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  1. #1
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    Siddhas. Who were they? What did they practice and teach? --I

    This is an article I had posted in another forum recently. I am posting it again here for a wider audience.

    My article here is based on my unfinished research paper on the Siddha Sampradaya of Tamil Nadu. I do not think it will reach the publishing stage. Too vast a subject with one too many sources.

    Every one in Tamil Nadu knows about Siddhas. Hundreds of legends, books, TV serials and what not.

    The reason for projecing them is not far to seek. They are projected as

    1. Pure Tamil.

    2. Anti-Brahmin.

    3. Anti Sanskrit.

    4. Anti-Hindu and even Atheist.

    5. Secular.

    6. They lived before the advent of Sanskrit Hinduism into Tamil Nadu.

    We are so much flooded by these officially sponsored propaganda that hardly anyone has bothered to find our the real truth about them.

    How many books have you seen which explain

    1. Their Philosophy.

    2. Why did they want to live for ever? With all their writings they were not Advaitins.

    3. How did they achieve the Siddhis?

    4. What is the role of Ashtama Siddhis in spirituality?

    5. Why were the Siddhas eccentric to say the least?

    and

    6. When did they live?

    And then

    1. Why were the Siddhas doing a lot of Rasa Vada? You know about Mercury?

    2. If they were spiritual why were they obsessed with transforming other elements to Gold?

    3. What was the propose of their research into Siddha Vaidya? The real one. Not that which is bandied about now.

    I wonder whether any of these questions have been answered.

    These questions can be answered only of first clear our minds of the official propaganda I mentioned earlier.


