|Snippets of Information |
RISHIS / SIDDHARS / YOGIS / SAINTS / GURUS
Periyavar Arul Uraigal (In Tamil)
* 6 Mar 2022
Vyaghrapada is a great sage and an ardent devotee of God Shiva,
who lived in the region of Chidambaram. He expressed his devotion to the
great god by offering flowers daily which are even untouched by
honeybees. During which his legs use to get injured by the thorns and
rough surfaces of the trees. Seeing his devotion, Shiva granted the boon
of tiger legs. Hence got the Vyaghrapada (Vyaghra means Tiger and pada
He belongs to the Nandinatha sampradaya sect in Shaivism and is one
among the eight disciples of God Nandi and spread the teaching of
Vyaghrapada was the son of sage Madhyandina who use to live in the banks
of river Ganga. The child acquired remarkable proficiency in Vedas and
other religious scriptures during his early childhood.
Patanjali, a great Maharshi well known for his teachings on yoga sutras
and Sanskrit grammar also came to Chidambaram to see the Anandatandava
became a great friend of Vyaghrapada.
Later, God Shiva, one day gave his presence in Chidambaram and performed
the divine dance of joy (Ananda Tandava) in the kanaka sabha and gave
Moksha to Vyaghrapada, Patanjali and Jaimini.
Vyaghrpada also wrote his own book on the importance of Chidambaram(Sthalapurana).
In India, Vyaghrapada is normally depicted as a human with the legs of
Tiger along with a tail, pointed beard and also having eyes in both the
hands and feet. He is normally seen in a standing posture. However,
sometimes he is also portrayed in a bent position like that of a tiger.
In the Statue present in eastern gopura of the Thillai Nataraja temple,
Vyaghrapada is depicted with tiger legs and also carrying a stick with
hook and flower basket on this right shoulder.
* 18 Oct 2021
Samaya kuravargal nalvar (naalvar)
The four saiva poet saints Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukarasar, Sundarar and Manikavasagar are known as Samaya Kuravargal.
* 12 Sep 2021
Gotra is a concept of patrilineal classification, which
identifies the families of a caste. Each gotra takes the name of a
famous Rishi or sage.
List in Wikipedia
* 22 Aug 21
Karaikal Ammaiyar (Kaaraikaal Ammaiyaar)
In her earlier birth, Karaikal Ammaiyar (Punithavathi) was Sumathi, daughter of
Thumburu (Gandharva or celestial musician playing the veena). She was
deep in prayer to Lord Shiva and failed to notice the presence of
Dhurvasa Maharishi who cursed her to be born on earth.
Punithavathi was born in a Vysya family and was a staunch devotee
of Lord Shiva and respected Siva devotees from a very early age. She was
married to Paramadatta Chettiyar. One day Pramadatta sent home two
mangoes. Punithavathi had served one of the mangoes to a saiva
devotee. During lunch Paramadatta found the mango to be very sweet
and asked for the other. The worried Punithavathi prayed to Lord Shiva
and miraculously a mango appeared in her hand which she served to her
husband. He noticed that the fruit was looking bigger and also
tasted much better. Convinced that it was not the same fruit that he had
sent home, he questioned his wife. She told him the whole
story. He could not believe in such magic and asked her to prove
it by praying and procuring another mango. Punithavathiar prayed
and a mango did appear but it vanished as soon as it was given to
Paramadatta to eat. Now utterly convinced, he felt he could not
live with such a divine person. He left her, married another woman
in a neighbouring town and had a daughter. In order to respect
his first wife, he named the daughter Punithavathi. Dejected
Punithavathi, no longer wanted her pleasant form and prayed to the Lord
to give her a skeletal ghostly body and that she may always serve the
Lord with total devotion.
Now known as Karaikal Ammaiyar, she reached Mount Kailas and unwilling
to place her feet on the sacred mountain, she walked upside down using
her hands. She was blessed to be addressed as Ammai (mother) by
Lord Siva. Asked to reside at Thiruvalangadu to witness his dance by Lord Siva, she
lived singing his praise - Arpudha Thiruvandhadhi and Irattai Mani
malai. Considered the first to have sung in the Andhadhi format,
her songs are referred to as Thiruvalangattu Mooththa Thirupadhigams (oldest).
There is a small shrine dedicated to ammaiyar near the temple of Lord Somanathar and Somanayaki. The Mangani Thiruvizha (festival)
is celebrated annually at Karaikal, Puducherry to commemorate the salvation attained by Karaikal Ammaiyar.
But the dejected Punithavathi found no peace. She prayed for ..
References: shaivam.org, thevaaram.org, temple.dinamalar.com, dpattammal.com
* 24 Jul 21
“She was the daughter of a courtesan in the 15th century, who
refused to follow her mother’s path of luxury. She remained a solitary
woman to have treaded the path of enlightenment uninstructed.
Kanhopatra’s matrilineal origin and her refusal to serve as an accessory
to a male saintly figure, placed her at the periphery of our
patriarchal society and she was habitually brushed off as insignificant
by both scholars and laymen. An autonomous, solitary woman, unattested
by androcentric norms, was a threat and hence ignored.”
- Divya Ravi during the program Kanhopatra featured in the online Geeva Arts Festival 2021
Source: Surrender to the Supreme, Dr. Utpal K Banerjee, narthaki.com
Kanhopatra is believed to have composed many abhangas, but most were not
in written form: only thirty of her abhangas or ovis survive today.
