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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 (irresistible 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.

According to the book "Valmiki Suthira Gyanam" authored by Siddhar Valmiki, "By purifying the mind
and attaining perfection one becomes a siddha (Tamil Chittan); He is indeed fit to be called SIVA".

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

Brahmasri Siddharaja Swamigal had some more generous plans : to build a charity marriage hall, a
serene hall for meditation and a school for the chanting of hymns of the Vedas. The present small
sanctum santorium of Sri Pambatti siddhar (presently a thatched shed structure only) is to be built
extensively. A proverb says "only one Caste and one Lord". True to that statement, Brahmasri
Siddharaja Swamiji did everything without any discrimination of caste, creed and religion. So far many
lakhs of rupees have been spent. The aforesaid construction work was estimated to have costed
nearly 40 lakh Indian Rupees (INR). Of course, the public voluntarily came forward and donated
liberally for this inimitable spiritual cause.

Every sincere devotee is called upon to pay his / her mite by sending an amount equal to at least a
day's salary to the Samadhi Peedam (Contact Information of Samadhi Peedam) and become a part of
this unique social service.

Note: The names of those who donate Rs.2,000 or more shall be engraved on the walls of the temple.

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.

Further, all devotes who visit the shrine are fed daily and hence without an iota of exaggeration it is
called 'Annadana Samadhi'. Everyone is invited to go in large numbers to this famous shrine of Sri
Pambatti Siddhar at Sankarankoil, get His blessings and have a foretaste of the celestial bliss.