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Siddhar Charithiram : Vanmikar

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, Gorak­natha Sid­dhar, Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar, Ramade­var Sid­dhar, Dhan­van­tari Sid­dhar, Patan­jali Sid­dhar, Sid­dha Thiru­moolar and Sid­dha Kon­ga­nar. In the Guru Poorn­i­ma spe­cial edi­tion of series we were blessed to also write about the great Sid­dha Avvai.We also saw how the Sid­dhar­gal poet­ry is pre­sent­ed in Sand­hya Bhasha. In this arti­cle, we will see the glo­ry of Sid­dha Van­mikar.

Van­mikar Sid­dhar Sid­dha Van­mikar’s birth star is Anusham in the Tamil month of Purat­tasi (Sep­tem­ber-Octo­ber). There is an argu­ment that the Valmi­ki who wrote Valmi­ki Ramayana is dif­fer­ent from the sid­dhar Van­mikar of the south. How­ev­er, sid­dhar Bog­ar in his script “Bog­ar 7000” pro­claims that they are one and the same. He says that Van­mikar is the name of the sid­dhar who wrote Valmi­ki Ramayana in song (verse) num­ber 5834. It is also inter­est­ing because in Tamil the let­ter L and N are inter­change­able under cer­tain Gram­mar rules. Fur­ther, in his next song (verse num­ber 5835), Bog­ar says that Van­mikar ‘s age is 700 and some odd days. He also says that he is a learned schol­ar in Tamil lan­guage. He also makes a ref­er­ence about his samad­hi. Sid­dha Vanmikar’s samad­hi is locat­ed at Ettuku­di in Tamil Nadu. Leg­end has it that Van­mikar estab­lished a tem­ple at Thiru­van­mayur with the Lord’s name Marund­his­varar, Lord of med­i­cines. It is held that Sid­dha Van­mikar used this tem­ple premis­es to treat his patients. We can also see a tem­ple of Sid­dha Van­mikar right in the mid­dle of the road, oppo­site to the ECR bus stop at Thiru­van­mayur , Chen­nai, Tamil Nadu.

It is also said that Van­mikar alias Valmi­ki wrote the epic Ramayana on get­ting the spir­i­tu­al knowl­edge from Nara­da. The author of the Ramayana was orig­i­nal­ly a rob­ber who preyed upon trav­ellers in the for­est. Once, when the sev­en sages (sap­ta-ris) passed by Valmi­ki stopped them and demand­ed their valu­ables. They ques­tioned his actions and with great remorse Valmi­ki felt his error, and beg­ging for­give­ness, received ini­ti­a­tion into the mantra of Rama reversed “ma-ra, ma as he felt unwor­thy of the true name. By repeat­ing this with­out pause it became “rama, ram­ma and he sat in penance for a long time. So long that an anthill formed around him and being trans­formed he attained a new birth from the talmi­ka. mean­ing anthill, his name became Valmi­ki.

Once he wit­nessed a hunter shoot one of the pair of Kraucha birds togeth­er in love-play. He cursed the hunter in words which spon­ta­neous­ly sang out as a new metre Anush­tubh. Sage Nara­da blessed to con­tin­ue and com­pose the Ramanyana in the new metre. Thus, Valmi­ki also came to be known as Adi Kavi, the first poet.

Now let us study a few vers­es from Van­mikar Siddhar’s Tamil poems from “Suthi­ra Jnanam”. In this blaz­ing song, Van­mikar Sid­dhar pros­trates to Lord Shi­va and brings out the ulti­mate Truth. He describes the Word, mean­ing the first sound vibra­tions or the point of man­i­fes­ta­tion. We can see how the word “image”, mean­ing visu­als as appear­ing chrono­log­i­cal­ly after “Word”. And the last line inspires the seek­er to focus on the breath. This song is sheer thun­der!

இருள்வெளியாய் நின்றசிவ பாதம் போற்றி எழுத்ததனின் விவரத்தை விரித்துச் சொல்வேன் அருவுருவாய் நின்றதுவே எழுத்த தாகும் ஆதியந்தம் அண்டபிண்ட மதுவே யாகும் திருவுருவாய் ரவிமதியாய் நின்ற ரூபம் சிவசக்தி திருமாலின் ரூப மாகும் வருமுருவே சிவசக்தி வடிவ மாகும் வந்ததிலும் போனதிலும் மனத்தை வையே

Hail the holy feet of Shi­va stand­ing as the vast dark space I shall describe in detail the Word That which is unman­i­fest and man­i­fest is this Word It sig­ni­fies the begin­ning and the end; the uni­verse and the body The divine form, the form that stands as sun and the moon This is the form of Shi­va-Shak­thi and also Thiru­mal (Vish­nu) The form thus is the image of Shi­va-Shak­thi Focus the mind in what comes in and goes out

Valmikar Sid­dhar also bestows on the sad­hakas with yog­ic guid­ance about prana and nadis, In this song.

வந்ததுவும் போனதுவும் வாசி யாகும் வானில்வரும் ரவிமதியும் வாசி யாகும் சிந்தைதெளிந் திருப்பவனா ரவனே சித்தன் செகமெலாஞ் சிவமென்றே யறிந்தோன் சித்தன் நந்தியென்ற வாகனமே துல தேகம் நான்முகனே கண்மூக்குச் செவுநா காகும் தந்திமுகன் சிவசக்தி திருமூச் சாகும் தந்தைதாய் ரவிமதியென் றறிந்து கொள்ளே

That which has come and gone is indeed the breath The sun and moon in the skies are also breath The con­scient is one whose thoughts are crys­talline Sid­dha is the real­ized one who sees the world as Shi­va The gross phys­i­cal body man­i­fest is Nan­di Eyes, nose, ears and tongue are the four-faced Brah­ma Lord Vinaya­ka, Shi­va-shak­thi are the Divine Breath Know the sun and moon as the father and moth­er

Sid­dha Van­mikar gifts direct yog­ic instruc­tions to seek­ers in these glow­ing lines. Soak in!

அறிந்துகொள்ளு பூரகமே சரியை மார்க்கம் அடங்குகின்ற கும்பகமே கிரியை மார்க்கம் பிரிந்துவரும் ரேசகமே யோக மார்க்கம் பசிக்காமல் நின்றதுவே ஞான மார்க்கம் மறிந்துடலில் புகுகின்ற பிராண வாயு மகத்தான சிவசக்தி அடங்கும் வீடு சிறந்தமனத் தெளிவாகிச் சேர்ந்தான் சித்தன் சிவசிவா அவனவனென றுரைக்க லாமே

For you to know, poora­ka is the carya path Con­trol of kumb­ha­ka is the kriya path Reca­ka that comes apart is the yoga path That in which one remains stead­fast is jnana path Breath­ing life into the body is prana The supreme abode of Shi­va-Sak­thi Rel­ish­ing thus with a clear mind is a Sid­dha He is Shi­va and so it can be affirmed

The elixirs offered by Sid­dha Van­mikar are so many. 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

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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