A '''Siddha''' in Sanskrit means "One who is
accomplished" and refers to perfected masters who have transcended the
Ahamkara (Ego or
I-maker), have subdued their minds to be subservient to their Awareness, and
have transformed their bodies composed mainly of dense Rajo-tama
Gunas into a different kind
of bodies dominated by Satva.
This is usually accomplished only by persistent meditation over many lifetimes.
A Siddha has also been defined to refer to one who has attained a Siddhi. The Siddhis as paranormal abilities are considered emergent abilities of an individual that is on the path to Siddhahood, and do not define a Siddha, who is established in the Pranav - the Aum, which is the spiritual substrate of creation. The Siddhi in its pure form means "the attainment of flawless identity with Reality (Brahman); perfection of Spirit."
The concept of Siddhas is a prime notion in Jainism.
In Hindu cosmology Siddhaloka is a subtle world (lokam) where perfected beings (Siddhas) take birth. They are endowed with the Eight Primary Siddhis at birth.
In South India, a Siddha refers to a being who has achieved a high degree of physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. The ultimate demonstration of this is that Siddhas allegedly attained physical immortality. Thus Siddha, like Siddhar or Cittar (indigenisation of Sanskrit terms in Tamil Nadu) refers to a person who has realised the goal of a type of Sadhana and become a perfected being. In Tamil Nadu, South India, where the Siddha tradition is still practiced, special individuals are recognized as and called Siddhas, or Siddhars or Cittars, who are on the path to that assumed perfection after they have taken special secret Rasayanas to perfect their bodies, in order to be able to sustain prolonged meditation along with a form of Pranayama which reduces the number of breaths taken by them considerably.
Siddha medicine is a form of medical treatment of diseases using substances of all possible origins in a way that balances the possible harmful effect of each substance. This form of medicine was professed and practised by Siddhars who wrote their recipes on for the use of future generations. Siddha medicine was developed by outstanding Dravidians (ancient Tamils), locally called Cittars. Preparations are made mainly out of the parts of the plants and trees such as leaves, bark, stem, root etc, but include also mineral and some animal substances. This form of medicine is still today well known in South India, and is a form of Ayurveda. The use of metals like gold, silver and iron powders (Sanskrit bhasma) in some preparations is a special feature of Siddha medicine, which claims it can detoxify metals to enable them to be used for stubborn diseases. This claim is especially relevant in the case of mercury which is relatively often used in the system; that means medicine containing should only be received from a highly qualified practitioner of the art.
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PROPHESIES OF SIDDHAR
Siddhars are altruistic. Magicians are self-centered.
- The reason for the theft of icons of Gods is that they are not properly installed.
- Not only do people run away after committing acts of sin, but the spirits too.
- The quintessence of Sri Pambatti Siddhar's Grantha Sastra is proper regulation of breath. When breath is regulated in various ways, different angels get controlled.
- Spirituality is the stage of preparing man for the vision of God; Gnana is the result of God realisation.
- 'Winning over God' means mastery of three levels.
- 1. Winning over God,
- 2. Changing ones fate and
- 3. Controlling life principles in one's own self.
Pranava is an interminable, resplendent glow of fire.
- Sufferings occur effortlessly; Prosperity is earned hard.
- Good deeds are immeasurable; Debt is precisely calculable.
- Religious unrest is in the offing.
- Energy is that which exists; attainment requires demonstration.
- It is certain: Where there are performances of miracles, destruction is bound to occur.
- All forms of energy have two states, genuine and false. In the case of a Gnani, one merges into the other.
- Eclipse is a combination of light and darkness.
- Man's witness lasts till his lifetime; divine witness is eternal.
- One of the six abodes of Lord Muruga remains embedded in the Indian Ocean.
- Within 2010, the sun cannot be seen in the west. All the oil wells shall be set ablaze as a result of which there shall be perpetual daylight.
- In 2010, a seven-minute earthquake shall rock all parts of the world. Then the African continent shall get split up into two, brine filling in between. At that time the history of a great yogi shall be brought forth, through which it will become clear who the genuine yogis are.
- In 2010, 50% of America shall perish.
- The level of oceans shall rise, submerging vast land areas.
- By 2010, economic stratifications of the world will change.
