Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu [Photo gallery]
The Siddha cult emerged as a complex system in which the ingredients of the sectarian faiths (viz., Shaivism, Shaktism, Tantric Buddhism, etc.) can be identified. Tradition says that the Kulacara system was brought down by Siddha Minanatha to the earth. This tradition clearly establishes the relationship between the Siddha and Tantric cults. The Siddha/Natha tradition symbolize the most comprehensive understanding and application of the theoretical and methodological tenets of Tantric philosophy.
Both the Siddha and the Nava Natha cult of South India becomes the most popular sectarian faith of the tantric group during the 9th-12th centuries which is the amalgamation of the Shaiva, Shakta, Vajrayana, Sahajayana schools of philosophy. There are many Siddha-centres all over the Tamilnadu. The temples in Tamilnadu contain the sculptures depicting the Tantric rites and the images of the venerated Siddhas in it.
According to Kamil V. Zvelebil, “A Siddha or Mahasiddha is an Yogin who has acquired siddha, that is, ‘power, prowess, strength, ability’. From the technique of acquiring such power or powers, and from the description of these powers, it is obvious that the ‘power’ or ‘powers’ meant are occult, miraculous, supernatural, magic; that is, extraordinary abilities which normal man, a non-Siddha, does not possess”.
These photographs are embedded in the dissertation called “Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu: Its History and Historical Continuity” by R. Ezhilraman (source)
Gallery: 223 images
Click each photos to see detailled description, exif-information and high-resolution: