To be everywhere in omnipresence (Vasitvam)

These eight are the Great Siddhis.

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An Introduction to the Tamil Siddhas:
Their Tantric Roots, Alchemy, Poetry,
and the True Nature of their Heresy
Within the Context of South Indian Shaivite Society
by Layne Little
anjaneya@ix.netcom.com
(Please Note: This paper was originally presented at a symposium on world religions at the University of Utah in the spring of '97. It was haphazardly strung together almost overnight. Unfortunately, I failed to carefully list my sources and footnote their contributions. I have tried to list the most significant references at the tail of this article, but it is by no means complete. Nor to I give them proper credit in the body of the work. I apologize profusely for this oversight, and welcome comments and criticism on this or any other issues. I must especially acknowledge how much Dr. David Gordon White and Dr. Kamil Zvelebil have contributed to this raggle-taggle introduction to Siddha tradition. Thanks!)
Back to Indian alchemy.

The Tamil Siddhas are a religious order of mystics found in the southern part of India, who's origins can be traced back to the eighth century. They form a distinctive part of a larger movement which spread throughout South Asia, from Sri Lanka in the South to Tibet in the north, between the seventh and eleventh centuries. Siddhas everywhere share common practices, cosmology, and symbols derived from Tantrism whether the practitioner is Hindu, Buddhist, or Jain. All are part of a "pan-Indian tantric yoga movement" which Eliade described as formulating over a five hundred year period, between the 7th and the 11th centuries, but fully flowering only after the 12th century.
Excluding perhaps the Buddhist Siddhas, all such groups are considered radical, if not dangerous, by the orthodoxy.
An intriguing aspect of the Tamil Siddha cult is that it shares with the orthodox Saiva Siddhanta sect a common text which defines the philosophy of both groups. Since each sect emphasized different aspects of the teaching they quickly became widely divergent, with the two orders often at odds. The Siddhas would be scoffing at temple worship, reliance upon Brahminical authority, and proclaiming the injustice of caste; while the Saiva Siddhantins would berate the Siddhas much as M. Srinivasa Iyangar did in 1914 when he wrote that the Siddhas are "mostly plagiarists and impostors" and in addition, "Being eaters of opium & dwellers in the land of dreams, their conceit knew no bounds".
At times the Siddhantins have even engaged in an organized effort to eliminate the Siddhar faction. For example, one movement, observed in the latter half of the nineteenth century, systematically sought out any copy of the writings of the heretical Siddha-poet Sivavakkiyar, and promptly destroyed them.
The rift between the two orders has been sharply polarized by the fact that some Saiva Siddhantins, who mostly worship their God Shiva as the Lingam or sacred Phallus, have had a difficult time accepting the Siddhas tendency to emphasize the Goddess. To the Tamil Siddhas, Shiva is the unqualified and ultimate reality beyond form or comprehension, but Shakti, the Goddess, is immanent and accessible as the divine force abiding within the body itself. There she can be coaxed & subdued, manipulated & directed. As the serpent power Kundalini, flowing through the subtle body, she can propel the consciousness of the Siddhar into union with the Absolute. Though the orthodox Saiva Siddhantin may content himself with the worship of Shiva in the temple through the rituals of the priest, the Siddha placates the goddess to intercede on his behalf and expand the consciousness of the Siddha beyond all limitation, where he may become Shiva himself. Notions, such as this, being fundamental to the Tamil Siddha, has struck the Shaivite orthodoxy as heretical.
Within the context of Hindu myth the name Siddha originally denoted one of the eighteen categories of celestial beings. These beings of semi-divine status were said to be of great purity and their dwelling was thought to be in the sky between the earth and the sun. Later they became associated with a class of more adept human being, often an accomplished yogi. The term had been derived from the Sanskrit root sidh meaning "fulfillment" or "achievement," so the noun came to refer to one who had attained perfection. Because the Tamil language lacks the aspirated consonants of Sanskrit the word has been written and pronounced by the Tamils as cittar. This has lead the Tamils to associate the word more with the Sanskrit term chit, meaning "consciousness."
This appellation is evident even in the Shaivite devotionals known as the Tevaram hymns of the 6th & 7th centuries that would later become part of the Saiva Siddhanta canon. There the term is applied not only to one of the 18 categories of divine beings but also to God Shiva himself, who is a cittar because the very nature of God is consciousness. Likewise, it describes the devotee as also being a cittar since his consciousness is always immersed in the Divine presence. By the 12th-13th century the term has taken on new meaning as we learn from the writings of Perumparrapuliyur Nambi who describes the God Shiva as the cittar alchemist who is working strange miracles in the city of Madurai.
Essentially though, the term Siddha or Cittar has the same connotations as it does when referring to the 84 Siddhas of Vajrayana Buddhism, the Natha Siddhas of North India, or the medieval alchemists known as the Rasa Siddhas. It is a movement born of a synthesis of Vajrayana Buddhism, Shaivite Tantrism, Indian Alchemy, magic, and the hatha yoga and pranayama disciplines as expounded by the ascetic saint Goraknath. Although, in the present era, the term is often applied to any form of unorthodox mystic or saint.
All of the writings of the Tamil Siddhas, whether defining philosophical viewpoints, yogic practices, or presenting alchemical recipes for herbal tinctures and base metal amalgams were presented in poetic form, often employing the more difficult meters that harkened back to the ancient Tamil Sangam Age. These works are also riddled with tantric imagery, references to Kundalini, and clues to control the dangerous feminine power through breathing practices or the recitation of the Goddess's secret names. Because of the enigmatic nature of the Siddha imagery, and their philosophy structured in direct defiance of human logic, few scholars have ventured to address the Tamil Siddhas and then often only as mere curiosities. Needless to say, the vast majority of the Tamil Siddha works have never been translated, as has been the case with some of the verses presented here.
One of the most basic characteristics of Tamil composition, and one that is particularly relevant to Siddha poetry, is the tendency to layer the work so that each word or image builds upon the last. Because each component image is presented so as to be viewed autonomously and in relationship both sequentially and to the totality of the verse, the images of the poem may seem slightly disjointed and contradictory. Though this may at first seem to undermine the aesthetic quality and over-complicate the simple act of enjoying poetry, the Tamil Siddha compositions pattern the imagery to expound the subtle complexity of their philosophical concepts or to map out the terrain of the inner landscape which is dominated by the dormant serpent energy.
Though most of the Indian Siddha schools did not come into their own until the 12th century, we find that the southern variant, the Tamil Siddha school, had a fully defined system in the eighth century itself. It was at this time that Tirumular, himself one of the 64 canonized Shaivite saints or Nayanars of the Saiva Siddhanta sect, authored the Tirumantiram which fully defined the nature of the Tamil Siddha cult up until the present era. The text also became the 10th book of the Saiva Siddhanta canon, which is referred to as the Tirumurai. Though it was the one work outlining the philosophy of the Saiva Siddhanta cult, the orthodox followers within the Saiva Siddhanta sect have always had a difficult time fully accepting the many passages which discuss the worship of the Goddess and the Kundalini Yoga practices so characteristic of Tantrism. On the other hand, the Siddhas have viewed these same passages as the most critical in formulating their esoteric doctrines on the arousal of the serpent energy.
As we can see in verse 730, the Siddhantins were confronted with the tantric orientation of their philosopher Tirumular, when he relates that it is the human body itself that is the temple of the Goddess Shakti...

In Shakti's temple
if you control
the left & the right
you can hear a lute
in the center of your face.
And Shiva will come out
dancing sweetly.
I swear upon Sada Nandi
we have spoken the truth.

Here Tirumular discusses the basis of Kundalini Yoga whereby the breath, carrying one of the vital airs known as prana, flows into the solar and lunar currents which run from the right and left nostrils down to the base of the spine and are there brought into union. The point of this union is at the root chakra Muladhara, the first of six chakras or nerve plexuses through which the Kundalini energy will flow. This energy is moved by the solar and lunar streams of vital breath that have entered the central current at Muladhara and will ascend upwards through the six chakras, each corresponding to a higher and more expansive state of consciousness. The individual awareness is sublimated into divine union at the crown of the head. It is a kind of inner journey towards the infinitude of the Divine, but begins only after the two streams flow into the central current as we learn from verse 801 of the Tirumantiram...

801

Left hand
Right hand
Both hands...
Change!!!
He who eats
with the hand of worship
need not be depleted.
The conscious ones
capable of abandoning sleep
need not die...
they can live forever.

The term used to denote the 'hand of worship' is Tutikai. Tuti is a verb meaning "to worship," kai is the noun meaning "hand". Together, as Tutikai, the expression also means the "elephant's trunk." This interpretation is equally viable in that Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of gateways and new beginnings is said to reside in the body at the base of the spine, at the root chakra Muladhara where the two currents flow together and enter central current Shashumna. Shashumna is sometimes envisioned as the trunk of Ganesha raised aloft and holding the full blown lotus of enlightenment, Sahasrara, at the crown of the head. What is eaten is amrita, conceived of as both the nectar of spiritual ecstasy and the elixir of immortality.

