Faith

Powers of siddhars

Snakes have always been considered sacred, and there was a siddhar in Tamil Nadu called Paambbati siddhar (paambu - snake). He knew how to catch snakes. Once, when he went to the hill known as Maruda malai, he met a siddhar, who gave him deeksha. Paambaati siddhar wrote many meaningful verses, which stress the importance of detachment, said Malayaman in a discourse. He says snakes are the ear ornaments of Siva and a snake is the umbrella of Vishnu. While talking of the powers of siddhars, he says they can handle the eight important snakes easily. They can convert something substantial to dust, and vice versa. They can bend the sky like a bow. Fire cannot harm siddhars, he says.

His songs are full of philosophical lessons and warn of the dangers of being attached to material objects. Will your wealth come to your rescue when Yama arrives, he asks. The mouth that ate delicacies will be full of mud when one dies. Just as a deer craving for water to quench its thirst believes a mirage to be a water source, so do we think that wealth is our refuge. Brahma has made this human body, which has a short life. Just as the bubbles in water are here one minute and gone the next, the human body too is present on this earth for a short span of time. The body is affected by three impurities. Saiva Siddhanta talks about these three impurities (malams)- anavam (ego), kanmam (karma) and mayai (illusion). Even if you bathe in all the sacred rivers of the land, you cannot get rid of these impurities. You may wash a fish many times, but it still retains its smell. Likewise, the three impurities too are an essential part of the body. Pambaati Siddhar offers penance as a solution to all ills. He urges people to worship God, and to keep in mind the impermanence of the body.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 8:14:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/powers-of-siddhars/article25891436.ece

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