Siddhar Agathiyar

Sage Agathiyar also known as Sage Agastya or Sage Agasthiyar is a legendry Vedic Rishi. He is recognized as one of the Seven Great Rishis or Sage (Saptarishis) of ancient India. Sri Agathiyar has contributed immensely to the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana) and was instrumental in spreading the Vedic religion in Southern India.


Sage Agathiyar is also the foremost of all Siddhas. A Siddha or Siddhar in Tamil means “one who has attained Siddhi”. The Siddhi in its purest form means “attainment of flawless identify with Reality (Brahman) or perfection of spirit”. Siddhas are liberated souls or perfected masters who, have transcended the ahankara (ego), have subdued their minds and have transformed their bodies. According to Jain beliefs, Siddhas reside in the Siddhashila which is situated at the top of the Universe. Siddhi is more commonly used in Hinduism to refer to superhuman or magical powers and Siddhas are the enlightened beings who possess Siddhi. There are eight primary Siddhis called as Ashta Siddhi –

  1. Anima – reducing one’s body to the size of an atom.
  2. Mahima – expanding one’s body to infinitely large size.
  3. Garima – becoming infinitely heavy.
  4. Laghima – becoming almost weightless.
  5. Prapti – having unrestricted access to all places.
  6. Prakamya – realizing whatever one desires
  7. Istva – possessing absolute lordship
  8. Vastva – the power to subjugate all.

Sage Agathiyar is considered as the Guru of all Siddhars, who laid the foundation for Siddha medicine system, one of the oldest medical systems known to mankind. Siddha medicine was known to be originated in South India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Sage Agathiyar’s disciples have contributed immensely on Siddhar literatures and Siddha medicines. Sage Agathiyar is considered as the father of Tamil Literature and compiled the first Tamil grammar called Agathiyam.

Sage Agathiyar is mentioned most among all the ancient texts particularly in Ramayana. It was Sage Agathiyar who gave the hymn to Surya, Aditya Hrudayam to Sri Rama just before Sri Rama’s battle against Ravana.

Sage Agathiyar is an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and Parvati. According to the Legend, the Himalayan plateau could not bear the weight of all Gods, Goddesses and Devas gathered to witness Lord Shiva and Parvati’s wedding ceremony. Lord Shiva requested that Sage Agathiyar alone be sent from Northern India to Southern peninsula to balance the weight on earth. Thus Lord Shiva glorified the devotion of Sage Agathiyar through this event. Sage Agathiyar was able to witness Lord Shiva and Parvati’s wedding ceremony from any place through his Siddhi powers. Through his travels in South India, Sage Agathiyar had spread his teachings. The Siddhar tradition started by Sage Agathiyar still exists in the state of Tamil Nadu and very much revered.


3 Responses to “Siddhar Agathiyar”

  1. Sanjai Athi Says:

    Dear Shankar,
    Thanks for the article. I was always amazed by their magical power. But I understood that it is not all about the power. This is a reflection of how close or united Siddhars are with God. For people who are behind power and fame, the focus happens to be on the power aspect of the Siddhars. For people who are loving and close to God, see Siddhar’s union with God.
    Sage Agathiyar is one who attributed everything to God. He is a very humble person. But he is beyond humbleness since he knew he was not the doer.
    Interesting to note that this article is from a very humble person as well.


  2. Meena Chandramouli Says:

    Dear friends,

    My question to all of you who believe that just like Agathiyar & very many Rishis & yogis, we should NOT consider ourselves as the DOERS & hence, should be very humble just like them, poses a very serious question to me.

    Can I attribute all my bad & evil actions too to GOD & say, I’m NOT the doer of those too?. So, in that sense, even Hitler can be forgiven. So, how does one manage this dilemma, pls?.

    I can humbly attribute all my good deeds to GOD, but all my bad & evil deeds?. Pls. send your answers to my < ....>.com id, pls. Thx so very much, dear pals.

    Kind Regards,
    Meena Chandramouli

  3. Shankar Says:

    Dear Meena,
    Thank you for contacting us. We believe you have contacted us in all earnestness to seek answers to the question.

    Many of us come across the same dilemma. To answer this question, let’s think about the below situation.

    Birds can see during the day in sunlight. During night they cannot see. We all know this. Let’s analyze this.
    1. Is sun responsible for darkness?
    2. Is sun responsible for daylight & brightness?
    3. If Birds consider that they are only using their eyes but it is really the sun shine that makes them see, is that humble and true?
    4. If birds attribute their lack of sight in night is due to Sun’s making, is that valid?

    If you ponder on these questions, one thing will be clear. God is like Sun, ever present, neutral. It is our direction of life whether towards Him or away from Him determines Good or Evil, Dharma or Adharma. If we chose the path of Dharma, of-course we’ll realize the Grace of God & attribute Everything to Him. If we chose the path of Adharma, we wouldn’t have seen yet Sunshine and we develop distorted views, about ourselves, others and God. We need to do penance or meditate and look forward to sunrise to see things clearly.

    If a person is evil and has troubled society beyond redemption, punishment becomes must and this is considered as forgiveness – I.e. To bring that person towards God or in the path of dharma.


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