Concept of  Immortality (Kayakarpam)


 by P.Karthigayan, Chennai


Deathlessness or longevity is an important field of Siddha System. The
medicinal products consumed for achieving deathlessness are called
kayakarpam in Tamil. There are many beliefs and wrong notions about this
subject. I am trying to throw some light on this subject through my
following communication.

Kayakarpam (Part-15.5)
Ashtanga Yogam-5

 Siddhas have identified that the human birth is the best among the
creations of God and the same should be spent in realization of the
Superior (The God). They have identified that the attempts of human beings
towards divine realization falls under four broad categtories, viz.,
Sariyai, Kiriyai, Yogam and Gnanam . Sariyai
refers to external spiritual approach; Kiriyai refers to an external and
internal spiritual approach; Yogam refers to an internal approach and
finally Gnanam refers to spiritual realization. All these four are
inter-related. Therefore, these four are further sub-grouped into four
each, as Sariyai in Sariyai, Kiriyai in Sariyai, Yogam in Sariyai and
Gnanam in Sariyai, and so on.

 Thus, Yogam, presently dealt by us as Ashtanga Yogam, (or Raja Yogam as
called by Siddhas) is also categorized into four parts viz., Sariyai in
Yogam, Kiriyai in Yogam, Yogam in Yogam and Gnanam in Yogam. The first four
steps of Ashtanga yoga, viz., Iyamam, Niyamam, Aadhanam and Pranayamam, are
grouped under Sariyai in Yogam. The steps Prathiyagaram and Tharanai are
grouped under Kiriyai in Yogam. The step Dyanam is Yogam in Yogam and
finally, Samadhi is Gnanam in Yogam.


 Of the eight steps described above, Aadhanam and Pranayama are continued
in the background, in a slightly different form, throughout the other four
steps, viz., Prathiyagaram, Tharanai, Dyanam and Samadhi. The previous
posting explains Siddha Agathiyar's views about the preliminary stage of
Pranayama (otherwise known as Nadisuddhi) which is tuning the nervous
system to make the disciple persevering in the task of becoming a Siddha to
succeed even further. At first the disciple is advised to do Pranama,
concentrating from Mooladharam till Agnai above. Once the six vital spots
are tuned perfectly he can do pranama in the normal way itself (i.e., from
the neck itself, according to Chattaimuni Pingnanam-100:61). This will be
dealt more in the forthcoming episode.


Taming the Monkey: Once a practitioner of Siddha cult qualifies himself
socially by practicing Iyamams and Niyamams, attains physical fitness
through Aasanas, cleanses the blood streams by practicing Pranayamam, he
will be considered to be a wise man by the world. But is he a wise man? His
very conscious may not attest him to be so. Because his mind will have the
detailed image of his true self. For getting a good certificate from his
mind, he still has to overcome his mind by purifying it; overcoming the
mind is not an easy job. Siddhas have compared the mind to a monkey.
Because, our mind is unpredictable, since it either elevates or overthrows
one dramatically. It is because of this quality of mind that many scholars
and saints are suddenly black listed on the grounds of susceptible character.


 Everyone knows that a monkey is an interesting creature. It is the
cleverest of all the animals and the capabilities of its brain is said to
be closest to that of a human-being. It learns things faster and once
learnt, remembers it and can recall it when required. It has the same
emotions that a human being has, right from affection, love, hatred,
stealthiness, etc. A scientist who did research on monkeys had given a
visual proof on the Discovery Channel of television, about a young monkey
that died by fasting and weeping after its' beloved mother's death. Hence,
the memory of a monkey never fades away. Making a monkey forget something
is difficult.


 That is the reason why Siddhas have compared the human mind to a monkey; a
monkey with a naughty mind and an appropriate body. Controlling a monkey is
a tough job. First of all we have to catch it. When we attempt to do so, it
will jump around in entirely different directions. But trained hunters can
catch them by using baits. Similarly, capturing the realm of mind is hard.
But, sensual baits often lure the mind, by stimulating the related traces
of memory referred by Siddhas as Vasanai. The next step of Ashtanga Yoga
will deal with this subject. Consider how Siddha Chattaimuni compares
traces of memory (vasanai) to a monkey and its activities destructive to
mind's development:

   Traces of memory, the robust monkey, will
  Jump upon the branches of senses, and
  Bounce upon them in sheer madness, and,
  Shake the mind to its very destruction;
  Won't allow the mind to reach it's heights;
  An obstacle that is against wisdom; and,
  Be him who conquers the traces of memory,
  He will discover the Path of Wisdom!
     >> Chattaimuni Mungnanam-100(51)

 Thus, the traces of memories of our past experience, influences our
character, often, in undesirable ways. Erasing those traces from the mind
is a hard job; since, the traces of past memories have the tendency to
spring again and again in the same intensity as our attempt to erase it.
The following lines of Siddha Chattaimuni explains it aptly by comparing
the traces of past memories to the nature of a well that oozes water and
stresses that he who conquered Vasanai is himself a Siddha. in the
following lines of his two different verses.

  The more and more you fetch water, the well
  The more and more springs it out;
  The more and more, you shun Vasanai,
  The more and more it emerges in your mind!
    >> Chattaimuni Mungnanam-100(55)
  He who kills the menace of Vasanai,
  He is the fittest for divine wisdom; and,
  He who controls its recurrence;
  Will himself become a Siddha!
    >> Chattaimuni Mungnanam-100(56)
 Siddhas have diligently named this traces of past memories as Vasanai
(smell). Let us see how this term is suitable for the same. If one feels
the smell of a ripe mango the mind will recall the experience of enjoying
eating a mango with details of the colour, flavour, taste, occasion, etc.
If one wishes to forget the traces of this memory, one has to erase the
relevant multimedia database in his/her mind. But, it is a most difficult
task to do. Because, just like a modern software hides its registration
details in some undetectable location, the mind also keeps the essence of
all our past memories on some odd spots of it. Like a software, (even after
expert cross-engineering efforts) detects the piracy attempted by the user,
by sensing comparable details from other running software, the mind again
and again renews its information base by sensing the movements of the
related organs. Thus, if one wishes to erase the experience of a mango
one's eyes should not see a mango; the nose should not smell one; the ears
should not hear a related utterance and so on. So, if one wishes to control
one's mind, then one should control his/her senses also. Siddha Chattaimuni
says that, observing spiritual silence is the only expert technique for
conquering .

  Hear, silence does not mean closing the mouth as believed by many of us.
It is in deed referred to the silence of the thought-free-mind (free even
from the chant of manthra as explained in the previous posting), a silence
that is experienced at the kumbaka stage. Siddha Chattaimuni stresses on
the real meaning of his usage "Silance"

  Silence does not mean simply closing the mouth; if so contended,
  What good that silence had produced for the bullock, horse, etc.
  (They also maintain silence by closing the mouth, eating whatever
provided, and
  leading a detached life according to their master's wish.
  Yet, nobody considers them as a yogi or a saint)
    >> Chattaimuni Mungnanam-100(40)


 Thus, concentrating on the sensuel organs (explained in Prathiyagaram) in
the background while observing divine thoughts in the foreground is said to
over write the traces past memories that are already stored therein. With
this background information we will proceed to Prathyaagaram, formatting
the mind for a divine purpose.


PRATHIYAAGARAM: The word Prathiyagaram refers to withdrawal of conscience
from the sensual-points spread all over the body and thereby dismantling
the network of thought transmission.
  Thus Prathiyaagaram, the art of erasing the past datum preserved by the
mind all over our body. Siddha Agathiyar, in his Soumya Saagaram-1200(252)
explains that Prathiyaagaram is a six fold attempt, viz., 1) Sareera
Prathiyagaaram 2) Indiriya Prathiyagaaram 3) Praana Prathiyagaaram 4)
Karana Prathiyagaaram 5) Kamiya Prathiyagaaram and 6) Sarvasanga
Prathiyagaaram. These six, in fact, refer to Preserving the body,
Controlling the senses, erasing races of memory by breath practice,
Attaining a strong will, Observing psychological detachments and Living in
a divine atmosphere.

 The following is the outcome of observing Soumya Saagaram-1200 (293-299)
by Siddha Agathiyar. He stresses that all these six kinds of Prathiyaagaram
should be performed after Naadisuddhi (i.e., after purifying the nervous
system, the Pranayama explained earlier).


1. Sareera Prathiyaagaram (Preserving the body): This
refers to preservation of body with an inner conscience by clearance of
mind's impact over the body. This is of two kinds:


i) Samadhi : Remaining in a space constructed underground
and tuning the mind inwards known as Samadhi. Since isolation can help a
practitioner greatly, this method chosen. Dedicated Siddhas were strenuous
enough to build caves using medicinal minerals, etc., and have done their
meditative efforts (Agathiyar Paripooranam-1200:555). Some caves or
secluded rooms were later on sanctified by people and temples of Gods were
built around them. Most of the old hill based temples in Tamil Nadu are
related to some Siddha's Meditation spot. For instance, Siddha Bogar
Samadhi is said to be in more than one places, (viz., Pazani, Kadhirkamam,
Thiruchendur, Thiruthanigai, Thirupparankundram); Nandhi (Kasi,
Thiruvavaduthurai); Konganar (Thirupathi, Koadithurai, Thirukkannangudi);
Thirumoolar (Chidambaram); and so on.


ii) Body-car: Realizing that knowledge is real Godliness
and protecting the energy and zest with a desire to attain greater heights
in knowledge. Once they have seasoned their body there will be no need for
a cave and as such they can preserve their body in every circumstance. They
would have, by then, started to consider their own body as a cave temple
wherein the life force resides.
  God, the Supreme ruler, dwells in the mind, and thereby,
  The fleshy body has become a holy temple, and,
  For the Provider of all virtues, the mouth turned tobe the tower gate,
  For the learned Saints, the Life force itself is Siva's idol, while,
  The divine shrine is illuminated by the five senses (that are tamed).
  >> Thirumoolar Thirumandhiram-3000(1823).

