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Recipes for ImmortalityHealing, Religion, and Community in South India$
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Richard S Weiss

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335231

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335231.001.0001

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Reviving the Utopian Character of Siddha Medicine

Reviving the Utopian Character of Siddha Medicine

(p.107) 5 Reviving the Utopian Character of Siddha Medicine
Recipes for Immortality

Richard S. Weiss (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the utopian character that siddha practitioners ascribe to siddha medicine. The features attributed to siddha medicine—egalitarianism, rationality, science, accordance with nature, and global applicability—qualify siddha to be the medicine of our global future. The details of this formulation took shape within the context of Tamil revivalism, and siddha practitioners have given rational and global qualities to even the more religious features of siddha medical discourse, such as its connection to Shaivism. These formulations of an effective, original, and natural medicine glorify Tamil civilization and give rise to a variety of desires and motivations among their authors and intended audiences, and they contribute to assertions of the contemporary relevance of Tamil civilization and tradition.

Keywords:   Shiva, Shaivism, rationality, E. V. Ramasami, Maraimalai Adigal, Self-Respect Movement, siddha medicine, Dravidian, Tamil language, natural language

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