    If you know the answers please post.
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
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    THE SIDDHAR SHOW THE DIVINE WORLD TO ALL OF INDIAN DEVOTEES
    Bhogar was a South Indian by birth, belonging to the caste of goldsmiths, who became a siddhapurusha under the guidance ofKalanginaathar. In Bhogar's Saptakanda he reveals details ofvarious medicinal preparations to his disciple Pullippani (so named ashe is believed to have wandered in the forests atop a puli or tiger)and at every stage he quotes his guru as the authority. Also Pulippani must have been a young man then, as he is often referred to as abalaka.
    It is said that as per the last wishes of his guru, Bhogarproceeded to China to spread the knowledge of siddha sciencesand strangely enough his journey is said to have been made with theaid of an aircraft; he demonstrated to the Chinese the details of theconstruction of the aircraft and later built for them a sea-goingcraft using a steam engine. The details of these and other experi-ments demonstrated by Bhogar in China are clearly documented in theSaptakanda.
    Bogar's guru, Kālāngi Nāthar, is believed to be a Chinese whoattained siddhi in South India and thus became included among theEighteen Siddhars.
    Lao Tse - the founder of Taoism (5th century B.C.) was the firstChinese to propound the theory of duality of matter -- the male Yang andfemale Yin -- which conforms to the Siddha concept of Shiva -Shakti or positive-negative forces. This very same concept wasfirst revealed by the adi-siddhar Agasthya Rishi, whose period isas old as the Vedas, which have been conservatively dated at3500 B.C. Also alchemy as a science was practised in China onlyafter B.C. 135 and was practiced as an art until B.C. 175 when a royaldecree was enacted banning alchemical preparation of preciousmetals by the Celestial Empire; these details are recounted in the twoexisting Chinese books of alchemy Shih Chi and Treatise ofElixir Refined in Nine Couldrons, both dated to the first century B.C.
    The emergence of Lao Tse with his theory of duality of matter and thejourney of Bhogar to China seem to have taken place about the sametime and it is even possible that Bhogar himself went under the name ofLao Tse in China, like another Siddharishi Sriramadevar, who wasknown as Yacob in Arabia.
  3. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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  4. #3
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    If a correct assessment of Arunagirinatha's personality in his early years is made from his own compositions and from contemporary literature of other writers, the following facts emerge:
    Arunagirinatha was a traditional type of devout Hindu. Lord Muruga was the family God whom his ancestors have been worshipping. In his Tiruppugazh, he prays: “Oh, Kanda! The glorious God of the hills! Pray bestow Thine blessings accepting the ardent worship of this humble son to You, my ancestral deity."[1]
    His learning, especially of religious and spiritual literature must have been acquired in his early years and it was both vast and deep. In the Tamil language, he excelled in expression and learning. In his compositions, he exhibits familiarity with the Tamil Works such as: Tevaram, Tirukkural, Kaarigai, Ula, Easal, Kalambakam, Kovai, Sindu, Madal and Maalai. He had also cultivated the art of writing eulogies of rich men to obtain presents of money from them.[2] His compositions abound in the use of Sanskrit words and they also show that he was familiar with the Itihasas, Puranas, the Gita, the Upanishads, Agamas, Mantra and Tantra Sastras, Yoga Sutras and Kama Sutra.
    His archanaon Lord Muruga in two songs are mostly in Sanskrit.[3] One is therefore entitled to assume that his mastery of Sanskrit language was equal to that of Tamil and that he was quite capable of composing original work in Sanskrit. Unless he was born in a family whose traditions were such that every young male member from his early years received the highest cultural and religious education, prevailing in those days, it would not have been possible for Arunagirinatha to have ac­quired the vast learning that he has exhibited.
    That he was leading a debaucherous life in his early years is admitted by him in his prayer to Lord Muruga, thus: “Will I ever get to know how to attain Your holy feet before becoming too old wasting my youth, as I am, by indulgence in sinful sexual pleasures?”[4] Here one must utter a word of warning that all references to a life of lust in many of his poems should not be taken literally -- that is to say, as confessions of his own guilt.[5]
    But his life of debauchery could not have lasted very long. Perhaps, it proved to be a costly indulgence and he was soon reduced to a life of penury and became very dejected. In one of his songs, he says:[6]
    "…To me, who seeks the company of prostitutes all the time, spending on them whatever little money I earn by bestowing lavish praises on men who lack wisdom, who never pray to Your holy feet, who are dunces, who indulge in devilish activities and who have no sense of gratitude; pray Muruga, grant me Moksha (from all this)".
    In another song, he speaks with poignant emotion about his despicable state, thus: [7]
    "…Ridiculed and jeered at by my wife, by the people of the town, by the women of the place, my father and my relations being disgusted in their minds by my conduct, everyone scolding me or indulging in loose talks about me and being treated as a despicable person by the very people whom I have loved, my mind became confused and full of gloom. I thought within myself, ‘Is it for this that I strove to obtain this human body which is a treasure, indeed?’…" Arunagiri worships Lord Murugan who had just rescued him from certain death by suicide. Painting from Tiru Avinankudi Tirukkovil, Palani.
    The first sign of God's grace and compassion came to Aruna­girinatha after a Mahatma sought him and spoke to him in a sweet voice with love and affection. The Mahatma advised him "to meditate on the six-faced God Shanmukha".[8] But Arunagirinatha did not heed the advice for some time and people began to deride him for ignoring the advice of the Mahatma. A change soon came over him. He began to worry very much over his pitiable state. He thought of the advice of the Mahatma and attempted to spend some hours in meditation facing the image of Lord Muruga installed in the Gopuram. But his will, weakened by his immoral life, lacked the strength to persist in that attempt. The crisis in his life started mounting up. He decided to surrender, at the feet of Lord Muruga, the body that had failed to serve Him in any way, He decided upon suicide. At this moment, Lord Muruga appeared standing on a dancing peacock, halted him in the act and took possession of him.[9]
    "Oh Gurunatha! You came along on the peacock holding the Vel that broke to pieces the Krauncha Mountain in Your hand and took possession of me in that the people of the world may admire Your grace."
    "When I was about to shed life from my body, out of compassion for me and to elevate me to a better and praise-worthy status, You came upon the scene,dancing, accompanied by Yourcelestial devotees and showered grace on me.”
    One must assume that after this surrender to Lord Muruga that was accepted by Him, the lure of lust should have left Arunagirinatha. For, if surrender to the Lord does not relieve one instantaneously of all dross, then surrender will have no meaning. One may safely assert that after Arunagirinatha was taken possession of by the Lord, all prayers in his songs there­after seeking to be relieved from the attraction of lust are for the benefit of others and not for himself.
    Here, one must pause for a moment. Was Arunagirinatha’s decision to end his life born of mere disgust and frustration, a simple attempt at suicide, in order to put an end to suffering, which can no longer be endured? One must remember that God does not intervene in every instance of attempted suicide to save the person. The manifestation of Lord Muruga standing on his dancing peacock is not an every day occurrence. It is not vouchsafed even to His most sincere devotees. Yet Arunagirinatha the dissolute was rewarded with this supreme act of compassion.