Note: Siddhas are experts in handling words. The second couple of lines
convey a philosophic meaning as follows: For those who have clear knowledge
about spirituality, the two forces of breath, exemplified as Gods and
Goddesses will finally unite togeter above Agnai, the sixth vital spot, and
produce the philosophical idol of Gods Siva & Sakthi, the Sivalingam. The
senses will add glory to the shirine (unlike their contrary role in common
man). Since a person at this stage would have conquered his senses there is
no need for a Samadhi. Nijanandha Bodham, a collection of Philosophic
scriptures also attests this fact


2. Indhiriya Prathiyagaram ( Controlling the senses):
This refers to recouping the senses from their routine path. We have seen
how a disciple should mould his conduct, imbibe noble characters, tone up
the body and tune the nervous system with Iyamams, Niyamams, Aadhanams and
Pranayamam. After perfecting the outward and inward selves, one should
attempt to purify the abstract self that is often responsible for a
person's name and fame in his society; the self that is influenced by his
thoughts. Siddhas have done extensive research on thoughts since it is the
one that differentiates man from all other living beings and qualifies him
to be the masterpiece of God's creations. According to them, thought is an
almost indestructible force in us. Even if one succeeds in overcoming a set
of thoughts, another set will again germinate (like intestinal worms) from
our senses wherein the best of our past experiences are adequately charged
to ensure diligent service of senses. Thus even when the mind is ruled by
our disciplined thoughts, the senses disrupt this discipline and cause us
to roll into the pit of sins.

  The mosquito is attracted by touch modality and looses its life;
  (It just touches the tender skin, sucks the blood and invites its death)
  The beetle is attracted by visual modality and looses its life;
  (It is attracted by colourful flowers and often is caught in it)
  The deer is attracted by auditory modality and looses its life;
  (The archer makes bell sounds to confuse the deer and kills it)
  The fish is attracted by the sensation of taste and looses its life;
  (The fisherman uses baits to kill it)
  The ant is attracted by its olfactory modality and looses its life;
  (It eats away the edible items as such as it is killed in order to
protect the item)
  Observe how all these five creatures have lost their lives heedlessly;
  Similarly human beings will be trapped by their senses; and,
  Fail in their destined goals and alas loose their dear lives!
  (Hence be careful about senses!)
    >> Chattaimuni Mungnanam-100(14)

 That is why, Siddhas have advised that overcoming thoughts should be
attempted by a strategic plan. They said that thoughts should be destroyed
right from their root. Where lies their root? They said the root of all our
thought lies in the senses spread throughout our body in each and every
tiny cells. According to them the thought process is decentralized and as
such the mind need not have to process most of the routine thoughts in its
full detail. Each thoughts protocol is stored in the relevant sensual point
in an active state (like cookies used in advanced computer programming?).
Thus, the senses can directly handle the thought according to situation
just like how the thought can stimulate the senses for a complete sequence
of related experience. In other words the mind is engaged in preparing the
fresh protocols only.

A reflection: Observe how different workers do their routine job diligently
without troubling their mind in every step; Observe how different persons
reacts on getting a particular food, how different persons exclaim on a
particular idea, how different persons laugh a particular joke, etc. Each
thought is in reality multi-faceted. The nose stores the smell of it; the
ear, the sound of it; the eyes, the charm of it; the tongue, taste of it;
the fingers, the feel of it and the mind, the totality of it; so on and so
forth. That is why the scent of a fruit, the touch of a substance, the
charm of a visual object, the taste of a delightful food makes us to
remember the event and triggers our chain of thoughts on that rout (just
like a train that runs on a pre-paved rail track).


3. Praana Prathiyagaram ( Erasing traces of memory):
This is the prime part of Prathiyagaram. Siddha Agathiyar stresses that
this is the important stage in Prathiyagaram. After cleaning the nervous
system through Naadisudhdhi (Pranayamam) one should concentrate on his body
right from the head till the toes of the feet, in a step by step manner,
viz.., ears, skin, eyes, tongue, nose, throat, uvula, neck, chest, blood,
vein, navel, thighs, lower leg, soles and big toes and pull back the breath
towards the brain.


 This technique is termed by them as Prathyagaram. Siddha Agathiyar in his
Soumya Saagram says that Prathiyagaram is the art of detecting the inward
movement of the breath, that nurtures the sensual points, and erases the
records of our past memories. It may be asked how this is possible. Siddhas
believe that the breath drags the mind to different parts of our body. We
have seen earlier that air moves blood throughout our body. The flow of
blood stimulates our senses and as a result of which, we react. Thus the
mind dwells where the air(breath) dwells.   Where the human mind dwells there dwells the breath; and,
  Where not the human mind dwells, there not the breath dwells
    >> Thirumandhiram-3000(620)

Note: It is on the basis of this strategy, "Sarvanga Aasanam", the Yoga
exercise that relaxes the whole body, is formed. In this, the practitioner
will lie down on the floor just like a dead body facing upward and move
his/her concentration from toe till head (an experienced practitioner can
feel the flow of blood while doing this exercise). Therefore, if the mind
should be controlled the breath should be drawn back from the different
sensual points and recouped in the brain area.

 Mind is already compared to a monkey. You cannot trap an animal in a place
to which it is not used to. So we have to creat a replica of the particular
scenario to which it is used to live in. We can witness a working example
of this idea in zoos, etc. The mind is used to move in different angles
towards senses of its interest, just like a monkey to branches of a tree to
which it is well accustomed. Therefore, instead of allowing mind to wander
on different paths, it is ideal to allow it to wander in a systematic way
while applying mind's control constantly. Thus the mind should be conquered
in its own way.


4. Karana Prathiyagaaram Attaining a strong will): This
is a conduct advised for correcting the ego of the disciple. Realizing that
attaining divine wisdom is the one and only permanent object, withdrawing
oneself from temporal and worldly thoughts, giving up likes and dislikes
and leading a detached life. Consider how the great Saint Pattinathaar
advises his mind.

 
  "Shun superfluous and insulting comments;
  (Since, one's opinions are only pastime for others)
  Travel (in this world) like the dead."
  (They neither appreciate nor criticize their fellowmen).
  >> Pattinathar's general verses

5.Kamiya Prathigaaram (Observing psychological
detachments): This is a personal conduct advised for the disciple. Giving
up attachments of wealth and riches, kiths and kins and proceeding in the
divine pursuit with a determination.

  Be focused on your goal; Believe in God!
  (and surrender to Him with unshakable faith)
  Consider the body's activities as a puppet show!
  (the show's charm and end are not in your hand)
  Think that your relations are participants in crowded fair!
  (You are more appreciated for what you can offer)
  Realize that life will flow away as from a tilted pot;
  (life is short, spend it wisely with a rational approach)
  My mind you act wisely on these morals.
  (Save your skin and save yourself from sin)
  >> Pattinathar's general verses

6. Sarvasanga Prathiyagaaram (Living in a divine
atmosphere): This is a social conduct advised for the disciple. Presuming
everything in the world is one's own self, and feeling that one is filled
in everything as if God and endearing the cosmos of creation, is known as
Sarvasanga Prathiyaagaram. This is a hard skill to acquire. Realizing facts
one by one and finally becoming perfectly good is a rare feat. That is why
Siddhas have advised that one should mingle with a company that is suited
for his spiritual path. Each can teach a virtue. The likes and dislikes
among the even-minded, flow like a tune. Trying situations will be less and
enrichment on the decided science will be easier.

 Keep the company of sages and saints,
  Listen to philosophical and divine discourses,
  Past memories, the troublesome monkey,
  Will flee away from you!
    >> Chattaimuni Mungnanam-100(52)
Note: There are textual evidences that Siddhas, adhering to this
discipline, have convened intellectual get-togethers, forums, debates,
etc., for strengthening their knowledge in this field.

 Thus, Prathiyagaram is the most important part of Ashtanga Yoga, since it
deals with purification of the mind which is the very basis of Yoga. Many
religious personalities have failed halfway due to misconduct and scandals
just because they were saints outwardly but could not maintain an even
image inwardly. Another interesting theme about Prathiyagaram is that its
contention that our vices hide not only in our mind but throughout our
body, i.e., in each and every tiny blood cell of our body; and, amazingly,
there is a technique to over-write virtues upon vices.


 To summarise the above episode, reciting a verse of Siddha Agathiyar
explaining prathiyagaram in a nut shell is worthwhile considering, I believe:

 
  "Respect the elders,
  (they will save you from wrong notions);
  Read great books,
  (so that, you can gain the secrets of Siddhas);
  Have a definite goal,
  (so that, you can aspire and work for it);
  Worship Siva and Sakthi (the two Yogic forces),
  (for, they both make the life dance In you)
  Continue breath practice,
  (for, it is, breath that decides life in body)
  Prefer isolation for your intellectual quest,
  (better, far from the maddening crowd)
  Drink the divine liquid of silence,
  (There is yet another silence in cosmos)
  Bridle the untamed Horse (with Vasi at Mooladharam),
  (Vasi*, the horse will take you to places unseen)"
  >> Agathiyar Paripooranam-1200(554)
  * will be dealt in the next episode.
 Once the traces of past memories are erased by Prathiyagaram, the disciple
will be introduced to the next step, Thaaranai.

 

One cannot achieve deathlessness in the following ways. But, these may be considered as components of that finished product. In other words, the target has to be achieved by the combined effort from all angles. 

There is another set of people (the kabaligas and some butchers you learn about through newspapers) who believe or lead to believe that deathlessness, eternal bliss and treasure troves can be achieved by certain unlawful activities, including human sacrifice. I am not elaborating the acts of this set of people, for sacrificing any livingbeing including a humanbeings is a cruel and brutal deed as far as Siddhas are concerned. They have never advocated or encouraged such deeds. They expect a standard in their followers that standard can only be attained by reading their scripts, a vast ocean, and acquire the pearls of knowledge from that. This requires great patience and perseverance. In fact Siddhars are dead-against killing any livingbeing. It is due to scattered reading of Siddhars' literatures without proper (1) linguistic, (2) religious (3) ecological background. 

To enlighten further on these lines: 

The less-informed butchers will open a slaughter house with poor understanding and subsequently penalized for their cruelty. In general, they discovered that God has created the prabancha or cosmic first with a mission among other responsibilities to create a specific substance on the earth using its force, and through this substance he created the oceans, living beings, vegetation, why, the whole worldly scenario, to put it rightly. The following Thirumandhiram (2729) related to this fact There could still be many more keys; we have to find them. I will continue shortly. Before concluding as I have earlier mentioned the great Agathiyars rare saying about deathlessness in four lines which is given bellow. Remember, Siddhars are dead-against killing livingbeings.

one cannot achieve deathlessness in the following ways. But, these may be considered as components of that finished product. In other words, the target has to be achieved by the combined effort from all angles.

