The dictionary defines "Siddhars" they are “Souls of Infinite Elightenment” as a divine human being of great purity and holiness, particularly characterized by eight super natural powers or the ashtamaha siddhis. The Siddha Purusha was one who had gone beyond the physical to spiritual realms, and by conquering the senses had attained union with the one God. Having conquered the senses, the Siddhar turned his body into a channel for spiritual attainment. As defined in the chapter on Sri Vidya, the Kundalini was awakened to attain enlightenment.
The Siddhar saw his body as a temple, the Atman was God. Their powers were used to benefit humanity and mankind, never for mere personal gain.
Most of them treated the body as merely a tool for enlightenment; some of them had even completely transformed the physical body into light. The extent of their knowledge covered all areas of human thought, the past, present and future, with their divine powers nothing was hidden from them.
As indicated by the Sathguru, they have been consecrated at the Sakthi Peeta Brindavanam. The brief life stories of the 18 Siddhars are given below.
Born with Lord Shiva's name on his lips this great sage preached that the constant repetition of the Lords name would even turn one's body into gold. He gave up the material world and is believed to have lived for over 4,000 years. His works include Naadi Parikshai and Sivavakiyar 1000.
Born in Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu Sri Kaaga Bujandarahad the ability to see the truth in everything around him. This great saint is believed to have witnessed several cycles of creation and destruction adopting a crow's form. Famous works include Kaaga Bujanda Gnyanam, Kaaka Kaiveeyam 33.
Born in China, Sri Pulipani Siddhar is the disciple of Maha Bogar Swamigal. When Maha Bogar crafted the idol of Lord Muruga at Palani, it was Sri pulipani Siddhar who collected the required herbs. His famous works include pulipaniJaalam 325, pulipaniVaidyam 500.
Sri Sattaimuni Siddhar was bom in Sri Lanka and came to Tamil Nadu. Seeing Maha Bogar in a temple and captivated by his radiance he abandoned his family and became his disciple. His works in simple language appeal greatly to the common man; his works include Sri Sattaimuni Karpam 100 and Sri SattaimuniNigandu 1200.
Nayanaar a weaver by birth was displeased with mere materialistic success. Visualising Sage Vyasa as his Guru he sat in meditation under a Jyoti tree. AgapaySiddhar as he came to be known wanted people to control the negative feelings within them and to realize God. His writings include AgappaySiddharpaadal 90 and AgappayPoornaGnyanam 15.
Sri AzhuganiSiddhar advised people to shun the materialistic world and to embrace spiritualism. He made use of rare herbs like Azhugani and Thozugani and that gave him his name. His famous works include AzhuganiVaithiam and AzhuganiYogam.
Born into the Yadava clan Sir KudumbaiSiddhar was an attractive child. His mother used to adorn his ears with kudumbai an ornament and hence his name. At the age of 16 a saint blessed him with the knowledge of the Self. There after he retired from the materialistic world and wrote of God and self in simple language. His works include KudumbaiGnyanaSoostram 18, KudumbaiSiddharPaadalgal.
Ramalinga Swami was also called Vallalar. He was an enlightened sage. As a young boy he wasn't interested in studies and used to indulge in prayers. He placed a mirror in front of him and tried to garland it and pray. Instead of his reflection he found the image of Lord Muruga. Sri Vallalarpreached equalityto all mankind. His penance was so great that lamps burned with water rather than oil. RamalingaAdigalar attained Mahasammadhi at Vadalur where he transformed his physical body into light to merge with the Divine. His famous works include MahaDeyvaMalai and DeyvaMaDniMaalai.
Sri Idaikadar is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was a goat herd and there was a big famine troubling the country. But as he was blessed by a siddhar he had the vision to build a house made of grains and fed his goats with plants which would keep them alive without water. The nine planets decided to visit him. He fed them with grains and goat's milk. They were so contented that they fell asleep and he changed their positions suitably so that the rains poured torrentially and he saved the land from the famine attack. His famous works include Idaikadargnyanasoothram 70 and IdaikadarKanidaNool.
He was a wealthy merchant. His son enlightened him by saying that his money was of no use if he did not share it with the needy like a needle without an eye. So he renounced the world and travelled widely in search of his Lord. The lord gave him a sugar cane and told him that when the bitterness in the cane turned sweet he would attain salvation. At Tiruvotriyur the cane became sweet. He asked the children playing in the beach to bury him in the sand. Thinking it to be a game they did so. Later when they dug up they just found a linga.His famous works include Thiruvedaimarudur Mumani Kovai, Thiru Ekamba Mudayar Thiuvandaadi.
Sri KanchamalaiSiddhar was born in the hills and had spent his life in the caves. He made use of his special powers to travel in the air. His attire was created out of herbs and he was extremely fond of birds.His famous works include Kanchamalai Siddhar Kalakyaanam, Kanchamalai Siddhar Paadalgal.
Sri ChennimalaiSiddhar was capable of curing seemingly incurable diseases. He united with Lord Shiva while meditating under a tree. The tree where he attained Jeeva Samadhi is even today an object of worship. His writings are found in the PadinenSiddharKovai. He has written the Pinakesar Thattuva Paadalkal.
Sri Kapilar incurred the curse of Lord Shiva lord and was born in Madambakkam as a cow where he attained salvation. He worshipped Lord Shiva at the Dhenupureeswarar Temple. His works include KadaichangaIlakiya Noolgal.
Karuvoorar belonged to a family of Viswakarmas. He is said to have sculpted in gold the dancing Nataraja as requested by the Chola king Hiranayavarman. It was under his guidance that the Brihardeeswarar temple was built by Raja Raja Chola at Tanjavur. His famous works are Karuvoorar Vaidya Kaviyam 700, Karuvoorar Pala Thirattu.
His early days were spent catching snakes. Once when he was hunting for snakes he was advised by a sage to conquer the snake within. Sri SattaimuniSiddharbecame his guru and he performed yoga for many years. His famous works are Paampatti Siddhar Gnyana Soosthram Paampaati Siddhar Paadalgal.