Tantra appears in its definitive form around the 4th century, but its beginnings seem to reach back much earlier. Elements of tantric thought had already pervaded the south by the time of Tirumular, as they had seeped into yogic theory and practice at some antecedent time and even impacted temple ritual and the budding bhakti cults. Tantra was more deeply rooted in a fluid set of symbolic constructs than a static enunciation of doctrine. It represents a profound refinement of the symbol system of Hindu-Buddhist South Asia. It's emphasis on the experiential aspects of the individual's religious experience collided with the Shaivite orthodoxy like the Gnostic heresy did with the early Christian Church.

In an effort to demonstrate that the macrocosm is reflected within the microcosm, Tantra began to emphasize that the universe, in all its totality, is contained within the body of the individual. It superimposed universal symbols over the human body to help demonstrate this relationship. The spine, along which the Shashumna or central channel ran, became the cosmic axis. All the Gods that oversaw the mechanism that is this universe we-re hidden in the lotus centers of the body's chakras, like blossoms flowering on the vine of the spine. But it was the portly god Ganesha, who guarded the gate to the inner world. He became a patron of Kundalini yoga in the South and was invoked by the female Siddha mendicant Avaiyar, in this excerpt from her 14th century work Vinayagar Agaval. Here she relates how the elephant-headed god has reconciled the dualistic nature of the universe as the various manifestations of Shiva were taught to be part of her inner savoring.

He has concentrated my mind,
clarified my intellect,
and said,
"Light & Darkness
share a common place."
He presses me down
into the grace giving ecstasy.
In my ear
he renders limitless bliss.
He has revealed Sada Shiva
within the sound.
He has revealed the Shiva Lingam
within the mind.
And he has revealed that...
The smaller than the smallest,
The larger that the largest,
stands within...
like ripe sugarcane.

In about 1661, as Aurangzeb set about to expand his kingdom throughout the subcontinent and free the land of heretics, he was at the same time extending his protection to an obscure Hindu monastery in the Punjab. At the time in question Aanand Nath, the abbot of the monastery and a Natha Siddha alchemist, was providing history's great persecutor of Hinduism a regular supply of treated mercury which promised to confer longevity. At the same time in the deep south, the Tamil Siddha alchemist Bhogar, who had supposedly migrated from China along with his guru Kalangi Nathar, was establishing a shrine to the God Murugan on the top of Palani Hill. It was there that he composed his 7000 verses on Kundalini Yoga, alchemy, and Siddha medicine. By medieval times Indian alchemy had come into vogue much like tantra had done almost a millennium earlier. And though the Indian alchemists also sought to develop the chemical processes of transforming base metals into gold as in Europe & the Middle East, they often emphasized the pursuit of bodily perfection and the preparation of the elixir of immortality as the Chinese alchemists had sought. They often viewed their experience of the inner processes of Kundalini Yoga as mirroring the chemical process of the alchemical work.

Though nine hundred years after Tirumular, Bhogar is still wrestling with the serpent energy, even in the midst of his alchemical operations. Though now, the Kundalini is personified as the consort of Ganesha, the Goddess Vallabai...

9 The green-hued Vallabai
will become subservient
and bow down.
She'll tell you
the appropriate time
for the appropriate chakra.
If the basis of Muladhara
is perfected...
You can go anywhere,
wandering freely
throughout the three worlds.

The dull-hued body
will mellow
and shine.
All impurities
will be removed
and the six chakras
will become visible
to the eye.
The gold-colored alchemy
will heed your every word.
In the Sleepless Sleep
all subtlety
can be perceived.
Look and see.

In a particularly odd verse of Bhogar, we find him describing a visionary experience involving the ingestion of an unidentified substance and the wearing of mercurial amalgams.

80 Bhogar's Leap Into the Universe
As the Principle of Intelligence itself
I leapt into the cosmos.

Shiva clearly elucidated
the nature of this universe.
For the sake of all beings
there is a path
that becomes a vehicle
for the five senses.
The universe that appeared before me
was arranged in layers.

Grandfather (Tirumular) said,
"Enter the tenth one."
I took what was given me
and put it in my mouth.

And a bunch
of mercurial amalgams
I tied onto my wrist.
Off I went.
Entering the universe
of fire and light.

In 1293, on his way back from China, Marco Polo got a taste of South India when he stopped along the Malabar Coast. He records a meeting he had with a group of yogi alchemists who, by preparing a tincture of mercury and sulfur, were afforded a lifespan of 150-200 years. Mercury was viewed as the seminal seed of Shiva. It formed a part of the alchemical triad of mercury sulfur and air, corresponding to the trinity of moon sun, and wind. Breath controlled through the practices of Pranayama, transformed the body's winds into a spiritual mediator that could unify the solar and lunar currents within the body. Much like the alchemical process applied air to mercury and sulfur to form the amalgam that brought the work to completion.

Consciousness was seen to ride the vehicle of breath into union with the absolute in the Sahasrara chakra at the top of the head. The Siddha could, through the intercession of the Goddess, placated by manipulation of the breath, expand consciousness to the point where it becomes what is called the Maha Chitta or "Great Awareness" which is the God Shiva himself. Here is one of the closing verses of Bhogar's discussion of Kundalini Yoga..

94

Invite the breath,
the outer space,
to come within your house.

If you are unwavering,
placing it there
as though you were
putting oil in a lamp,...
They shall meet.
Breath and God
becoming one.
Like wind becoming breath
there is no individual intelligence.

The Great Awareness becomes Siva.
He and breath
merge into one.

It is this light becoming breath
that redeems the soul.
Surely this is the truth
of Siva Yoga!

In the modern era, the Siddhas have had a profound influence on contemporary Tamil society because of the impact of a single poet who lived in the last century. Ramalingar was born in 1823 near Chidambaram, the greatest of all Shaivite temples. Naturally, the heretical nature of his teaching and the growing number of his disciples caused the protest of temple officials and a variety of Saiva Siddhanta institutions throughout the region. Eventually they were forced to call in Arumuga Naalavar from Jaffna to put an end to Ramalingar. As a Tamil scholar and Shaivite authority, the orthodox religious leaders throughout the area, were confident that he could expose the fallacy of Ramalingar's teaching and defrock the heretical saint. Arumuga quickly set about organizing public meetings to provide a platform on which to abuse Ramalingar and a horde of pamphlets were circulated issuing public warning about this dangerous little man. Eventually though, Arumuga was forced to take legal action and filed a suit against the saint. The gentle Ramalingar was dragged into court, but eloquently speaking in his own defense, easily won the case.
The nature of Ramalingar's heresy is found to be all the more insidious when we learn that he also cherished and called his own the devotional hymns of Saiva Siddhanta saints other than Tirumular. One of these, the last of the canonized 64, was Manikkavasagar, who had a profound influence on Ramalingar and Siddha devotionalism in general. Manikkavasagar's name means "He who's utterances are rubies" and in the 9th century he beautifully wrote this mini creation myth in flowing verse...

Becoming sky & earth
Wind & light
Becoming flesh & spirit
All that truly is
& all that which is not
Becoming the Lord,
He makes those who say,
"I" & "mine"
Dance in the show
Becoming sky
& standing there...
How can my words
praise Him?

In this final work of Ramalingar, we see a different side of the heretical Siddhas. Not the enigmatic ramblings or harsh riddles of the ascetic, but a tender ode, that views the Siddha's experience of union as the distilled essence of life's sweetness. In this poem Ramalingar praises Saint Manikkavasagar, and weaves his verse with a complex echoing of sound as he speaks again and again of the sweetness of his mystic absorption experienced when hearing the poetry of the saint. This fervent merging, savored by the ecstatic Ramalingar is described with the Tamil word Kalantha, from the verb root Kala meaning "to flow together", "to make as one", as it also denotes a sexual union.

One with sky Manikkavasagar,
your words...
One with me when I sing
Nectar of sugarcane
One with honey
One with milk
and one with the sweetness
of the fertile fruit
One with my flesh
One with my soul
Insatiable
is that sweetness!

Although Ramalingar's hymns were penned in praise of the God Shiva, they were often addressed to a feminine audience with unqualified personal designations such as 'Amma' or 'Akka', 'Mother' or 'Sister'. Perhaps indicating that the hymn was meant for an internal and distinctly feminine force that could propel the invocation along the proper channels of the inner cosmos, towards Shiva's divine abode.
The fact that his songs began to be sung in the schools, villages and even the temples of 19th century Cennai, began to outrage the orthodox Shaivites in the area. He, as all other Tamil Siddhas, was somewhat iconoclastic, not adequately deferential to temple or Brahminical tradition. He did not worship the linga. Forgoing all such images, he perpetrated the greatest of heresies by blatantly revealing the true face of God veiled within volumes of tantric lore. At the shrine he established at Vadalur, behind the curtain that housed the holy of holy's, he established a single flame's light to illuminate a mirror that would reflect the image of the worshipper as the secret face of god and final mystery of the Tamil Siddha cult.

