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About Siddhar's (Siddha's)

Who is a siddha ? A siddha is one who has attained siddhi, i.e. "power, prowess, strength, ability", then a special kind of psychic and supernatural, miraculous, occult power. There are eight kinds of super natural powers called as "Ashtama Siddhis":

  1. Anima (shrinking) -- Power of becoming the size of an atom and entering the smallest beings.
  2. Mahima (illimitability) -- Power of becoming mighty and co-extensive with the universe. The power of increasing one's size without limit.
  3. Lagima (lightness) -- Capacity to be quite light though big in size.
  4. Garima (weight) -- Capacity to weigh heavy, though seemingly small size.
  5. Prapthi (fulfillment of desires) -- Capacity to enter all the worlds from Brahma Loga to the neither world. It is the power of attaining everything desired.
  6. Prakasysm (irresistable will) -- 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 (supremacy) -- Have the creative power of God and control over the Sun, the moon and the elements and
  8. Vasithavam (dominion over the elements) -- Power of control over King and Gods. The power of changing the course of nature and assuming any form.

A classical definition of siddhas is given by Siddhar Thirumoolar: "Those who live in yoga and see the divine light and power through yoga are the siddhars (Tamil Chittar)".

According to Kamil Zvelebil, there are some features which are typical for all or almost all siddhars as a body of thinkers.

  • First, in sharp opposition to the bhakti tradition, they refuse to allow themselves be carried away by idol worship in particular temples.
  • Second, in contrast to bhakti which emphasizes passionate devotion to God, the siddhar emphasize knowledge, yoga practice, and character, moral behavior, right conduct. Anger, lust and egoism are the worst sins.
  • Third, almost all siddhar's raise a protest against caste and casteism.

The whole atmosphere of siddha thinking is empirical and experimental. Their writings are not in the nature of clear cut formalized statements of any well defined doctrine. Hence, it is difficult to extricate a philosophical system out of their writings, at least at the present state of our knowledge of their works. However, it is possible to point out a few essential features, and one day, when their writings are better known, it should be possible to state their philosophy more explicitly.

This web site is devoted to publishing the works of siddhars for the internet community. Most of the works are available only in Tamil and it is possible that the author of document interprets things in his own way while translating the original text. An attempt is made to present information about siddhars here.

References

  1. 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.
  2. Chapter Fourteen (Pages 224 & 225) of book entitled "The Smile of Murugan of Tamil Literature of South India" by Kamil Zvelebil and Published by E.J. Brill, Leiden, Netherlands in 1973 (ISBN 90 04 03591 5).
  3. Song 1490 of "Thirumandiram Moovayiram" by Siddhar Thirumoolar.

The 18 Siddhars

There are 18 siddhars in the tamil siddha tradition. Each of the siddhars had lived in varied places under different names. The following are most common names of the 18 siddhars. They are listed in the order of their time period.

  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 Other Siddhars

Apart from the 18 siddhars given above, there are also other siddhars. It is possible that the siddhars given below are the same siddhars (the 18 siddhars), but under different name. They might also be the disciples of the siddhars, who by the process 'Transmigration of Souls' became the one and same as the Guru himself. Only a true Siddha Yogi shall do any classification with full confidence.

  1. Sivavakkiyar
  2. Pattinattar
  3. (List to be expanded later)

Table of 18 Siddhars

Sl. No Name of the Siddhar Tamil month of Birth Tamil Birth Star Duration of Life Place of Samadhi
1 Sri Pathanjali Panguni Moolam 5 Yugas 7 Days Rameswaram
2 Sri Agasthiar Markazhi Aayilyam 4 Yugas 48 Days Thiruvananthapuram
3 Sri Kamalamuni Vaikasi Poosam 4000 Years 48 Days Thiruvarur
4 Sri Thirumoolar Purattathi Avittam 3000 Years 13 Days Chidambaram
5 Sri Kuthambai Aadi Visagam 1800 Years 16 Days Mayavaram
6 Sri Korakkar Karthigai Aayilyam 880 Years 11 Days Perur
7 Sri Thanvandri Iyppasi Punarpoosam 800 Years 32 Days Vaideeswarankoil
8 Sri Sundaranandar Aavani Revathi 800 Years 28 Days Madurai
9 Sri Konganar Chitthirai Utthiradam 800 Years 16 Days Titupathi
10 Sri Sattamuni Aavani Mrigasirisham 800 Years 14 Days Thiruvarangam
11 Sri Vaanmeegar / Valmiki Purattasi Anusham 700 Years 32 Days Ettukudi
12 Sri Ramadevar Masi Pooram 700 Years 06 Days Azhagarmalai
13 Sri Nandeeswarar Vaikasi Visagam 700 Years 03 Days Kasi
14 Sri Edaikkadar Purattasi Thiruvadirai 600 Years 18 Days Tiruvannamalai
15 Sri Machamuni Aadi Rohini 300 Years 62 Days Thiruparankundram
16 Sri Karuvoorar Chitthirai Hastham 300 Years 42 Days Karuvur
17 Sri Bogar Vaikasi Bharani 300 Years 18 Days Pazhani
18 Sri Pambatti Karthigai Mrigasirisham 123 Years 14 Days Sankarankoil