Who is a siddha ?
A siddha is one who has attained siddhi, i.e. "power, prowess, strength, ability", then a special kind of psychic and supernatural, miraculous, occult power. There are eight kinds of super natural powers called as "Ashtama Siddhis":
According to the book "Valmiki Suthira Gyanam" authored by Siddhar Valmiki, "By purifying the mind and attaining perfection one becomes a siddha (Tamil Chittan); He is indeed fit to be called SIVA". A classical definition of siddhas is given by Siddhar Thirumoolar: "Those who live in yoga and see the divine light and power through yoga are the siddhars (Tamil Chittar)".
There are some features which are typical for all or almost all siddhars as a body of thinkers.
The whole atmosphere of siddha thinking is empirical and experimental. Their writings are not in the nature of clear cut formalized statements of any well defined doctrine. Hence, it is difficult to extricate a philosophical system out of their writings, at least at the present state of our knowledge of their works. However, it is possible to point out a few essential features, and one day, when their writings are better known, it should be possible to state their philosophy more explicitly.
There are 18 siddhars in the tamil siddha tradition. Each of the siddhars had lived in varied places under different names. The following are most common names of the 18 siddhars. They are listed in the order of their time period.
|Sl. No||Name of the Siddhar||Tamil month of Birth||Tamil Birth Star||Duration of Life||Place of Samadhi|
|1||Sri Pathanjali||Panguni||Moolam||5 Yugas 7 Days||Rameswaram|
|2||Sri Agasthiar||Markazhi||Aayilyam||4 Yugas 48 Days||Thiruvananthapuram|
|3||Sri Kamalamuni||Vaikasi||Poosam||4000 Years 48 Days||Thiruvarur|
|4||Sri Thirumoolar||Purattathi||Avittam||3000 Years 13 Days||Chidambaram|
|5||Sri Kuthambai||Aadi||Visagam||1800 Years 16 Days||Mayavaram|
|6||Sri Korakkar||Karthigai||Aayilyam||880 Years 11 Days||Perur|
|7||Sri Thanvandri||Iyppasi||Punarpoosam||800 Years 32 Days||Vaideeswarankoil|
|8||Sri Sundaranandar||Aavani||Revathi||800 Years 28 Days||Madurai|
|9||Sri Konganar||Chitthirai||Utthiradam||800 Years 16 Days||Titupathi|
|10||Sri Sattamuni||Aavani||Mrigasirisham||800 Years 14 Days||Thiruvarangam|
|11||Sri Vaanmeegar / Valmiki||Purattasi||Anusham||700 Years 32 Days||Ettukudi|
|12||Sri Ramadevar||Masi||Pooram||700 Years 06 Days||Azhagarmalai|
|13||Sri Nandeeswarar||Vaikasi||Visagam||700 Years 03 Days||Kasi|
|14||Sri Edaikkadar||Purattasi||Thiruvadirai||600 Years 18 Days||Tiruvannamalai|
|15||Sri Machamuni||Aadi||Rohini||300 Years 62 Days||Thiruparankundram|
|16||Sri Karuvoorar||Chitthirai||Hastham||300 Years 42 Days||Karuvur|
|17||Sri Bogar||Vaikasi||Bharani||300 Years 18 Days||Pazhani|
|18||Sri Pambatti||Karthigai||Mrigasirisham||123 Years 14 Days||Sankarankoil|
In the hungered New Age frenzy where the practice and principles of Ayurveda, traditional Hindu medicine, have become so well known, the West still remains largely ignorant of the South Indian Tamil Siddhar tradition. It represents a wonderful parallel to that of the Rosicrucian Alchemists. Just as the Rosicrucians claim lineage to the high culture of Ancient Egypt, itself only an artifact of "Atlantis", so too do Tamil Siddhars trace their original heritage to an advanced civilization destroyed by a great flood about 10,000 years ago. The lost continent supporting this heritage purportedly stretched from Madagascar to Australia with Sri Lanka constituting its central surviving land mass.
