“The body is a sacred instrument to contain the soul and therefore must be nurtured well to safeguard the life.”
These are the words from a Siddhar, who lived a long span of three thousand years, following the Siddha System of Life. This art of longevity and the attempts of immortalising the corporeal human body is called Kaya Kalpa. This is a concept that has been widely used, very much misunderstood and misused. The name Kaya Kalpa has been explained in many ways, Kaya means Body and Kalpa means ever providing or indestructible in one sense. The true meaning however is ‘ever providing’ , vehicle for the soul.
The Siddhas are super human beings, the immortal masters of medicine and meditation, also founders of the Indian Traditional Alchemical system of Medicine namely “ The Siddha system”. This system belongs to a very ancient period and it may be roughly ascertained to the origin of human civilization itself. According to Siddha human body is a wonderful replicate presenting the entire universe. The criteria by which an organism originates depends on 96 thathwams or constituent principles. To elevate the soul on its spiritual journey,the Siddhas formulated an applied alchemy,the Kaya Kalpa, a science dealing with methods and practices that could sustain the perfected human body for atleast a kalpam or an aeon (a relatively long period of time in Indian cosmology, equalling 4.32 billion years).
Eventhough science says so, a life span of a kalpa remains to be validated, since the validator never lives to judge the validated. The history says that all the siddhars lived for many hundreds and thousands of year. What was the need to live so many years? This scientific pursuit was not motivated by a desire to drink from the fountain of youth, but by an intense desire to extend life so that they might evolve to complete enlightenment in this lifetime, avoiding the need for reincarnation. A human body is the best vehicle to have spiritual experiences. Spiritual experience helps to realize the Spirit within and to find the ultimate truth.
Kayakalpa concept in Siddha Science
Kayakalpa is founded on the principle that the Andam is same as Pindam or simply Macrocosm and microcosm are one and same. If so why so different. It all depends on the density of the fundamental elements that constitute the manifested universe. The five elements, viz. ether, air, fire, water and earth forms the fundamental building blocks of the universe. To realize that the microcosm i.e our body is same as the universe we must make the vibrations of our body so pure to vibrate at same level of cosmic and realize God within ourselves. The human body is made from a combination of 5 elements and our vibrations mainly depend on the vibrations of the five elements. This is greatly influenced by what we take through the 5 senses. The 5 senses feed the 5 elements in our body. That’s why its said that we become what we eat, see, hear, smell, sense.
Kayakalpa drugs can basically have two actions (1) rejuvenating the body, as well as (2) be prophylactic in action. The Siddha Materia Medica describes, Kayakalpa formulations to include Herbs, Minerals and materials from Animal kingdom as well.
This in turn has been classified into (A) Pothu Karpam, which are preparations that can be taken for general wellness viz. optimum health, beauty, longevity and consciousness and (B) Sirappu karpam: taken during the period of illness and physical imbalances.
The Karuvoorar Kaaviyam, a Siddh text, describes 108 herbs which can be used for kayakalpa drug preparation. These formulations when consumed at prescribed timings of the day with a prescribed healthy diet and after careful preparation of the body can bring about tremendous rejuvenation. Kayakalpa has no effect of an already destroyed body, e.g. a body damaged by uncontrolled long term diabetes and on overly aged people. Kayakalpa is a wellness science and need to be taken up during the early stages of life.
Siddhas have realized that taking Kayakalpa medicines alone is not enough but the practice of a combination of pranayama, hathyoga, diet and spiritual practises that lead to the activation of certain energy reservoirs in the body is the true cause for kaya kalpa, the elixir of longevity and youth. The activation inevitably was most of the time kundalini dependent. Hence, the Siddha system is known for their powerful kayakalpa practices which combine both spiritual energy and medicines to achieve a tremendous transformation of body , mind and spirit.
However, rarely even saints, have achieved the preservation of their human form. One such rare saint who have achieved this great seat is Swami Ramlingam of Vadalur, Tamilnadu, India. Swamiji in his writing, has described in detail, the step by step processes that lead to attainment of the Jothi body of light. Some of these practises viz. Arokia Deham and the Suddha Deham are easily attained by a dedicated person.
Today, many traditional medical sciences take and practise Kayaklpa very lightly without understanding the true methods of Kayakalpa. Most of the systems engage in a practise of kayakalpa which doesn’t progress beyond cleansing the body, balancing the tridoshas and to the maximum of administering some restorative drugs. Whereas in true Kayakalpa, these practises form the fundamental platform on which more advanced kayakalpa practises that will activate an internal process, our own kayakalpa sytem to start functioning and generate the true kayakalpa effect. Even this simple therapy takes up around 60 to 90 days.
The approach of kayakalpa is different for different age groups and people with diseases. For any age group if the person has a disease, the 1st priority to eliminate the disease and then initiate kayakalpa process. Now, the choice of kayakalpa therapy is made, based on their age. For youngsters, they are given more energy and diet based practices that will prevent aging and rapidly induce Kayakalpa. For the middle aged the focus of kayakalpa will be divided between restorative and the preventive methods and followed by advance practices that will induce Kayakalpa. For the aged, kayakalpa therapy would largely depend on restorative processes and if successful then only advance kayakalpa practises are advised. One can fairly infer that,
a. Kayakalpa is not a one time therapy process.
b. Kayakalpa is a lifestyle dependent process
c. Kayakalpa is a personalised process,
d. the outcome of kayakalpa is largely dependent on the person undergoing the kayakalpa,
e. for a normal healthy person kayakalpa is majorly a self practise and
f. even achieving sent percent of the kayakalapa effect can mean tremendous health benefit for a normal person.
A great science like kayakalpa, even though not in its full spectrum, should be available to all the people, irrespective of cast, cred, age and social status. Unfortunately, for most of us , kayakalpa was designed in an age where many of its practises could be easily undertook. Time now demands that Kayakalpa be redefined in such a way that it is applicable to all. With rising medical costs and increasing burden of diseases, human health is witnessing the largest setback in its history inspite of all the technological advancements. So, today what we need is a healthcare system that will allow a cost effective, sustainable and highly effective means of taking care of ones own health at the comfort of their home, for this the Kayakalpa is the only answer.