VENKATAPATHY AND SOORYANARAYAN
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, and Idaikkaattu Siddhar. We also saw how the Siddhargal poetry is presented in Sandhya Bhasha. In this article, we will see the glory of Sattaimuni Siddhar.
Sattaimuni Siddhar is said to have born in Srilanka and to have lived in the Tamil speaking regions. His parents were farm workers and Sattaimuni Siddhar in his young ages had been a mendicant outside a temple. For a little while, he was involved in family life. But he was not for it. One day he encountered a glowing sannyasin and was enchanted by the glow. He left his family life and set afoot a seeker. He was a wandering saint and had covered vast stretches, intensely learning all his way. The master came to answer the intense seeker’s calling. The great Siddhar Peruman Bogar (one among the revered Pathinen Siddhargal) accepted Sattaimuni Siddhar as his disciple. While living with Siddhar Peruman Bogar as a disciple, Sattaimuninathar also connected with Siddhargal Karuvurar and Konganar (also two among the revered Pathinen Siddhargal). It is also mentioned that Sattaimuni Siddhar received initiation from Siddhar Peruman Agastyamuni (one among the revered Pathinen Siddhargal).
Sattaimuni Siddhar’s work in anthropology is held very high and vital among the Siddhargal works. As explained in our previous editions, Siddhas normally write in Sandhya Bhasha in order for the knowledge to reach the right recipients. Siddhar Sattaimuni was well known for not adopting this style. He wrote in a direct language which anyone could easily understand. The great Siddhar Thirumular felt that such direct access was not appropriate and tore up some works of Sattaimuni Siddhar. The greatness of Sattaimuni Siddhar is such that he saw that too as the act of Shiva Peruman and accepted it gracefully.
The Siddhar was an ardent and pious devotee of Shiva Peruman and used to pilgrimage to Kailayam (Sacred Kailash Mount). It is said that he was presented a woolen shirt - “kambali sattai” by Shiva himself. Since then, he was called “kailaaya kambali sattaimuni” and also as Sattaimuni Siddhar.
There are also extraordinary accounts of Sattimuni Siddhar’s bhakthi towards Lord Narayana. It so once happened that Sattaimuni Siddhar once reached Tiruvarangam or Srirangam. The Siddhar wished to have darshan of Lord Aranganathar, the presiding deity of the Tiruvarangam Temple. But the temple was closed before he could reach the premises. But once Sattimuni Siddhar reached the entrance of the temple, he was overcome by a trance and chanted thrice the name of the Lord as “Aranga! Aranga! Aranga!”. Miraculously the bells chimed, drums roared and the temple gates open to receive Sattimuni Siddhar.
When people flocked, they witnessed the Siddhar standing nearby the deity wearing the jewels that usually adorn the mulavar. The priests were shocked, removed the jewels at once and with suspicion they produced the Siddhar in the court of the king. The king demanded an explanation and he could not believe when the Siddhar said it was all but the act of God. When the king absolutely refused to believe the great Siddhar, Sattaimuninathar invited the king to come along with and see for himself.
Once they reached the temple premises, the same events occurred. Sattaimuni Siddhar was overcome by a trance and chanted thrice the name of the Lord as “Aranga! Aranga! Aranga!”. The bells chimed, the drums rolled and the jewels that adorned the deity miraculously fell on Sattaimuni Siddhar and adorned him. And that is when everybody realized the immense greatness of Sattaimuni Siddhar. It is also accounted that Sattaimuni Siddhar just merged into Lord Aranganatha and behold Srirangam temple deity as the samadhi sthala of Sattaimuni Siddhar.
Sattaimuni Siddhar is also the guru of Pambatti Siddhar (about whom we discussed in our previous article #2 in Parnika Issue #3) and Sundaranathar. Sattaimuni Siddhar’s literary contributions span anthropology, medicine, alchemy and direct instructions. His popular works include Sattaimuni Nigandu 1200, Sattaimuni Vaatha Kaaviyam 1000, Sattaimuni Sarakku Vaippu 500, Sattaimuni Navarathina Vaippu 500, Sattaimuni Vagadam 200, Sattaimuni Munpin Gnanam 200, Sattaimuni Karppam 100 and Sattaimuni Unmai Vilakkam 51. Here we present to you a few from Sattaimuni Siddhar’s divine words.
Sattaimuni’s work on Siddha medicine especially focusing on rejuvenation process is well known and his work “Sattaimuni Karpam ‑100” is followed by many even now. Also, his works on – Muppu and kaya Karpam (universal salt and maintaining youthfulness) is of major importance. As an accomplished Siddha his understand as well as mastery over life were extraordinary. For example, the following theory of Sattaimuni Siddhar is held to be of high importance in the spheres of Siddha Medicine System even now.
அண்டமும்,பிண்டமும்ஒன்றேஅறிந்துதான்பார்க்கும்போதMicrocosm reflects the Macrocosm; And Macrocosm reflects the Microcosm.
To the One who realizes, Macrocosm and Microcosm are one and the same.
Based on this understanding, Saataimuni offered us many important works on Siddha medicine which includes famous work such as sattaimuni karppam 100, sattaimuni vagadam 200, etc.,
However, as a true Siddha he never fails to instruct a spiritual seeker on the importance of work towards Moksha (Ultimate Liberation).
மூலமதி லாறுதலங் கீழே தள்ளி
முதிர்ந்துநின்ற மேலாறு மெடுத்து நோக்கிக்
கோலமுட னுன்மனையைத் தாண்டி யேறிக்
கொடியதொரு ஞானசக்திக் குள்ளேமைந்தா!
பாலமென்ற கேசரியாம் மவுனத் தூன்றிப்
பராபரமாம் மந்திரத்தில் ஞானம் முற்றிக்
காலமொடு பிறப்பிறப்புங் கடந்து போகுங்
கைவிட்ட சூத்திரம்போல் சடமு மோங்கே!!Overcoming the Six Chakras below Mooladhara
And by Slowly Ascending the Six other above it,
With Silence as support
And with the Mantra of the Beyond as the Essence;
Like a thread out of hand,
You too will cross Time, Birth and Death
Though he wrote it the poem straight forward, without any Sandhya Basha- we still find it difficult to grasp the meaning of his songs. In the above song, he mentions Six more chakras below Mooladhara that we should overcome. As an expert Siddha as well as an enlightened Yogi. Saataimuni tells us the result of a prolonged Yoga and meditation.
காலமே அல்லாற் கவனங் கொடுப்போம்
ஆலயத் துள்ளே அம்பலங் காணலாம்
வாலையைப் போல வளர்ந்திடுங் தேகம்
ஓலமிட் டாடி வறுபடுங் காயமே Time becomes naught; worry ceases.
One can see the hall in the temple
The body shall grow youthful
And beautiful, shouting and dancing
Like the previous work of the Siddhas that we presented in this series Sattaimuni’s work, though straight forward in its words, is equally mystical in its meaning and call us for a deep and profound study. We would like to conclude with a poem in which he explains in mystical terms the Leela or the game of this creation of this phenomenon called Life.
வகுந்திடவே ஒருத்தனுட மகிமை கேளு
மகத்தான பூரணமாம் அதீதக் கொம்பில்
புகுந்துநாற் சரீரமுதல் ஞான மெட்டும்
பாங்கான சங்கிலியை அதிலே பூட்டி
மகிழ்ந்துதெய்வ சதாசிவனே பலகை யாக
மகத்தாம்நால் வேதம்நாற் காலாய்ப் பூட்டித்
தொகுத்ததின்மேல் மனோன்மணித்தா யிருந்த யூசல்
சுற்றினால் ஜெகசாலஞ் சுத்தி னாளே. To divide, listen to the greatness of the One!
To the branch to the extreme of the macro-whole
Are tied the chains made of four bodies
And the eight varieties of knowledge.
Here SadaShiva himself is the joyful plank
The plank is raised on the Veda floor
On this well-made seat is seated mother Manonmani
As she swings, the world revolves
In this edition, we have presented a few gems from the works of Sattaimuni Siddhar. 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 email@example.com.