Ancient Egyptian High Culture appears suddenly, even from the earliest times at a very advanced level. Examples of its elegance include high yield strains of grain, a precise calendrical system, refined medicine even featuring neurosurgery, but above all its complete system of hieroglyphic language which seems to serve a higher state of consciousness. These advances emerge suddenly from Neolithic chaos. So too, from earliest recorded history Tamil language appears as one of the most sophisticated literary systems on the face of this planet. This lack of developmental period suggests that both Tamil and Egyptian cultures were surviving artifacts, preserved by the greatest sages of highly advanced civilizations destroyed by geological cataclysm.
The contemporary scholar, Kamil Zvelebil, in THE SMILE OF MURUGAN, explains the necessity of understanding the siddhars, the primordial Tamil sages, before any deeper appreciation of South Indian civilization becomes possible. These spiritual giants composed the foundations of literary and scientific development. Yet because they wrote in obscure style so reminiscent of western alchemy and often ridiculed the orthodox caste system with its over-emphasis on ritual worship, the Siddhars have always moved on the outer perimeter of social acceptability. Their chief artifacts aside from a complete medical system include a vast body of esoteric literature as well as ever popular rustic poems and bardic songs.
Zvelebil outlines the common features of siddhar poetry: "a protest, sometimes expressed in very strong terms, against the formalities of life and religion; rough handling of priests and Brahmins in general ; denial of the religious practices and beliefs of Brahmanism, and not only that: an opposition against the generally accepted pan Indian social doctrine and religious practice; protest against the abuses of temple rule; emphasis on the purity of character; claims made by the authors of these poems that they have achieved certain psychokinetic powers and other capabilities which belong to the sphere of parapsychological phenomena; use of imaginative and ambiguous language, rather puzzling though strongly colloquial; no systemic doctrinal exposition. Finally, all these poems are ascribed to a body of sages known as the siddhars (1)."
Does this description recall the mood of the Rosicrucian manifestoes and the Alchemical literature of 17th century Europe during the age of Reformation against the corruption in the Roman Catholic Church?
The Siddhars present themselves as the greatest masters of yoga, medicine and alchemy. Unlike their western counterparts who emphasized the transmutation of base metal into gold, the Tamil sages stressed the accomplishment of physical immortality or at least extended longevity as the ultimate token of self-realization Parallels exist in the western concept of the "glorified body". Just as in the west, these sages left a vast number of inscrutable texts accessible only to initiates. Their Hermetic emphasis on knowing reality directly by reading "the signatures of Nature", developing contemplative "seeing" as Castanada uses the term or cultivating, "the intelligence of the heart", as described by Schwaller de Lubicz, goes far beyond conventional understandings of Eastern meditation techniques. Such vision in ancient times served as the basis of a sacred science with bountiful practical applications.
Patanjali, one of the greatest Tamil siddhars who accomplished himself at Rameswaram, explicated the essentials of mystic discipline, in his well known YOGA SUTRAS. Although postures, breath and contemplative techniques play a major role this tradition also includes the practical science of Nature; Cosmology, Astrology, Herbalism, Chemistry Alchemy and Medicine. While Ayurvedic medicine concerns itself generally with herbs and organic treatments the siddhars add strong emphasis on use of inorganic salts, metals and mineral poisons.
Like the romantic notion of the Rosicrucians the siddhars are bound by an oath of secrecy. They wander anonymously practicing their yogic disciplines, doing service to their fellow men especially as dispensers of potent medicines. In the west sages such as Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus and Basil Valantine acquired legendary status as alchemists. So too a rich tradition venerates the exploits of these Tamil mystics. Eighteen of the siddhars are venerated above others for accomplishing themselves to the highest level of perfection. The historic locations in India where they performed their penance today comprise spiritually charged centers of pilgrimage.
The first and foremost of the siddhars, Agastyar, fits the image of his western counterpart, Toth-Hermes. Considered the founder of Tamil language and grammar, he presided over the first two sangams, ancient literary academies located on the now submerged continent south of Sri Lanka. He also appears as the primordial giver of arts and sciences. Innumerable classic works ascribe themselves to his authorship. Contemporary Tamil scholars assert that at least 26 classic authors wrote under this name. Who were they all aspiring to imitate? Folk tales abound in accounts of Agastyar's constant battles with local demons. He pops into the story line of classic epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, to bestow blessing and guidance. Tradition has it that Agastyar still lives in the Pothigai Hills below the Western Ghats, occasionally appearing to the sincere aspirant (2).
