Vyasa (Skt.  Vyāsa - "separation", "recitation") is also known as Vedavyasa (veda-vyāsa, "one who divided the Vedas"), Vyasadeva, Badarayana or Krishna-Dvaipayana (revealing his skin color and origin).

 

According to the Bhagavata Purana (p1, ch. 3.21) Vyasa is the seventeenth incarnation of God. He is also one of the seven immortals (ciranjīvī,) - living to this day, until the end of the Kali Yuga. It is said that a truly truthful and fulfilled person can meet him, and that Shankaracharya saw him (was blessed with darshan) in the house of the sage Madan Misra.

 

Vedavyasa is dedicated to the celebration of Guru Purnima, also known as Vyasa Purnima, it was on this day that he was born and on the same day he divided the Vedas into parts.

 

In the first book of the Mahabharata, it is described that Vyasa asked Ganesh to help him write down the text. Ganesha agreed to this only on the condition that Vyasa would be able to tell the entire epic without interruption. Vyasa said that he would accept this condition, but only if Ganesha understood every quatrain before he wrote it down. And so it happened, and Vyasa dictated the entire Mahabharata, Upanishads and eighteen Puranas, and Ganesha wrote them all down. The work was not yet finished when Ganesh's pen broke. Afraid of missing Vyasa's words, the elephant-headed God broke off one of his tusks and finished recording with it. Since then, the statuette of Ganesha always has one broken tusk.

 

As for the classification of the Vedas, it is traditionally believed that the Vedavyasa divided them into three parts, and the fourth, Atharvaveda, was created later.

He also not only wrote eighteen Puranas, but also approved a new system of their study, through the Upakhyanas, or discourses, and also approved three paths to higher knowledge - karma (action), upasana (glorification) and jnana (knowledge).

At the end of Dvaipara Yuga, the fisherman Dusharaja had a daughter named Satyavati. At the same time, the great sage and yogi Parashara, the grandson of the sage Vasishtha, lived in that area. He was very famous and earned immense authority in his knowledge of astrology.

 

One day Parashara, using his knowledge of astrology, determined that a child conceived at a certain gatika, or moment in time, would be born as the greatest person of his generation, blessed by Vishnu himself. On that day, the sage was traveling by boat and informed the boatman that this blessed time was approaching. The boatman had a daughter who had just reached the age of marriage. Struck by the sage's holiness and grandeur, he offered his daughter to him as his wife. This is how Vyasadeva (Vedavyasa) was born. This happened on the Yamuna River near Kalpi, Uttar Pradesh.

 

As a child, Vyasa revealed to his parents the secret of his life and said that he should leave home and live with the sages in the forest. The boy's mother could not come to terms with this, but soon succumbed to his persuasion with one condition - that he should appear in front of her whenever she wanted it. Upon completion of his studies, he confirmed the prophecy of his father: he divided and classified the Vedas, wrote a commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and then wrote down the Mahabharata even before it happened, and then he himself took part in it - the legendary epic that opened the way to knowledge even to women, sudras and people with limited intellect, for whom it was previously closed.

 

Vedavyasa in Mahabharata.

 

After the birth of Vedavyasa, the fisherwoman Satyavati married King Shantana and gave birth to two sons from him. However, they died without leaving an heir, and Vyasa, according to the laws of the country and at the insistence of his mother, was invited to conceive children to two childless widows of his stepbrother.

The sage had already lived in the forest for a long time, and when one of the princesses entered the hermit's chambers, she closed her eyes in fear. So her son, Dhrtarastra was born blind from birth. The second princess, who came the next night, did not close her eyes, but turned pale, and from her was born a child suffering from anemia, who was named so - Pandu, pale. When for the third time Vedavyasa ordered Satyavati to send princesses, so that this time not one of them dared to conceive a healthy child, and instead of themselves they slipped a servant to the sage. An illegitimate third brother was born from her. He was completely healthy, and later was distinguished by great wisdom. The boy was named Vidura.

