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Sivagra Yogin – Head Of Suryanar Koil – Shiva Siddhanta Scholar

Sivagra Yogin (Sivagrayogin) was a Shiva Siddhanta scholar of eminence who headed Suryanar Koil (Sun Temple) Adhinam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Shivagra Yogin (16th century CE) succeeded Sri Sivakolundu Sivacharya to be the mathadis (head of the matha). He was initiated into Saiva sannyasa (asceticism) by his predecessor. Sivagrayogin was well versed both in Tamil and Sanskrit. He was not only a preceptor but also a strict practitioner of Saiva religion.

Sivagra Yogin transcended all caste distinctions and hence was called ativarnasrami. Sevappa Nayakkar, on behalf of a Vijayanagara king, invited the yogin to Thanjavur after hearing about his greatness and scholarship. Sivagra Yogin referred to the ruler of Thanjavur in the fifth and sixtieth shlokas of his Saiva Sannyasa Paddhati. At the request of Sivagrayogin, the ruler of Thanjavur constructed a matha for him.

Sivagrayogin composed a commentary on Arulandi Shivacharya’s Sivajnana Siddhiyar in Manipravalam style (a combination of Tamil and Sanskrit). He wrote commentaries in Tamil on Sarvajnanottara, Devikalottara and Shruti Sukti Mala. To highlight the fundamental principles of Saiva Siddhanta, Sivagra Yogin wrote an independent work, Sivaneri Prakasham. He wrote two Sanskrit commentaries, one short (Sivajnana-bodha-sangraha-vyakhyana) and the other elaborate (Sivagraha-bhashya) on Sivajnana-bodham of Meykandar. His independent works in Sanskrit are Saiva-sannyasa paddhati, Kriya-dipika and Saivaparibhasha. All these works deal elaborately with the philosophy and religious practices of Saiva Siddhanta.