  1.. Consuming certain herbs/herbs cultivated in some special methods (black herbs)
  2.. Practicing certain yogasasanas
  3.. Controlling breath by Pranayama
  4.. Chanting manthras
  5.. Worshiping God
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There is another set of people (the kabaligas and some butchers you learn about through newspapers) who believe or lead to believe that deathlessness, eternal bliss and treasure troves can be achieved by certain unlawful activities, including human sacrifice. I am not elaborating the acts of this set of people, for sacrificing any livingbeing including a humanbeings is a cruel and brutal deed as far as Siddhas are concerned. The have never advocated or encouraged such deeds. They expect a standard in their followers that standard can only be attained by reading their scripts, a vast ocean, and acquire the pearls of knowledge from that. This requires great patience and perseverance. In fact Siddhars are dead-against killing any livingbeing. It is due to scattered reading of Siddhars' literatures without proper (1) linguistic, (2) religious (3) ecological background. To enlighten further on these lines:

1.. They use code words in many places. These code words are coined based on comparing some common event/substance in the true word and their-own coined word.
2.. They will quote incidents in puranas and epics, where they will imply certain facts related to methodology of their science.
3.. They will coolly talk about our biological events like (femine) maturity, menstruation, pregnancy, labour pain, child birth; they will talk about urine, milk, amniotic and other fluids; they talk about bone, flesh, blood, skin, hair, serum, etc.; also, they will refer sexual differentiation like male and female; these are all imaginations related to similar happenings on earth due to cosmic force or panjaboodha thatva and not related to humanbeings. The less-informed butchers will open a slaughter house with poor understanding and subsequently penalized for their cruelty.
In general, they discovered that God has created the prabancha or cosmic first with a mission among other responsibilities to create a specific substance on the earth using its force, and through this substance he created the oceans, living beings, vegetation, why, the whole worldly scenario, to put it rightly.  Thirumandhiram (2729) related to this fact.

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In this communication I will deal with the beliefs of a few forming the group 
little-informed about kayakalpam. This group of people think kayakalpam is
possible through (they will use technical words since they are little informed): 
 
1)  they refer to solid form mercury. Mercury is known for its liquidity.  It is said that solid form of
mercury can offer many super-natural powers to one right from adding the vigor
 till flying in the air. Now-a-days in many handicrafts shops mercury
beads are sold. People buy them with great faith. The price of the bead is fixed 
based on the expense incurred for producing them. I have seen mercury
beads sold for RS.3000 25 years back - it was that costly then itself. 

Mercury sold at shops is not pure; often, adulterated with lead, zinc, sulfur, etc.
 But, some genuine people will sell purified mercury beads who will
explain the medicinal aspects of their product also. If one attaches great belief to
 this (like me long back) will study the Siddhars sayings, especially the
supernatural powers. But, these beads are worth only as any other metal 
ornament. I have never heard of anybody flying, using these beads. But,
Siddhars have a different meaning for this word referring to a nature's product 
due to ecological changes. The product is quite comparable to mercury and
has all its aspects. But in alchemy they use the metallic mercury. (I have not 
mentioned here about people, I have heard of, mistaken the above word
to sperm and do ugly religious rituals worth inducing the viewer to vomit 
on the spot) 

2) they refer to the divine chantings, to start with the sacred Om. 
Of course, sacred chantings have their own effect on humanbeings. The
major effect of chanting of manthras is tuning the mind to a state of serenity 
and calmness. A peaceful mind is a powerful weapon for combating our
eternal struggles. They enrich our psychic powers and extra sensory perception, 
etc. But, chanting can never confer one with kayakalpa or deathlessness,
since, Siddhas have coined these words as equations for attaining deathlessness
 if properly prepared. In their language (as seen in many of their scripts)
words like means process/consume. They advocate different
 methodology for making and consuming the divine kuligais and
advocate one to do the above said mental exercises. They say that under such 
conditions the breath will be tuned  for elongating the
prana and in turn life-span. 


3)  Many people talk about medicines that can bless one deathlessness.
 When we talk to these people about those medicines, they will talk about
navapashanams letc. Some will say  (the mercury and other four products made with mercury, viz., veeram, Pooram,
lingam, lingachenduram) Some will talk 
about (arsenic products and sulfur)  All these minerals  have
 great medicinal values. Each poison has its own special
effect, if purified in proper manner; otherwise they will produce unbearable 
side-effects. Medicines prepared with these so-called poisons can cure many
complicated diseases miraculously. There are medicines which are said to cure all
diseases. But, death is a great disease to cure. Siddhas have hidden their
meanings as follows. They will use confusingly similar names like. 
The items can be used for medicine while the coded ones
have to be used for kayakalpam. 
Birth and death are the two major incidents that accidentally take place in the lives of all living-beings. There are 
many controversial views on these two
likely or unlikely events. 

Some believe that when one dies the soul dies forever; while some others believe that when one dies, the body
 alone dies and the soul takes another birth
and coolly continues its quests. Hindus in general, and Tamilians in particular, believe that, body alone dies at the
 time of death and the soul takes newer
births again and again.It is just in this context the great divine poetess Avvai considered birth as an endless 
happening by calling it as "mayaapiravi".

Similarly, Tiruvalluvar a great Siddha and poet, in one place, compares the endless births that a soul takes, to a 
great ocean  In another place he compares death to sleep, which is a daily routine for all living beings. As a 
livingbeing sleeps and wakes-up thousands of
times in its life, the soul is considered to experience death and birth for thousands of times.
Thus, a single soul is believed to take countless deaths and births. Therefore, Thirumandhiram, the compendium 
of Siddhas' Philosophies, advises all
human beings to seek and accomplish the technique to avoid the process of death in one body and reincarnation
The following are some of the unforgettable incidents I have read in this context. 

Some 30 years back, I remember to have read in a book published by Theosophical Society (I believe), a record 
of events, of an experiment conducted
through a very experienced Yogi, where the yogi once attained his peak yogic state will be made to touch the 
head of a devotee and predict his/her past
births, a revelation from the universal source, using his mystic contact. I have randomly read the book and 
amazed to know that a persons births continues
during the different periods of history, on different continents, in different types of bodies and in different sex. 
As per the information read therein, it
seems that the expedition of a soul is endless and it may continue for centuries together without any unique tag 
of caste, creed or credulity. Since I read
this very long back the image in my memory is blur but the information has not faded away due to its factual 
weightage. I tried to give reference of these
books, but on enquiry I have learnt the Theosophical Society has got many books dealing with this subject and 
locating the book will take time.

Sir Arthur Conan Deyle, author of the famous Sherlock Holems detective novels, was said to have interest in
 Eastern Philosophy and did some worthy
research on the myths of death and the status of the soul after death. He seemed to have contacted his daughter 
when he was physically dead and spoke
to her through their servant maid's body, who went faint then (as reported later by his daughter). This recorded 
information leads us to believe that the
soul never dies with the body. 

An young girl called Guruvammal (alias Guruvaaththal) belong to Puliampatti village (alias Puliankulam) near
 Kovilpatti was murdered by one cruel
person. Her soul took the body of a parrot and dwelled in that village for quite some time with its 
(i.e., Guruvammal's) relatives and amidst many other
strange deeds it identified the murderer. (As reported to have happened during June, 1989 and recorded by 
Mr.R.Ramaswami in his book "Kandadhum,
Kettadhum", Episode 15, Page 108). The incident has been photographed and published. 

A young girl named "Sakshi" identified one Mr.Shyam Mithra as her "son of her previous birth" at Keerthi Nagar, 
New Delhi. She moved with Shyam's
family as if a blood-relative, telling her name was "Bholi bai" in her previous birth and proved her statements to 
him and his other relatives by quoting
many private incidents. The Illustrated Weekly of India had published an article on this unbelievable incident, 
with photograph in its 1-12-1985 issue. 

Numerous incidents of rebirth have been identified from time to time and such reports were analyzed by 
researchers in this line and published in books on
rebirth, reincarnation, life after death and other broad headings. 

All the above information makes us to arrive at a conclusion that one physically dies but spiritually continues to 
live and the soul separated from its body
gets another birth and never just dissolves in the atmosphere

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one physically dies but spiritually continues to live and the soul separated from its body gets another birth.

In order to know how this happens we have to know how the body perishes. As per the Siddha literatures, the body is created using five basic elements called Panjabootham, viz., earth, water, fire, air and sky .Here, these words do not have their overall meaning; they just mean the natural quality that inherit in these elements. Siddhas have defined the ratio of these five basic elements as: Earth 1.1/2 part, Water 1.1/4 part, Fire 1.0 part, Air 0.3/4 part and Sky 0.50 part, totaling to 5.0 parts. 

They have identified that there are 96 important principles in our body (bodies, I should say) and that these principles gear the animation in the body. They have advocated that all these principles are governed by the five basic elements and that when there is a change in the ratio of these five basic elements, be it due to any reason, the body will loose its stability. They have gone to the extent of saying, if there is drastic change in the ratio of these basic elements' then birth will take place, meaning death will usher in.

They advocate that "Panchaboodhas" (the five vital elements) will dwell in our soul and animate the body through the organs, actions, emotions and biological components, controlled by them as follows:

They say that, our five sensual organs, viz., body, mouth, eyes, nose and ears  are indirectly controlled by the five vital elements as follows: air(skin), water(tongue), fire(eyes), earth(nose) and sky(ears).

Let us take one example and see how the element of air in our body affects the skin.

