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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

The Miraculous Origins of Siddha Medicine

The Miraculous Origins of Siddha Medicine

(p.41) 3 The Miraculous Origins of Siddha Medicine
Recipes for Immortality

Richard S. Weiss (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a detailed analysis of narratives that Tamils tell about the siddhar yogis, the ascribed founders of siddha medicine. It highlights the rhetorical force of narratives of the miraculous, especially when such narratives are expressed within broader accounts of community. Accounts of the siddhar Tirumular are treated in some detail, in order to argue that the Tamil character attributed to this yogi, and the identification of him as a siddhar, are largely modern. The chapter concludes with a consideration of contemporary narratives about the siddhars’ scientific and technological mastery. It argues that insofar as the siddhars are identified with the Tamil community, those who tell these narratives participate in an apologetic formulation of Tamil civilization as advanced, scientific, and modern.

Keywords:   siddhas, siddhars, magic, rhetoric, narrative, Tirumular, Tirumantiram, Tamil, science, technology

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