Thaeraiyar Venba – Kokkalai Jerajan – Maharani, W-146, Anna Nagar West Extension, Chennai-600101 – Rs. 250. Phone: 26543963/9445019814.
An introduction to Thaeraiyar is essential for an appreciation of this book of Indian medicine (Siddha and Ayurveda). Once upon a time a king was suffering from head ache that no medical expert could cure. A travelling physician offered to help. He administered anaesthesia and opened the skull. Out jumped a toad that had been the cause of the king’s agony. The physician closed the skull, revived the ruler and prescribed follow-up medicine. A jubilant king handsomely rewarded him and called him Thaeraiyar.
Thaeraiyar composed hundreds of verses that contained the cure for countless ailments and conditions. The ingredients, sourced from plants and animals, and methods of making the medicine are embedded in the short poems. Kokkalai Jerajan has compiled these verses in the Tamil alphabetical order with meaning. Deep research and extensive homework are evident in the end product. Added to the volume are the 300 verses composed by sage Agathiyar under the title Sindooram.