This is an ongoing series on the Siddhar Paramabarai of India. Siddha refers to perfected masters who have achieved a high degree of physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. We look at various Siddhas who have graced upon this earth with their Presence – their life and the wisdom they shared in the form of poems, couplets that are referred to as Siddhar Padalgal. To begin with, we are looking at Siddhas from the tradition of “Pathinen Siddhargal”. In the previous issues, we saw about Kudhambai Siddhar, Pambatti Siddhar, Idaikkaattu Siddhar, Sattaimuni Siddhar, Sundaraanandar Siddhar, Karuvoorar Siddhar and Goraknatha Siddhar. We also saw how the Siddhargal poetry is presented in Sandhya Bhasha. In this article, we will see the glory of Matsyendranatha Siddhar.
Machamuni is a great siddhar who was the brought up as a child by Siddhar Pinnakeesar. He is also Pinakeesar’s disciple. North Indian legends tell that Machamuni was born under an inauspicious star. His parents threw the baby into the ocean. A fish swallowed the baby, where he lived for many years. Then there is a story that once Lord Siva was preaching Uma Devi. Uma Devi had slept when Lord Siva was preaching her. However, the fish with the baby was listening to the lecture. Later on, Siddhar Machamuni was rediscovered by Lord Siva. Although it is a story, it is fascinating indeed. In the 523rd song of “Karuvoorar Vadha Kaviyam“, Karuvoorar says that Machamuni is a Sembadavar. Sembadavar’s are the traditional fisherman. From the name Machamuni, it is easy to say that he is a fisherman (Macham mean fish in Tamil). Siddhar Agasthiar in the 218th song of his book “Amudha Kalai Ganam ” says that Machamuni belongs to the Sembadavar social group. However, Siddhar Bogar in the 5700th song of ” Bogar 7000 “, says that he belongs to ” Kalludayar ” social group. Also in song 5873, he says that Machamuni was born on the Rohini star in the Tamil month of Adi (July-August). Understanding the impermanence of human life, he in search of truth got teachings from Siddhar Kakapujandar. In the book ” Agasthiar 12000 “, in the fifth Kandam, Siddhar Agasthiar says that Machamuni had taken lessons from Siddhar Kakapujandar. He also says that he donated all his wealth to poor people on attaining spiritual salvation. He followed vaasiyogam and awakened his kundalini energy to understand his inner self and attain siddhis. After 12 years of vaasiyogam, he got astamasiddhis and pronounced his major works in Siddha medicine system. By tremendous efforts and constant practice of meditation and yoga, he realized the true nature of the Self. After learning Siddha medicine, alchemy, gnana and Siddha yoga philosophies, by dint of his deep meditation he proposed many theories in the space and atomic sciences. Machamuni in his 97th song of his book ” Machamuni Thandagam 100 “, also mentions the words “Guru Nandhi” and “Guru Bogar“, while offering prayers to his guru. Hence, it can be said that Siddhar Bogar and Siddhar Nandeeswarar were also his gurus. Machamuni also mentions about the Siva Thandava witnessed by Siddhar Pathanjali in one of his songs. Hence, it can be said that he had lived in the period when Siddhar Pathanjali and Sri Viyakrabathar witnessed the Siva Thandava in Thillai. Thillai is the other name of Chidambaram and is one of the five dance halls of Lord Siva.
Machamuni Siddhar is called Machindranath or Matsyendranath in the northern part of India. He is traditionally considered the founder of hatha yoga as well as the author of some of its earliest texts. He is also seen as the founder of the Natha Sampradaya, having received the teachings from Shiva. He is mainly associated with kaula shaivism. He is also one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas and considered the guru of Gorakshanath, another prominent figure in early hatha yoga. He is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists, and is sometimes regarded as an incarnation of Avalokiteśvara. He attained jeeva samadhi in Thiruparankundram in Tamil nadu.
Some of the books written by Machamuni are
Machamuni Perunool Kaviyam 800
Machamuni Sarakku Vaippu 800
Machamuni Vagaram 800
Machamuni Yogam 800
Machamuni Vaithiyam 800
Machamuni Thirumandiram 800
Machamuni Gyanam 800
Machamuni Vedantham 800
Machamuni Gurunool 800
Machamuni Thitchavidhi 100
Machamuni Thandagam 100
Machamuni Gyana Thitchai 50
Machamuni Sthoola Sukkuma Karana Gyanam 30
Machamuni Suthiram 21
It is our blessing and privilege to expound some of the works of the great and venerated Matsyendranatha Siddhar or Machamuni. In this article, we will study one specific aspect from Machamuni Siddhar which is about the Kechari Mudra. Kechari Mudra is a vital practice from the Yogic perspective and Machamuni Siddhar instructs on its importance, practice, and benefits through his poems.