We all know that, when skin doesn't have moisture and dried-up, due to excess heat in the body, skin problems will be experienced. In food therapy, bitterness is said to add heat to our constitution and result in skin problems; hence, bitter vegetables are advised to be avoided by patients when they take treatment for skin problems; but bitter vegetables have their own merits which will be discussed elsewhere. Coming to how air affects the skin, we have to observe the two basic qualities of air:

(1) When air dwells in a hot place it will acquire the heat, transport it, and escape through some available vent. Consider how the heat generated by a processor in a computer is removed by fixing a fan upon it (thereby the air flow created by the fan acquires the heat generated by the processor and moves out, leaving the processor cool). 
In our body, air acquires the heat produced in our digestive system during digestion and removes the same through both the upper and lower vents. 
(2) When air moves via watery places it gets cooled down and carries the water content, in the form of moisture and escapes through available vent(s). Consider how a hand-drier in a laboratory works.
In our body, air acquires moisture while moving through our flesh and stimulates sweating; thus keeps the skin smooth and healthy. 
Previously I have mentioned that the "Panchaboodhas" are distributed in certain ratio keeping 5 Units as total. It is the ideal ratio for a healthy man. But wrong food habits, health care, addiction to work, excess craving for aesthetic pleasures, etc. will affect these ratio and as a result the ratio will start to change. But the total units will remain the same, that is, if the first element is reduced this reduction will move the other elements in the queue and thus create a vacuum in the final element. Thus when the ratio will be drastically disrupted, death will occur.
When the system (activated by the structure of the five basic elements) starts to decay it first reduces or eats away the portion of earth (vacuum created in earth's portion) 
(in order to fill the vacuum portion)
The principles of earth will eat away the portion of water (vacuum created in water's portion) 
(in order to fill the vacuum portion)
The principles of water will eat away the portion of fire (vacuum created in fire's portion) 
(in order to fill the vacuum portion)
The principles of fire will eat away the portion of air (vacuum created in air's portion) 
(in order to fill the vacuum portion)
The principles of air will eat away the portion of sky (vacuum created in sky's portion) 
There is nothing to fill this vacuum. Thus, if the portion of sky is completely replaced with a vacuum, the body becomes unfit for eternal animation and dies. 

 

Here, we should realize that whenever the portion of a basic element gets a vacuum the organs or the principle supported and controlled by them will loose their ability/functionality.
When all the basic factors get deteriorated, the body dies.

Death is equated to a structure uplifting the beautiful "Pandhal" (a temporary shade constructed using a structure, bright coloured cloth coverings, silver and golden jerry ornamental works, etc., used by Tamilians during festive occasions). When a "Pandhal" is stiff and erect it was respected for its majestic look, people praised its beauty, it provided shelter for crowds, it added merit to its owners, When the structure is loosen and the ties are removed it looks ugly, it occupies the space, it can no longer provide shelter and nobody will stand under it, also, it spoils the look of the premises which it adorned when it was stiff and erect, it has to be removed, it is dead. Just replace the word "Pandhal" with "Body" and observe the similarity. 

Here, we have to derive another fact. When the "Pandhal's" structure is untied, there left some remains of the structure; the "Panndhal" never becomes completely useless. The owner of the "Pandhal" can erect it once again using the remains and substituting the missing parts; and the Pandhal will once again stand uplift with its usual majestic look, but in a different place, in a different surrounding, but with some unchanged features of its previous structure (like height, width, etc.). Also, it will be appreciated by different group of people since it give shelter to different group of people. Again, replace the word "Pandhal" with "Body" and observe the similarity. 

So, the life of "Pandhal", is an unending story. Similar is that of a living being. Hence, when one dies some principles of one's whole-self do not perish with the body and with the help of those principles one still continues to live, in the second stage of life, as a soul.
 

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Often, many of us think that emotions are concerned with the body and hence when one dies his/her eternal 
interests and regrets also die with the body.
But this is not true. We will see some psychic instances to clarify ourselves on this point.

a.. Do the soul has affection? Raymond Cliff, an experienced pilot in London wished to make a record by flying 
across the Atlantic Ocean. On 13th
March, 1928 he started his expedition from Cramwell Airport in England, in a plane named "Endeavour". 
Unfortunately, he met with some mishap and
was missing. His wife, abandoned with two kids and a little means, could not lead her family in a better way. 
Though Raymond Cliff had insured his
life, his wife was deprived of getting insured sum since the whereabouts of the relevant documents was not known
 to anyone. Raymond Cliff had kept
the original documents in some safe place known only to him. At this juncture, Raymond Cliff's soul voluntarily 
approached an psychic aspirant through
"Ouija Board" (a chart-like means through which communication can be had with souls), announced itself and 
requested the user to help its family. Since
this happened in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's circle, he took initiatives to arrange a meeting between Raymond Cliff's 
soul and his wife through a medium's
body. The soul narrated how it met with a air-crash, how it drowned in the Atlantic Ocean, etc., with emotional 
touch usual for humanbeings. The soul
disclosed the place where the original insurance documents were kept and helped his family to get the insured sum
. The soul narrated how its lifestyle
after death and added that it is living with two other pilots, who had dead during 1925 and 1926 on duty. The 
entire incident has been published in the
form of a book under title "The Airman who would not die" by a journalist Mr.John Fuller in 1979. 

This incident confirms the fact that one who is dead shall have family affinity and kinship, and exercise the same
 through one's invisible body - the Soul.

a.. Do the soul has literary skills? A friend of mine had shown long back a news cutting from Dinamalar (weekly) 
hich contained the information on a
spiritual interview conducted with Kavignar Kannadasan's soul. It seems that, the interviewers have requested the
 oul of Kannadasan to sing a song for
them and the soul delivered a song on the pathetic economic condition of farmers in our country as follows:




This incident confirms the fact that one who is dead shall have imagination and literary skills, and exercise the 
same through one's invisible body - the
Soul.

a.. Do the soul has professional skill? Mr.Bernard Hutton, a journalist of England was suffering from eye disorder
 right from his childhood. During
January 1963 his ailment was at its peak and doctors have lost their hope saying that he will soon loose his 
eyesight. He learnt through a magazine
"Psychic News" that one Dr.Lang died 26 years back (in 1937) was offering eye-treatment at Aylesbury 
(England) through a medium Mr.George
Chapman (a layman). He went there as a last resort with disbelief and great regrets. The soul (Dr.Lang) occupying
 Mr.George Chapman's body, tested
his spectacles and identified the power correctly (as 18). Further the soul said that he was suffering from this eye
 disease for a long time from his
boyhood due to some bacterial infection in the lung. After necessary examinations, the soul said to have conducted
 the eye surgery using invisible
instruments, helped by an invisible assistant and successfully saved the eyesight of the journalist. 
Mr.Bernard Hutton, the journalist overwhelmed with the
service met all the patients got treatment from Dr.Lang's soul, collected their experiences, treatment details, 
opinions, etc., and published a book entitled
"Healing Hands". 

This incident confirms the fact that one who is dead shall have erudition and expertise, and exercise the same 
through one's invisible body - the Soul.

a.. Do the soul has artistic inclination? There was a broadcast conducted by BBC in 1934 under title "Inquiry into
 the Unknown" by one Sir Oliver
Lodge. In this connection 1300 experiences were collected from audience. One of such experiences was about
 the dancing soul. A shooting was
conducted at Casterbery in a castle build 450 years ago. Kim Novek, an actress with dancing ability was also 
acting in that particular schedule of movie.
Suddenly she stood up and started dancing with some unknown phenomenon. The Unknown was dancing so well
 that she could not cope with its
diligent moves. On enquiry she learnt that the castle was constructed by King John, who's soul was seen roaming
 in the castle many times by the natives
of Casterbery. They added that the king was a very good dancer and probably the soul with which she danced 
was that of King John.
This incident confirms the fact that one who is dead shall have dexterity and diligence, and exercise the same
 through one's invisible body - the Soul.

a.. Do the soul has taste appreciation? Srilashri Somasundara Thambiran of Madurai Adheenam has hailed from
 Ceylon. During his early days he was
interested in spiritualism and has done some interesting research in that line. As a part of his research a soft drink
 manufactured by their company under
name "Nervito" was kept in three different dilutions and kept in three glass tumblers. The guiding soul known to
 them was requested to identify which
tumbler contains less diluted cool-drink. Surprisingly the soul said to have identified the right tumbler already 
known to them. There are numerous
psychic instances where souls have proved their ability to identify tastes.
This incident confirms the fact that one who is dead shall relish tastes and flavours, and exercise the same through 
one's invisible body - the Soul.

These are only a few instances. But, there are thousands of reports from many spiritual research bodies spread all
 over the world regarding the qualities of
souls including that of great personalities like national leaders, revolutionary heroes, saints and seers, sooth-sayers,
 physicians and patients, victims of
criminal assault, etc. A close observation of these anecdotes reveal an amazing fact that death takes away only
 the body with its organs but never deprives
a person from his social impact and emotional upsurges. 

Generally a soul maintains all its qualities it developed in its former self, i.e., during its physical existence. They 
possess their intellectual know-how,
mental virtues, literary acquisition, linguistic bias, sexual cravings, emotional imbalances, social impact, cultural 
commitments, etc. 

That is why we have a tradition of offering food, dress, drinks, cigarettes, etc., while performing death ceremonies 
(depending upon the habits of the dead
whose memory is mourned). Thus, the souls of women fond of sarees and jewellery are said to have the same
 likings. Similarly, the souls of men who
are fond of hot drinks, non-vegetarian foodstuff, cigars, etc., are said to have the same likings. 

Therefore, we continue to live the same way with our singular qualities and emotions even after our death, but
 without a body 

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 1) WHETHER THE SOUL IS THE PERMANENT PHENOMENON? No. It can't be. Then birth can not take-place. We will see below how the soul
gets an end. Pattinaththaar, the divine saint expresses his amazement on the concept of parenthood as: 

     Here he did not refer to the parents of his physical body (the visible, tangible outer body), since one can naturally have one father and one mother. We
can assume he did not refer to the parents of his soul . As seen in an earlier communication, the soul considers only the physical body's
relatives as its relatives. 

Here, he clearly implies that the Soul will also die. 

Also, he advises, to somebody that, even if the body and the soul dies, do not get the name as a sinner. To whom he gives his advice? It is to him, the
third-self, who is going to live long, long, years in different bodies, different places and under different social conditions. It is this third-body which has to
live many lives through an unending parental-queue and to put an end to this awesome births it has to purify itself by not gaining a bad name as a sinner.
In fact, the knowledge of the third-self and its complexities, characters, etc., are considered to be the beginning of spiritual wisdom. 

 Nobody will thank somebody for 
showing what he or she already
knows. Avvai  knows her physical body; she had encountered with a soul (the ghost a princes who loved 
an illiterate man) and changed its fate
by divine advise. Hence, she knows about both the body and soul and thanks God only for the knowledge 
about the unknown third body, of which she
learnt anew by his grace. 

2) WHEN REBIRTH TAKES PLACE?

It seems whenever a birth takes place the life force in that body has a period to be active in this world under a 
given social condition. Usually, people die
a little bit early than that period due to many reasons allowing the soul to complete the stipulated period at the 
time of their birth. Research have published
supportive psychic instances to arrive at a conclusion that one has to complete the stipulated period on a given 
birth even if one physically dies. 

If death takes place early when the soul is ignorant the soul will dwell in its place and may do good deed to its 
near and dear. 

