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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 49-52

Views of Agathiyar, Bogar, Pulathiyar and Thirumoolar about Ashtanga Yogam

Department ofSiddhar Yoga Maruthuvam, Government Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai,256, Tiruchendur Rd, Murugankurichi, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli 627002, India

Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2021

Correspondence Address:
Binthuja G Dharan
Department ofSiddhar Yoga Maruthuvam, Government Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai,256, Tiruchendur Rd, Murugankurichi, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli 627002
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The body, which is the temple of the spirit is not an eternal one. However, the spirit and the mind can be made one through the practice of Yogam. Ashtanga Yogam or the Eight Limbs of yoga serve as the base for the proper practice of Yogam. The most commonly practiced yoga being the ‘Patanjali Yoga’, there were several other Siddhars who have made massive contributions in the field of Ashtanga Yoga. This article aims at throwing light on the concepts made by the various Siddhars on Yoga.

Keywords: Ashtaanga Yoga, Patanjali, Agathiyar, Bogar, Pulathiyar

How to cite this article:
Dharan BG. Views of Agathiyar, Bogar, Pulathiyar and Thirumoolar about Ashtanga Yogam. J Res Siddha Med 2019;2, Suppl S1:49-52

How to cite this URL:
Dharan BG. Views of Agathiyar, Bogar, Pulathiyar and Thirumoolar about Ashtanga Yogam. J Res Siddha Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 3];2, Suppl S1:49-52. Available from: http://www.jrsm.com/text.asp?2019/2/3/49/328052

  1. Introduction Top

The term “Yogam” refers to the inhibition (thaduppu) of the modifications (maatram) of the mind (sitham).This statement means that the aim of Yoga is the control of earthly desires and the attainment of salvation through the control of the mind and which serves as the root cause of all desires.The most common practice of Yoga,in current trend is derived from the ‘Patanjali Yoga Sutram’, which consists of a compilation of verses by sage Patanjali. However,even before sage Patanjali,there were several other Siddhars who have established the practice of yoga.

The chief objective of this review article is to focus on the quotes made by a few of the most important Siddhars on Ashtanga Yogam.

  2. Yoga Top

In the yogic view, the body is a temple of spirit, the care of which is an important stage of our spiritual growth. Through the practice of asanas, people develop the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation. The preliminary stages which are useful for the practice of Yoga are compiled under the term ‘Ashtanga Yogam’.

2.1. Ashtaanga Yogas

The so called “AshtangaYoga” or the ‘Eight limbs of Yoga’ serve as the base for Yogic practices. Here too, the most practicedAshtanga Yoga are derived from the same Patanjali Yoga Sutra. There have been many ancient Siddhars who have established the importance of the Eight limbs of Yoga Theory by the name ‘Ashtanga Yogangal’ ().

While some Siddhars have spoken about all the eight limbs, few others have quoted only some of the most commonly practicable ones. This article focuses on the Ashtanga Yogangalas quoted by Siddhars ()

Table 1: The Ashtanga Yogangal as said by Patanjali and other Siddhargal

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The descriptions of these in brief are as under:

  1. Iyamam - Ethical standards
  2. Niyamam - self-discipline
  3. Adhanam - Posture
  4. Pranayamam - Breath control
  5. Prathyakaram - Withdrawal
  6. Dharanai - Concentration
  7. Dhyanam - Meditation or contemplation
  8. Samadhi - State of Ecstasy

  3. Siddhar Views On Ashtaanga Yogangal Top

The important Siddhar Paadalgal () that speak about the Ashtanga Yogangal and their efficiency are given in this article.

3.1 Agathiyar

Siddhar Agathiyar is considered the Sage who invented the Grammar basics for Tamil language. He is the direct descendant of Lord Muruga, when it comes to the field of Siddha. He is known for his expertise in treatment of diseases using internal medicines. His famous books are Agathiyar Paripashai Thirattu (), Agathiyar 1200, Agathiyar 400, etc.

He has quoted about Dhyaanam in his book, Agathiyar Poorana Soothiram () as follows:

Through this, it is clear that Agathiyar has stated Dhyanam as the highest form of Ashtaanga Yogam through which one can attain Cithhi (Salvation).

Pranayamam or the fourth limb refers to the breathing control that should be practiced in order to improve one’s lifespan. This practice has been quoted as an equivalent to Yoga Siddhi by sage Agathiyar.