References:

Eliade, Mircea. Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. Princeton: Bollingen, 1969.
Francis, T. Dayanandan. The Mission and Message of Ramalinga Swamy. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1990.
Little, Layne. Shaking the Tree: Kundalini Yoga, Spiritual Alchemy, & the Mysteries of the Breath in Bhogar's 7000. Unpublished, 1994.
Venkataraman, R. A History of the Tamil Siddha Cult. Madurai: Ennes Publications, 1990.
White, David Gordon. The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. (By far the best work of its kind. Its exploration of the North Indian schools is indepth and unparralelled.)
Zvelebil, Kamil V. Tamil Literature. Leiden, 1975.
----The Poets of the Powers. London: Rider,1973.
----Tamil Lexicon. ???

The above article is copied from the web page: http://www.alchemywebsite.com/tamil_si.html

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Siddhars as Medical Scientists

Siddha medicine is the oldest and the foremost of all other medical systems of the world

Introduction
The Siddha System of medicine is the oldest in the world. There are two ancient system of medicine in India. The Siddha which flourished in South India and Ayurvedha prevalent in North India.

The word Siddha comes from the word Siddhi which means an object to attain perfection or heavenly bliss.

Siddha generally refers to Athma Siddha that is the 8th supernatural power. Those who attained or achieved the above said powers are known as Siddhars.

There were 18 important siddhars in olden days and they developed this system of medicine. Hence, it is called Siddha Medicine.


Basic Principles
Siddha science considers nature and man as essentially one. Nature is man and man is nature. Man is said to be the microcosm and Universe is the macrocosm because what exists in the world exists in man. Man is nothing but a miniature world containing the five elements of the various principles which constitute the minerals, vegetables and the animal kingdom. According to Siddha medical science, the Universe originally consisted of atoms which contributed to the five basic elements, viz., earth, water, fire, air and sky which correspond to the five senses of the human body and they were the fundamentals of all the corporeal things in the world.

A close relationship is found to exist between the external world and the internal system of man. Siddhars (practitioners of Siddha) maintain that the structure of the human body is a miniature world in itself. Man consumes water and food, breathes the air and thus maintains the heat in the body. He is alive on account of the life force given by ether. The earth is the first element which gives fine shape to the body including bones, tissues, muscles, skin, hair etc. Water is the second element representing blood, secretions of the glands, vital fluid etc. Fire is the third element that gives motion, vigor and vitality to the body. It also helps digestion, circulation and simulation besides respiration and the nervous system. Above all, ether is the characteristic of man's mental and spiritual faculties.

Siddha system of medicine is based on Saiva Siddhantha. Siddha is a Tamil word that is derived from its root 'chit' which means perfection in life or "heavenly bliss".



The fundamental subjects of Siddha methodology are

1.VADHAM (ALCHEMY)
2.AITHIYAM (MEDICINE)
3.YOGAM (YOGA)
4.GNANAM or THATHUVAM (PHILOSOPHY)

Siddhars, spiritual scientists of Tamil Nadu explored and explained the reality of Nature and its relationship to man by their yogic awareness and experimental findings. They postulated the concept of spiritualism for self improvement and the practices propounded by them came to be known as the "SIDDHA SYSTEM".

The eight mighty SIDDHIC PROCESS or OCTOMIRACLE ("ATTA-MA-SIDDHI") which could keep the body strong and perfect for EXTERNAL LIFE, where THERE IS NO DEATH OR REBIRTH.

The above article is from: http://www.medindia.net/alternativemedicine/index.asp?Choice=Siddha

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Siddhars' Nadi Astrology

The Siddars have already predicted the present, past and future of the world by their meditational powers. They had also recorded in leaves called as Nadi Leaves. Since the Siddhars knew who would be coming to them with problems, they name this as Nadi Leaves. (Nadi in tamil means seeking/looking/coming to a person)

The Nadi Leaves we have was given by Sri KagaPujandar. Given here are certain instances which where told our devotees and also to Breeze Maharishi In Pittsburgh USA. The recent storm which affected Gujarat, India was to affect Florida, USA. These natural disasters are created and sopped by Siddhars. Other instances which where already predicted from the Nadi leaves are the Taiwan earthquake, Turkey earthquake and also the results of the Indian election and that of Tamilnadu where also predicted much before the elections.
Can you believe that someone in India is storing records of your entire life cycle ie. your past, present and future, hard to believe but Yes, this is called Nadi Astrology. Nadi is an ancient astrology, which has been composed by great Maharishis (sages) of India in the past using their spiritual powers. The sages recorded these predictions for every individuals for the betterment of humanity and to safeguard dharma (righteousness). These sages predicted the characteristics, family history, as well as the careers of innumerable individuals contain in several thousand volumes, each containing around a hundred predictions. These Nadi prediction recordings, being the repository of wisdom of the Great Saint was one of the well preserved books for thousands of years by the many generations of rulers, until an auction during the British rule, when it finally became the proud possession of an influential family of Valluvar community at Vaitheeswarankoil in the Tanjore district of Tamilnadu.

The Rishis (sages), who dictated those Nadis, were gifted with such a remarkable foresight that they accurately foretold the entire future of all mankind. Many scholars in different parts of India have in their safekeeping several granthas. Initially, Nadi Astrology predictions was thought to be just writing on Astrology, but soon it became evident that the scriptures contained some unique predictions of specific natives, who will come seeking them, at a particular stage of their lifetime, as foretold by the Great Saint in these predictions.

This great work makes us realize the limitations of human sciences. That great compilation predicting the future of all human beings born or yet to be born, eclipses the achievements of all other sciences put together. These predictive texts also contain a chapter recommending certain Pilgrimages or prayers, worship and charities at specific shrines, to neutralize ones past sins.

History of Nadi Astrology


The source point of Nadi Astrology leaves can be traced back to approximately more then 2000 years. It is said that the Seven Maharishis (sages) Agasthya, Kausika, Vyasa, BoharBrigu, Vasishtha and Valmiki had predicted and then written life of each individual on leaves of a palm tree by their spiritual powers. These Nadi leaves were initially stored in the premises of Tanjore Saraswati Mahal of Tamilnadu State in India. The British rulers later showed interest in the Nadi leaves concerned with herbs and medicine, future prediction etc; but ironically left most of the Nadi prediction leaves to their loyal people. Some leaves get destroyed and some very auctioned during the British rule. Some Nadi leaves were anyhow possessed by the families of astrologers in Vaitheeswarankoil from Tanjore Saraswati Mahal Library. At about 13th century these leaves were rediscovered by the forefathers which were lying unclaimed in Vaitheeswarankoil and realized their tremendous value and created the copies of the predictions on the palm leafs and created them their exact duplicates. Then these Nadi leaves were passed down from generation to generation make predictions, astrologers earn their lively hood from them. It has become profession which was provided by their ancestors to them, the son got trained by his father and the father by his father to make Nadi predictions. The prediction written on the leaf is in ancient Tamil in form of poems, same as language used in ancient temple of Tamilnadu.

The Nadi Astrology is a branch of Astrology that offers explanations and advice regarding the influence of the planets or the results the planets bring about to souls who seek the aid of this branch of Astrology. Every soul has two main nasal passages or nostrils. The breath through the nostrils is termed as Yidakalai and Pinkalai respectively. (Yidakalai-Sun kalai; Pingalai-Moon kalai). The breath through the left nostril is termed as 'Yidakalai' and the breath through the right nostril is termed as 'Pinkalai'. In addition to the two ways by which breath passes, there is a third way termed as 'Sulimunaikalai'. This refers to the art of breathing by which breath through the right and left nostrils pass simultaneously. Sages, Siththa's (persons who have acquired the eight great mystic powers) Sages, Yogi's (Devotees of Yoga) survive by practicing this art (Sulimunaikalai) acquire special power through spiritual knowledge about the past, present and future periods.

With sulimunai Nadi as the basis, its seven other sub-divisions (sub-divisions of sulimunai) can be practiced separately at different percentage levels. The sulimunaikalai and its sub-divisions enable Sages to understand through their spiritual power, the results the good and bad deeds yield (of the past lives) to the souls who come in search of them (Sages). Then, with the aid of the man kalai (Sulimunai) and other sub-divisions of the same kalai, which go a long way in making the Sages, attain spiritual knowledge and enable them to offer splendid explanations to the world. The results are accurately explained to the minutest detail to souls who seek the help of the Sages. The sabtha (Seven) Nadi kalai (sub-divisions of Sulimunaikalai) are Aththi, Alambudai, Gaandhari, Sangini, Singuvai, Purudan and Guru. With the secret images of the sabtha Nadigal as the basis of support, the spiritual knowledge of the good and bad deeds (of the past births) are compared with the minute secrets of the nine planets and finally clear explanations are offered to the world. Therefore this kind of astrological advice is known as Nadi Astrology.

NADI ASTROLOGY (NAADI ASTROLOGY)-IT'S GREATNESS

The Nadi Astrology is a branch of Astrology that offers explanations and advice regarding the influence of the planets or the results the planets bring about to souls who seek the aid of this branch of Astrology. Every soul has two main nasal passages or nostrils. The breath through the nostrils is termed as Yidakalai and Pinkalai respectively. (Yidakalai-Moon kalai; Pingalai-Sun kalai). The breath through the left nostril is termed as 'Yidakalai' and the breath through the right nostril is termed as 'Pinkalai'. In addition to the two ways by which breath passes, there is a third way termed as 'Sulimunaikalai'. This refers to the art of breathing by which breath through the right and left nostrils pass simultaneously. Sages, Siththa's (persons who have acquired the eight great mystic powers) Sages, Yogi's (Devotees of Yoga) survive by practicing this art (Sulimunaikalai) acquire special power through spiritual knowledge about the past, present and future periods.

With sulimunai Nadi as the basis, its seven other sub-divisions (sub-divisions of sulimunai) can be practiced separately at different percentage levels. The sulimunaikalai and its sub-divisions enable Sages to understand through their spiritual power, the results the good and bad deeds yield (of the past lives) to the souls who come in search of them (Sages). Then, with the aid of the man kalai (Sulimunai) and other sub-divisions of the same kalai, which go a long way in making the Sages, attain spiritual knowledge and enable them to offer splendid explanations to the world. The results are accurately explained to the minutest detail to souls who seek the help of the Sages. The sabtha (Seven) Nadi kalai (sub-divisions of Sulimunaikalai) are Aththi, Alambudai, Gaandhari, Sangini, Singuvai, Purudan and Guru. With the secret images of the sabtha Nadigal as the basis of support, the spiritual knowledge of the good and bad deeds (of the past births) are compared with the minute secrets of the nine planets and finally clear explanations are offered to the world. Therefore this kind of astrological advice is known as Nadi Astrology.

The Astrologer whose soul bears only the good deeds of his past births (has followed the path of righteousness) and possesses a charitable and compassionate disposition will be capable of offering complete genuine predictions. Since such Astrologers are very few in number in the present world, there are difficulties in producing genuine and complete predictions through Vedic Astrology.

The original treatise of Nadi Astrology has been composed in the form of poetry. Tamil is a language with the presence of life in it. Therefore, there are vowels, (vowels in the Tamil language) called Uyir eluththukkal-letters representing life, Mey eluththukkal-letters representing body and Uyirmey eluththukkal-letters representing life and body. Apart from these letters there is a letter known as Aayutha eluththu, which makes the other, letters function. Apart from these four classes of letters there is a fifth class, which comprises of masculine and feminine letters. The fifth class is a Divine secret class known only to the celestials (Deva's).

When a man and a woman unite equally and completely, a live offspring is being created .In the same manner, the masculine and feminine letters are united in their proper proportions in the form of a poem, the predictions are arranged in an orderly way and the predictions are finally presented in the form of poetry. The predictions are being linked together by a secret rope called 'Arampaadal' and then published. Thus, nadi astrology science (sastra) occupies a supreme place among other astrology sciences (sastra's), that exist in the world and is therefore said to be the mother of all other sciences (sastra's).

Many years ago when 'The Supreme Preceptor of the Universe' - "Sre Kagabujandar (Sre Kakabusundi)"was teaching his disciple Sage Sre Gorakkar the various secrets of the world, Sage Sre Gorakkar said " I beseech your grace to provide me with information about minute details regarding the state of life of the human beings". "Sre Kagabujandar (Sre Kakabusundi)" agreed to give explanations on the subject. He then chanted through his sacred lips a divine song, which gave a detailed account of the people who would approach him, the age (age of the person) at which they would approach him, the persons with the specified birth details who would approach him, to get the predictions as prescribed in the treatise and also the necessary predictions he should offer to them at that time. Sage Sree Gorakkar wrote down all the the Divine secrets chanted through the sacred lips of his Preceptor (Sre Kagabujandar) on palm leaves, preserved them in his secret cupboard (earthen pot) placed in his secret abode-"Gorakkar gundam" in Kollimalai (Kolli hills). With the blessings of their Holinesses Sre Kagabujandar (Sre Kakabusundi) and Sree Gorakkar the hidden treasure (Divine secrets written on palm leaves) came to the hand of the Kaliyuga hair namely Bhaaskharamaharishi obeying the holy command of his spiritual Preceptor (Guru), the divine secrets are being explained in detail by him. Therefore, it stands to reason that the Nadi Astrology, which has been directly handed down by the Sages, is the head of all Astrological sciences.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

at 9:34 PM Labels: Posted by Siddhas 0 comments

Sri Pathanjali is considered the first siddhar. The information on Pathanjali is available only in Purana's. Pathanjali is considered as a form / incarnation of Adiseshan (the snake associated with Lord Vishnu). Lord Vishnu sleeps over Adiseshan. Once, Lord Vishnu saw the Siva Thandava (the divine dance of Lord Siva) and got extremely happy. Adisheshan could not bear the weight of Lord Vishnu in such a state. So, when Adiseshan informed Lord Vishnu of his difficulty, He was told about the Siva Thandava. Adiseshan also wanted to see the Siva thandava. So he did penance and Lord Siva appeared before him and granted his wish to see the divine dance. Lord Siva told him that he and Viyakramabathar would see his dance in the southern city of Thillai. Thillai is the other name of Chidambaram and it houses the famous Nataraja temple (please refer to the note below for details about the dance of Lord Siva).

Hence, Adisesha came to Thillai in South India and performed poojas for Lord Siva along with Viyakramabathar. Eventually, both of them witnessed the Siva Thandava.

Afterwards, Pathanjali (Adisesha) stayed in Thillai forests for a long time. He wanted to teach his script (Vyagarana Suthiram) to his disciples in the thousand-pillar structure in Thillai. However, Pathanjali was afraid that Himself being the form of Adisesha, his disciples would be burnt when they come near his breath.

Hence, he arranged for a partition between himself and his disciples. He taught his disciples sitting behind the partition. Sixty students (disciples) were learning under him. The students were very much impressed with their master and were anxious to see his face.

Once, a student got very apprehensive and pulled the partition to see the face of the master. All the students were burnt at the same instant. However, one of the students, Kaubathar did not attend the lecture on that day due to an external work. On seeing his fellow students being burnt to ashes, Kaubathar was terrified. Pathanjali changed his form and pacified his student. Pathanjali was very happy that one of his disciples is alive and he taught all the skills to his disciple, Kaubathar. Kaubathar's disciple is Govinda Bhawat Badal, who is also considered as the Guru of Adi Sankaracharya.

There are varied schools of thought that the Pathanjali who wrote “Maha Bashyam” inNorth India is different from the Pathanjali who wrote “Gyana Sutra” in Tamil. As siddhars have been known to live for ages, the period of the life of Pathanjali and the exact duration of his life can not be known. Moreover, there are no definitive texts available about Pathanjali. Both Pathanjali and Viyakramabathar had lived in Tamil Nadu in a period where siddhars had also lived there. Both of them had observed the divine dance of Lord Siva at Thillai in Tamil Nadu. Both of them attained their Samadhi at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. Hence the argument that Pathanjali could not have written texts in Tamil could not be true.

About Siva Thandava

The dance of bliss, or the Ananda Tandavam of Siva is said to symbolize the five divine acts of creation, sustenance, dissolution, concealment and bestowment of grace. The dance of Shiva has been frozen in metal and held in worships in Nataraja Sabhas, in virtually all of the Saivite temples in Tamilnadu. Five of the foremost Sabhas (Pancha Sabhai) are at Chidmbaram (Kanaka Sabhai the hall of gold), Madurai (Rajata Sabhai the hall of Silver), Tiruvalangadu near Chennai (Ratnasabhai the hall of rubies), Tirunelveli (Tamirasabhai the hall of copper) and Kutralam near Tirunelveli (Chitrasabhai the hall of pictures). Other dance halls of significance are Adri Sabhai (the Himalayas), Aadi Chitsabhai (Tiruvenkaadu near Chidambaram) and Perur Kanakasabhai (Patteeswarar temple at Perur near Coimbatore).

‘Siddhi’ means ‘Perfection’ and those who had attained perfection are known as ‘Siddhars’.Jesus Christ himself says in the Holy Bible;Matthew 5,48:”Be ye perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.”None excepting the Siddhars of India had attained that state Jesus refers to.And it is the Siddhars of south India who had conquered death by “internal breathing”known as “ull moochi” in Tamil(whereby ‘outside’ air is not necessary for breathing),the art popularly known in the U.S. as “Kriya Yoga” popularised by ‘Yogananda Paramahamsa’ in his book “Autobiography of An Yogi”

Siddhars have clearly studied the science of the breath and have even calculated the number of breaths a person expends in his entire life-term.The normal person takes four seconds for one breath cycle(inhalation and exhalation),so works out to 15 per minute,900 per hour and 21,600 per day.If the cycle was slowed down to a breath for every 2 ½ hours,we’d be able to live for thousands of years like Markandeya,Thirumoolar and Babaji who had all lived for thousands of years in their physical body and are living even now amidst us in their “glorious radiant body”.