When death takes place abruptly due to some force, especially in the case of suicide or murder, the soul may 
appear as a spirit and haunt the spot of its
desire/disaster and try to punish those who are responsible for loosing its physical self. Especially when the 
person has not used the body-machine enough
and enjoyed the physical pleasures it just roams the spot of its origin like a spirit with attachment. 

Thus, each soul has a time period to be active. During this period it grows up and as a last process of that 
growth it perishes. The following two incidents
found in Periapuranam, a compendium of histories of all Saiva saints and the others from spiritual research, 
attempt to confirm the belief that the soul
grows: 

a.. A Devotee of Lord Siva lived in Thirumayilai Village (Presently Mylapore, Chennai, India) whom had a 
charming daughter. He wanted to marry her
to Gnanasambandhar, one of the 63 great Saiva Devotees (Nayanmars). But, unexpectedly one day her daughter
 bit by a poisonous snake and died on
the spot. Her father cremated her with great grief. Since he loved her daughter so much he preserved her asthi 
(bones and ashes left after burning the
body) in a pot made of earthenware. At that time, saint Thirugnanasambandhar came to that village and the father 
cried at him saying the whole story
showing his daughters ashes. Thirugnanasambandhar having moved with the grief of the poor father sung a song
on Lord Siva and surprisingly the girl
came out from the pot. Thus the story goes. But the interesting thing in this is the girl died when she was seven 
years old and when she came out from
the pot after five years she came out with 12 years growth. (Reference: Periapuranam, verses 1080-1094) 

b.. A brahmin boy in Avinasi (Coimbatore Dt., Tamil Nadu) was swallowed by a crocodile while he was
 swimming in the river. After some years when
Sundaramoorthi Nayanar visited that village and learnt the happening. Since the grief of the parents was quite 
pathetic, he used his divine contact with
God, sung a Padhigam (a series of 10 songs) and made the crocodile to came back and emit the boy from its 
mouth. The boy thus came alive was in full
growth including the years after he was swallowed by the crocodile. (Reference: Periapuranam, Vellanai 
Sarukkam, verses 4-13) 

Srilashri Somasundara Thambiran of Madurai Adheenam was a psychic researcher before he acquired that religious responsibility (Let us refer hereafter
as spiritual medium). He encountered on the different aspects concerning soul's transformation and one interesting 
object was to know whether the soul
grows. 

a.. When he was staying at Ammayyanayakanoor, Madurai, one individual working as Circle Inspector at 
Nilakkotai apporoached him with a request to
help him communicate with his son whom had passed away 16 years back at his 13th year. An attempt was
 made to establish the communication but in
vain. So, as per the usual practice of spiritual mediums, called his guiding soul, his father, and asked him about 
the whereabouts of that soul. After
searching in the invisible plane for some time, his father offered an information that the boy already took 
rebirth before 5 years completing his total life as
son of Nilakkottai Circle Inspector. He added that, the boy took birth at Aiyampalayam Village near 
Nilakkottai Taluk itself as daughter of one
Mr.Subbiah, the snuff vendor in that village. 

In this incident the boy's soul was approached after 16 years of his death. He took birth before 5 years. Stayed 
in his prospective mother's womb for 10
months after spending 2 months in his prospective father's body as sperm. On working out these figures we get 
(as 16 minus 5+1years) we get 10 years
as the balance which is the life span of his soul. If his age in physical body is added to it (10+13) his age as
 decided by fate at the time of his birth is 23
years. 

a.. His mother expired at the age of 84 years. On psychic inquiry later, she seemed to have taken birth after 20
 years as son of a hotel proprietor at
Dindigul (a brahmin). So her age decided at the time of birth should be 104. 

There are several reports given by him in his Tamil book 

3) WHETHER THIS IS CONFIRMED BY SIDDHA LITERATURES? 

As per the above verse the 96 principles (30+30+36) live in our body and once the body becomes dead the
 96 principles abandon the body. This
confirms that the body's animations are possible only with these principles and if these principles go away the 
body will become dead. This happens once
we are dead. 

The 96 principles in our body are divided into two parts as internal principles (36) and external principles (60). 
The following verse by great Agathiyar in
his Thathuvam-300 explains how the 36 internal principles distributed in our bodies (Thus, confirms the existence 
of three bodies): 

 Out of the 36 internal principles, 24 constitute the body, 7 constitute the soul and 5 constitute the astral body 
(24+7+5=36). The 36 internal principles
constitute our three bodies and govern them with the help of the other 60 external principles. An extensive 
observation may be had elsewhere. 

So, it is clear; we live in our body (the outer body)for some years, in our soul  for
some more years and in the invisible self  afterwards. Siddhas' literatures assert that this third body is a
compound of three bodies, viz., the third, fourth and firth bodies; these are not elaborated here considering the l
imitations of the subject-matter). 

So, we have a third body also popularly known as astral-body 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
we have seen that we have a third body, known as astral-body
 We have also seen that each livingbeing is granted a period of life depending upon its past life's behaviour; a 
portion of this life period is spent in the outer-most-self, the body and the remaining period is spent in the
 secondary-self, the soul. These time-periods may be considered as life-span of the body
and life-span of the soul, respectively. We have also seen that the soul continues to live with the same qualities
 that acquired in its body (where it previously dwelt). Thus, the soul becomes the recipient for the virtues and 
vices it enjoyed through its body.  Accordingly, the soul is praised and
punished for these virtues and vices at Heaven and Hell (and thus given an opportunity to realise its mistakes and
 correct its attitude towards eternal life).
At this stage the soul perishes leaving the astral body, to continue further. Since the astral body is the ultimate
 beneficiary of the experiences gained
through the activities of both soul and body the astral body takes birth again, as per the verdict of God. The
 following verse explains the above lines: 

Psychic researchers have reported that the concluding portion of soul's life-span is devoted for the above 
realisation process (Srilashri Somasundara
Thambiran of Madurai Adhinam). 

The above idea is confirmed by the following verse from Thirumandhiram. It is stated that "the soul 
 after experiencing the Hell and Heaven's life transforms into astral-body  and continues its travel with its fate 
and as a yogi (who is
experienced in entering into other bodies), it enters into the seed of birth-and-death (".

That is why all religions say, "Do good, refrain from evil, the good you did in your past lives is the wealth you 
inherit on this earth and therefore do good and don't be sinful". This idea is expressed in the verse of Great Avvai, the Divine Tamil Poetess:


Suppose, one leads a life without committing any sin what will be his/her position? Will the birth process be 
applicable for him/her also? This is a very rare possibility which is dealt below.

Sin is the seed of birth. That is why all our religions advise us not to become a sinner. But we often justify our sins
 with some personal laws often fabricated by our bias or that of
our society. For instance, saints say that killing another creature is a sin, but we defend our conscious saying that 
killing something for appeasing our hunger is not a sin
Most of our activities are ruled by similar bias. Thus, different societies believe in 
different justifications about the controversial word sin.
But God is not a party in these societies. He appreciates things differently. He never cares for man-made fancies. 
He has a different mechanism to appreciate the happenings. In his
eyes all creatures are the same, since all living beings are created by Him with equal care. Every livingbeing is a 
masterpiece in its own nature. He gave a moustache to a man and
the man grooms it in a majestic way. He also gave a moustache to a tiny ant, which also grooms it like a gallant 
hero, if you could have observed the ants at home. So the
difference is in our appreciation.

Preventing one out from committing a sin is very hard therefore the saints have prayed God Himself should 
safeguard humanbeings from sins. Consider the appeal made by
Thirunavukkarasar, the great devotee of Lord Siva.  He compares eternal life to that of sailing across an ocean 
amidst many obstacles.

   
If this is the case of a saint what about the common man, the every-day heroes in the vanity fair of worldly life? 

He lives for himself, his family and his society.
He has to speak lies for earning his livelihood;
He has to lead his life with the unsolved mystery of womanhood;
He has to give birth to a number of children;
He often struggles to provide for them adequately;
He cannot abandon his family since he is wedded to family life; 
He has to commit many sins against his will; and thus,
He has to subject himself to the vicious circle of birth and death.

But, humanbeings have a tendency to cover their fallacies with wise words, they will say proudly that family life is 
like swimming across an ocean and will pat themselves for braving its tides.

       Thus a family man's activities are at the disposal of his immediate society, generally, his family. Therefore, very-
often he has to act against his will and wishes. He has to commit some sin or the other in order to support his family
members. So he is always justified to become a victim of vicious circle of birth. Literatures of wisdom say that whenever one commits a sin that affects another living being, he is indebted to that livingbeing for a corrective effort. (Thus the word debt/indebtedness is invariably used to mean the outcome of sin.)


But this is not the case with the saints. They know the inevitable-commitments of family life. That is why most of
 the saints have led solitary life observing celibacy and worshipping God. They lead a selfless ascetic-life with an ultimate aim to achieve God's grace, and clear the debts they came with through self-less-service to all livingbeings and become free from their indebtedness. They have crushed the seed of their birth and have nullified their eligibility to the spell of rebirth. What will be their position after leaving their body, soul and getting transformed into astral-self?


This is explained in the following verse. It says "When one realises God in himself by filling his self with Godliness, 
his human aspects will be nullified and will attain heaven others according to their sins and virtues 
get appropriate birth on the earth".

 It says,
By Siva's grace some become Devas (angels);
By Siva's grace some become equal to Gods (Siddhas);
By Siva's grace sins will not accrue; and,

Thus, Siva's grace can create Heavenly abode.

Here, the word Sivan is used invariably to mean God called by 
different names in different religions. In the second line it is used to mean the nectar of life as explained by
Siddhas in their code-word language.

Thus those who have committed sins get a rebirth on this earth 
and have to settle them while those who have lived a pure life overcoming the eternal bondage and braving the
treacherous challenges of emotions, will attain a higher stage 
in the higher planes. 

There is yet another group of people who become elevated to the
 position equal to God. They are Siddhas and they have attained that stage by using a scientific preparation
called kayakarpam. 
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Siddhas are the thinkers of ancient Tamil Nadu. They came from different parts of Tamil Nadu hued with
different social strata of caste, creed and credulity. The uniqueness in them is their quest for real knowledge, the knowledge believed to be the highest of all. When their contemporary fellowmen were busy accumulating wealth, they concentrated on health; when colonies were created and societies were
founded creating a crowded atmosphere, they opted solitude and sought peaceful abode; when the forests were revamped for cultivation, they loved the
forests for the rich remedial components present in their herbs; when women were revered for family and pleasure, they preferred to be celibates in order
to be free from family commitments; when people mingled together for mirth and merriment, they convened group research for their knowledge enrichment.
They are different from the crowd of their contemporaries. They are the Siddhas, in quest of the highest knowledge, Godliness.

In their times, people thought that life is short and death is a certainty. Therefore, they thought that life is meant to be lived fully with all the pleasures savoured. They weighed their fellow men by their fortunes and power; and invented groupism based on livelihood. They fought for their myths and formed countries.
But Siddhas are different, they observed everything on the earth, under the high heaven and above the deep bosom of sea, with an askance-eye, with
questions that were odd in their time, and moved from place to place in quest of answers. Their troubles and turmoil taught them the laws of nature.
They analysed the whims and fancies of their contemporaries. They questioned their intellect on the faiths and festive notions of humanbeings; they got wise directives from their insight.

They revered the nature and its creations and wondered at the hue of the soil, the flow of the rivers, the whisper of wind, the gesture of animals, the
chirping of birds, the glitter of stars, the change of seasons - they found the world is a wonder filled with miniature mysteries in every component that
enriches its glory. They still continued their expedition with questions related to ageing, ailments, death and birth; they discovered the cosmos and its
impact on this earth and the livingbeings on it, and invented a means for braving the nature.
Their continued quest made them to realise that the cosmos, the atmosphere, the world and its animations are the creation of a supreme power, The God.
They have realised that God has distinguished the animate from the inanimate creations, by providing life-force and knowledge in the former and thus
making them as his primary creation. Of this animate creation, God has formed many categories based on their knowledge (sensibility). Thus discovered that livingbeings have been categorised on the basis of their knowledge.

They have observed that the lifestyle of these livingbeings is quite methodical based on their commitment to nature, that they can only do the role
assigned to them. In other words these livingbeings cannot act against their nature. As a result, they have realised that, since the livingbeings act
according to the commitments of nature, they are often elevated to a higher status, and after a series of such elevations, they get birth as humanbeings.

They have further realised that, though livingbeings have been raised to the status of human beings they continue to retain some of their former-birth's qualities.

They have felt that God's aspect is filled in the core-selves of all livingbeings including humanbeings. They have compared the sensibility of other living
beings with that of humanbeings and have discovered that humanbeings are superior and as such they can outdo nature's endowments. They have
enlightened their followers on the sacredness of human-birth and taught them how it can be used for achieving further heights in wisdom.
Thus, they proved themselves different from their contemporaries.

What made them to strive in this line? What are the factors responsible for their mental attitude?
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Earlier, we have seen that the virtues and vices we cultivate in one birth have their impact over the succeeding birth also. Thus, the knowledge, attitude, characteristics and attainments of ones present life are all set before hand, at the time of his birth itself. Similarly, attempts made by one in his past life decide his achievements in the present life. Based on these pre-set values he attempts and achieves the decided goal for his present life. We will see how these values work in the life of Siddhas with available citations from their own literatures.

The destined-support, the conduct, attitude, continuity of past-births attempts and spontaneous knowledge are the factors that stimulate a person to strive towards Siddhahood.

1) Destined support: There is a widespread belief that there is nothing called fate; all human beings are the same at the time of their birth, but opportunities make them grow differently. In other words, children make use of the opportunities available to them and prove themselves different among their contemporaries. But this is not a fact as far as Siddhas are concerned. They think that even before our birth, our birth status has been decided on the basis of how we have lived in our past life. To simplify this, just as one's savings becomes his capital for his planned business, the virtues (and sins) of our past life serve as capital for our present life. Consider what the great Tamil Poetess Avvai had said, "God removed the debts of my past-birth"  in her Vinayagar Agaval (meaning, she does not have to get another birth since the capital account is closed by God). Thus Avvai and other Siddhas had the support of past-births virtues to pursue the Siddhahood. This status is known as destined-support.

Hence, when the destined support is there to venture spiritual expeditions the individual will naturally lean towards the knowledge of Siddhahood.

2) Conduct: Similarly there is a belief that the conduct of a person is nurtured by his/her parents. But we often come across facts contradictory to this belief. Offspring of a same family have different conduct and to console ourselves we compare them to the fingers in ones palm which are of different lengths . How does the difference takes place? In the previous posting we have seen that though different livingbeings get promoted as human beings they continue to possess their previous births qualities. According to Agathiyar, the great Siddha, there are seven types of qualifying categories (viz.., devas (angels), humanbeings, animals, birds, aquatic-creatures, reptiles and plants/trees) from which the humanbeings are created (Paripooranam-1200, verse 495).

He further explains that how persons elevated from these categories will conduct themselves amidst their contemporaries (verses 496-502) (considering the space limitation the translation alone is given)

 

  1.  the devas (angels) take birth as humanbeings, they will spend their lives in seeking wisdom, meditation, worship of God, philanthropic deeds, religious service and glorifying their Master (Guru).
  2. If humanbeings take birth as humanbeings, they will spend their lives in worshipping their master, doing meditation, give-up family-life by seeking the society of pious people, feeding devotees with delicious food and thus lead a noble life.
  3. If animals take birth as humanbeings, they will spend their lives in muting quarrels, behaving harshly, engage in loose-talks, live parsimoniously and wander aimlessly like a devil.
  4. If birds take birth as humanbeings, they will spend their lives in miserliness, garrulously wandering over streets and will be arrogant, disinterested, shameless and useless and will be busy roaming around.
  5. If Aquatic-creatures take birth as humanbeings, they will be quarrelsome and spend their lives in unsociable acts like street brawls, conspiracy, theft, murder, splitting friendship and speaking ill of their master and respectful-elders.
  6. If reptiles take birth as humanbeings, they will be non-religious leading an idiotic life, that is distressed, discouraged and shameless, with a tendency to use foul language, often murmuring and with no fixed aim in life.
  7. If plants and trees take birth as a humanbeing, they will not have concern for their society since in their previous life, they could not feel either happiness or sorrow; they will not have a tendency to worship God and will gain notoriety as dupes and liars. Often they will dwell in forests like predators.

 Hence, when the conduct is akin to the interest the person automatically attempts in a subject.

 3) Positive attitude: In the seven categories mentioned, only the first two categories will be interested in seeking Godliness and thus one should have blessings of God through his past activities even to worship him in subsequent lives. That is why Saint Manicka Vasagar said "Worshipping God by His grace"  and Saint Thirunavukkarasar said, "One can see God if God is willing to show Himself!"

 The same belief is expressed by Siddhas as "If one is destined to acquire a knowledge he will identify the same on his own" 

Hence, when one has a positive mental attitude towards gaining knowledge, he gets absorbed in it effortlessly.

4) Continuity of aspiration: There are four stages in getting the highest wisdom, viz., sariyai, kiriyai, yogam, gnanam. These four steps are said to be done continuously. If a person expires due to natural cause while on the quest towards Godliness, after being successful in one of the so-called 4 stages, he will continue his expedition in the subsequent life from the next stage of his quest (i.e., he need not repeat the stage again since his past experience will enable him to surpass the same in a quick pace). Chattaimuni the great Siddha explains this in his verse.

 Thus memoirs of the past lifes quest continues in the present life also. This may not be scientifically acceptable; since, science believes that knowledge grows on the basis of our worldly experience and education. As such we believe that a baby doesnt know anything. It is often called an innocent child

Hence, when the aspiration of the previous birth stimulates in the present birth, the knowledge acquired firmly roots in the mind of the aspirant and aids the needed wisdom for attaining Godliness.

 5) Spontaneous knowledge: But regarding memoirs of the past lifes Siddhas believe differently. They advocate that the essence of the knowledge we acquire during our previous births continues to stay with us in our present birth (Ţ ̨ ȡ ). As per this argument a child is not really innocent as popularly believed. The following psychic experience will come handy in this context.

 A patient in Russia was declared clinically dead following an accident and was kept in the mortuary for post-mortem examination. When the body was taken out, the pathologist discovered signs of life in the body and the patient was revived. The revived patient later on explained his so-called after-death experiences. One of the incidents he related was about a baby who was born a few days earlier in another hospital in the same city and was continuously crying. He said that he had gone to that hospital in the form of a spirit at the same time he was in the mortuary. The paediatricians could not diagnose the reason. This man, who was revived, related that the baby had spoken to him and told him that it had been suffering from a damaged hip. This person went to that hospital to see the baby after he had recovered and told the paediatricians about the experience. The paediatricians carried out an examination and found that this was indeed true and took corrective measures. This person who was revived, was a non-believer of God. After this experience he qualified himself to become a priest. He later migrated to the U.S. and where he is still serving as a priest in a church. This incident was telecast on Discovery Channel last year.

 In the above psychic experience the child clearly knows the parts of its body, hidden components of its body machine, the severity of pain and amazingly communicates the same to a soul in a strange language that may be universal for non-body dwellers. Here, we have to consider the saying of the Siddha and poet Thiruvalluvar, in his Thirukural that the education we get in past birth supports us in our present birth also

 Hence, when the spontaneous knowledge springs out from the minds of the aspirant, he easily achieves the golden harvest of realisation.

 Thus, Siddhas are born like common men, but had the support of destiny to pursue their path. They took great efforts to preserve and improve those qualities in traditional and scientific ways. In this attempt they analysed the traditional ways available as a first step and arrived at worthy conclusions regarding their merits and demerits.

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The Siddhas, being stimulated by their instinct and receptive conduct, a boon of their past birth, continued their
intellectual quest to understand the concept of Godliness, its impact over mankind, its merits and demerits on eternal life, etc. An observation of great
Siddhas, including those stalwarts in Siddhahood, like Thirumoolar, Agathiyar and others clarify the fact that, most of them seemed to have started their
intellectual quest from the scratch amidst religious bias that was prevailing in their respective societies and slowly realized the continual craving of their
core-selves. We will now follow their spiritual expedition with our analysis.

Siddhas born in normal social conditions, spontaneously stimulated by their unique spiritual and mental attitude started to worship God presumably in a social style that was prevailing in those times.

Consider the social condition (castes) of some of the famous Siddhas, that has been revealed by Kaalaangi Siddhar and quoted in Bogers Sabdha kaandam (5698-5706).

