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Matsyendranatha Siddhar

Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar

This is an ongo­ing series on the Sid­dhar Param­abarai of India. Sid­dha refers to per­fect­ed mas­ters who have achieved a high degree of phys­i­cal as well as spir­i­tu­al per­fec­tion or enlight­en­ment. We look at var­i­ous Sid­dhas who have graced upon this earth with their Pres­ence — their life and the wis­dom they shared in the form of poems, cou­plets that are referred to as Sid­dhar Padal­gal. To begin with, we are look­ing at Sid­dhas from the tra­di­tion of “Pathi­nen Sid­dhar­gal”. In the pre­vi­ous issues, we saw about Kud­ham­bai Sid­dhar, Pam­bat­ti Sid­dhar, Idaikkaat­tu Sid­dhar, Sat­taimu­ni Sid­dhar, Sun­daraanan­dar Sid­dhar, Karu­voorar Sid­dhar and Gorak­natha Sid­dhar. We also saw how the Sid­dhar­gal poet­ry is pre­sent­ed in Sand­hya Bhasha. In this arti­cle, we will see the glo­ry of Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar.

Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar


Machamu­ni is a great sid­dhar who was the brought up as a child by Sid­dhar Pin­na­keesar. He is also Pina­keesar’s dis­ci­ple. North Indi­an leg­ends tell that Machamu­ni was born under an inaus­pi­cious star. His par­ents threw the baby into the ocean. A fish swal­lowed the baby, where he lived for many years. Then there is a sto­ry that once Lord Siva was preach­ing Uma Devi. Uma Devi had slept when Lord Siva was preach­ing her. How­ev­er, the fish with the baby was lis­ten­ing to the lec­ture. Lat­er on, Sid­dhar Machamu­ni was redis­cov­ered by Lord Siva. Although it is a sto­ry, it is fas­ci­nat­ing indeed. In the 523rd song of “Karu­voorar Vad­ha Kaviyam”, Karu­voorar says that Machamu­ni is a Sem­ba­davar. Sem­ba­davar’s are the tra­di­tion­al fish­er­man. From the name Machamu­ni, it is easy to say that he is a fish­er­man (Macham mean fish in Tamil). Sid­dhar Agasthiar in the 218th song of his book “Amud­ha Kalai Ganam ” says that Machamu­ni belongs to the Sem­ba­davar social group. How­ev­er, Sid­dhar Bog­ar in the 5700th song of ” Bog­ar 7000 “, says that he belongs to ” Kallu­da­yar ” social group. Also in song 5873, he says that Machamu­ni was born on the Rohi­ni star in the Tamil month of Adi (July-August). Under­stand­ing the imper­ma­nence of human life, he in search of truth got teach­ings from Sid­dhar Kaka­pu­jan­dar. In the book ” Agasthiar 12000 “, in the fifth Kan­dam, Sid­dhar Agasthiar says that Machamu­ni had tak­en lessons from Sid­dhar Kaka­pu­jan­dar. He also says that he donat­ed all his wealth to poor peo­ple on attain­ing spir­i­tu­al sal­va­tion. He fol­lowed vaasiyo­gam and awak­ened his kun­dali­ni ener­gy to under­stand his inner self and attain sid­dhis. After 12 years of vaasiyo­gam, he got asta­masid­dhis and pro­nounced his major works in Sid­dha med­i­cine sys­tem. By tremen­dous efforts and con­stant prac­tice of med­i­ta­tion and yoga, he real­ized the true nature of the Self. After learn­ing Sid­dha med­i­cine, alche­my, gnana and Sid­dha yoga philoso­phies, by dint of his deep med­i­ta­tion he pro­posed many the­o­ries in the space and atom­ic sci­ences. Machamu­ni in his 97th song of his book ” Machamu­ni Thandagam 100 “, also men­tions the words “Guru Nand­hi” and “Guru Bog­ar”, while offer­ing prayers to his guru. Hence, it can be said that Sid­dhar Bog­ar and Sid­dhar Nan­deeswarar were also his gurus. 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. Thillai is the oth­er name of Chi­dambaram and is one of the five dance halls of Lord Siva.

Machamu­ni Sid­dhar is called Machin­dranath or Mat­syen­dranath in the north­ern part of India. He is tra­di­tion­al­ly con­sid­ered the founder of hatha yoga as well as the author of some of its ear­li­est texts. He is also seen as the founder of the Natha Sam­pra­daya, hav­ing received the teach­ings from Shi­va. He is main­ly asso­ci­at­ed with kaula shaivism. He is also one of the eighty-four mahasid­dhas and con­sid­ered the guru of Gorak­shanath, anoth­er promi­nent fig­ure in ear­ly hatha yoga. He is revered by both Hin­dus and Bud­dhists, and is some­times regard­ed as an incar­na­tion of Aval­okiteś­vara. He attained jee­va samad­hi in Thiru­parankun­dram in Tamil nadu.

Some of the books writ­ten by Machamu­ni are

Machamu­ni Perunool Kaviyam 800

Machamu­ni Sarakku Vaip­pu 800

Machamu­ni Vagaram 800

Machamu­ni Yogam 800

Machamu­ni Vaithiyam 800

Machamu­ni Thiru­mandi­ram 800

Machamu­ni Gyanam 800

Machamu­ni Vedan­tham 800

Machamu­ni Gurunool 800

Machamu­ni Thitchavid­hi 100

Machamu­ni Thandagam 100

Machamu­ni Gyana Thitchai 50

Machamu­ni Sthoola Sukku­ma Karana Gyanam 30

Machamu­ni Suthi­ram 21

It is our bless­ing and priv­i­lege to expound some of the works of the great and ven­er­at­ed Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar or Machamu­ni. In this arti­cle, we will study one spe­cif­ic aspect from Machamu­ni Sid­dhar which is about the Kechari Mudra. Kechari Mudra is a vital prac­tice from the Yog­ic per­spec­tive and Machamu­ni Sid­dhar instructs on its impor­tance, prac­tice, and ben­e­fits through his poems.

