The Siddha Margam or path of the Siddhas is one that takes into consideration people from all walks of life. The Siddhas prescribe techniques and methods to suite a particular individual although generally they have stipulated four major divisions. Along the way the Siddhas try to accommodate every individual who comes seeking their guidance.
The Siddhas having taken birth as humans, eventually through research into the mysteries of the body and soul, evolved themselves into the ultimate. They strived to achieve Godhead by means of performing austerities or tapas, together with living a life of discipline. After much contemplation and having searched the nooks and corners of this universe for God, they finally realized God in them. They then taught their disciples this path. Together they then laid them out in writings for the future generations to cherish and follow. It is wonderful indeed of the Siddhas that they had documented every finding and discovery and till this day guide humans through their writings, the Nadi and in person. Towards this, they perfected means to enable the body to remain alive for generations and eons and to this date are believed to be living among us. Having achieved deathless-ness, the most compassionate Siddhas render their knowledge to humanity encouraging them to follow suit.
However, not everybody can realize God in them immediately. The Siddhas realized that each person is an individual in his known right having gained experiences through several births and advancing spiritually at their own pace. Understanding this, the Siddhas drafted four stages on the path of the soul's evolution. Therefore, the Siddhas paved the path where one would have to go through the four divisions of yoga towards God realization in a systematic way.
They are namely: Sariyai, Kriyai, Yogam and Gnanam.
The four divisions or paths to Sivahood or Godhead are revealed in verses 270 to 274 of the SHIVAGNANA SIDDHIYAR SUPAKKAM.
The journey in attaining Shiva consists of four paths; Sanmaargam (Jnanam), Sagamaargam (Yogam), Sarputramaargam (Kriyai), Taatamaargam (Sariyai); these four Maargam are paths to Shiva; Jnanam, Yogam, Kriyai, Sariyai; those devoted to it, shall attain Sanmaargam Mukti vis Salokyam, Saameepam, Saarupam, and Saayutchyam.
Man confirms to any one of this stage according to his temperament and nature; beliefs and thoughts; and upbringing and faith. On returning to Kallar after 8 years last October, I realized that true to the teachings of the Siddhas, Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal has constructed his ashram to accommodate devotees, aspirants and volunteers, accordingly.
|The dining and kitchen at Kallar ashram|
As one walks up the path to Tavayogi's ashram perched on a small hill, we notice the Yagam grounds in the distance, where Agathiyar Jayanthi and Guru Puja celebrations are held annually. As we hike up the hill, we come across the garden where the ashram gets its supply of flowers for prayer. Then we come to the dinning hall cum kitchen. For those who prefer to serve the Lord, the guru and the devotees, they happily settle to help out with the following chores that forms the first or elementary path.
The first path Taatamaargam (Sariyai), or living in the world of Shiva, is also known as the path of the servant. In the temples of Shiva, cleaning the floors, decoration with flower wreaths and garlands, cooking many victuals for God and devotees, chanting the glories of Shiva, lighting the sacred lamps, tending the sacred gardens and flower beds, serving the visiting devotees of Shiva and attending to their needs are the path of Taatamaargam. They who perform these acts live in the world of Shiva.
|Worship of Agathiyar at Kallar lead by Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal|
Next we come across the gurus dwelling. Then we head up to meet Agathiyar, poised majestically and Thava Murugar, seated in meditation. For those who come seeking the Lord, they join together in prayer and salutation to Agathiyar and Lord Murugan who are in the form of a fiber statue, worshiping God with a form, rupam. Here discourses are held by Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal and Mataji Sarojini Ammaiyaar. Here too the monthly yagam is held on Purnima days. This is where devotees meet the guru too and speak their hearts out. This conforms to the second path as follows.
Next, Sarputramaargam (Kriyai) or the ritual worship of Shiva is known as the path of the son. Fresh-smelling flowers, incense, sacred lamp, articles for ritual ablution of the idol, food offerings to God, five part purification, seat for the deity, invocation of the God in the form of light and of life into the idol, invitation of the deity, worship by pure devotion, eulogizing God with love, offering flowers, keeping alive the sacrificial fire, doing all these ritual acts daily. By these acts the devotees abide very close to ninmalan (Shiva with no impurities).
The third path, Sagamaargam (Yogam) or attaining the form of Shiva is also known as the path of companionship. Control of the senses; regulating the two breaths (in-breath and out-breath); realizing the essence of the six adhara kundalini chakras with triangles and squares; worshipping the presiding deities of each chakra; ascending to Brahma Randhra and inducing the lotus bud to blossom; stimulating the sun mandala there and helping the resulting ambrosia spread all through the body; worshipping and meditating the effulgent Shiva without remissness; and observing the ashtanga Yogam. These devotees will get the form of Shiva.
|The mystical rudraksham worshipped as a Shivalingam|
|The Aaru Aathaara Peedham & worship of Jyothi|
The final path, Sanmaargam (Jnanam) is also known as the true path. Wisdom from all Puranas, Sastras and sacred texts of all external religions; elucidation of all and rejecting the falsehood as untruth; knowledge of God, soul and fetters; acquisition of true knowledge of the righteous path for attaining Shiva; and merger with Shiva without any differentiation among knowledge, knower and the object of knowledge. People in this just path acquire greatness and attain Shiva.