Thirumoolar, another of the most renowned Tamil masters, accomplished his magnum opus of yogic reintegration at Chidambaram, the sacred spot where Shiva performs his cosmic dance. The chief contribution of Thirmoolar, the THIRMANDIRAM, an esoteric masterpiece of 3000 verses explains man's yogic path to immortal divinity, referring metaphorically to the philosopher's stone that transmutes base metal into gold. Here is the essential classic text of siddhar wisdom. Only in the recent past has this work been made available to the English reading public.
Karuvoorar, an architect as well as a yogin-alchemist, played a major role in the design and construction of the Brihadeshwara Temple at Thanjavur. The feats involved in this task recall not only the emergence of the Gothic cathedrals which occurred at about the same time but also the construction of the pyramids. A popular tour guide describes this as one of India's greatest temples:
"This superb and fascinating monument is one of only a handful in India with World Heritage listing and is worth a couple of visits. On top of the apex of the 63 meter high temple, a dome encloses an enormous Shiva Lingam. Constructed from a single piece of granite weighing an estimated 81 tonnes, the dome was hauled into place along a six-km earth work ramp in a manner similar to that used for the Egyptian Pyramids (3)."
From a western perspective Bogar might be the most intriguing of the siddhars. Born into a family of gold smiths in central South-India, Bogar received initiation from the illustrious Natha Yogi, Kalangi. Contemplative insight allegedly guided Bogar to construct a primitive form of aircraft that he used in a journey to China. He is also credited with inventing a sea-going craft using a stream engine, preparing an indestructible statue of the god, Muruga, using nine poisonous herbs and minerals and making a major contribution to the siddhar medicine system which boasts possession of fabulous remedies that heal presently incurable diseases and make possible an extreme longevity. Bogar achieved the ultimate state of perfection at the hill top shrine of Palani where the statue he fabricated is still in use. Elaborate temple murals here chronicle his wondrous exploits.
These claims seem somewhat reminiscent of the achievements of the contemporary western Hermetic master Schwaller de Lubicz, who in an attempt to free France from imported energy invented an engine fueled by vegetable oil. He designed following principles of number and harmonic proportion imbibed from contemplative vision a ship which possessed innovative properties of speed and balance in the roughest waters. He developed an airplane motor still used in France today. He also prepared Homeopathic medicines from plants and rediscovered the medieval alchemical procedure for producing the brilliant red and blue stained glass found in the windows of the Gothic Cathedrals. Evidence suggests that Scwaller was the original genius behind the Fulcanelli material, perhaps the most significant alchemical literature of the century. (see GNOSIS No. 7)
A popular legend describes how Bogar made several missionary excursions into China. A master of astral projection and soul transmigration, Bogar entered the body of a recently deceased Chinese youth, revived it and grew to become the Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, author of the TAO TE CHING and founder of Taoism. Taoism has a rich alchemical faction devoted to physical longevity that lends credit to this bizarre tale. The TAO TE CHING embodies the same esoteric style that haunts the obscure language of the Tamil siddhars and echoes ideas from western alchemy. Any student of Taoist Yoga is shocked by the similarity of its techniques to those of the Tamil siddhars.
Initially I could not accept the possibility that Bogar was Lao Tzu. During an extensive pilgrimage to the shrines of the siddhars in 1989 I encountered well educated residents of Palani who took it for granted that Bogar was indeed Tao Tzu. Finally, I found a pilgrimage guide book written in English, a rare commodity indeed in this off-the-beaten-track location. It described Palani's Hill temple to Lord Muruga and contained a brief monograph on Bogar identifying him as the Chinese sage, Lao Tzu.
Bogar's monumental work of 7000 verses has recently been edited in Tamil by one of the great living apostles of this tradition, Yogi S.A. Ramaiah of Madras. Since 1954, Yogi Ramaiah has traveled the world, giving lectures, initiating students and building temples. An American center at Yuma, Arizona features a temple containing eighteen granite images dedicated to the greatest siddhars. He does not offer the customary guru-disciple relationship but rather teaches postures, breathing and contemplative techniques geared to give access to what Anthony Rooley described so wonderfully in the third issue of ALEXANDRIA as "The Invisible College", a higher inspired state of mind. Jean Dubuis, the contemporary French alchemist describes a vaguely similar practice as "night school". These concepts might be related to the medieval notion of "the communion of saints" not as blind faith but as actual guiding contemplative experience. Although mantras do play a role the actual advanced techniques taught by Yogi Ramaiah seem more in tune with the methods of western alchemy.
