CHENNAI: He neither had a basic medical degree nor hailed from a family of physicians. He possessed in-depth knowledge in the Siddha system and this earned him sobriquet legend of Siddha medicine largely due to his unique contribution in the form of Cyclopaedic dictionary.
This work of T.V. Sambasivam Pillai, the acclaimed author, is considered as one of the great treasures of the Siddha system and is used as a text by BSMS students. He is among the 12 inspiring personalities whose commemorative stamps will be released on Friday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital on Friday.
“It is a great privilege to our Siddha community as the Central government is coming out with a stamp on T.V. Sambasivam Pillai,” says Prof. Dr. N.J. Muthukumar, Director, National Institute of Siddha.
“Cyclopaedic Dictionary” is considered as one of the great treasures of the Siddha system of medicine. His depth of knowledge in the Siddha system is highly commendable. He spent his entire life contributing and deciphering the ancient literatures of the Siddha system, the Director said.
“These five volumes of the Cyclopaedic dictionary is now used as a reference book for the B.S.M.S., M.D (Siddha) and Ph.D scholars and this meticulous work is also used as reference material for literature research scholars,” Dr. Muthukumar said.
T.V. Sambasivam Pillai was born on September 19, 1880 in Bengaluru, as the eldest son to Vilviah Manniar and Manonmani Ammal. He hailed from a non-affluent family from a village named Kamuganchenthangudi near Thanjavur. Astonished by the treasure of knowledge lying behind ancient Siddha palm manuscripts, he decided to create a Cyclopeadic Dictionary in English. “What we have today, as the “Cyclopaedic Dictionary” is the result of his sacrifices and untiring efforts, starting from the year 1916, almost to the end of his life,” Dr. Muthukumar adds.
He toiled for sixteen years, collecting the material, creating a library for the intended work besides spending major portion of his salary for this work. He even had to sell his lands and other assets for preserving the documents.
This dictionary is indeed one of the greatest treasures to the Siddha system of medicine that provides vast and accurate information about plants, minerals, metals, marine and animal products used in the Siddha system for whoever seeking deep information regarding the system.