The Siddha Sugabramar in the GNANA SUTHIRAM mentions these four divisions too.
When the Parama Guru arrives, The path of Sariyai shall arise, Slowly when the path of Sariyai is trod, Kriyai path shall arise shortly, Upon walking the path of Kriyai, Son, the Yogam path will clearly arise, Walking the path of Yogam, The Jnanam path shall appear.
The Siddha Shivavaakiyar too mentions these four divisions.
Upon entering Sariyai, Salokyam shall one receive,Through Kriyai, Saameepam shall he reach,In yoga, Saarupam shall be attained,Jnanam, these four, Saayutchyam shall one attain.
The Siddha Kunangkudi Masthan Sahib who sings the praise of Agathiyarin the AGASTHIYAR SATAGAM pleads of Agathiyar for the experience of all these divisions in the 52nd verse.
The various paths and stages on spiritual development and the respective stages of Mukti as revealed in the SHIVAGNANA SIDDHIYAR is translated by G. Vanmikanathan in his PATHWAY TO GOD TROD BY SAINT RAMALINGAR (G.Vanmikanathan, Pathway to God Trod by Saint Ramalingar),
Sanmaargam, Sagamaargam, Sarputramaargam Taatamaargam,to gain Sankaran (Shiva),good paths four are these;Jnanam, Yogam, Kriyai, Sariyai, thus also these are called.
To aid us in our understanding, G. Vanmikanathan categorizes the famous four Samayakuravars (also known as Naalvar or Naayanmaar’s) in the respective paths and stages of spiritual development.
Saint Thirugnaanasambandhar as a follower of the Jnanam-Sariyai Maargam;
Saint Thirunaavukkarasar is identified as one who followed the Jnanam-Kriyai Maargam
Saint Sundaramoorthi Swamigal as a follower of the Jnanam-Yogam Maargam, and
Saint Maanikkavaachakar as the follower of Jnanam-Sanmaargam.
Ramalinga Adigal too has spoken of the various stages of spiritual experiences.
For one to attain spiritual illumination or Jnanam on the onset is a difficult task since we are dealing with mind-stuff that is not easily comprehended, the Siddhas take us through these four stages, from the elementary level to the attainment of gnosis (knowledge). The Siddhas devised these paths so that every individual could get on the bandwagon to Godhead and made sure no one was left out.
Siddhas have walked the path to Godhead. By holding on to them, we too can see and experience all that was seen and experienced by them. We need to get their attention. When we call out the names of these Siddhas, their attention falls on us. We need to sincerely adhere to their instructions and guidance, and pray that they show solace and shower their grace onto us. Once God and the Siddhas shower their grace we are assured of their blessing and we then shall have the strength to undertake our mission with an assurance of success. The results are seen immediately. Devotees of the Siddhas can attest to this truth.
The true path is extremely simple. The Siddha Margam is the simplest path to Godhead. We start with performing charity which helps invoke compassion in us. We do service to mankind and God, helping us to move away from being self-centered and selfish. We start taking care of the body, to receive God in us. We prepare this body, which then evolves into a temple so that God is received into this body. We take steps to prepare it to unite with him while still alive in this very body. God then resides in this body, in every cell and atom and brings changes to this body. Through their teachings and guidance, we build up the body and soul to make it a suitable dwelling for the Lord. The changes take place internally, which slowly influences our outer appearances, thoughts, and the way we see things. We start meditating on him, and eventually merge with him.
