Traditional doctor; also refers to traditional system of medicine.
Siddha or Siddhavaidya is unique to Southern India, fundamentally Tamil Nadu. This dimension of medicine was opened up by Agastya Muni. They say Adiyogi himself practiced it and Agastya brought it to the south. He created a very potent combination, some fantastic usage of material. It is unbelievable how Siddha works. In the Siddha system of medicine, the sages, realized beings and the Siddha doctors were not different. Always, the sages practiced a certain amount of medicine because human health is an essential part of going ahead.Siddha vaidya cannot happen without sadhana.
Siddha is very different from Ayurveda and I would say it is much closer to the body’s energy system than Ayurveda is. Ayurveda is more disease-oriented, whereas Siddha is more health-oriented and simply about rejuvenation. So the variety of what is available in Siddha may not be as wide a range as in Ayurveda, because Ayurveda enters every disease. Siddha doesn’t enter the treatment of every disease. It is mainly about strengthening the inner sources of the body and activating the body in a certain way.
Siddha is very different in the sense, though there are herbs, it is essentially elemental in nature. It comes more from the yogic science because the fundamental of yogic science is in Bhuta Shuddhi or in the cleansing of one’s elements. This is an evolution from the yogic science. Since it is elemental, you are dealing with the fundamental material which makes the body. You are not trying to infuse some other medicine into it. So it is not really a medicine as such.
Because of this, it needs less study but more internal mastery for the person who practices it, which is again a problem today. Siddha vaidya cannot happen without sadhana. Today they have set up colleges for siddha vaidya, but it will not work like that. “Siddha” means an established one or one who is firmly established within himself. At Isha, we have access to certain Siddha systems that are not normally available with other doctors who practice Siddha.