468 Siddhars - (form of siva Lingams)
Facilitators of people's requests - 468 SIDDHARS in the form of Lingams
Siddhars facilitate healing. They are semi-divine beings who sustain their earthy existence in a subtle form. They are available not only to heal people's karmic suffering, but also fulfil some divine purpose. They are known to absorb incurable diseases suffered by their devotees. Siddhars can take in as food only what is given to them. They live in very trying circumstances, for they cannot ask, not even in the traditional unchavritti method, whereby renunciates go from house to house asking for alms. In Kundalini Gnanam Jeeva Samadhi a siddhar is stated to be a person who is imbued with the eternal life force. In this concept, by spiritual practices, life is not allowed to go out of the body. The seed cells in the body do not get damaged. Such a person voluntarily stops gross-body functions after the completion of his or her life's mission. As "unseen masters" or "invisible helpers" they guide the human race to reduce suffering and to gain wisdom.
Why 468, we asked Swamigal. "One day, while I was travelling, my car broke down. I was stressed out and sat under a tree trying to meditate, when the driver asked for Rs. 500. I only had Rs. 468 with me. He needed more but that was all I had. The driver fixed the car with the amount available, and we went on our way. The number seemed significant to me. 468 - add the digits and you get 4+6+8=18; 18=1+8=9. 9 is a powerful number in the Hindu school of thought."
In Swamigal's opinion, all siddhars residing anywhere in the 9 planets fall within the lineage of 18 primary siddhars. Hence the significance of this number!
'I have personally visited 320 Jeeva Samadhis and sought their blessings,' says Swamigal. Sand and stone from these 40 samadhis have been placed under the pedestal where the lingams have been installed.
In the large open space here that houses the 468 lingams symbolizing siddhars, devotees can buy a bottle of rose water and do an abhishekam for all or any of the siddhars. This water is imbibed as food by the siddhars for the day. It is indeed a feat that the 468 siddhars were installed in a span of 15 days, beginning with Amaavaasya (New Moon day) and completed on the following Pournami (Full Moon day). Preceding this, the Adi Rudra Homam was performed.
This is the only place where 468 siddhars are brought together in the form of lingams.