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History of Maha Rishi Sri Agathiyar


Sri Agasthiyar (also transliterated as Agathiar, Agasthiar, Agastyar, Agasti, Agastiar) is a legendary Vedic Rishi (sage). It is believed that sage Agasthiyar was instrumental in spreading the Vedic religion in southern India. Agastya is also recognized as one of Seven Great Sages (Saptarishis). Sage Agasthiyar has also contributed immensely to the four Vedas. These mantras were revealed to Sage Agasthiyar by the Brahman (Supreme Being) itself.

Agasthiyar is also the leader of all Siddhas. He is also called Kurumuni, meaning short (kuru) saint (muni). His contributions are manily in the fields of Medicine (Siddha) and Astrology - especially Nadi Jodhidam (Jos(i)yam or Jothisyam). He is said to have lived for over 5000 years, and that one of his medicinal preparations, Boopathi Kuligai, is so powerful that it can even bring the dead back to life. Two of his students and disciples were Therayar and Tholkappiar. He is also considered to be the guru of many other Siddhars.

The Lalitha sahasranama, which describes the 1000 names of the mother Goddess (Known commonly as Gowri, Parvati or Durga), was first revealed to the world when Hayagriva, an Avatar of Vishnu, taught the same to Agasthiyar. Agasthiyar is said to have composed the Aditya Hridayam, a hymn on Sun God (Surya), and taught the same to Rama just before the war between Rama and Ravana.

Sri Agathiyar Vigraham
Tamizh Agathiyar

He is also believed to be the author of Agastya Samhita. The word is also written as Agasti and Agathiyar. A-ga means a mountain, and Asti means thrower. Agastya is also the Indian astronomical name of the star of Canopus, is said to be the 'cleanser of waters', since its rising coincides with the calming of the waters of the Indian Ocean.

He was son of Pulasthya, son of Brahma. Siddhar were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers. Sage Agathiyar is considered the guru of all Siddhars, and the Siddha medicine system is believed to have been handed over to him by Lord Muruga, son of the Hindu God Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.Siddhars are the followers of Lord Shiva.

Agathiyar is the first Siddhar. His disciples and other siddhars contributed thousands of texts on Siddhar litratures, including medicine and form the propounders of the system in this world. He is considered as the Father of Tamil literature and compiled the first Tamil grammar called Agathiyam. It is believed that he has lived in the 6th or 7th century B.C and specialized in language, alchemy, medicine and spirituality (yogam and gnanam). There are 96 books in the name of Agathiyar.

However, some Tamil researchers say that Agastya mentioned in Vedas and Agathiyar mentioned in Tamil texts could be two different characters. In Tamil language the term 'Agam' means inside and 'iyar' means belong. One who belong inside (soul) is the Tamil meaning for Agathiyar.

  Article on Sage Agathiyar – SAGE AGASTHYA – FOREMOST OF THE SIDDHAS by
Dr. Mandayam Kumar
of the Siddha Medical Research Institute, Bangalore:


‘Agathiyar Muni is considered to be the embodiment of one of the nine celestial intellectuals who came to this earth for enlightening human beings.’

‘Siddhars are those who have attained perfection in yogic practices to ultimately reach the stage of immortality. Through higher-level yogic practices they attain a state of ultra luminosity that results in invisibility; thus they remain impervious to ordinary vision. Such siddhars work incessantly for the propagation of knowledge and the evolution of souls.’

Dr Mandayam Kumar says, it was possible to find out details about sage Agathiyar during the course of literary research on the Siddha medical sciences in a Tamil manuscript written on palm leaves about 3,000 years ago. The text is titled ‘Prapancha Kaandam’ and runs into several volumes mentions by the Dr.

It is attributed to Lord Muruga. It was narrated by sage Agathiyar while recorded by sage Pulasthiya. The original Tamil manuscript is in the care of Pandit S. Jayanari of Vellore says the Dr. The Dr provides information extracted from this work.

‘The Prapancha Kaandam commences with explanations about the origin of the earth and the entire solar system. The earth is believed to be a fragment of the sun blown into space as a big ball of fire billions of years ago. This big fire globe, after spinning round and round at a very high speed for innumerable length of time, began to cool on its surface’.

Sri Agathiyar
Sri Agathiyar

During the course of its voyage from the sun through different gaseous spheres of highly energetic particles the earth being attracted and repelled by different planets of the solar system, acquired the energetic potencies of all the planets.

Later it gained a constant movement rotating on its own axis having its path around the sun. It is stated that the earth took its origin 200 billion years ago.’ The Dr states that the world was not habitable having only land and water for half this period of time. 

‘Gradually vegetation began to appear as the earliest form of life on earth. Subsequently aquatic living creatures followed by insects, reptiles, birds and animals came upon; with the last being humans.

Each species had its own genetic origin and human beings are considered the sixth in the order of original creation. It is stated that planet earth is the only place for the survival and existence of life in the entire solar system. As life began to exist time began to be counted.

The entire period was divided into yugas. The present Kali Yuga is stated to have started from 3100 BC and may correspond to 14th March 3100 BC.’


The Dr. Mandayam Kumar reveals for the first time the parental heritage of the sage.  Sage Agathiyar was said to have been born about 4573 years prior to the commencement of Kali Yuga at a place in Gujarat, in the early hours of Tuesday, 14th of February 7673 BC.