Yogi Ramaiah has so far avoided becoming a personality cult by shifting attention to his own guru, "Babaji", the immortal Yogin made famous in Yogananda's AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI . This shadowy character remains a premier figure among that semi-mythical category of perfected immortal saints which include personages like Harikhan Baba and Bagwan Lakulisa. These beings allegedly inhabit remote regions of the Himalayas, emerging on rare occasion to reveal the more esoteric levels of yogic attainment.
In recent times "Babaji" has become a New Age band wagon that everyone delights to jump on, from Sondra Ray and Leonard Orr, the father of the rebirthing movement to Nina Hagen, the German Rock singer. Babaji's picture even appears on the album jacket of the Beatles, SERGENT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. In the vast realm of human imagination, what myth could possibly be more attractive to the ego than that of physical immortality?
Yogi Ramaiah offers the world a unique biography of this immortal saint. Babaji was born in 203 A.D. near the sanctuary of Chidambaram. At an early age he was kidnapped, sold into slavery and then purchased by a wealthy man who freed him. Babaji was thus absolved from the responsibilities of caste and family. He soon fell in with a group of advanced wandering sages who trained him in contemplative methods of self-realization. In his wanderings Babaji studied with Bogar at Katirgama in Sri Lanka and at Courtrallam with Agastyar. He finally achieved the highest yogic realization at Badrinath near the Himalayan boarder. Is there an echo here of the story of Christian Rosenkreutz who sets off as an orphaned youth on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and falls into the company of mysterious adepts who train him in ultimate wisdom?
A most intriguing enigma might arise from consideration of Babaji's yantra, a geometric device used along with mantra for invoking the master's grace and guidance. This yantra consists of a triangle situated in a square in turn circumscribed by a circle. It calls to mind a number of 17th century western alchemical diagrams. Notable examples include the final engraving from Heinrich Khunrath's AMPHITHEATRUM SAPIENTIAE AETERNAE (4), the seventh key of Basil Valantine's TWELVE KEYS and the Rosicrucian seal on the diploma presented to Dr. Bacstrom by a mysterious adept in 1794, published in Manly Hall's, ORDERS OF THE GREAT WORK-ALCHEMY(5). Stanislas Klassowski de Rolla explicates the meaning of Khunrath's emblem:
"Syzygy or conjunction of the macrocosmic Unity with the microcosmic triunity. The entire process of the elaboration of the Philosopher's Stone is symbolized here ...(4)."
The history of the Tamil siddhars has yet to be written. Their writings remain scattered waiting for the scholarly treatment they deserve. The task of separating the complex mythic and actual historic biographies of these sages recalls the difficulty associated with penetrating the wisdom of the western alchemical tradition. Scholars can argue even against the historical Jesus but in the end a good dream is more powerful than any historical reality. The perennial wisdom at the root of Rosicrucian alchemy or the Tamil siddhar tradition transcends time and space. It is an ever present guide leading any sincere aspirant into the immortal realm of imagination and its central diadem of self-luminous Gnosis. In the light of Gnosis all sages from every continent throughout history are forever united.
1. Kamil Zvelebil, "The Cittar: An Enigma", chapter 14
of THE SMILE OF MURUGAN on TAMIL LITERATURE OF SOUTH INDIA (Leiden, Brill, 1973)
2. Thiru N Kandaswamy Pillai, HISTORY OF SIDDHAR MEDICINE, (Madras, Manorama Press, Gov. of Tamil Nadu, 1979), p 254
3. Hugh Finlay, editor INDIA, A TRAVEL SURVIVAL KIT (5th edition, Hong Kong, Lonely Planet, 1993), p. 1011
4. Stanislas Klassowski de Rolla, THE GOLDEN GAME: ALCHEMICAL ENGRAVINGS OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, (New York, Braziller, 1988), p. 41