Thirumooler .. Farmer
Agathiyar .. Farmer
Boger .. Goldsmith
Karuvoorar .. Ironsmith
Machhamuni .. Quarry-worker
Chattaimuni .. Sinhalese
Romarishi .. Fisherman

They indulged in extensive devotional practices as advised by the elders in their society. They had many doubts, especially with regard to the religious
beliefs about Gods and questioned their neighbors for convincing answers.

Observe how the great Siddha Agathiya relates his early attempt to know the meaning of Sakthi and Siva.

Slowly, absorbed in this newly acquired practice they wished to acquire further knowledge and traveled to places and identified an appropriate mentor
and under whose guidance they learnt the art of Siddhahood. They were then introduced to the sacred path of the Siddhahood and enlightened on topics
related to that path, viz., greatness of human birth, inevitability of utilizing the same for attaining sacred goals, quantum of universal knowledge, risk in
rebirth, necessity to seek longevity in order to acquire universal knowledge, care of health and conduct, methods of devotion, limitations of religious
practices, methods of meditation, role of medicinal products in caring ones physical fitness, secrets of the cosmos, keys to realize the sacred scripts of pioneers of Siddhahood, etc.


Having acquired profound knowledge in Siddhahood they, in turn, spread their science to dedicated disciples. Since they wanted to lay its footings among
laymen, they gave a new shape to devotional practices, devised the idols of Gods on the basis of their secret science and had been instrumental in raising
temples that resembled their secret path.

Thus, the famous Saiva idol Lingam is a picturization of a philosophy that can be differently explained on different planes. Similarly, Nataraja - the artistic pose of Lord Siva illustrating the divine cosmic dance, is also a philosophic perception, which has a deeper meaning. The great Siddha  Thirumoolar offers a philosophical meaning for this dance.

They have coined words/sounds that have more than one meaning and have constructed several combinations of sounds to represent the equations of their
secret science and called them as powerful sounds (viz., Om, Na-ma-si-va-ya, etc., known as bejaksharams) and seen that they are used in religious
chantings so that laymen can use the same for worship and those with insight can decipher the meaning and follow Siddhahood.
Thus, devotional songs written by ancient saints and seers in Saivism contain many words/sounds related to their secret path. One who is well versed in
those songs will slowly be attracted towards those words and obtain realisation of the essence of the words/sounds chanted.

On one side the Siddhas were instrumental for the development of the Temple culture and on the other they resisted the rituals in the traditional mode of worship in temples.

This dichotomy in their philosophy can raise a lot of questions as there are inherent contradictions. But the answer is, becoming a Siddha is only a last
stage of devotion. But, the majority of mankind is still in darkness regarding eternal bliss. They only know the Gods as taught by their society. Beliefs of
God existed with assorted rituals that were binding to the individual groups or societies.

This belief has produced an appreciable culture consisting of God-fearing, peace-loving civilization in a society.
Siddhas observed the ebbs and tides of the human emotions attached towards the pros and cons of religion and have realized that religion is an excellent
tool to chisel the conduct of a humanbeing into an epitomy of perfection.

Observing the penetrating force of religion, Siddhas have perfected the religion on the basis of their scientific realization. They picturized their ideology
on realization of God through ones body, in the structure of the temple itself. Most of the old temples were built based on this ideology glorifying the human body.

Most of the ancient temples in our Country are in some way or other related to a saint or Siddha. A few examples of such temples that have got the
samadhi of the respective Siddhas mentioned below.

                     
Ananthasayanam     Agathiyar
Chidambaram       Thirumoolar
Seergazhi/Sreerangam  Chattaimuni
Kadirkamam/Thiruchendur/Thanigam/Parankundram .. Bogar
Vaitheeswaran kovil . Dhanvanthri
Thiru Kalathi           Karuvoorar
Kasi/Thiruvavaduthurai Nandhi, Visvamithrar
Thirukancheepuram     Kalangi, Kaduvelisiddhar

They realised that concentration or focusing of the mind's thought-force is the first step in realisation of God. In order to implement the same, they
preferred idol worship. Consider how Siddha Thirumooler explains the philosophy that when one sees a idol of God with devotion, he sees the God in it
while the same is appreciated as an art work by somebody. He uses the example of a wooden-elephant for explaining the idol-worship theory.
They thought that Body is the real temple through which one can attain Godliness ( š - ). Most of the temples are
built based on their ideology.

Thus the architecture of the temple as planned by them represented the body of a humanbeing laying flat on the ground. The Gopuram (spire) at the
entrance (in a spacious temple) represents the feet and the glittering metal globes (kalasas) upon the Gopuram represent the toes; the Tamil word for foot
has got more than one meaning, here it represents air or its aspect. The Flag-Post (Dhwajasthambam) represents the spinal-chord. The semi-spherical
structure with a button on top situated next to the Dhwajasthambam (Balipetam) represent the abdomen. The Lord Siva's Carrier (Nandhi vahanam)
represent ego. The sanctum sanctorum (Garbagruham) represents the head. The presiding deity (Lingam) represents the brain and the parts of deity
(lingam and avudaiyar) the united state of two vital forces that flow in and out our breath system. The pot hanging upon the lingam and oozing drops of
water upon its head (Thara pathram) represent the flow of divine fluid, that is realised when one attains cosmic experience (Both Lingam and Thara pathram have got an esoteric meaning also).
The above verse explains the cosmic experience, happens as a result of controlling the breath inhaled in both the nostrils (known as idaikalai and pingalai)
in a rhythm and finally achieving a stagnant stage by merging both the air-streams in one place (known as suzhimunai); this process happens through the
holes in our spinal-chord and converging at a spot in the brain (the pineal gland). This process is represented by the three cords that span across the flag
host (Dhwajasthambam), climbing through its different segments, two of which are made with the sacred grass (dharbai) and one with a bale of lengthy
white cloth. The three represent idaikalai, pingalai and suzumunai respectively. The top of the post has metal bells which chime when the breeze passes
through them. This represents the different kinds of musical sounds that one is said to hear through his observation while he is attaining cosmic  experience.
10 sounds are said to be heard at the time of cosmic experience.

Thus, the temple represents the flow chart of Yogic experience and if one wishes to follow that path, he should first observe the meaning of temple, the
meaning of Gods, etc.
Iin order to achieve Godliness, the Siddhas have perfected their temple based religion keeping the body as a thrust area, since body is inevitable for their secret expedition towards endless knowledge that is available through cosmic experience.

Siddhas gave a lot of importance to body since body is the base through which one can realize all his/her aspirations, including Godliness. They have gone to the extent of asserting that one cannot realize ones own self without the help of ones body. Observe the following verse.

"No experience is possible without body
Even our very self is realized through the Body.
"

Hence, almost every Siddha stresses the importance of body in realization of God. Siddha Thirumoolar has recorded his conclusion on this line, saying that, if body perishes the life force in it will also perish, and naturally, the aspirant will become handicapped to proceed further in his venture. He also accepts that only by learning a technique to preserve his body, he could succeed in preserving life force (i.e., attaining immortality).

"If body perishes (soon) the life-force will also perish, hence

One will not realize the wisdom of the body (i.e., immortality);

Therefore, I have learnt the technique of preserving the body,

I preserved the body and thereby preserved the life-force in it."

They identified that the body can serve as a receptacle for storing energy in the form of physical energy (Ojas) while mind can utilize the body as a reservoir for storing cosmic-energy (Dhejas).

Therefore, Siddhas have observed the manifestations of bodys growth from all appreciable angles. They realized that food, air, exertions, emotions, cravings, etc., affect the vitality of human body in both positive and negative ways.

They believed that food plays a greater role in supporting ones quest towards Godliness. That is why they said that the best purpose of body (a structure nurtured and developed by food) is to realize the Creator.  Auvai supports this idea.

They realized the fact that food can also cause negative impacts, such as, desire, lust, greed, cunningness, aging, death, etc., since all these emanate from energy, the main product of food followed by sound sleep. Siddha Agathiyar explains the same.

Therefore, as a first step to preserve the body and extend the span of life, they analyzed the food habits and effects of foodstuff on our constitution.

They realized that foodstuff can be classified into 6 types based on their tastes; and that these tastes have got a role to play on our constitution. They have identified that these tastes enrich three of the five basic-elements (panchaboodhas) that are said to support the bodys animations. Thus, the six tastes and the three panchaboodhas enhanced by them are as follows:

         Astringent taste and Sour taste  enhance air

         Salty taste  and Bitter taste  enhance fire

         Sweet taste  and Hot taste  enhance water

They advocated that proper nourishment is important to support the body. In order to perfect their theory, they have done extensive research on our anatomy including the digestive system. They have recorded their analyses on how the food consumed by one get processed by the digestive system, converted into nutrition and distributed to the whole body. The following verse explains how the food that is eaten is burnt by the aspect of fire (Jadaragni) in our digestive system, assimilated by the suckers in the intestine and by activating the liver, turned into flesh, blood-cells, tissues, body-fluids and the rejects.

"The nutritious food consumed by our body,
Using the mouth as a convenient entrance,
Heat-processed in the intestine, like limestone in a chamber,
Burnt in high flames, settled extinguished and
Flown into the stomach, the great pit that is never repleted,
Turn into blood, flesh and other precious products of liver,
Springing out phlegm (slethumam), bile fluid (pitham) and
The impact of air (belching, etc. - vadham) and rejects too!
"

They discovered that the body machine is constructed and kept alive by the seven basic components, viz., blood , bone , flesh , fat , blood-vessels , saliva  and brain .

"I am seeking the God who created me,

using bonny structure tied with veins,

filled and plastered with flesh ingeniously, and,

instilled the life-force inside with Love-Divine. "

Their research on the effect of food on our physical structure ended in an amazing discovery of tastes. Their attempts in perfecting materia medica has enabled them to identify that there are six prominent tastes in our food components and that these tastes support the 6 important basic components (viz., blood, bone, flesh, fat, vein and saliva); and, if these six are properly nourished, the 7th component, the brain, will automatically be nourished and maintained. This concept is explained below:

         Astringent taste nourishes blood

  •    Salty taste  nourishes bone  

         Sweet taste  nourishes flesh  

         Sour taste   nourishes fat  

         bitter taste   nourishes vein  

         hot taste  nourishes saliva  

The food culture of the Tamilians is based on this knowledge, offering the required physical support to maintain their health. Though a system with regard to food habits has been evolved, it was noticed that, the stability of body at times reduces due to illness. Therefore they observed the impact of geographic conditions, climatic changes and human activities such as emotions, exertions, cravings, etc. They learnt how human body starts to deteriorate due to these unavoidable mundane aspects as a result, they discovered different symptoms indicating ailments and have prepared an exhaustive list of diseases.