 

The last work of the sage Vyasa was the Bhagavatam.

One day Vyasadeva was sitting on the banks of the Ganges and contemplating what he had done in his life. He had already written all his greatest works, but satisfaction did not come. Feeling this, Devarshi Narada appeared before him. Narada transmitted the message that in order to complete the purpose of his life, Vedavyasa must write another creation, the Bhagavatam. Vedavyasa did so, and the goal of his life was achieved.

 

 

Tirumullar.

 

Tirumular, also known as Cuntaranātar.

 

Tirumullar was one of the eighteen Siddhas - and one of the 63 Nayanars (Saiva saints who lived from the 6th to the 8th century in Tamil Nadu). The prefix Tiru is translated from Tamil as "Holy".

 

Three thousand verses of the main work of his life - Tirumandiram - are part of the Tamil Shaivist siddhanta. His own biography is set out in Periya Puranam and several other sources, including his friend Agastya and the texts of Bogar.

 

From birth, Tirumular received the name Sundaram (beautiful). He was born in Tamil Nadu into the family of a sage and a woman from a lower caste. At a young age, he entered Tamil Sangha, the Agastya school, where he excelled in the study of the scriptures and became friends with the master himself. After training, a hunger for knowledge took him to Kailash, where he met Nandi, who gave him initiation and taught him and several other disciples (including Patanjali) the Vedas and Agamas, and where Sundaram became nath.

 

From Kailash, Sundaram and other disciples descended to Chidambaram to worship. Many remained there, and Sundaram returned to Kailash, and from there went south to visit his old friend Agastya, passing through many holy places. On the way, with the help of one of the yogi siddhis, he incarnated several times into bodies left by other people (the deceased shepherd Mulan, taking over whose body he had left, he changed his name and became Tirumullar, the king of Virasena and the brahmana Jambukeshwar - after which he also changed his name to Jambumuni, as a symbol of detachment to the body and everything connected with it).

 

When the journey ended, he entered samadhi under the bodhi tree (which received its Tamil name also thanks to him in the story with King Virasena) - in order to come out of meditation once a year and write down one sloka (two lines of concentrated text).

 

After a little over three thousand years, he wrote down Tirumandiram, and then returned to Kailash and entered sorba-samadhi.

 

 

 

Sri Raghavendra Swami

 

Sri Raghavendra Swami- Śrī Rāghavēndra Swami - (1595-1671 CE), who was named Venkanna Bhatta at birth.

 

He performed so many miracles that to this day he is praised as a savior for those who believe in him.

 

The future Swami continued his studies at Shri Matt, where he proved himself to be a brilliant student, winning debates with older students - and a skilled musician, amazing people with his Vina playing skills.

 

Continuing his studies, the young man got married and in the same year he had a son, followed by a daughter. His wife's name was Sarasvati, and, instead of getting in the way, marriage only helped his spiritual growth - until his teacher had a dream that the Lord had told him to make Venkanna his successor and put him at the head of the school.

 

To do this, it was necessary to take sannyas, but because of renunciation, the young family man would have to give up caring for his wife and small child, so the young man doubted for a long time - until the goddess Saraswati himself appeared in a dream and told him to follow the order teacher, and in 1621 he took sannyasa, becoming twice-born and receiving the new name Raghavendra Theertha, and soon headed the school itself, where he was engaged in transferring knowledge to students for about fifty years.

 

He visited all of South India, making a pilgrimage to holy places and giving lectures on the way, where he shocked everyone with his mastery of Dwight's philosophy, won many admirers and followers, and wrote many works that were so revered that they were taken after him in a procession of elephants ...

 

In 1671, after a speech dedicated to his disciples and followers, Raghavendra Swami passed into jiva samadhi in Mantralayama.

 

Here are some of the words in his speech:

1. The right way of thinking does not come without the right way of life.

2. Community work for worthy people is like honoring the Lord.

3. Always stay away from people who work miracles.

4. True knowledge is greater than any miracle.

5. Surrender to the Lord. Devotion should never be blind faith.

 

Sri Raghavendra Swami told his disciples that his spirit would be with them for the next seven hundred years.