Twenty-three verses of her poems are included in the anthology of
Varkari saints called Sakal sant-gatha. Most of these verses are
autobiographical, with an element of pathos. Her style is described as
unadorned by poetic devices, easy to understand, and with a simplicity
of expression. According to Deshpande, Kanhopatra's poetry reflects the
"awakening of the downtrodden" and the rise of female creative
expression, ignited by the sense of gender equality enforced by the
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836 - 1886)
Indian spiritual guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was born in the village of Kamarpukur, in the Hooghly district of West Bengal.
- He went to school till the age of 12, but stopped after that since he wasn't interested in a 'bread-winning education'
- Ramakrishna was influenced by several religious traditions, including
devotion toward the goddess Kali, Tantra and Vaishnava bhakti and
- He was well-versed in the Puranas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana
- Ramakrishna was 23 when he got married to five-year-old Saradamani
Mukhopadhyaya, later known as Sarada Devi. The age difference was
typical for 19th century rural Bengal
- Ramakrishna became a very influential figure in Sarada's life and she became a strong follower of his teachings
- After the marriage, Sarada stayed at Jayrambati and joined Ramakrishna
in Dakshineswar at the age of 18. By the time his bride joined him,
Ramakrishna had already embraced the monastic life of a sannyasi.
Ramakrishna returned to Calcutta after his marriage and resumed the
charges of the temple again and continued his sadhana. According to his
official biographers, he continued his sadhana under teachers of Tantra,
Vedanta and Vaishnava.
- His chief disciple was Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda established the
Ramakrishna order, which eventually spread its mission posts throughout
References: indiatoday.in, Feb 18, 2016
Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of
different religions and came to the realization that all of them lead to
the same goal. Thus he declared, "As many faiths, so many paths." The
paths vary, but the goal remains the same. Harmony of religions is not
uniformity; it is unity in diversity. It is not a fusion of religions,
but a fellowship of religions based on their common goal - communion
with God. This harmony is to be realized by deepening our individual
References: Swami Adiswarananda, sriramakrishna.in
* Jul 2021
The siddhars are believed to have had powers both major and other
'minor' powers. They are explained in detail in various yogic as well as
religious texts;Thirumandiram 668:
1. To become tiny as the atom within the atom (Anima)
2. To become big in unshakeable proportions (Mahima)
3. To become as light as vapour in levitation (Laghima)
4. To become as heavy as the mountain (Garima)
5. To enter into other bodies in transmigration (Prapti)
6. To be in all things,omni-pervasive (Prakamya)
7. To be lord of all creation in omnipotence (Isatvam)
8. To be everywhere in omnipresence (Vasitvam)
These eight are the Great Siddhis.
* Jul 2021
The 18 Siddhars
Sri SIva Vaakiya Siddhar
Sri Kayilaaya Kambali Sattai Muni Siddhar
Sri Mahaa Bhogar Siddhar
Sri Kaaga Bujandar Siddhar
Sri Pulipaani Siddhar
Sri Sattaimuni Swami
Sri Agappei Siddhar
Sri Azhugani Siddhar
Sri Kudhambai Siddhar
Sri Vallalaar Swamigal
Sri Idaikaadar Siddhar
Sri Pattinathadigalaar Siddhar
Sri Kaduveli Siddhar
Sri Kanjamalai Siddhar
Sri Chennimalai Siddhar
Sri Kabilar Siddhar
Sri Karuvooraar Siddhar
Sri Paambaati Siddhar (Sri Marudhamalai Siddhar)
* Jul 2021
Adi Sankarar established Maths in four locations - Sringeri in the
south, Badri in the north, Dwaraka in the west and Jagannath Puri in the
east. His disciples were made heads of these Matts - Sri
Sureswaracharya in Sringeri, Sri Padmapada in Dwaraka, Sri Totaka in
Badri and Sri Hastamalaka in Puri.
* Jul 2021
The Devara Moovar went to get the darshan of Poovana Naathar (Lord Siva)
at Thirupoovanam near Madurai, the entire sands on the banks of the
river Vaigai seemed to take the form of the Lingam & hence the
saints had to have darshan of the Lord from across the river, not
wanting to step on the sand. Nandi Deva is said to have moved aside
slightly, in order to afford them good darshan of the Lord. As witness
of this story, the idol of the Nandi in front of the Lord is seen
slanting to one side.
* Jul 2021
Naradhar is known as Thiriloga Sanchari, for he is travelling the three worlds.
* Jul 2021
The 12 Alwars - Vaishnava saints
* Jul 2021
The 63 Naayanmars - Saiva saints
10. Kungiliya Kalayanar
18. Tirukkurippu Thondar
23. Kaaraikaal Ammaiyar
24. Apputhi Adigal
26. Naminandi Adigal
30. Dandi Adigal
39. Pugazh Chola
48. Ninraseer Nedumaarar
60. Tirunelakanda Yazhpanaar
- Kaaraikaal Ammaiyar, Mangayarkkarasiyar and Isaignaniyar are the three women nayanmars.
- Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar and Manikkavasagar were the 4 great revered saiva saints (Samayakkuravar Nalvar)
- Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar (composers of Thevaram hymns)
* July 2021
The word Rishis itself means 'Mantra-drashta', seer of a mantra
References - Excerpt from All About Hinduism by Sri Swami Sivananda, vmission.org.in