Belonging to the early Aryan race, his father Bhargava was well learned while his mother Indumathi was from Punjab. They were both devotees of the Pasupatha order of the sage Rishabha Muni.

Agathiyar then had his early education in Gujarat. As his thirst for knowledge in particular on philosophy, yoga, medicine, and astronomy was immense he traveled all over Kashmir, Tibet, China, Nepal and Kailas in Manchuria. Mount Kailas was deemed to be in Manchuria those days.

He became a disciple of sage Nandi and Dhanvantri. He then traveled towards the south to Cambodia and Malaya. In Cambodia he established the very first of his many educational institutions for the propagation of philosophy and science.

After establishing a similar institution and hospital in Malaya he crossed the sea to the continent of Kumari Kandam. During Agathiyar’s time Kumari Kandam occupied a vast area extending from the present day Sri Lanka to the Antarctic. This continent was ruled by Ravana, a great devotee of Lord Siva. King Ravana gave away a portion of his kingdom to Agathiyar to establish more institutions. 

The foremost of these institutions in this region was known as Arunodaya Giri or Meozone. Here Agathiyar practiced yoga and taught it to his large following of disciples. He then went back north to Malaya where he was betrothed to the king’s daughter. He then ruled the kingdom of Vijayapuri. 

Sri Agathiyar

Sri Agathiyar


Agathiyar returned to Kumari Kandam where he met Lord Murugan in the form of sage Kandan or Supramaniar at Trikona Malai, present day Trincomali. At the hill station called Kadari Kama or Kadhirgama, Lord Murugan imparted spiritual knowledge to Agathiyar. 

In his meditation he could see into the future; see impending calamities. As a result he moved to the North Pole considering it to be a save place. This period of his move to the Arctic was said to coincide with the end of the Dwapara Yuga placed at about 6580 BC.  

Just as he had seen of an impending calamity and had decided to move north, a tremendous explosion in the planet Mars sents a piece of debris towards earth. This impact caused a great deluge on the earth. Significant portions of Kumari Kandam submerged into the Indian Ocean. Continental drift resulted in the present day arrangement of this region. 

On returning to Mancuria after the great flood Kailas was no more but instead the Himalayan mountain range had emerged in North India. Amidst all this geographical changes says the Dr, sage Agathiyar went seeking for a place that would not be affected by future calamities.

He located a mountain range in South India. This is the present day Courtalam. This spot is said to be the safest place and free from any future catastrophes. Here Agathiyar met Lord Siva and Uma in the form of Dhashina Murthi and Shenbaga Devi. This spot where the meeting took place between Dhashina Murthi, Shenbaga Devi, Lord Murugan and Agathiyar was Mahadeva Giri. This meeting also signified the commencement of Kali Yuga.



Other sages then stated coming to Mahadeva Giri.  Lord Dhashina Murthi revived the knowledge of the Vedas and instructed these sages to propagate this knowledge at the appropriate manner and time for the benefit of humanity. This imparting of this knowledge was said to have taken place on the 21st day of the Tamil month of Kartigai, during the eleventh year , Eswara Samvatsara, of Kali Yuga. Agathiyar gave much importance to this day. All his dating was reckoned from this day.

The sages recorded their knowledge on palm leaves after extensive discussions held in Alagan Kulam and presented them to Dhashina Murthi for his perusal. This included the 64 kinds of learning, 18 Puranas, 96 Tatvas, and 48 branches of scientific knowledge. The entire literature in Tamil came to be called Sidha Veda. It was then translated into the four existing languages of that period vis Sanskrit, Greek, Hebrew and Chinese.

Sage Agathiyar on the instruction of Lord Murugan originated the Tamil language.  Sage Bhogar from China, Thaeraiyar from Malaya, Yugimuni from Kerala, Pulipani from Kantha Malai, Pulathiyan and Kapiyan too served Agathiyar.  A conference of sidhas called Sidhar Sabai was held during the 53rd  year, Sidharti Samvatsara, of Kali Yuga at Courtalam.

An institution known as Sidhar Gnana Koodam was inaugurated by Lord Murugan and was headed by Agathiyar. Pulathiyan and Kapiyan headed the literary section while Pulipani in research. Thaeraiyar who was into surgery headed a medical research centre established at Thorana Malai. Yugimuni who was into herbal medicines headed an Ayurvedic hospital at Paradesi Kundai. Sage Bhogar who was in charge of all scientific researches established an alchemy research centre at Thiruparankundram. Pambatti Sidhar was heading a team researching venom at Marudamalai.

After having established these institutions Agathiyar again started on an extensive mission of propagating the wealth of knowledge gained by these sidhars in Tibet, Manchuria, Egypt, Palestine, Rome, America, Africa, Malaya and Arab world.

After satisfactorily completing their mission of propagating the said teachings the sages went into 'Samadhi' merging themselves into the cosmos. Kandan went into Samadhi in Thorana Malai, Bhogar in Palani, Thaeraiyar, Pulipanai and Yugimuni in Kantha Malai, and Agathiyar himself choosed to come back to Courtalam. He chosed a spot called Dhashina Meru in the Pothigai Hills. This spot is also the abode of Lord Siva as Dhashina Murthi.

Sri Agathiyar
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