I would call it criminal to assign Religion,Region, Caste, and language to Siddhas and Yogis.
This is exactly what has happened in india regarding Siddhars.
We have Tamil Siddhars,North indian Siddhas,Maha Purusha, Yogins of North India,Yogis of South india,Islamic Siddhars et al.
Siddas are Realized Souls, who transcend Time and Space.
They have no religion , caste , creed and do not belong to any one specifically but to Humanity.
This business of categorising them was stated by the Britishers as a part of dismantling Hinduism.
I have a few Posts on this issue.
The Missionaries in their effort to demolish Sanatana Dharam assumed Indian/Hindu Identities beginning with Robert De Nobili in Tamil Nadu.
They infiltrated into Hinduism under the garb of embracing it,learnt the local languages and Sanskrit , misinterpreted,misinformed, created forgeries of Hindu Literature ,apart from producing Christian literature modled afer Hindu Texts.
Thus they call the Bible as Vedaagamam. have even Jesus Sahasra nama!
These interpolations have resulted in the pollution of Indian Texts.
They have not spared even the Vedas, with Max Mueller leading the pack
Please check out my Post on Max Muller the Fraud’s quotes.
As it is Sanatana Dharma Texts do not have a written tradition.
They are transmitted orally.
So when some one embraces your Religion, pretend respect for it and prepares a written of these texts, people tend to take it as the Truth.
This is what happened to Hinduism and specifically to the Treasures of Siddhas.
Even to-day a Siddha is considered by many as charlatans!
How does one correct this?
By producing the original records from the Oral Tradition.
I am trying to do this.
I must admit I have posted a few articles on Tamil Siddhars,North Indian Siddhas List ,guilty of the accusation I am making of these interpolators.
I have given these titles because people would read and understand only these terms as they have been fed on this.
Now to the Truth.
A Siddha is one who has transcended Citta.
Chitta is higher than Intellect.
Activity of he Brain in Mind.
Direction of the Mind is by the Intellect.
Chitta is on a Higher plane than Intellect, Buddhi.
Please refer my Posts on Yoga Sutras.
Patanjali defines Yoga as the cessation of the modifications of Chitta,
Yogaha, Chitta Vrutti Nirodhah.
Sidhhars are people who have transcended the Chitta and as such are were caled Chittas.
Also there are eight special powers come on the way to Self Realization.
They are Eight in number, called Ashtama Siddhis.
Please refer my post for more details.
The Siddhas, having realized the self , have transcended even these Siddhis.
That is also a reason why they are called Siddas.
So any realized Soul who meets this criteria is a Siddha.
How does one identify a Siddha?
I shall be posting on this shortly.
Hence there is no caste,creed,for the Siddhas.
They are reported to be Timeless .
They can speak in any language.
For some reason they choose a particular language, Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit and others.
That does not mean they belong to one group.
And there is this seed sown by the west.
Some Siddhas have attained Realization by following Buddhism, especially Mahayana.
So they are shown as a distinct group.
This is incorrect.
A Siddha is a Siddha whether he followed Hinduism or Buddhism.
Please read my Posts on Siddhas, Siddhas of North India Guru Parampara,Bhogar to get a complete picture of Indian Siddhas
Abhayadatta Sri is an Indian scholar of the 12th century who is attributed with recording the hagiographies of the eighty-four siddha in a text known as The History of the Eighty-four Mahasiddha (Sanskrit: Caturasitisiddha pravrtti; Wylie: grub thob brgyad bcu tsa bzhi’i lo rgyus).
Dowman holds that the eighty-four Mahasiddha are spiritual archetypes:
The number eighty-four is a “whole” or “perfect” number. Thus the eighty-four siddhas can be seen as archetypes representing the thousands of exemplars and adepts of the tantric way. The siddhas were remarkable for the diversity of their family backgrounds and the dissimilarity of their social roles. They were found in every reach of the social structure: kings and ministers, priests and yogins, poets and musicians, craftsmen and farmers, housewives and whores.
Reynolds (2007) states that the mahasiddha tradition “evolved in North India in the early Medieval Period (3–13 cen. CE). Philosophically this movement was based on the insights revealed in the Mahayana Sutras and as systematized in the Madhyamaka and Chittamatrin schools of philosophy, but the methods of meditation and practice were radically different than anything seen in the monasteries. He proffers that the mahasiddha tradition “broke with the conventions of Buddhist monastic life of the time, and abandoning the monastery they practiced in the caves, the forests, and the country villages of Northern India. In complete contrast to the settled monastic establishment of their day, which concentrated the Buddhist intelligenzia [sic.] in a limited number of large monastic universities, they adopted the life-style of itinerant mendicants, much as the wandering Sadhus of modern India.”
