Ayurveda and Siddha are the medicine system that is indigenous to India. While Ayurveda was developed in the northern part of India, Siddha on the other hand developed in the southern part of India. There are some notable differences between the two systems but there is an underlying philosophy that bounds these two systems together.
There are some people like Dr. Ramesh Bijlani who say “Siddha is the Ayurvedic system of the South due to the same underlying philosophy”.
In this blog post, we will discuss what’s the difference between the two as well as their similarities.
Ayurveda is a part of Atharvana Veda. Charaka and Sushrutha are some of the famous rishis whose books are still available. Sushrutha Samhita written by Maharishi Shushrutha is famous for performing surgery and was an expert in doing cesarean operations and joining the amputated parts of the human body. On the other hand, Charaka was an expert in Pathology.
Kerala is a famous Ayurvedic medicine destination. It has preserved the rich traditions of Ayurveda for the future. The Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala and Arya Vaidya Pharmacy are two internationally reputed institutions of Ayurveda.
The Father of the Siddha system of Medicine, on the other hand, was the Agasthya rishi. He has written many of the Siddha treaties used in the Siddha system of Medicine. This system is practiced primarily in Tamil Nadu and is recognized as a system by the Government Of India.
These two seemingly different systems of medicine have many more similarities than one expects. It is just that due to geographical differences they have little divergence in traditions.
- Both of the systems belong to the same tradition & knowledge system i.e. Vedic knowledge system.
- Both of the systems, Ayurveda and Siddha, are focused on balancing doshas viz. Vatha, Pitta & Kapha.
- Both of the systems have a focus on 5 basic Elements viz. Agni, Vayu, Aapah, Bhumi, and Aakasha.
- While most of the herbs used are common to both systems, sometimes they are used for different illnesses. For eg., Hibiscus is an essential medicine for heart ailments in Sidha while in Ayurveda it is mostly used for hair-related problems.
- Both of the systems have Nadi Pariksha which is central to their practice.
- Bhuta Suddhi and Panch karma both are used for the same purpose.
- Siddha Vaidya is a curative science. Diseases and disorders are classified into 4448 with 64 different approaches for each, 32 external and 32 internal. There are more than 200,000 documented Siddha medical formulations existing.
- Siddha Vaidya is written in Tamil, a Dravidian language.
- There are five different Vatha humors in Ayurveda.
- Siddha describes ten different Vathas.
- The Divine father of Siddha is Lord Shiva and the human connection is Sage Agasthya, Shiva’s son.
- The aim of Siddha Vaidya is to confer immortality to humans, lacking which longevity is the focus. To achieve this aim, one needs to be disease free and live a healthy, enjoyable, and productive life.
Contrary to the popular belief both Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine systems have more similarities than differences. So it can be said that Siddha is the type of Ayurveda practiced in Tamil Nadu with some differences due to following different tradition.