5. Manly P. Hall, ORDERS OF THE GREAT WORK- ALCHEMY (Los Angeles, P.R.S., 1940) p. 34.
The siddhar's knowledge of latrochemistry, minerals, metals and plants was stupendous. They successfully used this from time immemorial. Processes like calcinations of mercury minerals and metals and the preparation of a super salt known as muppa animated mercury pills with high potency possessing marvelous properties of transmuting metals and capable of rejuvenating the entire human system bear ample testimony to the fact that, even in the remote past when knowledge in chemical technology was not fully developed, the siddhars had an unparalleled knowledge of medicine. The process of Muppu (universal salt) and other calcinations processes of minerals and metals are special features of Siddha system of medicine and are not known to other medical systems in India or other countries.
The siddha system included not only medicine and alchemy but also yoga and philosophy. Yoga literally means union. It is the means by which is obtained omniscience and the power of achieving and controlling mighty things. It is an applied science, a systemized collection of laws applied to bring about a definite end. Siddha science acknowledges 64 kinds of Yoga. There are eight elements in Yoga -eyama, niyama, asana, pranayama, prathyagara, tharani, thiyanam and samadhi. It is said by the siddhars that there is no yoga without concentration or fixedness of mind. There are no miraculous powers without rousing the kundalini. There is no wisdom without mind; there is no body without repression of respiration.
The Siddha science of breath is known as vasi (the practice of correct breathing). There are different phases in science of breath - physical, mental and spiritual. The kind of controlled breathing is the scientific method of charging one's self with vitality and personal magnetism and it is known to the ancients as pranayama. Poorakam (inspiration), rechagam (expiration) and kumbagam (suppression) are the three inevitable steps in pranayamam. Siddha science also tells us that man generally takes 15 breaths a minute and thus makes 21,600 breaths a day and at this rate he can live for a period of at least 120 years. Besides the treatment by medicine, there exist Siddha works in Tamil on alchemy or kaya kalpa. As some of the alchemical processes leading to kaya kalpa treatments were dangerous in their administration, the siddhars did not want to teach them to everyone. Although the Siddha system might have evolved in Tamil Nadu at an early period, there is reason to believe that it spread to Northern parts of India and is known as Tantric science.
In olden days, the siddhars devoted more time in finding out suitable remedies rather than describing the causes of a disease in detail. The scope of kaya kalpa treatment is two-fold: one, to cure diseases and the other to prolong lifespan. The kalpa drugs served as constructive medicines too. Kalpa treatment is a weapon, preventive as well as constructive. The methods prescribed in Siddha medical science in the treatment of kaya kalpa are as follows:
Preservation of vital energy of the body by diverting the internal secretions to the circulation of blood by control of breathing through yoga.
Conservation of sperm by using it for regeneration.
Use of universal salt such as Muppu prepared by certain Siddhic process for rejuvenation.
Use of calcined powders prepared from metal and minerals such as Mercury, Sulphur,Mica, Gold, Copper, Iron, etc.
Use of drugs prepared from certain rare Indian herbs.
Many rules and regulations were adopted by siddhars while consuming kaya kalpa drugs. Some other general methods like cleansing of throat, enema, lavation and oil baths were also detailed
Treatments in Siddha
The Siddha system of medicine has its own unique character in respect of physiology, pathology, therapeutics and pharmacology. This helps in understanding and enabling the science of longevity.
Siddha medicine follows the principle that diseases may not originate in man all of a sudden. It could also come from the influences, which act upon him. This may occur through different causes.
Treatment in Siddha science begins with the basic diagnosis of the disease. The physician takes note of all related involvements connected to the disease. The climate, the strength and power of digestion, temperament of the patient, lifestyle etc. has to be taken into consideration for diagnosis.
Exposing the patient to both internal and external medication follows this. Massage and external manipulation is applied as per each requirement. Diet control is religiously followed in Siddha system of treatment.
All the treatments in Siddha require the patients to be in India as the subcontinent is the perfect place for therapy and rejuvenation.
