Thursday, 15 March 2012



Shiva Puranas are filled with stories which describe how Lord Shiva, (the name for God among a major sect of Hinduism) has sat in meditation on Mt. Kailas, Tibet since time immemorial. He is worshipped by the yogis as Lord, and by all the gods as the supreme Lord. The history of the Siddha tradition begins millions of years ago with the story of Lord Shiva's initiation of his consort or Shakti, Parvati Devi, into Kriya Kundahni Pranayama (the scientific art of mastering the breath) in a huge cave at Amarnath in the Kashmir Himalayas (Ramaiah, 1968, p. 108). Later Yogi Shiva initiated others, including the Siddha Agastyar and the Siddhas Nandi Devar and Thirumoolar on Mount Kailas in Tibet. Agastyar subsequently initiated Babaji.

According to the traditions of southern India there are eighteen siddhas in particular who attained perfection, which included their spiritual, intellectual, mental, vital and physical bodies. The names of these eighteen siddhas vary according to different sources, but it appears most likely that they included the ones listed on following pages (Ramaiah, 1968, p. 2‑3; Pillai, 1979, p. 342‑349). Besides each is given the name of the place where each of them is reported to have attained the state of perfection, known as "soruba samadhi", their guru, disciples and major contributions. 

Apart from these eighteen, popularly known as the "Pattinettu" (Eighteen) Siddhas, there are a number of others who appear in other lists from various sources. They include Konkeyar, Punnakeesar, Pulastiyar, Poonaikannar, Pulipanni, Kalangi, Aluganni, Agapaiyer, Theraiyar, Roma Rishi, and Avvai.

After experiencing "union" or yoga with God or ultimate Reality in the spiritual plane, like a salt doll merging with the ocean, the Tamil Yoga Siddhas experienced a progressive transformation of their intellectual, mental, vital and ultimately, physical bodies.

In attaining such an integral realization they have manifested a Divine transformation of their entire human nature. While their attainment is beyond human comprehension, a comparative study of their lives and writings provides valuable insight into human potential.

The attainment of the 18 Siddhas and Babaji has been the result of the grace of God (whom the Siddhas called Shiva, Muruga, Vishnu or Shakti) and the Kriyas or techniques used by them to prepare their lower bodies for the descent of the Divinity. Collectively, the techniques are known as "Kriya Yoga Siddhantham", which means, the practical yoga techniques bringing about final perfection in the realization of God or Truth.

Sri Agasthiyar

Sri Agasthiyar is one of the 18 yoga siddhas who have initiated many siddhas including kriya guru Babaji. He was initiated directly by Lord Shiva himself and his works include medicine, kaya kalpa, Tamil grammar and yoga. Some of his disciples are Boganathar, Babaji, Thiruvalluvar, Macchamuni. He has attained samadhi at Ananthasayana.

Agasthiyar was a great friend of the Aryans who came into India probably during this period.  Sage Agathiyar has glorified deities in the great Rig Veda. Agasthiyar was not only a master Of Tamil language (also known as the father of Tamil language) but also Sanskrit, the language of the Aryans. He has glorified 11 deities and these slokas are found in the Rig Veda.

He is considered as the first and foremost siddha. He is considered the guru of many other siddhas. He is also called Kurumuni, meaning short (kuru) saint (muni). He made contributions to the field of Medicine and astrology - especially nadi astrology. He is said to have lived for over 5000 years, and that one of his medicinal preparations, Boopathi Kuligai, is so powerful that it can even bring the dead back to life. Two of his students and disciples were therayar and tholkappiar. Another story about him is that once when the great sage accompanied by his beloved royal wife were wandering through forests, she fainted due to the humidity and hot conditions prevailing in the south. She was royal, hence not exposed to hard conditions. By seeing this the great sage became angry and prepared to punish the Sun God with his bow and arrows. Upon seeing this the sun god feared and appeared before Agastya and presented him with umbrella and chappals(foot wear).

He was an expert par excellence in various forms of astrology and medicine. His energy can still be accessed through the Jeeva Nadi or the live predictions that appear on the palm leaves only at the time of reading.

Sri Nandi Devar

Nandi Devar is one of the foremost of the 18 yoga siddhas. He has been directly initiated by Lord Shiva himself and some of his contributions include medicine, kaya kalpa & Alchemy. Some of his eminent disciples are Thirumoolar, Patanjali, Dakshinamoorthy, Romarishi (Kayilay Kambilisattamuni) & Sattaimuni.

Sri Thirumoolar

Thirumoolar is one of the 18 yoga siddhas. He has been initiated by Nandi Devar and his contributions include works in yoga and philosophy. His 'Thirumandiram' work is very popular among his works. He has attained samadhi in Chidambaram.

 First siddha mentioned was Thirumoolar, lovingly called by the other siddhas as “parttar” meaning grand father. Thillai means CHIDAMPARAM. This temple is consecrated under the auspices of Thirumoolar with a kopuram having 21600 golden tiles, to show a man breaths in and out 21600 times per day. 72000 nails, were used to show, if one breathe 21600 breaths per day then his 72000 nadis will be purified. There are millions of nadis but the major ones are 72000. Yogini Avaiar and Bhogar (palanimalai bhoganathar) also conforms this as 72000.

