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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Siddha Maruthuvam or Siddha Medicine and its history

Siddha system of medicine is the most primitive medical system. This system was formulated and established about more than 25000 years back by the eminent powers called Siddhars and hence the name Siddha Medicine. The medicines were prepared by the various research work done by the Siddhars on herbs,minerals and animals. The father of Siddha Medicine or Siddha Vaidyam is the primordial Guru, Agasthiyar. There are also 18 prime Siddhars who are the followers of the primordial Guru, contributed their valuable knowledge and experiences in this field. Siddha medical system doesn’t consider treatment and prevention separately. The main aim of this system is prevention of disease, as it is well said that“Prevention is better than cure”!
This medical system was then carried over generations after generations by the Traditional practitioners under Gurukula system, it was found and practiced in the earliest Dravidian civilization and hence was developed in Tamil language only. Then after independence,the government of Tamil Nadu developed this Traditional system as a Medical system. So far there are 6 Siddha colleges under government and private sector in Tamil Nadu which are based in Tamil medium. Recently, a college in English medium started in Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram. This is a 5 year course which holds B.S.M.S degree that is Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery. The interested professionals can also opt for P.G course and then PhD.
Today, the treatment like physiotherapy, panchakarmam, marmam, acupressure, naturopathy and yoga are well known separately but it can be confirmed that all these are evolved from Siddha system of Medicine or Siddham. These methods are present in this single system of medicine. Siddha system emphasizes not only a healthy body but a peaceful mind and pure soul. Hence, it is unique when compared to any other medical system.
When the methods of treatment taken into account, then Siddha system holds the 8 unique methods of diagnosis. One among these 8 method is Naadi(Veins). A Siddha physician keenly observes the naadi before starting any treatment. Hence unlike other system of medicines there does not exist only a symptomatic treatment in Siddha. A strong relationship develops between the patient and physician. The physician not only heals the disease of the patient through medicines but also provides an assurance to his mind and prays for the soul. For example, in a patient suffering from psoriasis, medicines are not enough as stress is an aggravating factor of the the disease. So, it is only possible by a Siddha physician to pacify the disturbed mind of the patient by the spiritual counseling.
Siddha treatment is based on Pancha Bhootha Pancheekaranam(Five elements). Human body is made of 5 elements and 3 humours ( Vatham, Pitham and Kapham). These forces or humours are in a balanced ratio in our body say 1:1/2:1/4 as Vatha: Pitha: Kapha. Sometimes due to some pathological reason or seasonal variation this equilibrium or balanced ratio may change and hence diseases may occur. A Siddha Physician who is well versed in Naadi diagnosis can detect this change and prescribe internal and external medicines accordingly.
Siddha System comprises of 32 types of internal medicines and 32 types of external medicines. The medicines are safe, natural and very effective, derived from the flora, fauna and rich mineral resources of mother nature. Internal and External medicines are available in market manufactured by various companies. However there are traditional practioners still practicing with their self prepared drugs. External Therapies like Thokkanam (9 unique Siddha Physiotherapic techniques), Ottradam (formentation), Vedhu (steam therapy), Varmam (stimulation of vital points of body therapeutically), Kaya-karpam, Attanga Yogam (8 limbs of Yoga) etc are very effectively used for diseases like hemiplegia, parkinsonism, arthritis etc.In Siddha, there is a wide range of drugs which includes medicines that has got no expiry date. They can be preserved life-long. The formulas of medicine was prepared by Siddhars thousand of years ago
Siddham or the Siddha medicine or Siddha Vaidyam is a not purely a medical system for curing the physical body, Its a way of life formulated by Siddhars through their vision and realisation for getting peace for the mind, health for the physical body and purity for the Soul. Siddhar’s through there Great powers like Ashtamasiddhikal and through immense prayers they realised the fact that Soul which is ultimately a part of the Supreme which is like a drop of water from sea.

Treatment for Mind, Body And Soul:

Siddha medical system is a part of a way of life of the well known Dravidian civilization which emphasizes the importance of Spirituality for Soul, Peace for the Mind and Health for the Physical body. Siddha system of medicine is most ancient and spiritually enriched one. Medicines are formulated and prepared by the Siddhars thousands of years ago after undergoing various research work on flora, fauna and the rich mineral resources of Mother Earth. The medicines are enriched with prayers and power which not only cures the disease but also provides peace to the mind and spirituality to the soul. This divine system of medicine is a treasure of numerous medicines. Just like medicines work for the physical body, mind should be kept peaceful through prayers and meditation.
According to Siddhars or Saiva Siddhantham, Lord Sivam is the Supreme Reality which is eternal, changeless, formless, independent, omnipresent, omniscient, one without a second, omnipotent, taintless, causeless, self-existent, beginningless, ever free, everpure, of course perfect. They realised the fact that Sivam is the Supreme Guru who liberates the Souls from the web of bondage or births. These Great Knowledge they passed it to generations in the form of manuscripts. According to Siddhars the creator or the supreme creates a physical body for a soul to attain the salvation. But it not possible for a soul to attain the parammukti or Salvation by one birth. So a soul must take cycle of births to realise these facts. While getting a birth the Soul is binded with the Mumalams or the Anavam, Kanmam and Mayai which are the impurities just like the Trithodam of the physical body. This is well explained in Saiva Siddhantham as the Pati, Pasu and Pasam. Pati is the Sivam or Eternal Energy and Pasu is the Soul and Pasam the bondage. Anavam is the impurity which pervades in the soul which produces incorrect perception. Kanmam is the other impurity binded in the soul which does the good and bad acts. Mayai is the experience or the material cause which the soul acquires a little of Knowledge and realisation. For these Siddhars formulated certain rules and disciplines or Tapas to clean the three impurities present in the Soul so that one can perceive the spiritual luminance or the Siva lokam within. It is just like as the Kaya karpam to protect the physical body.

Counseling:

Counseling should be a part of treatment always. Just like prayer, Yoga and Meditation, counseling also plays a major role in tuning the disturbed mind of the sufferer. Proper counseling improves the result of the treatment. During counseling a bond of trust and confidence is build between the patient and the physician. All the personal information and data collected during counseling and consultation are kept highly confidential.
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