Health in the Siddha Healing Tradition

Written by Stephen Grissom

“Refusing the disease of the body,
Refusing disease of the mind,
Refusing further as a prevention,
Refusing death itself ensures real medicine.”

-Siddha Thirumoolar

    Disease or health, which comes first? According to the government of India, Siddha medicine is well over 14,000 years old. Ayurveda, another ancient medicinal system, dates to approximately 6,000 years ago. Today’s world needs all the healing and help available. Yet, the great Siddha Thirumoolar also speaks of prevention. Preventing illness indicates an absence of disease and in turn, infers a healthy state of body and mind.

   The word “health” in English is based on an Anglo-Saxon word “hale” meaning “whole”.  To be healthy is to be whole.  Furthermore, the English word “holy” is based on the same root as “whole”.  Humanity has understood that it is a wholeness that provides meaning to life.  This wholeness or integrity of being is itself health.  According to the Siddhas health is described as,

 “A spontaneous, dynamic, nurturing pulsation at every moment….a flowing river of natural existence”

    Being granted at the moment of conception our very being is created and grounded both from and within this overall naturally occurring flow.  Thus, health is our most basic memory and true birthright.  In truth, life and health are not simply interlinked, they are both One.  The inherent possibility of tuning into the natural law by living in an existential mode is Life’s gift to us.

     This law of Nature is ingrained within each of us revealing itself within the body as its natural understanding and memory of balance.  The body knows its health.  It also contains its healing potential in the form of the most ideal pharmacy ever organized.  The body, like all of Nature, is filled with this pulsating Intelligence that simply requires our sensitive and humble recognition.  Those who come to understand this flow of nature of which the body and mind are composed, live their lives devoid of the stress, both physical and mental, of societies. 

From this wonderfully felt sensitivity the person moves through their life with ever-expanding strength, grounding, courage and wisdom.  They naturally fulfill their life purpose.  As this unfolds, humility and gratitude blossom and resonate as one’s predominate reactions and responses to life’s inconsistent circumstances.  This is the most natural feeling of being intricately woven into one’s greater surroundings.  Releasing our demands and obsessive tendencies we begin to awaken.  It is a “falling back” into the rhythmic flow of existence.  From Her essence, our bodies are formed.  We are surrounded by all we need to grow and sustain ourselves.  When illness arises She has filled our planet with the very items that will remind body and mind of their balance.  It is relaxation in the arms of Nature.

     Within us is the mirror image of the oceanic rhythm, the animating pulsation of the cosmos.  It manifests as the river flow of natural existence and endless flowing phenomena that are always changing, always moving.  This life pulse aspires to live. The Siddhas call this primordial pulsation of all life ‘Vasi’ (living, livingness).  When this river flow of life experiences a block, it responds as an alarm.  These blocks are called ‘Viyadhi’ (deviated from own nature), disease.  Since life (health) is movement (intelligent and rhythmic), what we have come to call disease is discordant flow (blocks) in the harmonious pulse.  This is the alarm Nature gives for us to finally understand our personal boundaries.  Done to remind us to protect ourselves from influences, external demands, and obsessive actives that don’t really support growth in our life.      The disease is simply a block or fixation to the life-sustaining pulse that has finally come to manifest in form.  The indication is how we have misconceived our inspiration for our life.  We grew insensitive to ourselves and our life then misaligned our primal inspiration in our actions.  The chronic diseases on which the entire health industry thrives arise from this misalignment.  Hypertension, arthritis, allergies, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, asthma, and back pain are prime examples of our life force encountering blocks.  They have manifested from resistance in their natural flow.  All that is needed is its liberation for it to resume on an unhindered path.

    The healing world of the Tamil Siddha tradition, while ancient, speaks to each of us from antiquity to the present day. The modern trend is to update the gems of ancient masters in order to make them more appealing. More applicable to modern life, modern people, modern minds. Yet, this very assumption, that primal knowledge gained from existential circumstances at the dawn of humanity is outdated, is itself misguided. She has remained as our constant companion, our incessant guide, our very Life. She is Nature. She is Life itself. In our current ways of rushing about trying to grasp and achieve, precious few of us are in tune with little more than where to get the next cappuccino…

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away; a sordid boon!…

(William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much with

Us,” in Great Short Poems, ed. Paul Negri [Mineola, NY:

Dover, 2000])

    As for the ancient Masters? Their cathedral has ever been the Cosmos. Are not our bodies composed of the very elements of the earth itself? Are not Our minds interlinked with all of humanity stretching back to the dawn of creation?


Our greater surroundings, normally confined to the natural setting of our immediate environment, are juxtaposed with Nature. I capitalize the word Nature for it denotes all of existence, having issued from the Mother aspect of the divine (Shakti, the Goddess). Often portrayed in the Western world as Mother Nature, She is that which is not created yet creates. It is Nature that is the true Teacher. From Nature the Siddha Master learns. With Nature the ancients found the ways of health. Finding the path to health from disease then became illuminated.

    When I met my Teacher, Siddha Healer Palpandian of Tiruvannamalai India, I asked him what I should learn before beginning my journey into Siddha healing. His response echoed the simplicity of divine wisdom from his ancient lineage. Looking at me he smiled reassuringly. I will never forget my shock at his words, so direct, so unexpectedly encompassing, and lucid:

“You must love to cook. And learn the ways of Nature.”

Siddha Vasi Healing® is the unique healing system of Stephen’s guru, Palpandian of Tiruvannamalai, India. As an Integrated Healing Platform of the unique Tamil Siddha lineage its scope makes possible healing for any disease of the human experience.

More information can be found at:

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