The Siddha Lineage is the first and most primitive lineage of Ancient India flourishing from the Pre Vedic Era. To try and date the origin of the Siddhas is as ridiculous as finding chronological dates for Lord Siva. Yes, Lord Siva is taken to be the Adi Siddha - the Primal Siddha.
The beginning of this lineage travels back to when Lord Siva bequeathed, in acts of intimacy, the Divine Knowledge to His consort Goddess Parvathi. Goddess Parvathi then shared these sacred teachings to Nandhi Deva, who after receiving them graciously imparted it to Siddha Saint Thirumoolar, thereby granting him the blessing of the divine knowledge. From Siddha Thirumoolar the lineage, continues spreading throughout all the realms of Existence.
Although there are, hundreds of known and unknown Siddhas belonging to the Siddha Lineage, eighteen are declared as the prominent ones - ever living since the very ancient times. We have enlisted some of the names of Ancient Siddha Saints at the end of this article.
The central stem of the Siddha Tradition branches out into three mainstreams lineages and are known by the names of their Founders - Bala Varga Lineage- The Founder is Lord Murugan, who bestowed the sacred teachings to Guru Sage Agasthiyar.
Moola Varga - The Founder is Siddha Thirumoolar who imparted the teachings to Siddha Kaalanginathar, who in turn passed it to Siddha Boganath. Siddha Boganath and his successors spread the lineage far and wide across the planet.
Kailaya Varga - The founder is Siddha Kailaya Kampali Sattaimuni. From Him, Siddha Konganavar and other successors continue the lineage.
Overall, the Ancients followed varying approaches to spread Their blessings and teachings; by various feats, through ascertaining Wandering Cults, Oral lineages, Guardian lineages etc. Teachings, written and recorded in cryptic verses have been handed down over the generations through palm leaf manuscripts.
This tradition is actually considered as the Mother Tradition of all present day spiritual sects and healing methods. The Siddhas worship Nature as the Mother. And They reveal to us many of Her mysterious aspects for the well being of Humanity. As the worshippers of Nature, They love and adore Lord Siva, as the only Being animating all aspects of Nature.
Some of the Names of ancient Siddhas
The First School of Thought
The Second School of Thought
According to the work Gnanakkovai, the list of Siddhars is altogether different. They are: