The Siddhars belong to a school of great knowledge which originally consisted of eighteen members known as Moolavarga Siddhars: Nandi, Thirumular, Agasthyar, Punnakkisar, Pulasthiar, Poonaikkinar, Idaikkadar, Bogar, Pulikkaisar, Karurar, Konganavar, Kalangi, Azuganni, Agappayan, Pambatti, Teriyar, Kutambai and Sattainathar. Siddhi means attainment of perfection; Siddha is a person who has conquered disease and death by the process of kayakarpam, Yoga and Meditation.
Death and enlightenment (moksha, nirvana, truth etc) are two topics considered very important in siddhars science. Human race has been hypnotized as it were with the idea and fear of death. Across every human threshold the skeleton form of death throws his grim shadow. Old or young, well or ill, rich or poor, all alike should pass through this shadow; and all the ages throughout the mortal world has been sounding the piteous cry for a solution of this riddle of life and death. Death has no existence or significance for the wise as it is but a phantom made hideous by the ignorance and weakness of the ignorant multitude.
Siddhars consider that death is not at all a necessary part of or event in human life; and that there is no law of nature that calls for death as a necessary happening. Man dies as a result of his own traditional ignorance, fear, imitation and erroneous auto-suggestion. Siddhars, through their spiritual power rearrange the molecules in their bodies in such a fashion that they get no sickness at any time; and what we call death does not occur to them.
Suspended animation is a condition of the human body, which pathology has understood very little and anatomy has not been able to throw light upon. Whatever may be the causes, one thing is certain that it is purely and distinctly a condition of deep sleep over the objective, the suspension of the vital functions and a state of absolute rest of all the vital organs. The wonder of it is that this condition may continue for years. Suspended animation may be divided into four classes: –
Under the first class come all the diseases due to nervous prostration. It is the supreme effort of nature to give the exhausted nerves absolute rest. It is nearly always followed by a recovery from the illness and the patient will be saved from the jaws of death or burial while alive. The patient in this condition can be fully cognizant of all that occur around them, being perfectly conscious of the significance of all the tests applied to them, and impatient of the opinion of the Doctors pronouncing them to be dead. They can even hear the lamentations of the stricken family and the preparations got up for their burial, but would be unable to move even a muscle or utter a word. If the patient is promptly and intelligently treated the effect would be always salutary with the consciousness duly regained and the period of convalescence restored.
Secondly suspended animation would be found operating in a Yogi in Samadhi state brought about by him. Here it is a self-induced condition observed in our country. There are many well-authenticated instances of this among Yogis varying from a few hours to many months and even years according to Siddhars science. In fact it is this object of siddhars to show the intrinsic importance of this subject and point out as well, the fundamental error, which many modern Doctors commit miserably, and the danger to be apprehended from ignorance of the psychic principles involved herein.
Third and fourth conditions are just mentioned and not dwelt in detail. The third is induced by hypnotic suggestion and is called cataleptic state belonging to domain of Hypnotism. The fourth in some accidental cases due to injury to the nervous system, affection of the brain, snake bites etc. The soul leaves the body before it is being worn out or destroyed.
Siddhar, s Philosophy:
According to siddhars, one has to attain gnana or enlightenment only when both his body and soul are intact together and hence the necessity of karpa medicine and other regimens to attain deathless stage or jeevan-mukthi. Infact the hallmark of Siddha system of medicine itself is Kayakarpam or rejuvenation i.e., imparting absolute immunity to diseases, counteracting the aging process and forestalling death. Hence preservation of the body becomes a prime prerequisite to salvation through Gnana or Enlightenment. The siddhars have thus classified the body according to their states of being into — IRULDEGAM, MARULDEGAM, SHUDHADEGAM, and PRANAVADEGAM & GNANADEGAM.
The transition from Iruldegam to Gnanadegam is the process of realization and enlightenment. The various scriptures of Hinduism as well as the teachings of the great masters also point out the importance of physical health through proper regimens of life and Yoga prior to Gnanayoga and meditation. Yoga by itself is a vast field of learning and understanding especially the practice of Hashtanga Yoga and Kundalini chakras. Impurities in the individual are more in the physical or sthoolashareram than in the shookshmashareeram presently called the aura or the astral body. With Karpa medicines physical body is preserved through Body toning (Valivupera), Kayasiddhi and rejuvenation (marumalarchi) to the state of anandamayam.