 

 

Bogar.

 

Bogar (Bogar or Bhogar) was a siddha of southern India, a contemporary of Tirumullar. (550-300 BC).

 

It is said that according to the last wish of his guru, Bogar went to China (in a flying vehicle). In China, he showed blueprints for this vehicle, and then built another one for traveling by sea. Master Bogara was a Chinese man who attained enlightenment in India, and this was his last wish.

 

Bogar's journey from Tamil Nadu to China and how he taught enlightenment to the people of the Heavenly Empire is described by him in "Bogar 7000, song 6". At the same time, various other documents describe the appearance in China of Lao Tzu and his Tao Te Ching, which also met the principles of nonduality. So it is possible (there is still controversy on this topic) Bogar and Lao Tzu were one and the same person. This is supported by the following facts: in China it was from this period that the doctrine of nonduality appeared, which had not been mentioned in any way in Chinese treatises; there is an unexpected boom in the development of alchemy and pharmacology, which had not developed before either.

 

According to the books of the Siddhas, Bogar discovered the elixir of immortality. He wrote the most famous texts on pharmacognosy, yoga, archery and medicine. The most - Saptakanda, where he shares the peculiarities of preparing medicines with an older student.

 

From 4448 rare herbs, he created 9 poisons, which he mixed into a universal medicine for all diseases (a similar one was also described by Tirumullar in Tirumandiram). With the help of Agastya and other sidhas, Bogar cast this medicine in the form of a statue of Murugan, which is installed in Palani. This medicine can be extracted from the statue by pouring milk and panchamirha (sweet mixture) on it. During his lifetime, Bogar constantly performed the puja of the statue in this way, and then this work was continued by his senior disciple.

 

Bogar himself personally constructed a tomb for himself according to the statue and passed in it into nirvikalpa samadhi - the highest stage of samadhi.

 

 

 

Agastya (1).

 

Agastya is one of the most celebrated sages in Hinduism. He and his wife wrote hymns of the Rig Veda from 1.165 to 1.191. He also wrote Agastya Gita (part of the Varaha Purana) and Agastya Samhita (part of the Skanda Purana).

 

Agastya is called "the father of the Tamil language" as the author of the main textbook on Tamil grammar "Astiam".

He is the hero of countless myths and epics, as well as one of the 7 "saptarshi" - the main sages. Interestingly, his bas-reliefs are found even in Indonesia on the island of Java.

 

He was not a brahmana by birth, but he studied science and became a sage. He also founded the doctrine of varmas (marmas) - important points, clicking on which can kill or cure. A separate branch of medicine (varmatherapy) and the martial art of Kalaripayat, the patron saint of which is the sage Agastya, grew out of this teaching. The teachings of the Varmas Agastya were transmitted by the son of Shiva, who had already taught him to other siddhas.

 

Ramayana describes him as an amazing sage, short, strong build. Living in the south, he balances the forces of Shiva, the weight of Kailash and Mount Meru. Once he asked the Vindhya mountains, in which he lived, to become lower so that the moon, sun and living beings could more easily pass through them.

 

In the Mahabharata, a case is described that during the great battle of the gods and asuras, the asuras hid in the ocean, and Agastya, at the request of the gods, drank the ocean, exposing all the demons.

 

Agastya (2).

 

The appearance of a sage is incredible, as is his life. He has no father or mother. Once, when Varuna and Mitra were performing a yajna, a celestial apsara named Urvasi emerged from the fire. She made such an impression on both gods that their seed fell on the ground in which the flower grew. From this flower Agastya was born, along with his twin brother Vasishta (in some versions of this story).

 

Agastya immediately began to lead an ascetic lifestyle, engaging in self-study, and soon became a famous sage. Because of his knowledge, he is called a brahmana, although he was not born in a brahmana family.