    In our sastras, it is said that the state of mind of a person at the last moment when life is about to leave the body, is very important from the point of view of his rebirth. If one were to utter the name of Narayana or Shiva and fix his mind on His form at the time of death, he is assured of moksha and release from rebirth. Arunagirinatha had realised with great poignancy that the body had failed to serve the purpose for which God had intended it. He had misused it for immoral purposes. What was there left for him to do except to surrender the mind and the body to the Lord? He sings thus:[10]
    Oh mind of mine!
    Trust not the body
    That infernal machine
    Turning out pleasure and pain.
    Brahma who sits on the Lotus
    Created it to bind the mind.
    Oh mind of mine!
    Free thyself from fear.
    To seek Him, endeavour
    Patiently and steadily.
    Let us go to Him
    Show our love and surrender.
    Oh mind of mine!
    It's good you decided to surrender.
    See Him on His peacock Vahana
    He has now taken charge of you.
    Doubt not, there is no Greater State.
    Dwell on His holy name
    Always, ‘Mainda, Kumara'.
    A kshatriya warrior of old, leaving his house, his wife and children and relatives and abandoning all his desires and possessions, goes to the battlefield with the assurance that if he should die there, he will attain Vira Svarga (Valhalla). Similarly, a great bhakta is always prepared to sacrifice a limb or an eye or even his life for the sake of God in the full belief that the Lord will accept the sacrifice and make him one of his possessions. Lord Muruga came to the rescue of His devotee who was preparing to shed his body and saved him not only from death, but accepted him as dear to Him and took possession of him. How beautifully Arunagirinatha has expressed it when Lord Muruga appeared before him!
    Kinkini thith thimi, thith thith
    The anklets on the dancing feet jingled,
    A sound that to other sounds
    Closed my hearing.
    The Kadamba garland that He wore
    Suffused me with its cloying fragrance,
    And my breath was held.
    His moon-like countenance and tender smile
    Caused such cheer and ecstasy
    That my mind was lost.
    For a moment He looked at me,
    A cool liquid light poured out
    From His long lotus eyes.
    It filled my heart tasting like nectar
    And I was lost to Him forever.
  5. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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  6. #4
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    Another classic of the 17th century in praise of the of Tiruchendur is Kandar Kalivenba by Kumaraguru Paraswamigal, a Saiva ascetic. The author was horn in 1625 A.D. of a Saiva Vellala family at Srivaikuntam on the northern hank of the Tambaraparani, nineteen miles from Tiruchendur. His parents Shanmukha Sikhamani Kavirayar and Sivakami Ammaiyar were blessed with this child after a long penance to Muruga of Tiruchendur. The boy grew of age and until his fifth year showed no signs of speech. The parents were pained at this and resorted to Tiruchendur penance again. Weary of waiting for months and seeing signs of approaching speech, the parents determined to drown themselves in the sea along with the child if he would not speak by a particular day.
    The day dawned, and yet there were no signs. At last, both the parents and the child entered the foamy waves. Deeper and deeper they went from knee to neck and, as they were about to sink with the waves over their heads a human form appeared with a flower in his hand and asked the child what it was; when lo! the child broke out in praise of the Lord with the words of the lines.
    "Pûmêvu cenkamalap puttêLuntêRRiya
    Pâmêvu teyvap pazhamaRaiyum…." This poem, the Kantarakalivempâ of 244 lines is a delightful piece of the Lord's praise and the truths of Saiva Siddhanta. And it is considered even now with great propriety that its recitation with warmth and fervour wards off many an evil attending on man.
    Having studied Tamil at the feet of his father Sanmukacikâmani Kavirayar, and attained in it great proficiency by divine grace, he grew up to manhood, took to an austere way of life, left home, and wandered throughout the Tamil country visiting famous places of pilgrimage and composing poems on the presiding deities. When he was at Dharmapuram, he was drawn to the monastery's head Mâcilâmani Tecikar, and begged him to be admitted as his disciple and initiated into the sannyâsa âsrama. Mâcilâmani asked the young poet to visit important pilgrim centers including Benares, and return to him then. Kumarakuruparar felt incapable of such undertaking, arduous and dangerous in those days. He was directed to stay at least in Chidambaram for some time and then apply. He complied with this condition and afterwards took the holy orders. While he was a court-poet of Tirumalai Nâyaka at Madurai, one day as he was inaugurating his devotional poem in praise of goddess Mînâtci at the royal court, the goddess appeared herself as a young maiden and sat on the lap of the Nâyaka king, and taking a necklace of pearls, put it on the neck of the poet and vanished.
    Finally, Kumarakuruparar left for Benares. His fame reached even the Mughal court at Delhi. Emperor Aurangzib expressed a desire to see him, and the poet-saint (who had in the meantime mastered Urdu) rode to the Mughal court on the back of a lion, the symbol of courage and pride. The emperor was so much impressed by the poet's holiness and learning that he bestowed on him a plot of land in Benares near the Kedar Ghat, and there Kumarakuruparar built the Kumârasvâmi monastery which became soon the heart of religious activities. He lived in Benares till the end of his days except for a short visit to the South to pay his respects to his guru. The tradition also says that Kumarakuruparar who was very fond of Kampau's Tamil Râmâyana lectured on it in Benares and that Tulsîdâs, the great Hindi poet of Râmcaritmânas, heard these talks and became indebted to Kanpan through the lectures of Kumarakuruparar.
    Amongst Kumarakuruparar's other literary works, Meenakshi Pillai-Tamil, Meenakshi-kurram, Neethineri-Vilakkami Madhuraikkalampakam and others are ever popular and widely read.
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  8. #5
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    Bhakti is not different from mukti. Bhakti is as being Self (svarupa). One is always That. He realises it by the means he adopts. What is bhakti? To think of God. That means only one thought prevails to the exclusion of all other thoughts. That is of God which is the Self or it is the self-surrender unto God; When He has taken you up, nothing will assail you. The absence of thoughts is bhakti. It is also mukti." "The Saguna merges in the Nirguna in the long run. The saguna purifies the mind and takes one to the final goal. The afflicted one, the seeker of knowledge and the seeker of gains are all dear to God."
    "To know God is to love God. Therefore the path of bhakti and of jnana are same. "
    "The thought of God is divine favour, is by nature prasad or arul. It is by God's grace that you think of God."
    "Take the case of bhakti. I approach Isvara and pray to be absorbed in Him. I then surrender myself in faithand by concentration. What remains afterwards? In the place of the original 'I' perfect self-surrender leaves a residium of God in which the 'I'is lost. This is the highest form of parabhakti (supreme bhakti), prapti (surrender) or the height of vairagya."
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  10. #6
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    The siddhar teach spritual way of divine
    the way how to get near to god
    how to achieve divine
  11. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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  12. #7
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    Siddhas. Who were they? What did they practice and teach? --II