ஓங்கார மாவதென்ன வென்று கேட்கில்உகாரமொன்று மகாரமொன்று அகார மொன்று

பாங்காக நின்றபிர ணவமே யாச்சு

பாரிந்தக் கருவல்லோ ஆசான் சொன்னார்

வாங்காத அகாரஉகா ரத்திற் சேர்ந்து

வன்னிநின்ற யிடமல்லோ மகார மாச்சு

தாங்காதே உரைக்கிற்றகே சரியைக் காட்டும்

சச்சிதா னந்தமென்ற மவுனந் தானேWhat becomes Aumkara, if so asked,

Are the syl­la­bles u, m and a

Stand­ing togeth­er to become Prana­va.

See! Isn’t this the nucle­us said by the Mas­ter!

Merg­ing with the a and u, unut­tered,

Hasn’t the fire-resid­ing place become the m syl­la­ble!

Inex­plic­a­ble, indi­cat­ing Kechari,

The silence called Sat-cit-anan­da!

The great Sid­dhar Boganathar has referred to Kechari mudra as the king of mudras. The Kechai mudra is a very advanced yog­ic prac­tice where the tongue is stretched and elon­gat­ed through var­i­ous prac­tices so as to roll it back and pen­e­trate the through the upper pas­sage to the nos­trils. This is done so as to arouse the kun­dali­ni to high­er chakras, there­by lead­ing to the efful­gence of ambrosia, and there­by lead­ing to the state of Sat-cit-anan­da. As part of the Anaa­di Foundation’s win­ter and sum­mer yatras, we have vis­it­ed the Kriya Yoga Ashram in Tapo­van, Rishikesh. The Ashram has been estab­lished by Shankaranda­giri Maharaj com­ing in the lin­eage of Yuk­tesh­wara­giri Maharaj. We found instruc­tions to sad­hakas print­ed and past­ed in many places say­ing, “Remem­ber to hold Kechari mudra while chant­i­ng your mantra.” Do join us the next time! And what is result of prac­tis­ing Kechari mudra? Sid­dhar Machamu­ni explains,

காணப்பா யிதுகண்டால் ஞானஞ் சித்தி

கைவிட்ட சூஸ்திரம்போல் தேகஞ் சித்தி

ஊணப்பா அஷ்டாங்க யோகஞ் சித்தி

ஒன்றுமில்லை யென்றுசொன்ன சரங்கள் சித்தி

தொணப்பா பிறவியத்த குணமோ சித்தி

சொல்லரிதா மென்றுசொன்ன மவுனஞ் சித்தி

வீணப்பா மற்றதெல்லாம் வாய்பேச் சாகும்

மேவியந்த கேசரிக்குள் விரைந்து கூடேSee! If this is real­ized, it leads to Sid­dhi of Wis­dom

(A Kite) Unteth­ered from the thread, leads to Sid­dhi of Body

Expe­ri­ence of the soul, lead­ing to Ash­tan­ga Yoga Sid­dhi

The state of emp­ty breath is a Sid­dhi

Attain­ing the qual­i­ty of no births is a Sid­dhi

The inex­plic­a­ble silence is a Sid­dhi

All else are vain pursuits/talk

Embrace the Kechari and quick­ly merge

Machamu­ni Sid­dhar very mys­ti­cal­ly explains how one can gain Sid­dhi over body and mind by the prac­tice of Kechari Mudra and how impor­tant it is. He com­pares the one who has mas­tered Kechari Mudra to a Kite unteth­ered from its thread. Here thread refers to the knot that ties us to the body. What hap­pens to one who unteth­ers from this knot? What is the free­dom they get? Machamu­ni con­tin­ues:மதிகெட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சுமகத்தான கேசரிக்குள் வாழ்ந்தோர்க் காச்சு

விதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு

வேதாந்த சிரோமணியாம் ஞானிக் காச்சு

பதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு

பராபரத்தை யம்பாரமாய்ப் பாய்ந்தொர்க் காச்சு

கெதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு

கேள்வியற்ற மூடருக்குக் கிட்டுந் தானேThe term intox­i­cat­ed per­son has come to refer

Those who are dwelling in the sacred Kechari

The term anni­hi­la­tors of des­tiny has come to refer

Those who are shin­ing Vedan­ta-Jnani gems

The term ungod­ly per­sons has come to refer

Those who have plunged in the Para­para

The term non-con­formists has come to refer

Those who are dumb with no more ques­tions

Sid­dhi over Kechari Mudra gives us spir­i­tu­al intox­i­ca­tion that no one can dream of. It is our wish that you explore this yog­ic trea­sure under an able-Guru. To go beyond likes and dis­likes, to reach the state of Mok­sha- the Eter­nal Free­dom!

In this edi­tion, we have pre­sent­ed a few gems from the works of Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar from his tamil text “Kaarana Jnana Sut­ti­ram”. We invite you to con­tem­plate more on these lines and share with us your insights. We also invite you to share with us lines from Sid­dhar Padal­gal that have deeply touched you. You could write to us at anaadifoundation@gmail.com.

In absorb­ing this, may our abhyasa con­tin­ue, may our shrad­dha in the Sid­dha Parampara strength­en and may rev­e­la­tions awak­en as we grow with­in!

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