Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Did you know of these Siddha yogis??

The Tamil super hit film released recently with Surya as the lead (Elzham Arivu/Seventh Sense ) and which is said to have intrigued Aamir Khan enough for him to have bought the script rights to the story, is based on the Shaolin master Bodhi dharma who is from the south of India and who went to China to launch that special form of martial arts.  (The film has a clip from people from around the world who know that Bodhi Dharma was an Indian yogi who had come to China to teach Shaolin art. The film also has a clip from south India where nobody has heard of him!!!! That says a lot about our schools and our awareness quotient -- even I must confess to have learnt of it after reading a short play on him by Pratap Sharma titled Zen Katha: the story of Bodhidharma(Boghanathar, was his name in the south). I wonder when Aamir makes the film, whether more people will finally know of our yogi greats...Why our schools ignore our mythology, moral stories, etc is beyond me. There will be a clamor from faux religionists -- but we must be taught from all religions and then we could appreciate how we are only all part of one circle which never ends -- as that song in Pocahontas goes )

Here is a para I  wrote (for an India Abroad article) on these amazing yogis from the south of India. A vast number of their books is said to have been destroyed in the several floods that swept the world...Also,these yogis also deliberately sought to be obsure, because to seek fame, when alive or dead, would have contraindicated their yogic ideals.

Here, this bit about their names, explains a lot and makes you wonder at this amazing tradition:

They even gave themselves shocking names to indicate their rebelliousness against prevailing social prejudices: one called himself Punnakkicar (The cow-dung saint) and another called himself (Kaga-pucundar, or crow's excrement), records S. N. Kandaswamy in his book The Yoga of Siddha Avvai. They encouraged an agnostic philosophy that rebelled against casteism or any systemized prejudice that sought to keep others from their birthright to mukti or liberation. They deliberately sought to shock people out of set notions, thus propelling them closer to god-realisation. The names of women Siddhas (Kudambai Cittar, Avvaiyar) indicates that this egalitarianism embraced both genders. The list that Kandaswamy presents also includes Siddhas from various religious denominations: Sufi saints (Gunangudi Mastan), Viramamunivar (actually Constantine Joseph Beshchi of Italy), Yakkobu-cittar (originally Ramdadevar) who is said to have traveled to Arabia to influence and be influenced by mystic Muslims, Teraiyar (credited with a sort of neuro-surgery) is believed to be a Buddhist, while Bhoganathar is either a Chinese or a Tamil Siddha who traveled to China to assume the name of Bo-Yang. He is also said to have traveled to Rome, Jerusalem and Rome on his mystical mission.

Tao is also a lot like Siddha Yoga -- Lao Tzu, u recall, when he felt he has done his duty by sharing his experiences, sets off on the back of a bullock, and hands over his last manuscript to a guard at the city gate. And vanishes into thin air, no one knows where he went, how he died, and where he is buried. He did not want to become famous, and was happy, being realised.

Here is a quote of his, which explains also the Siddha yogi philosophy:
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

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