    Now Who is a Siddha?

    Siddhi is a very common term in Hinduism. It means power. Generally Siddhis are achieved through rigorous religious practices. Mostly involving Mantra and Tapas.

    A person who has attained any Siddhi could be called a Siddha or Siddha Purusha. Such people have been known throughput the history of India. History has recorded the feats of the Wandering Naked Sadhus of India. There were millions of them at one time. But their number is very much restricted now because of lack of popular support and also because of the presence of many Fake Sadhus who duped the gullible public.

    Siddhas are mostly associated with Yoga. The other common name is Yogi. Again they are mostly associated with Saivism and Sakthism. The practices are Yogic/Tantrik. Tantras are also termed as Agamas.

    This is an all India phenomenon and not restricted to Tamil Nadu. Benares or Varanasi was the centre where such people used to congregate once a year. But it is no longer a popular place because of adverse publicity. Khamakya (Gowhati) still continues to draw them especially during the Ambubachi Mela.

    Ambubachi Mela - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If we look at them we would most likely believe that they belong to widely different sects. But that is not true. There are underlying common principles which bind them.

    The Siddhas, Yogis or Nathas as they are called did not go in for extensive literature. The written material is very limited.

    The reason is that all of them belong to the Guru/Shishya Sampradhaya. You can not attain Siddhi without a Guru. The procedures are laid down by Gurus. There are hundreds if not thousands of Sampradhaya or traditions. Many have disappeared and most will disappear in another 50 years.

    (To be continued)
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
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  14. #8
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    There are many Myths and Legends about the Tamil Nadu Siddhars. These are available in the form of tonnes of books and many web sites.

    My article is an attempt to go beyond the Myths and legends and find out our Real Facts about the Siddhars of Tamil Nadu.
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
  15. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nacchinarkiniyan View Post
    There are many Myths and Legends about the Tamil Nadu Siddhars. These are available in the form of tonnes of books and many web sites.

    My article is an attempt to go beyond the Myths and legends and find out our Real Facts about the Siddhars of Tamil Nadu.
    Nacchi,

    A BIG BIG WELCOME BACK TO YOU SIR. HOW I MISSED YOU AND YOUR PERSPECTIVES. GLAD TO KNOW THAT ALL IS WELL ENOUGH FOR YOU TO BE BACK WITH US. PRAY DO NOT LEAVE US AGAIN. THANK YOU SIR....
  17. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kunjuppu View Post
    Nacchi,

    A BIG BIG WELCOME BACK TO YOU SIR. HOW I MISSED YOU AND YOUR PERSPECTIVES. GLAD TO KNOW THAT ALL IS WELL ENOUGH FOR YOU TO BE BACK WITH US. PRAY DO NOT LEAVE US AGAIN. THANK YOU SIR....
    Thank You, Kunjuppu.
    யாதும் ஊரே யாவரும் கேளிர்.

    நச்சினார்க்கினியன்.
  19. All views expressed by the Members and Moderators here are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the TamilBrahmins.com Website.
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