18 Siddhargal (alias) Munivargal.
Man is considered superior to all animals and this implies that he is on the top of evolutionary tree with many abilities and disabilities. Man poses the unique ability to attain self-knowledge and groom himself based on his necessities, which other beings on planet earth lack. Siddhars or 18 siddhargal, the holy saints of India, were just normal people who had the will to understand the principles of human life and thereby mold themselves to conquer a semi-divine state. Siddhars attain this spiritual perfection through rigorous practice and experimentation.
However now arises a question “What is the necessity to lead such a life? “ The answer is quiet simple: one cannot master anything within a life span of say even 100 years. Hence the main theme of Siddhars was to increase the life span of mankind which would enable them to master many forms of arts or interests. They knew the fact that body and soul were of prime importance and indeed they form the core, which supports one to reach their goals. Hence Siddhars designed a rigid lifestyle for themselves to seek these goals.
One such practice that existed in their life style was “Siddha medicine” and hence the name as it was formulated by Siddhars themselves. Siddhars used the Siddha medicine to retain their body and mind from aging and also to prevent the body from diseases i.e. to overthrow the cause of death through various rejuvenation medicines. An example of another discipline followed by Siddhars includes “Yoga” truly called “Siddha Yoga” which is practiced by many even today to enjoy the benefits of the same. In a similar manner there are many disciplined actions to be carried out to reach enlightenment or “Siddhi”. Humans who were able to perform 8 divine excellence’s or “Ashtama Siddhi” are known as Siddhars.
In most of the manuscripts available it is always reiterated on 18 Siddhars, who all imparted their knowledge from one academy which then existed and they were originally known as “Mulavarga Siddhas” or “Nandivarga Siddhas”. Though the name of the eighteen Siddhars varies with different authors, some of the authors refer them to be:-
Names of 18 siddha’s in Tamil.
“நந்தியகத் தியர்மூலர் புண்ணாக்கீசர்
நற்றவத்துப் புலத்தியரும் பூனைக் கண்ணர்
நந்தியிடைக்கா டரும் போகர் புலிக்கையீசர்
கருவூரார் . கொங்கணவர் காலங்கி
சிந்தியழு கண்ணர் அக பையர் பாம் பாட்டித்
தேரையரும் குதம்பய்யரும் சட்டய்நாதர்
செந்தமிழ்ச் சீர் சித்தர் பதினெண் மர் பாதம்
சிந்தய்த்தே சிரத் அணியர் சேர்ந்து வாழ்வார்.”
- Nandi – நந்தீஸ்வரர்
- Agastyar – அகத்தியர்
- Thirumular – திருமூலர்
- Punakkisar – புண்ணாக்கீசர்
- Pulathiar – புலஸ்தியர்
- Poonaikannar – பூனைக்கண்ணர்
- Idaikkadar – இடைக்காடர்
- Bogar – போகர்
- Pulikkaisar – புலிக்கை ஈசர்
- Karuvoorar – கருவூரார்
- Konganavar – கொங்கணவர்
- Kalangi – காலங்கி நாதர்
- Azhukanni – அழுகண்ணர்
- Agappaiyar – அகப்பேய் சித்தர்
- Pampatti siddhar – பாம்பாட்டி சித்தர்
- Theraiyar – தேரையர்
- Kuthambai – குதம்பைச் சித்தர்
- Sattaimuni – சட்டைமுனி
click on the above names to view full details of each one.