The new born baby is perfect for its breath measures 12 inches long(from nose-tip to the crown of the head),but after six months or so,the secret mystical opening between the palate of the mouth and the crown of the head(kanown as ‘unnakku’ or ‘annakku’ in Tamil gets blocked,thus making us lose 4 inches of breath for the 21,600 breaths per day for our entire life-term and this loss increases greatly when we walk,run,sleep and make love.If the secret mystical opening were re-opened,the ‘third-eye’ too(which lies on its axis)would open and man would be the perfect person he really is;Thirumandiram 1780:

“To His west (right-side) He seated me

“Daily meditate on me” – said He,

“That is the but the Truth that lies seated

Between the crown of the head and the palate of

The mouth

This the Word True,

Cherish it as secret divine.”

The Siddhar at first attains the eight great supernatural powers known as ‘Ashtanga siddhis’ in Sanskrit and ‘Attama siddhis’ in Tamil,they are

“anima,mahima,laghima,garima,prapti,prakamya,isatvam,and vasitvam.”

These powers and other ‘minor’ powers are explained in detail in various yogic as well as religious texts;Thirumandiram 668:

To become tiny as the atom within the atom (Anima)

To become big in unshakeable proportions (Mahima)

To become as light as vapour in levitation (Laghima)

To become as heavy as the mountain (Garima)

To enter into other bodies in transmigration (Prapti)

To be in all things, omni-pervasive (Prakamya)

To be lord of all creation in omnipotence (Isatvam)

To be everywhere in omnipresence (Vasitvam)

These eight are the Great Siddhis.”

Siddhars could be broadly based into three categories:

1) First Siddhar ( mudhal Siddhar ‘Moola marabu);

2) Intermediary Siddhars ( idai siddhars ‘Bala marabu’)

3) Final Siddhars ( ‘Kailai marabu’)

Before the act of creation,there was nothing,there was no light,no darkness.From ‘The infinite Light’ emerged the five ‘boothas’,the five elements- space,air,fire,water and earth.From the five elements emerged the seven forms of life.

The cause of this emergence which being the infinite Light is the first Siddhar or perfect being.

The intermediary Siddhars are those that are not born of the womb,but enter into other bodies and for the welfare of the world and various life-forms perform various noble acts.

The final Siddhars are those that are born of the womb and by the strength of the Spirit attain the ‘deathless-state’ (‘Saha kalai’),all the supernatural powers and all the arts and branches of knowledge (’64 kalai jnanam’ or 64 branches of knowledge) without being ‘taught’ by themselves or anybody else(like Mahakavi Kalidasa and St.Arunagirinathar,St.Ramalingam) in his ‘Thiru Arutpa:

“The Holy infinite Light full of Grace,

The Holy infinite Light full of Grace,

Most compassionate infinite Light

Full of Grace;

Everything will be revealed to you,

I swear

When you take your breath with all tattvas

In the name of the Almighty

To Chitrambalam.”

Chitrambalam’has a very deep hidden meaning,’Chit’ means knowledge and ‘Ambalam’ means space,in the human body that place is in the centre of the forehead, in- between the eyes,otherwise known as the ‘third-eye’,the eye of ‘jnana’,wisdom.When one through yogic means takes the breath through the ‘sushumna nadi’,an astral nerve located at the centre of the spinal column along with all the tattvas,which are the instruments or concepts of for example the five elements in nature whose concepts are correspondingly located in each of the five lower ‘chakras’(subtle energy-centres) to the centre of the forehead,everything is revealed to that person.The person in a flash becomes the source of all knowledge !

‘Akasa’ or space in its gross form is known as ‘bootha akasa’,but the yogi is able to perceive not only the thoughts,but also the intentions and experiences (in their totality) of others by looking at the finer form of space around the person known as the ‘chit akasa’ which is beyond the experiences of the five senses.

There is even a finer aspect of space known as ‘chitta akasa’ which is beyond that of the mind also known as the above mentioned ‘Chitrambalam’.Its form is that of Divine Wisdom,in this state there is no distinction between the seeker and the object.

Man becomes pristinely pure when he sheds off the five ‘malas’ or stains:

So he becomes the perfected person,the Siddhar.They are the ones who attain liberation,they are not bound to any likes or dislikes,so are free from the endless misery that is the cycle of birth and death.They realize the nine states of the Lord,;Thirumandiram 497:

“They who get rid of difficult five malas (stains),

They become Siva;

They become blemishless,

They are the Siddhars who

Attain state of Mukti (liberation) Finale,

They uproot Soul’s bondage

End cycle of births,

They alone realize

The nine states of the Lord"

Ancient Siddha Poems From Tamil

Siddhar poems form an important corpus of Tamil poetry of circa 16th Century. Though the Eighteen Siddhars are revered by scholars, their poems did not find an important place among the "interpreters" or "hermeneutists" of the Tamil school of interpretation. For instance, the very popular Thirukkural has found interpreters even in the modern Tamil era, [The late Dr.Mu.Varadharasanar]. But only a very few interpreters have tried their hands at Siddhar poems. The following reasons could be attributed to the lack of interpretation:

1. Siddhar poems were quite off-beat for their time.
2. Siddhar poems were hard to interpret due to their
esoteric quality.
3. Many scholars and interpreters thought these poems
belonged to the schema of mysticism and the occult.
4. These poems apparently contained imagery offending
the conventional reader of poetry.

Siddhar poems are so much entrenched in metaphor and imagery that they often resemble puzzles that have to be unscrambled. These poems question the assumptions and basics of accepted Tamil theology. While polytheism was an unquestioned canon of their time they dared to speak of "One Indivisible God". Siddhars like Siva Vakkiyaar have directly attacked the empty and meaningless rituals practiced by the brahmans of their time. Siva Vakkiyaar's poems bear testimony to this point. Almost all these mystic poets share contempt for the body. But it is not a mere shunning of the body. They seemed to have reached a point of ennui with regard to the desires of the body so that they wanted to shun the "flesh" and the millions of ailments it is heir to. All of them wanted to subjugate the senses.

Winning, a permanent victory over the five senses offers an absolute control of the body leading to the control of the wandering mind. One of them refers to the five senses as "five thieves". Thiruvalluvar who wrote in the Ist Century A.D. has compared the control of the five senses to the action of the tortoise when it protects itself from the enemy. Siddhars looked at life from a different angle of vision. They also despised and scorned the nine portals of the human body. They were existentialists in another sense. They lived a mendicant's life and slept in the temples when they wanted to stretch their body. According to Pattinathar, even a person with a begging bowl and a dog for company is a "family man". They were misunderstood in their own time since they repudiated the materialistic view of life and claimed that there could be only one supreme God. Very little has been on record about their personal life, except for meager details like place of birth and place of death. Some anthologists have pinned down their community. This socio-economic background information has been handy in the understanding of their imagery.
Some of them might have turned misogenics after enjoying the intimacy of quite a number of women. Despite this fact, their addressee is pre-nubile girl who is referred to as Vaalai pen. Some of their poems indicate [Karuvoorar's poems especially] that this Vaalai is girleen who has not attained puberty, but who is tremendously beautiful.

That Thirukkural seems to have had a strong influence on the Siddhars is evident from many cross-references in their poems:

"As the bird flies away from the egg shell
Should be the friendship of the body to being"
[Thirukkural: Section on impermanence]

Thiruvalluvar, the saint-poet with a strong Jainistic streak, explains the relationship of the body to the
soul in the above lines. Or the impermanence of the body is stressed here in the most epigrammatic manner.
In the section devoted to "Penance" Thirukkural writes:

"All the beings of the world will worship the one Who doesn't slay and doesn't eat that is slain".

In another Couplet he writes:

"When words of sweetness exist, uttering the harsh ones Is like snatching the half-ripe ones rejecting ripe fruits".

The echo of these lines can be found in Pattinathar's poems. Pattinathar has also expressed his wish to be a non-violent vegetarian and as abstainer from killing. Thiruvalluvar has devoted a separate chapter on "Abstinence from killing". From Pattinathar's poems one can estimate that he was well grounded in classics like Periya puranam and Siva puranam. History indicates that the Siddhars who lived in South Indiawere 18 in number. If a yogi is to be accepted as a Siddhar he should be able to perform the following feats:

1. Anima or the ability to turn oneself into a atom.
2. Mahima or the ability to transfigure oneself to the
size of a mountain.
3. Lahima or the capability to become as light as air.
4. Karima or the capability to become heavy as gold.
5. Prapthi or the ability to rule over everything.
6. Vasithuvam or the ability to attract everyone.
7. Brakamiyam or the art of transmigration.
8. Eesathuvam or the ability to achieve everything one
wish for and the ability to enjoy it.