Siddha System of Medicine
Agasthiar is known as the first Physician of Siddha. Medical Science. He has written many volumes on Medicine, Yoga, Alchemy and Philosophy for a man's career in life. According to Siddha System of Science man is not merely a composite of muscles, bones, tissues and nerves; but there is a close relation and intimate connection between the nature. Soul and mind are as much parts if his true constitution, as are the terrestrial elements of which his elementary body is made up. According to Siddha Science five elements - earth, water, heat, air and weather of the external world and internal man are the fundamental principles of creation, preservation and destruction.
The materia medica consists of herbs, minerals and animal products. Innumerable varieties of herbs are mentioned in Siddha literature. Many of these were described in a manner very difficult to understand. The siddhars dealt with 11 metals, 64 pashanam (mercurial, no-mercurial), 120 uparasams (salts and other minerals) and animal products in preparing medicines. There are 64 types of medicines .Of these, 32 varieties are internal medicines and other 32 are external. Some varieties of internal medicines once prepared can be used for many years. They have a long lifetime and their potency will not be lost.
The siddhars were the pioneers in the use of metals and minerals in the treatment of diseases. There are a number of pharmaceutical preparations common to both Siddha and Ayurveda. The common preparation are Bhasma (calcined metals and minerals), Churna ( powders), Kashaya (decoctions) Lehya (confections), Ghrita (ghee preparations) and Taila (oil preparations). The preparations in which the siddhars specialized are Chunmna (metallic preparations) which become alkaline, Mezhucu (waxy preparations) Kattu ( preparations which are impervious to the water and flame). For a medicine to be effective, the inorganic substances have to be brought to their atomic form.
The siddhars developed the knowledge of bringing inorganic substances into atomic and ionic form which can be easily absorbed in the system when ground with herbal juices and put in the fire with a calculated number of cow dung cakes. Lakhs of formulations are available in Siddha literatures. Though a few are printed, many are still in manuscripts and palm leaves.
PATHOLOGY IN SIDDHA SCIENCE
Diseases in man do not only originate in himself, but also from the influences, which acts upon him. This may occur through different causes.
1. Derangement of the three humors:
Vazhi, Azal, lyyam, (Air, bile, phlegm) are the three principle humors. Increase or decrease of one or more of the humors will cause disease.
2. Astral influences:
Astral influences do not poison the whole world, but only those places where there are causes for infection. If no germs of disease exist in the atmosphere, in the water or in the human body, the astral influences will cause no harm, but when it exists they may develop diseases.
3. Poisonous substances:
Impure and injurious elements enter the human system in various ways : through food, drink, inhalation or absorption by the skin will develop diseases.
4. Psychological causes:
Psychological states such as passions, evil desires, disordered thoughts and morbid imaginations produces physiological changes in the physical body and develop diseases.
5. Spiritual causes:
Morbid imaginations may produce abnormal secretions, increase or decrease of hormones and their stimulants and develop diseases.
6. Diseases originating from the soul
Soul and mind are a part of man's true constitutions, the disturbances of soul or inner mind in a man leads to development of diseases.
DIAGNOSIS IN SIDDHA SCIENCE
During diagnosis the physician should take note of the particular type of disease, the involvement of organs other than those directly affected, the climate, the strength and the power of digestion, the temperament of the patient, his age, habits of living etc., for purposes of correct diagnosis, Siddha pathology explains that all diseases are caused by the mixture of the three cardinal humours-air, bile and phlegm (vazhi, azal, iyyam).
THERAPEUTICS IN SIDDHA SCIENCE
The oldest pharmacological and therapeutical writings were written by Siddhars. The material medica of Siddha System of Medicine contains vegetables, mineral, metals and marine products, animal and animal products- are also based on five elements and of the three cardinal humours. All the drugs contain one or more of these humours.
TREATMENT IN SIDDHA SCIENCE
Nature calls human being for death as a necessary happening. Siddhars Science considers that the death is not at all a necessary part of or event in human life. But it happens because of his traditions ignorance fear, imitation and erroneous auto suggestion. To overcome this, Siddhars taught the methods of yoga, alchemy and muppu secretly.
This ancient Siddha System of Medicine has its own unique character in respect of physiology, pathology, pharmacology, therapeutics and geriatrics - the science of longevity The glorious system should be allowed to flourish by encouraging further more rigid research studies and awareness should be created among the common people through the latest propaganda media to create 'sound body with sound mind'.