I have seen the Naadi or palm leaf revelations 49 times since 2002. I had all this while regarded the Naadi revelations as personal. I only decided to reveal, some of its contents after returning from Tavayogi's ashram in Kallar last October. Tavayogi who had given my wife and me and other disciples initiation in the form of a mantra of Agathiyar in 2005, had also cautioned us not to reveal the mantra. But last October as we parted, Tavayogi told me to reveal it. I understood that the time had come to reveal all things related to the Siddhas. Many messages were conveyed by the Siddhas in these Naadi readings, among them:
10.3.2007 Aasi Kaandam by Bhrigu. On techniques of meditation, on food, on mantras,
4.3.2007 Aasi Sukma Kaandam by Agathiyar. On prayers. Techniques of meditation, on Nama Japam,
23.4.2007 Aasi by Kagapusandar. On Siddha Margam. On Dharmalinga Swami. On 3rd World Conference of Siddha Philosophy,
2007 Aasi by Thirumular. On prayers. On Chidambaram,
12.6.2007 Aasi by Agathiyar. On Agathiyar Vanam. On Siddha Margam. On being a householder. On prayers. On Tavayogi,
24.7.2007 Aasi by Agathiyar. On Tavayogi. On Guru Nool. On Supramania Swami. Miracles at home,
23.9.2007 Aasi by Thirumular. On Agathiyar Vanam. On Siddhar Naama Japam. On Thirumanthiram & Agathiyar Nigandu. On prayers. On Karma. On miracles at home,
13.10.2007 Gnana Nool by Agathiyar. On jyothi & oli & Murugan. On chanting Muruga. On the form of Siddhas. On Agal Vilakku.
19.8.2008 Gnana Suksmam by Agathiyar. On gaining merits. On prayers. On Rengaraja Desigar.
Aasi by Agathiyar. On Siddhas & Siddha Margam. On prayers. On Rengaraja Desigar. On breathing techniques & its benefits. On Vinayagar & Buddha.
Aasi by Agathiyar. On tavam. On Siddha Margam. On prayers. On Agathiyar's Peedham. On Raghavendra Peedham. On changing forms.
Jeeva Nadi by Agathiyar. On Agathiyar Peedham & specifications & rituals. On Agathiyar Vanam.
13.1.2007 Gnana Kaandam by Bhogar. First World Conference of Siddha Philosophy. On Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal. At Courtallam. On prayers. On Siddha Marga.
20.1.2007 Aasi Kaandam Gnana Kaandam by Sugabrahman. On Tavayogi & Supramania Swami. On Kundrakudi Adigal.
27.1.2007 Aasi Kaandam Gnana Kaandam by Bhrigu Maharishi. On Raghavendra. On Kallar. On Pothigai. On Tavayogi.
3.2.2007 Aasi Kaandam Gnana Kaandam by Kagapusandar. On Prayers. On Yercaud.
10.2.2007 Aasi Kaandam by Agathiyar. On Supramania Swami's samadhi. On Tavayogi. On prayers. On Kuttu Puja.
17.2.2007 Aasi Kaandam by Agathiyar. On prayers. On writing books.
24.2.2007 Aasi Kaandam by Kagapusandar. On Siddha Marga. On Dharmalinga Swamigal.
4.3.2007 Aasi Kaandam Sukma Kaandam by Agathiyar. On prayers. On karma.
27.8.2009 Sukma Kaandam by Agathiyar. On spreading the Siddhas fame. On Gnana Marga. On charity. On prayers. On tavam.
26.12.2009 Sindhanai Sukma Aasi Kaandam by Agathiyar. On Agathiyar's arrival in Malaysia. On prayers. On upcoming Agathiyar Guru Puja & Jayanthi. On Agathiyar's Jeeva Samadhi at Aanandasayanam.
Februari 2010 Aasi Kaandam by Agathiyar. On recent Guru Puja & prayers. On Siddha Marga. On his arrival.
2.1.2010 Aasi Sukma Kaandam by Agathiyar. On the day of Agathiyar Jayanthi 2010. On Agathiyar's arrival. On prayers.
3.4.2010 Aasi Kaandam by Agathiyar. On prayers & libation. On Agathiyar Vanam.
12.7.2010 Aasi Sukma Nigandu Naadi by Agathiyar. On spreading Agathiyar's fame. On the benefits of prayers. On prayers during Purnima. On Agathiyar's arrival.
2010. Sinthai Gnana Sukma Kaandam by Agathiyar. On prayers. On benefits of prayer. On kutthu puja & moving Agathiyar. On prayers. On Agathiyar Vanam. On opening eyes. On changing forms.
17.10.2010 Ganapathy Naadi Gnana Sukma by Agathiyar. On prayers. On charity & tavam. On Annette Merle Cleveland. On spreading Agathiyar's fame. On Ganapathy Dasar. On Vinayagar Chathurthi. On Agathiyar Vanam. On the universe in Agathiyar & Agathiyar in the Universe. On changing forms. On Navarani.
In almost all the readings Agathiyar and the Siddhas have been reminding me of the importance and significance and benefit of conducting and performing Puja or prayers. Similarly in 1996, Dr Krishnan, friend, Siddha practitioner and astrologer, pointed out the importance of prayers to me. Tavayogi Thangarasan Adigal has a mantra too confirming the importance of prayers, "Potrinaal Unathu Vinai Agalum Appa; Pottrinaal Puranamum Pesum ".
This is the starting ground. This is the first step to much bigger things. Let us take the first step.
This is the starting ground. This is the first step to much bigger things. Let us take the first step.