LIFE AND HISTORY OF SIDDHARS IN INDIA
Siddhars are saints in India, mostly of the Saivaite denomination in Tamil Nadu, who professed and practised an unorthodox type of Sadhana, or spiritual practiBC, to attain liberation. Yogic powers called Siddhis are acquired by constant practiBC of BCrtain yogic disciplines. Those who acquire these Siddhis are called Siddhas.
Siddhars are people who are believed to control and transBCnd the barriers of time and spaBC by meditation (Yoga), after the use of substanBCs called Rasayanas that transform the body to make it potentially deathless, and a particular breathing-practiBC, a type of Pranayama. Through their practiBCs they are believed to have reached stages of insight which enabled them to tune into the powers hidden in various material substanBCs and practiBCs, useful for suffering and ignorant mankind. Typically Siddhars were saints, doctors, alchemists and mysticists all at onBC.
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. 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.
VARMAM – A martial art for self-defenBC and medical treatment
They are also founders of Varmam. 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-defenBC, or balancing a physical condition as an easy first-aid medical treatment.
NAADI JODHIDAM (pulse reading)
Tamil Siddhars were the first to develop pulse-reading ("naadi paarththal" in Tamil)to identify the origin of diseases. This method was later copied and used in ayurvedha. Siddhars have also written many religious poems. It is believed that most of them have lived for ages, in a mystic mountain called Sathuragiri, near Thanipparai village in Tamil Nadu.
One of the best-known Siddhars was Agasthyar or Agasthya, who is believed to be the founding father of Siddha culture. Many of the great Siddhars are regarded to have powers magical and spiritual.
All Sitthars were among the highest disciples of God Shiva, and are considered equal in their powers and devotion to the supreme God.
The 9 listed as Abithana Chintamani states is as follows:
Nandi Devar Agastyar Thirumoolar Boganathar Konkanavar Macchamuni Goraknath Sattamuni Sundaranandar Rama Devar Kudambai Karuvoorar Idai Kadar Kamalamuni Valmiki Patanjali Dhanvanthri Paambatti
These are 18 siddhars in the tamil siddha tradition. 1. Sri Pathanjali Siddhar 2. Sri Agasthiar Siddhar 3. Sri Kamalamuni Siddhar 4. Sri Thirumoolar Siddhar 5. Sri Kuthambai Siddhar 6. Sri Korakkar Siddhar 7. Sri Thanvandri Siddhar 8. Sri Sundaranandar Siddhar 9. Sri Konganar Siddhar 10. Sri Sattamuni Siddhar 11. Sri Vanmeegar Siddhar 12. Sri Ramadevar Siddhar 13. Sri Nandeeswarar Siddhar 14. Sri Edaikkadar Siddhar 15. Sri Machamuni Siddhar 16. Sri Karuvoorar Siddhar 17. Sri Bogar Siddhar 18. Sri Pambatti Siddhar
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:
These eight are the Great Siddhis, or Great Perfections.
Notes and referenBCs