Thirumoolar has composed 3,000 monumental verses known as Thira‑Mandiram (Sacred Mystic Words).  Thirumoolar has dealt with almost all the aspects of Saiva (Shiva) religion. The philosophy of deathless life is found in many of his verses and also in his chapter on the eight‑fold Asthaanga‑Yoga. If one practices these principles of Yoga, the experience of Samadhi, the super‑conscious fourth state beyond waking, dreaming and sleeping, is easily possible by His grace. When this experience becomes fully integrated, the state is known as "Siddhi of the physical body" of which there are three kinds. These are:

1. Vuruva Siddhi, siddhi with body, i.e. conversion of corporal body into effulgence of grace merged with the Bliss of God;
2. Aru ‑ Vuruva Siddhi ‑ Siddhi with and without the body, i.e. conversion of the body into a body of Bliss of God and merged with Him like camphor set on fire, leaving no residue;
3. Aruva Siddhi ‑ Siddhi without the body, i.e. conversion of the body into Effulgence of God and disappearing.

Sri Bogar

Bognathar who is also known as the Palani Malai Siddhar is one among the 18 yoga siddhas. He was initiated by Kalanginathar and Agastyar. He is a great alchemist of all times. His contributions include yoga, kaya kalpa, medicine, alchemy, natural sciences, philosophy etc. He is the one who has created and installed the idol of Lord Muruga in Palani malai temple. Till now even after ages, the composition of the idol has been a mystery to all scientists around the world. His disciples include Babaji, Konkanavar, Karuvoorar, Pulipani and Idaikadar.

Bhoga-Nathar  belongs to the group of Nath sadus or holy sages. Sivanath, Kalangi Nath, Macchindra Nath etc..etc.. Their names end with Nath. Boganathar also one of the Tamil 18-siddas. Boganathar is the direct disciple of Kalangi Nath. Kalangi Nath  is associated with South India and later migrated and lived in China  and spread the knowledge of yoga to the Chinese people.

A Yantra associated with Bogar, installed in Palani, south India, Siddha Boganathar is credited with inscribing a mystical Yantra geometric design (see picture), etched into a metallic plate and installed it at the sanctum sanatorium of

Sri Konkanavar 

Konkanavar is one of the 18 yoga siddhas initiated by Boganathar. His contributions include 25 known works in medicine, yoga, philosophy, religion etc. He has over 557 disciples. He has attained samadhi at Tirupati. 

Sri Machamuni 

Machamuni who is also known as Matsyendranath is one of the 18 yoga siddhas. He has been initiated by Agasthiyar, Punnakeesar and Pasundar. Some of his contributions include 10 known works on Hatha yoga, Tantric yoga practices etc. Gorakhnathar is one of his eminent disciples. He has attained samadhi at 

" Machamuni is a siddhar. He was the child brought up by Punnakeesar. He is also Punakeesar'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."

The Machamuni Siddhar's disciples are believed that Machamuni Siddhar Athistanam is full Spiritual Magnetic Force, and they trust that he make success on his beliver's oblication. 

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.

Sri Gorakhnathar (Gorakkar) 

Gorakhnathar is one of the 18 yoga siddhas in the 'nath' tradition. He was initiated by Dattatreya (Vishnu), Macchamuni and Allama Prabu. Some of his contributions include "Avadhuta Gita" and 13 other works, order of ascetics, medicine, alchemy, Hatha Yoga Pradipika classic etc. He has attained samadhi at Poyur (Girnar). 

Sre Gorakkar occupies a prime position and He is also a favorite disciple of the first Preceptor of the Universe. Sre Gorakkar rules Kollimalai. (Kollimalai placed in Namakkal district of Tamilnadu) He holds an outstanding place among the Sidhas. He prepared live medicines having longevity of several thousands of years to His credit. He possessed eight mystic powers in full shape.With opium (GAanja) as the basic herb, He was able to prepare medicines capable of curing diseases. 

Goraknath followers are well known as the Ahoorees.The most fearsome yogis of India. They follow a very rigid training and tradition, which is very hard for the modern man to follow.

Sri Sattaimuni 

Sattaimuni is one of the 18 yoga siddhas and was initiated by Nandi Devar & Dakshinamoorthy. His contributions include 46 known works in medicine, alchemy & etc. His disciples include Sundaranandar and Paambatti. He has attained samadhi at Srirangam. 

Sri Sattaimuni Siddhar was bom in Sri Lanka and came to Tamil Nadu. Seeing Maha Bogar in a temple and captivated by his radiance he abandons his family and becomes his disciple. His works in simple language appeal greatly to the common man his works include Sri Sattaimuni Karpam 100 and Sri Sattaimuni Nigandu 1200.

Sri Sundaranandar 

Sundaranandar is one of the 18 yoga siddhas. He was initiated by Sattaimuni & Konkanavar. Some of his contributions include 24 known works: medicine, philosophy etc. He has attained samadhi at Kudal (Madurai). 

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 Saduragiri Mountains . There is also a cave called " Thavasi Parai " in Saduragiri. Sundaranandar and his Guru Sattamuni lived there. 


  1. Very good Article! Appreciate your effort.!

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