The Siddhas consider the body as a vehicle for spiritual evolution and not as a hindrance. According to them, the material body which is prone to disease, aging and destruction should be transformed into a ‘deathless body’.
Tirumular in this Tirumandiram explains this as follow:
Before, I thought the body was a shame
I saw the entity within the body,
I saw that the Supreme One has taken residence within the body,
I am nurturing the body while remaining in it. (725).
The Siddhas consider the body as the residence of the Divine and hence should be treated with respect. Tantric works call the body a microcosm that reflects the macrocosm or the universe. The Tamil Siddhas refer to the body as a threshold between human existence and divine presence. They say that instead of wasting one’s time visiting various spiritual places and bathing in sacred waters one should seek these sacred places within one own body.
Our country has witnessed births of several siddhars. One such divine soul was “Subbaiya Swamigal” who attained Jeeva Samadhi in Thirukazhukundram. Subbaiya was born to Vallimuthu - Narayana Vadivu in the year 1908 in Kadayanodai village, situated in the southern side of river Thamirabharani. Right from childhood, Subbaiya was inclined towards spirituality. At the same time, he was good at academics, too. He completed his B.A (Chemistry) in American College, Madurai.
He started visiting temples regularly and frequently and he learnt about the concepts of rasavadham and kaya siddhi. He began undertaking regular practice sessions on mastering those principles. Obeying his father’s order, he dropped his plans to pursue his further studies abroad. He began diverting his thoughts visiting temples and siddhar samadhis. Identifying his deep interests in spirituality, he moved to Calcutta to learn Sanskrit and started giving spiritual discourse on Tamil and Sanskrit slokas. He then moved around for a brief period of time, finally found his true calling in Saint Vallalar’s ideologies.
Singing hymns in praise of Saint Vallalar he found himself in a cave in Vedagireeswarar temple, Thirukazhukundram. He remained in silence and offered vibhoothi prasadham to devotees who paid visit to him. He never left the cave for almost 9 years and he finally attained the heavenly abode on January 1, 1960. Before he expired, he left a note asking people to cover his body with a stone by laying the body inside a pit, when his soul leaves his body and if the body doesn’t perish after a period of 40 days, then erect a Samadhi after a period of 10 months. The officials executed his instructions. To everyone’s astonishment, Subbaiya Swamigal’s body was intact after a period of 40 days and jeeva samadhi was erected as desired by him.
As a token of remembrance and honor, a small temple housing Subbaiya Swamigal statue was erected near Thirukazhukundram bus stop, where devotees pay homage. “Guru Poojai” is performed every year on the day of Sadhaya nakashtra in the tamil month of Margazhi.