Again, the same Agathiyar has explained about all the limbs of Ashtaanga Yogangal in his book, Agathya Moola Thirumanthiram () and is summed up here.

The first limb, iyamam, deals with one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on behaviour and how we conduct ourselves in life.

Niyamam, the second limb, has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances.

Praying, meditating, etc., come under Niyamamin practice. Though it has not been made clear through this verse, it includes:

Saucham: Cleanliness

Santosham: Contentment

Tapam: Heat; spiritual austerities

SuyaAivu: Study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self

SaranAdaidhal: Surrender to god

Asanas, the postures practiced in yoga, comprise the third limb. Through the proper and controlled practice of Yoga, one can easily attain betterment of the mind and body.

Gainingmastery over the respiratory process while recognizing the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions. As implied by the literal translation of pranayamam, “life force extension,” yogis believe that it not only rejuvenates the body but actually extends life itself.

Pratyaharam, the fifth limb, means withdrawal or sensory transcendence. It is during this stage that one makes the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli. Keenly aware of, yet cultivating a detachment from the senses, one can direct the attention internally.

This stage helps us to deal with the distractions of the mind and focus on our inner self to bring about higher concentration.

This is the stage of being keenly aware without focus. This stage is difficult. Yet it is not an impossible task.

This is the state wherein the one practicing Ashtanga Yogam attains divineness or the experience of bliss at being one with the Universe.

These first four stages of Ashtangayogam concentrate on refining the personalities, gaining mastery over the body, and developing an energetic awareness of oneself, all of which prepare human beings for the second half of this journey, which deals with the senses, the mind, and attaining a higher state of consciousness.

3.2 Pulathiyar

Pulathiyar was the Siddhar who wrote books such as Pulathiyar Karpam 300. He has stated the following about Yoga Dharanai in his book.

Dhyanam refers to the maintenance of a proper position and then the meditation that follows afterwards. However, Pulathiyar has stated that the Dhyanam procedure can be fulfilled only when the person performing the procedure repeats the Om chanting and brings his or her mind to a single point focus.


Bogar is a Tamil Siddhar who lived between the 550 and 300 BC. It was during this period that he constructed the Navapaashanam[4] statue of lord Murugan. He was also the author of various books on Yoga, Siddha Pharmacognosy.

Through this verse, Bogar has quoted that in the Ashtanga Yogam, the primary Yogam is the lyamam, next the Niyamam, Pranayamam, Pratyakaram, Dharanai, Dhyanam and Samathi. He too has quoted that the most respected one is the Dhyanam through which one can attain Salvation or Samathi.

3.4 Thirumoolar

Thirumoolar is the author of the book ‘Thirumanthiram’ which consists almost 3000 verses that contain medical references. He has spoken about the Ashtanga Yogangal(eight components of Yoga).[6]

  4. Discussion Top

The above said are the Ashtanga Yogangal that are in practice in the field of Yoga. They have been correlated to the medical field as follows: Iyamam - Sympathy towards mankind (and) the cleanliness of the inner soul

Niyamam - Observance of Rules (and) the cleanliness of the body

Adhanam - Posture

Pranayamam - Breath Control

Prathyakaram - Analysis of the patient

Dharanai - Observing the patient

Samathi - Being at the same state of the patient.

It is mandatory for any Siddha expert to know about these Ashtanga Yogangal as they form the basis for the practice of Yoga and Medicine. Also, they should be aware that not only Patanjali but also, several other famous Siddhars have also made valuable contributions to the yoga field.

  5. Conclusion Top

The ancient Siddhars have spoken much about Ashtanga Yogam. One may follow the same to have a blissful life.

  References Top

Agathiyar. Poorana Soothiram, Ragavapillai (ed), Vivegavilakka Achukoodam.1897; p:19-20.  Back to cited text no. 1
Agathiyar. Moolam Thirumanthiram. M. Thirushi (ed), Thirushi Eechuam. 1970; p:32-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Pulathiyar. Karpam 300, Pamasamy Kohn (ed), Sri Ramachandra Vilasam Press; 32-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
Baskaran R, Bogar. 7000-oru Aaivu, Sailesh Padhippagam, 111-31.  Back to cited text no. 4
Bogar. Ashtanga Yogam, Verses 1 -24.  Back to cited text no. 5
Thirumoolar, Tamil moovaayiram.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Table 1]


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  In this article
1. Introduction
2. Yoga
3. Siddhar Views...
4. Discussion
5. Conclusion
Article Tables

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