These are called as "Eight Great Siddhis" or Ashtamaha siddhi. These mystic poets represent different communities. Siddha Pattinathar was born into a rich family of merchants in the sea-town of Kaveripoompattinam and he himself was a successful merchant before giving up his materialistic way of life. Badhragiriyar who finally became a disciple of Pattinathar was the king of a province in Thanjavur. Idaikkaattu Siddhar was a goat-herd according to the available meagre records of literary history. Thiru molar is said to have come from Varanasi to meet the Saint Agasthiar of the South. During his journey he happened to stop at a place called Tiruvavaduthurai in TamilNadu (one of the states of south India) and felt pity for the cattle that were so much attached to the cattle-herd whose name was
Moolan. Moolan had died of a snake bite and with the help of his inner-vision and power of transmigration; the Siva Yogi shed his physique and entered the dead Moolan's body to console the cattle. After reaching the village where the cattle-herd lived, he left the cattle in the pen and tried to extricate from Moolan's wife who was unaware of the fact that the person who appears as her husband was the Siva Yogi. When he checked for old body he was dismayed because it had disappeared. He accepted everything as the will of God and decided to live in the same village as Moolan and he was later called Thiru Moolar. Another mystic is a Muslim by birth as his name Beer Mohammed suggests. Roma Rishi might have had connections with the Rome of his time. Some like Paampaati Siddhar wrote treaties on herbal medicine and were capable of small miracles in real life. Boghar is said to have visited the Roman Empire to study the herbs of that country for medical application. Boghar was born into a family of potters in China as the legend goes. Pulasthiar is Sinhala by birth. Idaikaattu Siddhar is said to be the author of Saareeram, a book on medicine. Some consider him as the disciple of Boghar. In the advanced stages of penance, these mystics are said to have lived just on air and dried herbal leaves. Some of them able to suspend their bodility functions temporarily if they had to spend their days in a hostile environment. From rhymed quatrains, rhymed couplets based on Thirukkural, to simple folk songs, Siddhars have used a variety of stanza forms to express their thoughts. Catchy lines from the Siddhars sung by beggars can still be heard in the village streets of TamilNadu. Many readers quote these poems or snatches of lines quite unaware of the source. A handful of these poems have been simplified and adapted a lyrics for Tamil film songs. One can read this anthology of Siddhar Poems just to get the basics of meditation and yogic breathing. Another can refer to it to decipher the formula to concoct traditional siddha medicine. Still others can use this anthology to make a deep study to acquire the methods of conquering the five senses of the body. For a serious reader of poetry it is treasure house that has a richness and freshness of its own. One will be struck by the candidates with which these poems analyse God and the filthiness of the body. A few of the sections written by Vanmeegar and Nandeeswarar prescribe the rules for making offering to a deity.
Sri Agasthiar Siddhar

Siddhar Agasthiar, often referred to as Sage Agasthiar is the most celebrated of the siddhars in Tamil language. Agasthiar wrote 'Agathiyam', the first grammar book of Tamil language. There are numerous legends associated with Agasthiar in Tamil literature. There is a temple and a water-falls dedicated to him near Papanasam, Tamil Nadu. Almost all the information available on the internet is to do with Agasthiar and Tamil language and it is difficult to come across information relating to Agasthiar in the tradition of siddhar school of thought. 'Agasthiar Paribashai Thirattu' and 'Subramaniar Suddha Jnanam 100' are some of his well known books.

1. Sage Agatthiyar : Foremost of the siddhas - An article by Dr. Mandayam Kumar. Acknowledges Agasthiyar as a siddhar. It also relates Agasthiyar with other siddhars namely Bogar, Sattamuni, Nandeeswarar, Pasupathi, Vyagrapadar, Pathanjali, Pulippani and Pambatti. It is very difficult to come across an article connecting a variety of siddhars, sages and other people. The author says that the article is based on stories, scripts and other epics. The birth of Agasthiyar is given as the Avittam star of Kumba month (quoted from Sattamuni). This is in contrast to the widely accepted table of 18 siddhars, which indicates Aayilyam star in the month of Markazhi. This makes one wonder whether, the Sage Agasthiya widely talked about in Tamil literature and Siddhar Agasthiyar are the one and the same. The one point that is in common with this article and the current siddhar website is that both say, He lived for over a thousand years.
2. Agasthiar Universal Mission - The ashram is located in Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu.

Sri Kamalamuni

The following information is available about Sri Kamalamuni in the book “ Bogar 7000 ” written by siddhar Bogar.

Song 5729: Kamalamuni was born on the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May - June), his birth star being 2nd part of Poosam.

Song 5725: The siddhar named Kamalamuni belongs to Kuravar caste. He lived for six-eight generations.

Song 5841: Kamalamuni is 4000 years and some 300 odd (days) old. He lived in China for a long time.

However, siddhar Karuvoorar in his book “ Vadha Kaviyam ” (Song 584) says “Maamuni” belongs to “ Kannar ” caste. He does not explicitly say “Kamalamuni”, but mentions “Maamuni”. The author of this article does not understand whether Karuvoorar refers to Kamalamuni or not.

Sri Kalangi Nadhar belongs to Kannar caste. Many people believe that Sri Kalangi Nathar is siddhar Kamalamuni. In the 63 rd song of “ Kamalamuni Suthiram 76 ”, a line says that “ Kamalamuni alias Kalangi ”. Hence it can me true that Sri Kalangi Nathar is siddhar Kamalamuni himself.

In “ Bogar Janana Sasthra ”, it is mentioned that Kamalamuni attained samadhi atMadurai . However as per the table of 18 siddhars, it is belived that siddhar Kamalamuni attained samadhi at Thiruvavur.

About Kuravars

Kuravars form the sixth largest Scheduled Caste population both in Tamil Nadu and in Ramanathapuram district. They make certain household items out of bamboos and palm leafs and sells them to earn their living. They hunt birds and rear country pigs (black pigs) both for their consumption and sale. They also hunt cats from the village side for consumption. Some of them work as fortune-tellers. Since they use the trained Kili (parrot) to predict the fortune of the people, they are also known as kili josiyars. However, they do not go to any other castes asking for food. They are also not required to perform any inauspicious tasks and rituals for other Scheduled Castes. This information on Kuravars is taken from the article "Untouchability and Inter-Caste Relations in Rural India: The Case of Southern Tamil Villages" by A. Ramaiah of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai.
Sri Kamalamuni Siddhar

1. Sri Kamalamuni Siddhar - The information from Bogar 7000 - This note basically quotes songs from "Bogar 7000" and gives details about his birth star, birth place and his age. It also says that he lived in China for a long time.
2. Shaking the Tree - By Layne Little - In his / her article based on Bhogar 7000, suggests that Kamalamuni is Kalangi Nathar. Quote: 'Kalangi was a poet in his own right, composing the Kalangi Nanavinda Rahasiyam-30, and using his other name Kamalamuni, he composed the Kamalamuni Nanasuttiram-76'. As, Kalangi Nathar is not listed in the first list of 18 siddhars, this might be possible. However,Wayne Little, does not give more information to quantify the above statement in the article.

Sri Thirumoolar Siddhar

Thirumoolar (Tirumoolar) took the body of herdsman 'Moolan' and wrote the famed script 'Tirumandiram'. His mantras are very simple, but convey a deep meaning in them.

1. Thirumoolar - The most celebrated Tamil Siddhar - Gives a few widely popular axioms of Tamil language. A very good article on Thirumoolar.
2. Thirumoola Nayanar - An article on Thirumoolar from the point of view of Shivites. Hosted at shaivism.org.

Sri Machamuni Siddhar

In the Encyclopedic dictionary authored by T.V. Sambasivam Pillai (Reference 1), a strange story is told.

“ Machamuni is a siddhar. He was the child brought up by Pinnakeesar. He is also Pinakeesar's disciple. There is a story that once Lord Siva was preaching Uma Devi. Uma Devi had slept when Lord Siva was preaching her. However, a fish was listening to the lecture. Later on that fish was transformed into Siddhar Machamuni by Lord Siva.”

Although it is a story, it is very interesting indeed.

In the 523rd song of “ Karuvoorar Vadha Kaviyam ”, Karuvoorar says that Machamuni is a Sembadavar (Presently categorized under backward classes by Government of Tamil Nadu in Government Order 36, 1996). Sembadavar's are traditional fisherman. From the name Machamuni, it is easy to say that he is a fisherman (Macham mean fish in Tamil). Siddhar Agasthiar in the 218th song of his book “ Amudha Kalai Ganam ” says that Machamuni belongs to Sembadavar caste.

However, siddhar Bogar in the 5700th song of “ Bogar 7000 ”, says that he belongs to “Kalludayar ” caste (The author of this article is unable to understand the exact meaning of this song). Also in song 5873, he says that Machamuni was born on the Rohini star in the Tamil month of Adi (July-August).

Machamuni in his 97th song of his book “ Machamuni Thandagam 100 ”, mentions the words "Guru Nandhi" and "Guru Bogar", while offering prayers to his guru. Hence, it can be said that Siddhar Bogar and Siddhar Nandeeswarar were his gurus.

Machamuni also mentions about the Siva Thandava witnessed by siddhar Pathanjali in one of his songs. Hence, it can be said that he had lived in the period when siddhar Pathanjali and Sri Viyakrabathar witnessed the Siva Thandava in Thillai (for details about this event, please refer to the information on siddhar Pathanjai in this web site). Thillai is the other name of Chidambaram and is one of the 5 dance halls of Lord Siva.

In the book “ Agasthiar 12000 ”, in the fifth Kandam, siddhar Agasthiar says that Machamuni had taken lessons from Kaga Bugandar. He also says that he donated all his wealth to poor people on attaining spiritual salvation. Machamuni attained samadhi at Thiruparankundram.

Some of the books written by Machamuni are

* Machamuni Perunool Kaviyam 800
* Machamuni Sarakku Vaippu 800
* Machamuni Vagaram 800
* Machamuni Yogam 800
* Machamuni Vaithiyam 800
* Machamuni Thirumandiram 800
* Machamuni Gyanam 800
* Machamuni Vedantham 800
* Machamuni Gurunool 800
* Machamuni Thitchavidhi 100
* Machamuni Thandagam 100
* Machamuni Gyana Thitchai 50
* Machamuni Sthoola Sukkuma Karana Gyanam 30
* Machamuni Suthiram 21

References

1. Encyclopaedic Dictionary (1938) By T.V. Sambasivam Pillai Vol I-V, Published by The Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy , Arumbakkam, Chennai - 600 016 (Available for sale from Central Library, Anna Hospital Complex, Arumbakkam, Chennai).

Sri Pambatti Siddhar

The most popular and well known of the siddhar’s is "Pambatti Siddhar" (the snake character) who may be taken to be a true representation of his tribe. He takes the snake for a symbol to represent the human Soul and uses the expression : "AODU PAMBE" (De thou, Dance Snake) as a refrain at the end of each stanza of his poem. The poem of this siddhar is in fewer than six hundred lines and deals with philosophic and spiritual matters in the authentic siddhar pattern with great passion. He sings Lord Siva as the Supreme Power of the Universe. There is a poem on his Guru, Who is credited with super natural powers. He then boasts of the similar powers of his tribe in a mood of fantastic self-adulation, where his imagination runs riot. "We can make men women", he says and adds, "We can destroy" this great universe. He asserts that they have power equal to that of God and can control the elements. He is there, merely expatiating on the Ashtama Siddhis, which is believed to confer eight kinds of devises and super natural powers on those who have achieved it. They are

1. Anima -- Power of becoming the size of an atom and entering the smallest beings.
2. Mahima -- Power of becoming mighty and co-extensive with the universe.
3. Lagima -- Capacity to be quite light though big in size.
4. Garima -- Capacity to weigh heavy, though seemingly small size.
5. Prapthi -- Capacity to enter all the worlds from Brahma Loga to the neither world.
6. Prakasysm -- Power of disembodying and entering into other bodies (metempsychosis) and going to heaven and enjoying what everyone aspires for, simply from where he stays.
7. Isithavam -- Have the creative power of God and control over the Sun, the moon and the elements and
8. Vasithavam -- Power of control over King and Gods.

Whether any man ever had or can have these powers is an open question.

He then bursts out that they, like Prahima can create new worlds, make him his servants and live in a status of equality with Lord Siva and make Him play with them. Then there is usual tired against this life and its short lived sensual pleasure. The value of reminciation and sacation is also dealt with. He ridicules ideal worship and the Vedas. Agomas and other Scriptures. The cast differences are denounced by him. He has also several stanzas on mystic knowledge of Yoga.

As a poet, he is not contemptible (deserving to be treated with contempt). He has a facility of expression and an imaginative flavour in thought. He holds that those who have no feeling of love in their hearts can never attain salvation. His God vision is pictured in a fine stanza. This poet uses entirely the common speech of the people and has produced powerful effect.

Each one of the stanzas of his work ends in the world "Aodu Pambe". Probably that may be the cause of his name. He seems to belong to Maruthamalai in Kongunadu. It is given in the work above that he got instructions from Sattamuni. As per the lines "Pathir-ar-Sankarankoil Pambatti" found in the old stanza, which is given as source so far, his place of Samadhi has to be taken as Sankarankoil is Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu (India).

Scripts taken from:
Chapter Eighteen (Pages 364 & 365) of book entitled "Eighteen Siddhars in History of Siddha Medicine" by Mr. N. Kandasamy Pillai, Former Member, Siddha Science Development Committee and Published by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1979.

A Precise History of Sri Pambatti Siddhar Samadhi at Sankarankovil

The nobility and sublimity of the Cobra, which symbolically represents the power of Kundalini in human beings, is hailed with mystical flavor in more than a hundred verses by Sri Pambatti siddhar, each ending with the refrain 'Dance Thou Cobra!'.

He is the last among the noted 18 siddhars. He belongs to the Kozhayi family. TheHimalayas are their ancestral land. Essentially the Kozhayi's were cowherds and sheep herds and dependent on the products of cows and sheep. Slowly they moved out of their place and in due course came to South India . Some say that Sri Pambatti Siddhar was born at Thirukkokarnam, near Pudukkottai and some others in the Pandya Kingdom . Mrigasirisham was his birth star in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November-December). He was considered a manifestation of Lord Siva. On being given spiritual initiation by his Guru Sattamuni, as the disciple changed the five elements into a five-headed cobra, he came to be known as "Pambatti siddhar". There are a few who say that he got this name because he lent symbolically in his verses the image of a cobra to the Kundalini power.

Sri Pambatti siddhar attained the eight supernatural powers called 'Ashtamasiddhi' after performing penance for a very long time in a cave on Marudamalai, near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Also he lived in places like Mahalingamalai in Vathiraayiruppu, Kollimalai,Madurai , Puliyur and Bhavani.

Sri Sivaprabhakara Siddhayogi Paramahamsar was the worthy disciple of this great siddhar. The former was born in a Namboodiri family of Kaladi, Kerala. As the Guru and his follower remained inseparable, they did atonement for 45 years on the Himalayas and came to Sankarankoil. Sri Pambatti Siddhar established the statue of Goddess Gomathi Amman there. Later, at the south-west corner, about a furlong behind the temple, amidst punnai trees (now door number 15, Puliyankudi Road). Sri Pambatti Siddhar got established in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi (also known as Jeeva Samadhi) at the sacred hands of his disciple.

Some books mention that Sri Pambatti siddhar attained samadhi at Virudhachalam and some at Thirukkadaiyur. However, their claims have no established proof. It may be assumed that Sri Pambatti siddhar would have lived in those places and in order to reveal that the disciple could himself assume the frame of his master, might have got established in samadhi in these two places in the guise of Sri Pambatti Siddhar. This might have been possible for him because Sri Prabhakarar got into the bodies of 15 persons at different times by the unique process called 'Metempsychosis' (Transmigration) and proved himself to be the noble student of his aspired preceptor.

It can be authentically proved that Sri Pambatti siddhar got samadhi only at Sankarankoil. Some such proofs are cited below:

1) In his book entitled "History of Siddha Medicine" written in English by Mr. N. Kannuppillai and published by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1979, under the chapter "Eighteen Siddhars", the author has written on pages 364-366 about Pambatti siddhar and clearly mentioned that he attained samadhi at Sankarankoil.

2) In the hoary palm leaves of Pulithevar entitled " Nerkattum Seval " in the form of a song there are references to the places where the 18 siddhar's had attained samadhi and in it is mentioned that Sri Pambatti siddhar's place of samadhi is at Sankarankoil.

3) Dr. Yogi S. A. A. Ramiah in his book " A Collection of the Verses of the Eighteen Siddhars for Daily Recitatio n" (in Tamil) too makes a similar mention when he records that Sri. Pambatti siddhar in order to attain Svarupa samadhi in Sankarankoil kindled his cobra power of Kundalini.

4) The Gayatri Mantra of Sri Pambatti siddhar is :
" Om Sankaranaalaya Pathivaazh Sittharaaya
Vechitra Rupaaya Pambatti Sittharaaya Namaha" .
This also makes an identical proclamation.

Thus, beyond doubt, it is established that Sri Pambatti Siddhar's Jeeva Samadhi is only at Sankarankoil and not anywhere else.