ஓங்கார மாவதென்ன வென்று கேட்கில்
உகாரமொன்று மகாரமொன்று அகார மொன்று
பாங்காக நின்றபிர ணவமே யாச்சு
பாரிந்தக் கருவல்லோ ஆசான் சொன்னார்
வாங்காத அகாரஉகா ரத்திற் சேர்ந்து
வன்னிநின்ற யிடமல்லோ மகார மாச்சு
தாங்காதே உரைக்கிற்றகே சரியைக் காட்டும்
சச்சிதா னந்தமென்ற மவுனந் தானே
|What becomes Aumkara, if so asked,
Are the syllables u, m and a
Standing together to become Pranava.
See! Isn’t this the nucleus said by the Master!
Merging with the a and u, unuttered,
Hasn’t the fire-residing place become the m syllable!
Inexplicable, indicating Kechari,
The silence called Sat-cit-ananda!
The great Siddhar Boganathar has referred to Kechari mudra as the king of mudras. The Kechai mudra is a very advanced yogic practice where the tongue is stretched and elongated through various practices so as to roll it back and penetrate the through the upper passage to the nostrils. This is done so as to arouse the kundalini to higher chakras, thereby leading to the effulgence of ambrosia, and thereby leading to the state of Sat-cit-ananda. As part of the Anaadi Foundation’s winter and summer yatras, we have visited the Kriya Yoga Ashram in Tapovan, Rishikesh. The Ashram has been established by Shankarandagiri Maharaj coming in the lineage of Yukteshwaragiri Maharaj. We found instructions to sadhakas printed and pasted in many places saying, “Remember to hold Kechari mudra while chanting your mantra.” Do join us the next time! And what is result of practising Kechari mudra? Siddhar Machamuni explains,
|காணப்பா யிதுகண்டால் ஞானஞ் சித்தி
கைவிட்ட சூஸ்திரம்போல் தேகஞ் சித்தி
ஊணப்பா அஷ்டாங்க யோகஞ் சித்தி
ஒன்றுமில்லை யென்றுசொன்ன சரங்கள் சித்தி
தொணப்பா பிறவியத்த குணமோ சித்தி
சொல்லரிதா மென்றுசொன்ன மவுனஞ் சித்தி
வீணப்பா மற்றதெல்லாம் வாய்பேச் சாகும்
மேவியந்த கேசரிக்குள் விரைந்து கூடே
|See! If this is realized, it leads to Siddhi of Wisdom
(A Kite) Untethered from the thread, leads to Siddhi of Body
Experience of the soul, leading to Ashtanga Yoga Siddhi
The state of empty breath is a Siddhi
Attaining the quality of no births is a Siddhi
The inexplicable silence is a Siddhi
All else are vain pursuits/talk
Embrace the Kechari and quickly merge
Machamuni Siddhar very mystically explains how one can gain Siddhi over body and mind by the practice of Kechari Mudra and how important it is. He compares the one who has mastered Kechari Mudra to a Kite untethered from its thread. Here thread refers to the knot that ties us to the body. What happens to one who untethers from this knot? What is the freedom they get? Machamuni continues:
மதிகெட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு
மகத்தான கேசரிக்குள் வாழ்ந்தோர்க் காச்சு
விதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு
வேதாந்த சிரோமணியாம் ஞானிக் காச்சு
பதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு
பராபரத்தை யம்பாரமாய்ப் பாய்ந்தொர்க் காச்சு
கெதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு
கேள்வியற்ற மூடருக்குக் கிட்டுந் தானே
|The term intoxicated person has come to refer
Those who are dwelling in the sacred Kechari
The term annihilators of destiny has come to refer
Those who are shining Vedanta-Jnani gems
The term ungodly persons has come to refer
Those who have plunged in the Parapara
The term non-conformists has come to refer
Those who are dumb with no more questions
Siddhi over Kechari Mudra gives us spiritual intoxication that no one can dream of. It is our wish that you explore this yogic treasure under an able-Guru. To go beyond likes and dislikes, to reach the state of Moksha- the Eternal Freedom!
In this edition, we have presented a few gems from the works of Matsyendranatha Siddhar from his tamil text “Kaarana Jnana Suttiram”. We invite you to contemplate more on these lines and share with us your insights. We also invite you to share with us lines from Siddhar Padalgal that have deeply touched you. You could write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In absorbing this, may our abhyasa continue, may our shraddha in the Siddha Parampara strengthen and may revelations awaken as we grow within!