Bhogar Nath and his young disciple Babaji Nagaraj at Kataragama, image from Siddha Bhoganathar: An Oceanic Life Story, in turn from Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga Tradition. This image, and the associated page and book (click above links), shows the degree to which the Siddha traditions have become enmeshed in legend and folklore. Babaji himself is surely one of teh most enigmatic of these figures, perhaps more of an archetypal figure, like Christ, than a historical personality.
In the West today, "siddha" (perfection, attainment) is more associated with the Siddha Yoga of Swami Muktananda. Multananda's devotees, and those of the succession of gurus that follow him, such as Gurumay and Gurudev (the latter driven out by Gurumay, and established his own community), and their followers (especially Gurumay's) tend to refer to themselves as "siddhas". This is rather cheapening the term, just as followers of Krishna Consciousness are impolitely referred to by many in the alternative movement (including myself I have to admit) as "krishnas". The differencxe is taht the Krishna Consciousness folks themselves are careful only to refer to Krishna as Krishna. So I would like here to emphasise that siddhas strictly speaking are very highly Realized beings, mostly unknown in the West, although established in popular folklore in India. When trying to understand the siddhas, it is very difficult to separate myth and fable from fact. A common theme seems to have been the transformation and transmutation of the physical body. According to T.R.Thulasiram (Arut Perum Jyothi and Deathless Body), at least two historical figures, Tirumular and Ramalingam, are of great importance in the Integral Project of the Divinization of the world.
images not loading? | error messages? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?