Idaikkadar Siddhar, His Life History, and Navagraha Temple

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Idaikkadar Siddhar, His Life History, and Navagraha Temple

November 23, 2022 | Total Views : 94
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The Siddhars of South India

Siddhars are enlightened beings or mystical yogis. They are part of South India’s yogic traditions. These traditions are shrouded in secrecy. Their journey into Yoga culminates in their merger with God even while they are still in their physical form. The word comes from the Sanskrit root, sidh, which means ‘achievement’ or ‘fulfillment’. So it came to mean ‘one who had attained perfection.’

During their progress on the path of Yoga, Siddhars attain eight different dimensions of perfection called Siddhis or miraculous powers. However, the spiritual traditions of Hinduism seem to shun the acquisition of ‘Siddhis’ as it would lead to an inflated sense of ego and prevent the yogi’s spiritual progress.

For this reason, Siddhars have to observe strict restraint in using their powers or Siddhis. They are also encouraged to live in solitude or disguise themselves as ordinary householders if they choose to live within society.

Siddhars themselves considered their Siddhis as divine grace which flowed into them naturally through their yogic practices. They represented the divine presence within them. There are several Siddhar schools. Some believe that there are 18 masters, and some think it could be as many as 210 masters.

Siddha teachings claim that these masters and their disciples are reborn many times in different divine incarnations at different times and in different places around the world in order to keep up with the changing needs of human beings and to effect change in the world. For instance, Jesus Christ was supposedly a reincarnation of Siddhar Pullipani, and Swami Vivekananda, a reincarnation of Siddhar Thirumulanathar. Siddhar Bhogar claimed that Lao Tzu was one of his incarnations.

The Siddhars supposedly live in a mystical realm that no one can see. It has remained the same over many centuries. One can compare it to life at the bottom of the ocean existing in total darkness, subject to intense high pressure, and undisturbed by external forces. This is the closest one can come to describing the world of the Siddhars in South India. It is believed to exist even now, albeit far removed from human civilization. These ancient spiritual places, which are unknown to the rest of the world, still resonate with the presence of these enlightened beings.

The Tamil Siddhars have given us valuable knowledge about many things like Yoga, medicine, philosophy, astrology, alchemy, etc. But some of their writings are yet to be deciphered or translated.

All of their writings are in a poetic form that uses the more difficult meters that were prevalent during the ancient Tamil Sangam Age. They also contain Tantric imagery and references to Kundalini, as well as clues to control feminine power, which can be dangerous, through breathing practices or by reciting the Goddess’s secret names.

Tamil Siddha Science is at least 5000 years old. Patanjali, Bhogar, Agastya, and Thirumoolanathar are some of the more well-known Tamil Siddhars.

Who is Siddhar Idaikkadar?

Idaikkadar was actually someone who herded goats for a living. He is named after his birthplace, Idaikadu. While doing his job as a herder, he would attain a higher consciousness and merge with the divine. During his excursions in space, Bhogar saw him in this state and was amazed.

Seeing his desire for spiritual knowledge, Bhogar transferred his knowledge to him through Nayana Deeksha. This means that he shared his knowledge merely by staring into his eyes. Soon, Idaikkadar attained mastery in Siddha yoga, Siddha medicine, astrology, astronomy, and gnana philosophies. He has also written many poems and songs.

His findings in astrology are used even now. The yearly Panchangam (Hindu almanac) begins with his predictions. He also achieved the final stage of Kundalini awakening and was able to unite with the Divine.

Idaikkadar and The Navagrahas

In many temples, the arrangement of the Navagraha (9 planetary deities) idols is disordered, that is, they face in random directions. In earlier times, they were found in a neat circle around the Sun. The disorderly arrangement is the handiwork of Idaikkadar Siddhar. An interesting story lies behind this.

Once, a severe and prolonged drought ravaged the land. Idaikkadar foresaw it and prepared his goats by letting them eat plants that grow in drought conditions. So their milk slowly became toxic. Idaikkadar prepped his body by drinking this milk. The milk could make people drowsy. Due to the famine, people’s livestock perished. But the Siddhar’s goats survived.

The 9 planetary deities became curious and decided to find out the secret behind their survival. They came to his house in the guise of human beings. Idaikkadar gave them some food made using goat milk, and they fell unconscious. He immediately bound their energies and transferred them into 9 idols or Murthys. Then he made the idols face in different directions. A small Navagraha temple called the Idaikkadar Siddhar temple exists even now.

According to astrology, there will be calamities like droughts, etc., when a friendly Graha or planet loses power due to the directional influence of a malefic Graha. A rare 12-year drought occurred because all benefic planets lost their powers due to opposition from a malefic planet during those 12 years. Realizing this, Idaikkadar positioned the idols of the grahas in a random and disorderly manner. His arrangement of the idols was followed by other temples, too, later.

As per his mentor, Bhogar’s instructions, Idaikkadar spent his life in the Tiruvannamalai region, helping the local people, and eventually attained Jeeva Samadhi there.

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