Current Picture of Papa Bogar
Current Picture of Papa Bogar
Bogar was a legendary South Indian siddhar (a mystic, yogi). He was said to have miraculous powers. He is also said in some New Age circles to have been associated with Mahavatar Babaji.
Bhogar was a South Indian by birth, belonging to the caste of goldsmiths, who became a siddhapurusha under the guidance of Kalanginaathar. In Bogar’s Saptakanda he reveals details of various medicinal preparations to his disciple Pullippani (so named as he is believed to have wandered in the forests atop a puli or tiger) and at every stage he quotes his guru as the authority. Also Pulippani must have been a young man then, as he is often referred to as a balaka.
It is said that as per the last wishes of his guru, Bhogar proceeded to China to spread the knowledge of siddha sciences and his journey is said to have been made with the aid of an aircraft; he demonstrated to the Chinese the details of the construction of the aircraft and later built for them a sea-going craft using a steam engine. The details of these and other experiments demonstrated by Bhogar in China are clearly documented in the Saptakanda.
Bogar’s guru, Kalangi Nathar, is believed to be a Chinese who attained siddhi in South India and thus became included among the Eighteen Siddhars.
Lao Tse – the founder of Taoism (5th century B.C.) was the first Chinese to propound the theory of duality of matter — the male Yang and female Yin — which conforms to the Siddha concept of Shiva – Shakti or positive-negative forces. This very same concept was first revealed by the adi-siddhar Agasthya Rishi, whose period is as old as the Vedas, which have been conservatively dated at 3500 B.C. Also alchemy as a science was practised in China only after B.C. 135 and was practiced as an art until B.C. 175 when a royal decree was enacted banning alchemical preparation of precious metals by the Celestial Empire; these details are recounted in the two existing Chinese books of alchemy Shih Chi and Treatise of Elixir Refined in Nine Couldrons, both dated to the first century B.C.
The emergence of Lao Tse with his theory of duality of matter and the journey of Bhogar to China seem to have taken place about the same time and it is even possible that Bhogar himself went under the name of Lao Tse in China, like another Siddharishi Sriramadevar, who was known as Yacob in Arabia.
This seems likely considering that: before Lao Tse the concept of duality of matter finds no mention in any Chinese treatise; alchemy as a science emerged only after B.C. 135, i.e. four centuries after Lao Tse; there was a sudden spurt of alchemical practice aher the emergency of Lao Tse; and the duality of matter and alchemy have been mentioned in South Indian scriptures that antidate Lao Tse by centuries.
Bogar anticipating that in due course of period, human beings will suffer from large number of disease. As an expert in medicine he used 4448 rare herbs and made 9 poisonous medicine, mixing these 9 poisons into one needs great knowledege and skill, to make a Master Medicine ( One medicine to cure all disease ). Thirumoolar also discuss one such Master Medicine in his book Thiru Mandiram. With the consultation of Agasthiar ( Father of Ayurvedic Medicine) and other siddhars Bogar mixed the 9 poisons ( Nava Bashanam ) and made the Master Medicine in the form of Lord Murugan which is currently worshiped at Palani Murugan temple. There is a place near Palani Hill called Thanasiappan Temple which is the place were Bogar mixed the Nava Bashanam and made the Murugan idol.
Bogar and others then decided that by using the milk and panchamirtham ( a sweet recipe ) poured on the idol, one can extract the medicine from the idol. The milk and panchamritham then becomes medicine to cure disease. After installing Lord Murugan Navabashana idol at the Palani Hill, Bogar used to worship it with milk abishegam ( pouring milk on the idol ) and panchamirtha abishegam ( pouring panchamirtham on the idol ).
His disciple Pulipani siddhar then took over the job of Lord Murugan pooja after Bogar went into Nirvigalpa Samadhi – the highest samadhi stage; where the Mind dissolves with Matter and Energy. Bogar Samadhi is inside Palani Murugan temple at Palani Hill. Actually Bogar himself constructed his samadhi exactly under the Lord Murugan Navabasha idol and went into Nirvigalpa Samadhi there. The entrance to his samadhi is a cave like structure, now also worship for this great siddhar is conducted at this entrance where he is last seen by his disciples which is at the Palani temple. The shrine at the top of the hill, though later than the Tiru Avinankudi temple, has overshadowed the older temple in the present century due to its popular appeal. Created by Bhogar, it was maintained after him by sage Pulippani and his descendants almost as their personal and private temple.
During the time of Tirumalai Nayak, his general Ramappayyan handed over the puja rights to newly brought Brahmin priests. The descendants of Pulippani were compensated for the loss of this right by being given: Certain duties of superintendence Right to some annual presents Right to shoot off, at the Dasara Festival, the arrow which symbolises Subramanya’s victory over asuras. Right to be buried at the foot of the steps leading to the hill, if some of them so chose.
Palani has been mentioned in the Tamil Sangam Literature as “Podhini”, which came to be called as “Palani” later, according to the historions. In “Thirumurukatruppadai” ( a Sangam Literature ) Palani has been mentioned as the 3rd “PadaiVeedu”. This was the southern end of the Kongu Nadu and edicts refer to this place as “Vaiyapuri Nadu”, which was ruled by king “Vaiyapuri Kopperumbaegan”. Many “Siddhas” are said to have lived in this region. The idol of Palani Andavar is said to have been made of “Navapashanam”.
The deity of Palani is known as Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the Staff in his Hand. The deity at the sanctum sanctorum is made out of an amalgam of nine minerals popularly called Navapashanam. Some people say it is a combination of medicinal herbs.
The deity is in a standing position with a baton in his hand. He has the look of a person who has renounced all worldly pomp. He has just a loincloth besides the baton. He is a mute messenger of the great precept ‘Renounce all to reach Me’. The icon is unique in the whole world. It was made by siddha Bhogar by combining nine poisonous substances (Navapashanam). Murugan signifies beauty and Lord Murugan of Kurinji land is the god of Beauty and Youth.
When all the ingredients are heated and filtered a semi liquid mass hardens into a stone. Everyday ablutions are performed. During Kartigai days it will be in hundreds. These ablution provide not only grace of Muruga it also cures for ills. When milk ablutions are performed, the milk after coming in contact with the Navapashana body of Muruga absorbs all its medicinal qualities. The beauty is that for a long time the milk is spoiled. Similar is the case with sandal ablution. The sandal paste over the body of Muruga is removed in the shade. A process to preserve the sandal paste has been finished by Somaley.
No pilgrim should fail to mark attendance at the shrine of Bhogar in the southwestern corridor of the temple. He it was who created the Navapashanam image and consecrated the deity.
God is believed to have appeared to saints in certain forms. These are forms made to appear to them by His grace or rather they are outward symbols of His mercy as omnipresent, but assumes certain forms at certain times just as sea-water sometimes takes the form of an iceberg.
Bhogar is believed to have lived in the beginning of Kali Yuga, i.e. before 3,000 B.C. and traveled widely in the Near- and Far East. He is said to have been a rare mathematical prodigy, a diplomat of great caliber and an expert in the field of medicine. He realized the importance of Muruga worship and conferred with siddhars on the form in which Muruga’s image should be installed atop the hill. He created the amalgam of nine chemicals and did daily services.
Bhogar’s body rests here. The image of Nava Dûrgâ or Bhûvanesvari and the Maragadha (emerald) Siva Lingam worshipped by him are found here. An underground passage is said to link the sanctum sanctorum with the Bhogar shrine.