 

Once Agastya met a girl, princess Lopamudra from the kingdom of Vidharbha. One of the most famous recorded dialogues took place with her, where Agastya talks about the highest value of monastic life, and Lopamudra refutes it, revealing the nature of life and time and talking about the possibility of happiness and realization without being a monk. She successfully seduces the sage, but when Agastya proposes, the princess's parents refuse the ascetic, saying that their beautiful daughter cannot live with the hermit in the forest. However, Lopamudra still accepts the sage as her husband, telling them that her beauty will melt, but his virtue is eternal.

 

They settle on the forested slopes of the Vindhya mountains, where they build an ashram and raise disciples. Soon they will have a son named Drdhasyu. The Mahabharata says about this child that he heard so many verses from the Vedas while he was in the womb that he was born into this world singing hymns.

When the Ramayana began, Agastya met Rama before He went to snatch his wife from the hands of Ravana, handed him the divine bow and arrows and accompanied him with such an admonition: "Rama, demons do not like people, so people should love each other."

 

Nilkanth.

 

 

He was born on April 3, 1781, and 11 years later he left his home completely barefoot and in one loincloth to make a journey of 9 years and 11 months. Nilkantha was looking for a person who would have comprehensive yogic knowledge in a very simple way: asking all 5 very simple questions, but nowhere did he find the answer to them - neither walking barefoot along the icy passes of the Himalayas, nor in ancient temples, nor in ashrams.

 

Wherever he went, people were struck by his purity and asked to stay, but the time for this came only at the end of the journey, when in the Lodge Nilkanth he received answers to his questions, and then the initiation from the Teacher and became Swaminarayan, soon heading the school as successor to the Mentor.

 

His disciples included both Muslims and Zoroastrians; he built 6 temples and learned 500 paramahamsas [a person who attained realization], who carried the knowledge further into the world.

 

and completed his journey on June 1, 1980, announcing the date of his death to the students.

 

Here are 5 questions the young man was looking for answers:

What is jiva? What is iśvara? What is maya? What is a brahman? What is parabrahman?

 

Patanjali

 

Indian monuments contain legendary details of his biography.

Patanjali was born in an extraordinary place called Ilavritavarsa.

 

Shortly before his birth, Vishnu reclined on his serpent, Adishe, and watched the dance of Shiva. The dance influenced him so strongly that his whole body began to vibrate and became extremely heavy. Adisesha asked Vishnu's blessings to study this dance, so that he could please Vishnu in such a way, and he blessed him with birth in a human body, in which he could bestow upon humanity the blessings of knowledge and at the same time learn this dance. At the same time, Gonika, a yogini who achieved high knowledge, prayed for a worthy successor to whom she could pass it on. According to legend, this woman was born in the human body of Adisesh.

 

The boy Gonika named Patanjali (pat = to fall, añjali = salute, this is also the name of folded palms in namaste).

From birth, the boy showed incredible abilities and knowledge. The answers to the questions he gave amazed sages, rishis and ordinary observers. Often he was able to describe not only the past and present, but also distant events in the future.

 

 

When the young man grew up, he married the incredibly beautiful girl Lolupa, whom he met on Mount Sumeru and lived happily  with her until old age.

As for his teacher, the Siddhanta says that he was one of Nandi's disciples.

 

"We bow at the feet of the Lord who blessed Nandikeswara

Four Nandinis,

Shivayoga Muni, Patanjali, Vyaghrapada and me (Tirumular)

We were among those eight. "

                                                     Tirumantiram Tantra 1

 

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (Skt. Pātañjalayogasūtrāṇi) is a key text of the Indian philosophical school of yoga, which has had a huge impact on the perception of yoga in India and the rest of the world.

It consists of 196 sutras (capacious sayings, each of which hides a layer of knowledge).

Most famous  commentary on them - Yogabhasya, written by the great sage Vyasa. There is also a version that this commentary and the sutras were compiled by Patanjali himself.