9.10.06

INTERVIEW WITH DR. G. SIVARAMAN:

Jake Pollack: “What is your background in Siddha?”

Dr. Sivaraman: “I am a Siddha graduate from the Govt. siddha medical college, Tirunelveli. I finished my Doctorate from Dept of Siddha medicine, Tamil University, Thanjavur. I finished the certificate course in palm leaf manuscripts reading in 1990 from Thanjavur Sarfoji Library.

Since 1994 I have been running my Arogya Siddha hospital at Chennai. Since 1997 I have been running the registered Siddha Pharmaceuticals (Arogya Healthcare Pvt Ltd).

We have registered nearly 6000 cases in our hospital. Though we have only general practice, we are having good experiences in the chronic ailments like Psoriasis, Asthma, Arthritis, Hemorrhoids, Male/Female infertility treatment.

I have also submitted 8 scientific papers and written two books. I have worked in the field of Siddha Functional foods development for the past five years and traveled to a few countries (US, France, Canada, China., Thailand, Australia, Malaysia) to visit academic and research institutions.”

Jake: “How would you define Siddha medicine to someone who’s only familiar with biomedicine?”

Dr. Sivaraman: “Siddha medicine is one among the ancient traditional Indian systems of medicine, mainly practiced in the Tamil (An Indian language) speaking population. Siddha is based on Tridosha theory and Pancha pootha pancheekarna (five element theory). It is a life style. Medicine is a part of siddha philosophy.

The scope of practice for Siddha medicine is good nowadays. The increased number of patients for these clinics shows the demand. But the awareness about this system is limited to urban residents. The government support is not much. Prejudiced thoughts and ’unscientific’ initials given by modern science people are still confusing the people.

There are a few functional food concepts of this system and life style practices which need further study. Some translation works are going on in the government side. But many books are not yet edited, standardized or translated. Much more work is needed.”

Jake: “What is the relationship between Siddha medicine and yoga? Ayurveda?”

Dr. Sivaraman: “Thirummolar, one among the 18 Siddhars, who are the founders of Siddha medical system, wrote a lot about Yogasanas. Pathanjali yoga, importance of pranayama, suryanamaskar, and meditation were well dealt in Siddha. Yoga is the part of 96 basic Siddha fundamentals (96 thaththuvams) Ayurvedha is a brother system of Siddha medicine. There are many similarities with Siddha and a few fundamental differences. Both are from the same roots.”

Jake: “Who do you think would benefit from Siddha medicine? Can you describe some of the practices and their effects?”

Dr. Sivaraman: “The entire society would receive benefit. I should write dispassionately, but after 15 years of my interest and experience with Siddha, I could say Siddha is the way of healthy living. Those who really want to live (not just exist) should know about Siddha and should explore the possibilities of Siddha. Siddha medicine is a way and not a destination. Blind fold application is not essential. For me its not a hidden agenda or mythic trait or complex philosophy. It’s an experience of those who want the future society to be healthy.

By understanding Siddha, One can understand the rationale behind life and life force. One can enjoy the internal happiness. One can also really help the other with his/her ailment. One can also understand the Prabanja.

Siddha philosophy is amalgamated with Sankya philosophy and blended with Buddha Thammapata. For me, Siddhars, who makes the experience into a system, were highly dispassionate and they are not the mere followers of any religion/path. They blend the best and leave the rest.”

Jake: “What direction do you see Siddha medicine going?”

Dr. Sivaraman: “What is needed is not happening. Honestly, in my personal view, because of globalisation, modernization, and also in the name of standardization, Siddha science is often dissected / extracted without knowing its synergy and concepts.

Revamping the system for the benefits of society is not happening. Some are seeing this as an opportunity for emerging herbal business. Some are thinking of novel concepts of practice. Some are seeing the thirst of contemporary medical research. Some are thinking of it as an unexplored good source of market. Unfortunately many in the society are the sum of these ‘some’. “

For more information about Dr. Sivaraman and Arogya Health Care, please visit the following website:
www.arogyahealthcare.com

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