This tradition is available even in our Siddha tradition. They would take the hand and look at the saram. Saram means the nostril through which the person was breathing. They would look at the depth through which the air was going in and coming out.
In Tamil, we have a proverb ‘saram parappaan param parappaan’. Means, “He who knows the science of prana: the amount of prana going in through the air, the amount of prana coming out through the air, who can understand what is happening in another’s body and his body. Through the prana he can see the whole Cosmos.”
I have seen Raghupati Yogi pluck one hair, see the color, depth, and all that and tell the imbalance. Kuppammal would hold the hand, and the weight of the hand would tell the imbalance.
Whenever my Masters wanted to teach me the subtle concepts, they would put me on an herbal diet. They would give me the “Arugampull” (அருகம்புல்). It is a unique grass which grows near the water ponds, which is used for worshipping Ganesha.
So, they would give the juice of that grass. Sometimes bael juice, sometimes Bermuda Grass. The “Arug
I used to wonder “why the teaching, means learning of Vedanta, should go with this kind of herbal diet?” One day, I asked them. They said, “Alright, you eat whatever you want and come back.” In those days, “vadai”(fried snack) and “paayasam” (a semi-liquid sweet dish) was the traditional feast. I went and had all that and came back. They tried to explain some of the concepts, truths of vedanta. I tell you honestly, I was not able to grasp!
Then they gave me gingelly oil (sesame Oil) and cleaned my stomach and haritaki powder for two days. After two-three days, again they started teaching me the concepts. I was able to grasp just like that! Then I understood the power of that food and that sutra which says, ‘Aahaara Shuddhi….’:
“Based on the purity of food, your intellect gets purified, your memory gets purified, your ability to grasp increases.”