The charnel ground conveys how great mahasiddhas in the Nath and Vajrayana traditions such as Tilopa (988–1069) and Gorakshanath (fl. 11th – 12th century) yoked adversity to till the soil of the path and accomplish the fruit, the “ground” (Sanskrit: āśraya; Wylie: gzhi) of realization:
The charnel ground is not merely the hermitage; it can also be discovered or revealed in completely terrifying mundane environments where practitioners find themselves desperate and depressed, where conventional worldly aspirations have become devastated by grim reality. This is demonstrated in the sacred biographies of the great siddhas of the Vajrayāna tradition. Tilopa attained realization as a grinder of sesame seeds and a procurer for a prominent prostitute. Sarvabhakṣa was an extremely obese glutton, Gorakṣa was a cowherd in remote climes, Taṅtepa was addicted to gambling, and Kumbharipa was a destitute potter. These circumstances were charnel grounds because they were despised in Indian society and the siddhas were viewed as failures, marginal and defiled.
The Caturasiti-siddha-pravrtti (CSP), “The Lives of the Eighty-four Siddhas”, compiled by Abhayadatta Sri, a Northern Indian Sanskrit text dating from the 11th or 12th century, comes from a tradition prevalent in the ancient city-state of Campa in the modern district of Bihar. Only Tibetan translations of this Sanskrit text seem to have survived. This text was translated into Tibetan by sMon grub Shes rab and is known as the Grub thob brgyad cu rtsa bzhi’i lo rgyus or “The Legends of the Eighty-four Siddhas”. It has been suggested that Abhayadatta Sri is identical with the great Indian scholar Mahapandita Abhayakaragupta (late 11th–early 12th century), the compiler of the iconographic compendiums Vajravali, Nispannayogavali, and Jyotirmanjari.
The other major Tibetan tradition is based on the list contained in the Caturasiti-siddhabhyarthana (CSA) by Ratnakaragupta of Vajrasana, identical with Bodhgaya (Tib.: rDo rje gdan) located in Bihar, Northern India. The Tibetan translation is known as Grub thob brgyad cu rtsa bzhi’i gsol ’debs by rDo rje gdan pa. There exist several Tibetan versions of the list of mahasiddhas based on the Vajrasana text. However, these Tibetan texts differ in many cases with regard to the Tibetan transcriptions of the Indian mahasiddhas names.
By convention there are eighty-four Mahasiddhas in both Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, with some overlap between the two lists. The number is congruent with the number of siddhi or occult powers held in the Indian Religions. In Tibetan Buddhist art they are often depicted together as a matched set in works such as thangka paintings where they may be used collectively as border decorations around a central figure.
Each Mahasiddha has come to be known for certain characteristics and teachings, which facilitates their pedagogical use. One of the most beloved Mahasiddhas is Virupa, who may be taken as the patron saint of the Sakyapa sect and instituted the Lamdré (Tibetan: lam ‘bras) teachings. Virupa (alternate orthographies: Birwapa/Birupa) lived in 9th century India and was known for his great attainments.
Some of the methods and practices of the Mahasiddha were codified in Buddhist scriptures known as Tantras. Traditionally the ultimate source of these methods and practices is held to be the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, but often it is a transhistorical aspect of the Buddha or deity Vajradhara or Samantabhadra who reveals the Tantra in question directly to the Mahasiddha in a vision or whilst they dream or are in a trance. This form of the deity is known as a sambhogakaya manifestation. The sadhana of Dream Yoga as practiced in Dzogchen traditions such as the Kham, entered the Himalayan tantric tradition from the Mahasiddha, Ngagpa and Bonpo. Dream Yoga or “Milam” (T:rmi-lam; S:svapnadarśana), is one of the Six Yogas of Naropa.
Four of the eighty-four Mahasiddhas are women. They are:
- Manibhadra, the Perfect Wife
- Lakshmincara, The Princess of Crazy wisdom
- Mekhala, the elder of the 2 Headless Sisters
- Kanakhala, the younger of the 2 Headless Sisters.
Please read a scholarly article on Siddhas being misinterpreted at the Link given below.
For more on Siddhas Google Siddhas ramanan50