The sole disciple of Sri Pambatti Siddhar was Brahmananda Sri Sivaprabhakara Siddhayogi Paramahamsar and that of the latter is Brahmasri Siddharaja Swamiji, who has, at the behest of his Guru, had undertaken the great task of constructing a sacred samadhi Temple for his Guru's Guru. Brahmasri Siddharaja Swamiji had taken up some other truly useful missions to the society. His plan was to construct separate buildings for siddha research centre and for mass feeding, to be housed within the proposed building complex of the siddhar samadhi.

Just in front of the siddhar samadhi lies a big water tank called "Govinda Peri", meant for the annual float festival of the temple. It was in ruins and Brahmasri Siddharaja Swamiji had desilted the tank and renovated its southern and western walls at a cost of about Rs.80,000 and let the people of the area of the town to bathe comfortably in it. Also he had renovated the "Govinda Peri Mutt" and established a "Bhakthi Peeth". He had finished construction of two temples - one dedicated to Lord Ganesh and the other to Lord Balamurugan - and they are meant for public worship.

The Eminence of Sri Pambatti Siddhar's Samadhi

Some special features of Sri Pambati Siddhar's Samadhi are presented here:

1) It is a historically recorded evidence that in order to cure Pulithevar, a daring patriot, of his excruciating stomach pain the then pontiff of Thiruvaduthurai used the ant-hill soil on the Samadhi of Sri Pambatti Siddhar. It readily reveals the curative efficacy of the Samadhi soil. Daily devotes who throng the shrine take the soil to their homes as 'Prasadam'. The Tulsi tank water in the temple cures many diseases and protects devotees from many diseases.

2) There is a grill-structure with 18 lamps, just behind the Siddhar's shrine. The Pranava Mantra "OM" is at its centre. There is a "Trident" at the top of the lamps to refer to the Three Lords, born out of the Pranava Mantra. Each lamp encompassing "OM" stands for a Siddhar.

The prayers of those devotees who keep a small cloth packet containing Sesame seeds in each of these cup like lamps, fill with gingelly oil, light them and pray sincerely are heard and fulfilled at once. This is what devotees who gather at the shrine in multitudes often assert. Brahmasri Siddharaja Swamiji himself once directed some of his devotees to observe this rite in order to rid them of the adverse effects of Mars in the 7th house of their horoscope (Commonly referred as "Sevvai Dhosha" in Tamil Astronomy) or the hostile influence of Raghu, Kethu and Saturn. Those who follow these directions fervently get the following favours:

Those who suffer from

1. Sevvai Dhosha get a good life partner,
2. Saturn's retardation get peace of mind,
3. Issues beget children,
4. unemployed get suitable jobs, etc.

3) There is a big lamp which is kept burning all the 24 hours of a day at the Sanctum Sanctorium of Sri Pambatti Siddhar. It consumes one litre of gingelly oil per day. Sri Pambatti Siddhar protects the interests of those who keep it burning and workship him earnestly. Daily devotees bring garlands, flowers, camphor, incense sticks, coconuts, bananas and other fruits for the daily adoration of the Parabrahamam Statue established on the Samadhi of Sri Pambatti Siddhar. No doubt they get His blessings in full measure.

4) This is an exquisitely carved four-sided idol. At the top it is a 14-headed cobra spreading its hoods, with figures of Lord Vishnu on the east, Lord Siva and splendid Goddess Gomathi on the south, Lord Muruga on the west and Lord Ganesh on the north. This signifies that the 14-headed Cobra, Sri Pambatti Siddhar, contains the Three Lords in Himself. This also implies that HE is Parabrahman Himself.

5) This Siddhar temple is popularly known by the epithet 'Samadhi of the Munificent Philanthropist' for the obvious reason that large scale mass feeding was frequently conducted here by Sri Siddharaja Swamiji. Currently the mass feedings are organized by the S.P.S.S.P. trust. True to the epithet, on the days of Adi Thapas in the month of July-August, a very extensive mass feeding is performed every year. So far 16 such feedings have been accomplished and over 20,000 people are fed on each occasion.

Sri Pathanjali / Patanjali Siddhar

Siddhar Patanjali is the most celebrated of the siddhars in current Yoga schools. His Yoga Sutras have been translated into different languages and are followed by Yoga practitioners worldwide. There is a lot of information about Patanjali's Yoga Sutras on the internet.

1. Sri Pathanjali Siddhar - The first of 18 Siddhars - This article details Sri Pathanjali as a form of Sri Adisesha and his association with Viyakramabathar. It also mentions that they witnessed the dance of Lord Siva (Siva Thandava) at Chidambaram (Thillai).
2. HRIH: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. International Language - The Internet Archive of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is an "all in one" page, with different interpretations translated in different languages. Has an active Buletin board.
3. YERC: Patanjali - An crisp article on Patanjali. It conforms with the first article that Patanjali wrote 'Maha Bashyam'.
4. An Interpretive Translation of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras - By Swami Venkatesananda
5. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Translation by Chester Messenger
6. The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali - Interpreted by William Q. Judge
7. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - By Raghagavan Iyer

Sri Sundaranandar Siddhar

Sri Sundaranandar is the disciple of siddhar Sattamuni. It is believed that he got the Siva Linga of siddhar Agastiar, established it in Saduragiri and worshipped it.

Saduragiri Sundara Mahalingam temple comes under the Thaniparai area of Saptur reserve forests in Tamil Nadu. It is located in Watrap, Viruthunagar district. Srivilliputtur is the big city located near Saduragiri. For thousands of years, realized sages and siddhars lived there worshipping the Siva Linga called “ Sundara Mahalingam ”. “Sundaram ” means, the handsome One, “ Maha ” means great and lingam means “ Siva, the Supreme Self ”. This mountain shrine is a considered as a dwelling place of siddhars. This can also be attributed to the numerous medicinal plants available in the SaduragiriMountains . There is also a cave called " Thavasi Parai " in Saduragiri. Sundaranandar and his Guru Sattamuni lived there.

Siddhar Bogar sings about Sundaranandar in songs 5828 and 5829 in his book “ Bogar 7000 ”. He says that Sundarandar was an expert in space travel and samadhi yoga. In songs 5920 and 5921, Bogar gives the following information. Sundaranandar was born on the Tamil month of Aavani (August – September) on the star Revathi (3 rd part). He is the grand son of Navakanda Rishi living in the Kishkinta hills and that he belonged to Agamudayar (Thevar) class.

However, siddhar Karuvoorar in his song 582, says that Sundaranandar belongs to Reddy class. Siddhar Agasthiar in his book “ Amudha Kalai Gyanam ” also says that Sundaranandar is a Reddy in song 218. Sundaranandar attained his samadhi at Madurai .

The following are the books of Sundaranandar.

* Sundaranandar Vaithiya Thirattu 1500
* Sundaranandar Vaithya Kaviyam 1000
* Sundaranandar Merpadi Suthiram 500
* Sundaranandar Vagaram 200
* Sundaranandar Aathetha Suthiram 104
* Sundaranandar Vatha Suthiram 100
* Sundaranandar Visha Nivarani 100
* Sundaranandar Vakiya Suthiram 66
* Sundaranandar Kesari 55
* Sundaranandar Suttha Gyanam 51
* Sundaranandar Thitchavithi 50
* Sundaranandar Thandagam 47
* Sundaranandar Kesari Poojavithi 37
* Sundaranandar Athisaya Karanam 36
* Sundaranandar Sivayoga Gyanam 32
* Sundaranandar Muppu 25
* Sundaranandar Sivagyana Botham 16

Sri Sundaranandar Siddhar
Sri Sundaranandar Siddhar - Saduragiri Sundara Mahalingam - This article says that Sundaranandar and his Guru Sattamuni are associated with Saduragiri Sundara Mahalingam. As Sattamuni (10th siddha) is his Guru, it can be implied that the table of 18 siddhars might not be in a strict time frame or that several siddhars co-existed in the same time period. The article also quotes information from "Bogar 7000" .

Sri Vaanmeegar / Valmiki Siddhar

Sri Vaanmeegar's birth star is Anusham in the Tamil month of Purattasi (September-October). There is an argument that the Valmiki who wrote Valmiki Ramayana is different from the siddhar Vaanmeegar of the south. However, siddhar Bogar in his script"Bogar 7000" proclaims that they are one and the same. He says that Vaanmeegar is the name of the siddhar who wrote Valmiki Ramayana in song (verse) number 5834. He makes a clear distinction between the names Vaanmeegar and Valmiki.

Further, in his next song (verse number 5835), Bogar says that Vaanmeegar's age is 700 and some odd days. He also says that he is a learned sholar in Tamil language. He also makes a reference about his Samadhi. This author is not able to understand the exact meaning of the second part of that song.

It is also said that Sri Vaanmeegar alias Valmiki wrote Ramaya on getting the spiritual knowledge from Narada. Sri Vaanmeegar's Samadhi is located at Ettukudi in Tamil Nadu

source: http://tamiltechy.blogspot.com/2009/08/about-18-siddhargal.html