According to them human beings may get 4448 diseases. They have analyzed the same and have categorized them according to the organs affected, major symptomatic changes in health conditions, etc. They have identified eight types of diagnostic methods to decide ailments (viz., examination of the pulse, tongue, eyes, body, face, teeth, urine and motion). The following verse explains the same.

They evolved an incredible (but true to adepts) method for identifying diseases, called Nadi, by observing the rhythm, thrust and flow of blood in the wrist portion. This was so decided because they discovered that the great veins that start from the heart finally reach the finger tips and hence the flow in them can be precisely observed at the wrist on specific spots. They believed that observation of three such spots (vadha, pitha and slethuma nadis) alone is enough for diagnostic purposes and a fourth spot called Guru nadi may be observed on exceptional circumstances. The important 3 Nadis referred above as Vadha, Pittha, Slethuma suggesting the changes in the 3 major elements of the panchaboodhas in our body, namely, air, fire and water. These three affect the body (aspected by earth) and shoot up the aspect of air, fire and water, respectively. Thiruvalluvar in his Thirukural says that the difference in these three basic elements will cause ailments.

As per the above, we have to deduce the fact that, a person has to eat food suitable to his constitution, season, prevailing debilities, etc. Especially, when a person is in the quest towards Godliness and Immortality he/she should be very careful in food habits since wrong/ unsuitable food can change his/her physical and mental set-up and thus hamper his/her pursuit.

Consider how Siddha Thirumoolar declares that, during his initial stages he has not attached too much importance to body, but once he learnt that body is important to realize God, he started to take care of the same.

"The body, I thought that a disrespectful object

(presuming it as a bundle of sins)

The body, I now found to have a precious meaning

(realizing that body is the base through which Godliness can be attained)

The body, I now realized that God enshrines in

(Since Godliness begins from body, to start with)

The body, I am now carefully maintaining. "

Thus considering the importance of body in attaining Godliness, Siddhas have taken extreme care in preserving the same using their sound knowledge on food culture. As a next step they observed the impact of air, the life force that activates us in every walk of our life.

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Siddhas gave a lot of importance to body since body is the base through which one can realize Godliness. They believed that food plays a greater role in contributing to one's quest towards Godliness. But, it was their subsequent discovery that food alone cannot support the body, since those who had eaten only the chosen foodstuff were also affected by ailments and death. They then started their analysis towards the secondary necessity for survival, the air.

They realized that as long as a person breathes he is filled with the life force. Once the breathing is stopped, one becomes inactive and said to be dead. The following two verses from Thirumandiram-3000 (148&149) describes the awful human life with poetic diction.


"He ate delicious food that was prepared 
(Supported his body with nutritious food) 
He had romantic moments with his beloved wife 
(Quenched all his sexual cravings) 
He said there is some pain in the left side of his chest 
(Felt his heart is struggling to pump pure blood) 
He laid down and never woke up. 
(Died due to massive heart attack)"
                             Thirumandiram-3000 (148) 



"Believing that the worldly life is permanent
He built towering mansion for his residence
(And acquired social prominence)
He stepped into his palanquin in an abstentious manner
(And lead a majestic life) 
He offered largesses to his society 
(And earned name and fame. But one day,)
When his children called him "father", he never responded.
(Oh, at last, he is dead)"
                    Thirumandiram-3000 (149)

Thus, they observed that, despite leading an active lifestyle on death, one becomes inactive disposable substance. The only apparent difference found is the respiration. So, they identified that the presence and absence of breath is the deciding factor for all our activities.


Thus, breath sustains the animation in our body. At this juncture, they had a question whether breathe alone is responsible for the state of being alive. They started to observe all animations of the body with curiosity. They realized that though two persons live in the same locality, have similar food habits and breath the same air, they have some difference in their health and body's functions. For instance, loss of appetite, constipation, frequent blinking of the eyes, frequent yawning, continuous hick-ups, anemic problems, etc.


Their continued research in this line enabled them to have a complete understanding about the biological adoption of air in our respiratory tract. They advocated that though respiration is a simple process of absorbing Pranavayu (mostly oxygen) from the atmospheric air, it is processed in the lungs and distributed as 10 different sub-elements of vayu (air) through 10 important nerves. These ten sub-elements of vayu are, namely, Praanan, Abaanan, Viyaanan, Udhaanan, Samaanan, Koorman, Naagan, Kirikaran, Devadaththan and Danancheyan as explained below {Gunavagadam-Vaidhya Saram-36(19)}.

The distinct roles of the above 10 sub-elements of the air are identified by Siddha Yoogimuni in his Nadi Thathuvam-96 (verses 34-45) as follows: 

a.. Praanan : Originates from the Mooladharam (situated between the anus and genital part) and rises upwards to hit the top of head and escapes through the nose. It was identified that we breathe 360 times per "Nazhi" (Ƣ, Tamil time measure equal to 24 minutes, thus, a day has 60 Nazhis) and thus breathe (360x60) 21,600 times per day. Praanan is responsible for digestion and the very existence of life force in the body. It was identified that every time we breathe, we exhale 12 units while inhale 8 units only, and thus waste 4 units of atmospheric air which fact leads to debility and diseases in due course (Yoogimuni Nadi Thathuvam, Verse 34-36).


b.. Abaanan : Originates in Swadhishtanam - in the lower abdomen (2 inches above the anus) and helps digestion of the essence of foodstuff by separating body rejects (II stage process). Stimulates the excretion of urine and stools (by offerining necessary force to push them downwards). It is responsible for contraction of anus (Verse 37). 


c.. Viyaanan : Originates at the naval region, flows through all the 72,000 veins, stays in bone joints and enables extension and flexion of the connected organs; enables assimilation of the food-essence into biologically absorbable units (III stage process). It is responsible for tactile sensation. (Verse 38). 


d.. Udhaanan : Originates in the blood stream, enables conversion of the assimilated nutrition into biological products as required by different parts of the body by diligently storing, distributing, stirring, mixing, etc. (Verse 39). 


e.. Samaanan : Originates at the lower navel region and flows downwards and controls the quantum of all other sub-elements of the air. Also, supports the mobilisation of nutrition gained from tasty-food and water throughout the body. (Verse 40).


f.. Naagan : Originates in the throat, enables one to sing by producing a sweet voice. It supports one to acquire knowledge. It is responsible for reflex actions that protect the eyes like, blinking the eye-lids, etc. (Verse 41).


g.. Koorman : Originates in the mind and produces actions that are controlled by the mind, such as, blinking, yawning (to augment oxygen debility), shedding tears and feeling of strength, etc. Responsible for vision (Verse 42). 


h.. Kirikaran : Originates in the tongue, produce saliva in the mouth and moisture in the nose. It is responsible for hunger and digestion. On contrast, it is also responsible for sneezing, cough, etc. (Verse 43). 


i.. Devadaththan (ž): Originates in the genital organ. This is responsible for stretching the body due to laziness, tired and unpleasant disposition while waking up, stimulating anger resulting in quarrels and fights, etc. (Verse 44). 


j.. Danancheyan (了): Originates in the nose and causes inflammation in all parts of the body and abounding outflow of saliva from the mouth, especially after death. After death, when all the other nine other sub-elements of air leave the body, this will break-open the skull and escape. It is believed that this is the force that enables one to make groaning/mourning sounds when caught under debris due to earthquakes or otherwise (Verse 45).



The following verses in Gunavagadam-Vaidhya Saram-36 (19-21) attest the above information briefly.

In their quest of wisdom they were endowed with the firm understanding about the role of air in human body. Based on this understanding they have propounded that one breaths 21,600 times everyday. They have identified that we do not exhale and inhale equal units of air and as such we subject our body to deterioration. This fact is explained by an equation (applicable for normal healthy person) that if 12 units of air is exhaled, only 8 units of the same is inhaled and as such 4 units are wasted every time we breathe. They calculated the total wastage as 7200 units everyday. Wastage of air is wastage of oxygen content that could otherwise have nourished the body. They have also realized that during physical and mental exertions we loose our energy, the power produced by charging the Prana storage. Thus the wastage has been calculated to be: walking 16 units, running 30, sleeping 36, intercourse 40, etc. while the normal being 12 units (Vaidhya Sadaga Nadi-102,12-13).


They have concluded that one should find ways and means to restore Prana in the body and reduce the wastage of the same to lengthen the life span. 


So, having learnt about the wastage of the oxygen content in various exertions they devised a method to preserve the Pranan already stored in our body.


"Preserve the precious aspect of air (Pranan) that gets 
excreted through the pores of your skin"
.. Avvai's Kural - 310(45).



"One gets long life (and immortality) if the air (Pranan) 
is wisely stored knowing its nature "
.. Avvai's Kural - 310(49).

So, they attached great importance to air and advocated that air should be absorbed by one and all for ensuring a healthy living. They considered air to have a greater imoportance than food. Since without food one will starve and slowly die but without air one will die immediately. That is why they named the visible body as Anna maya kosam (Body developed by food) and again Prana maya kosam (Body activated by air). They have gone to the extent of revering air as the Supreme Power, the God.

"(Air is the life force in us and it is because of the air) 
The true house, the house of our soul, the body, belongs to us; 
(Otherwise, it, the corpse, will belong to others and they will dispose it) 
Therefore, I am telling you openly and in good spirit that, 
(We believe Gods differe for each other, and contend) 
Every country has its own God; 
(We believe Gods rule all our movements and keep us alive) 
But the world's animation is (in fact) ruled by air and air only, 
(As each country has its own Gods we have numerous Gods) 
But the crores of names representing Gods, in fact represent the air only. 
(Thus air is the perceivable God that creates and destroys the life force and) 
All actions that keeps this world alive are stimulated by air only; 
(If air is not there think what will happen to this world?) 
And without air the world will just perish" 
                            Gorakkar Chandraregai 200(193).


Thus, they learnt the importance of food and air and tried to succeed in their venture; But to their discouragement they have learnt that there is yet another barrier, the mind, the ever-youthful untamed horse that gallops through the meadows of knowledge, filled with enchanting greeneries of pleasures experienced and heard by the subject during their intellectual adolescence. So their next field of interest was the mysteries of the mind. 
 

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Reference : http://www.subaonline.de/siddha/sid/karpam1.html

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The End

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