September 2017 By Muskaan Sharma Rivulets of the Absolute Healing Ground in the Ancient Tamil Siddha Tradition by Stephen R Grissom Siddha Varma Healing, LLC Paperback Rs.- 1,517; pages 416 Exploring the healing ground in the ancient Tamil Siddha tradition, Stephen R Grisson author of Rivulets of the Absolute, thoroughly distills the essence of spirituality. Siddhas, the masters of pure consciousness, preserve their knowledge by a tradition of secrecy and pass it on to students orally. The book is one of the first written attempts which talks about Tamil Siddhas and their spiritual disciplines and arts. Divided into 14 detailed chapters, the book describes the author’s spiritual journey that commenced in Arunachala, the holy hill at Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. The content revolves around the master-student relationship between Stephen Grissom and his guru, Siddha healer Pal Pandian. Being an outsider on the Indian soil, Grissom closely critiques the masters’ teachings in disciplines like Varma healing, Siddha tantra and Siddha yoga. Each chapter unfolds a new aspect of this arcane wisdom and impresses upon the significance of realigning the self with the primordial higher self. The books is distinct in that it talks about simplifying the ethos governing human life through a knowledge system which is considered secretive, complex and domain of a select few. The verses taught are coded messages carrying universal secrets, which can only be understood and mastered by a devout student. Yet the underlying principle is that prana, chi, or shakti is the functional force required for each body organ to work. Grissom further contrasts the modern definition of health with the traditional. Traditional Varma healing does not limit health to curing illnesses physically but also focuses on being whole spiritually and mentally. It treats the physical energy and the consciousness of the being by restoring the ability of the body to heal itself. By highlighting the real essence of tantra, Grissom rids this spiritual tradition of all the misconceptions surrounding its rituals and practises. Apart from this, the book delves deep into understanding the male and female psyche and their union. For a novice in the world of spirituality, this book is an enriching read that succeeds at putting life into a holistic perspective by explaining it at an elemental level.
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