Varma Kalai

Last Updated by Guruji Murugan Chillayah on 13 February 2019 (Wed) 01:00 AM (GMT+8)

Important : QUALIFIED VARMA GURU (INSTRUCTOR) GUIDANCE REQUIRED PRIOR TO PRACTICE THIS ARTS. Below information and essential knowledge were shared for everyone, therefore copy / ammend of any information strictly not allowed.

    English pronunciation : not_available
    Sanskrit संस्कृतम् : मर्म विद्य marma vidya
    Tamil தமிழ் : வர்மக்கலை
    Bahasa Melayu : Varma Kalai
    Malayalam : വർമക്കല
    Telugu : మర్మయుద్దకళ
    Français : not_available

    A homophone is a word that has the same sound as another word but is spelled differently and has a different meaning.

    Varma Kalai,
    Varmak Kalai,
    Varmam ( வர்மம் ),
    Varma Adi,
    Varma śāstra,
    Varma Vidyā,
    Marma Vidyā,
    Marma Kalai,
    Varma Kalari,
    Kalari Varma,
    Marma Sthanam ( Telugu : మర్మ స్థానం )

    In Malayalam, varmam is known as Marma / Marmam / Marma Adi.

    Varma Kalai (வர்மக்கலை varmakkalai, Malayalam : വർമക്കല varmakkala, Sinhala : මාරු කල maru kala, Telugu : మర్మయుద్దకళ marma vidya kala, Sanskrit संस्कृतम् : मर्म विद्य marma vidya), is a martial art and esoteric healing art originating from ancient Tamil Nadu in South India. The Indian word with meaning literally translate as "The Art of Vital Pressure Points". Adi Murai / Marma Adi, it is an advanced element of the Tamil martial arts of Kuttu varisai (குத்துவரிசை), Silambam and Kalaripayat.

    Varma adi or Marma adi

    Varma adi or Marma adi ("hitting vital spots") is a part of the art of healing and harming Varma Kalai (வர்மக்கலை , Telugu : మర్మయుద్దకళ) Marma Vidhya, It is a component of adi murai "law of hitting" which is a martial art that teaches methods to attack pressure points of the human body. This system of marmam is part of Siddha Vaidhyam, attributed to the Tamil sage Agastya (அகத்தியர் , Sanskrit : अगस्त्य , Telugu : అగస్త్య) and his disciples. It is practiced in almost all parts of Tamil Nadu and in the Travancore region of Kerala. It is supposedly derived from traditional Siddha medicine. Indian martial arts such as Silambam, Kuttu Varisai and Kalaripayat explains, "Adi Murai" and its component Marma adi were emphasize empty hand techniques.

    Varma Student

    Most of the time, student they will end up with "fake" Varma teachers. Varma student has to search for a proper Aasan and the learning process will take for at least 12 years, a student might know 100++ of the vast knowledge of Varmam. To learn more vast or in-depth, student might have to find different Aasan. A lot of time and money has to be spent in learning. May be for that reason, Varma Kalai is not vastly spread.

    Learning Varmam - Traditional Way

    The student, who wants to learn Varmam, should meet the Gurukkal (priest) on a new moon day with Guru Thachinai and Kaanikkai (fees). Gurukkal will perform pooja and rituals to either Saint Agasthiyar / Saint Bohar and then the Kaanikkai will be offered to the Gurukkal and Varma Aasan (Varma teacher). Then, Aasan will teach the rituals to worship sathguru's like Agasthiyar and Bohar. At that time, starting prayer method (Vananggum Murai) in Silambam and the Varmam point 'Kumbidu Kaalam' will be taught. At the end of the first day's lessons, student has to touch the feet of Aasan. By doing so, student will get blessing of a touch. When student gets blessings, the student will be taught about another Varma point known as 'Bhoomi Kaalam'. Everyday, the student has to mentally feel both Kumbidu Kaalam and Bhoomi Kaalam. This is the starting stage of learning Varmam.

    Then student will be learning Martial Arts between 3 to 5 years. During that period, Aasan will observe characteristics of the student and subsequently will teach student about Varmam points. It is not easy to remember the Varma points. Aasan will not apply any pressure on those Varma points. Aasan will dip a small wooden point in rice flour and touch the Varma points on the student's body, just sufficient enough to make impression.

    The Varmam lessons taught based on Aasan-Student relationship. Only after 7 years of study, the student will be taught about Varma Thiravukol (method to open varmam) (key to unlock). Upon completion of 12 years studies, after taking vows, student will be secretly taught about the inner Thiravukol's and Thiravukol's that shows eternity. After that phase, he will be given 'Guru Nilai Theekshai' (blessings to be teacher) and student will be announced as a Varma Aasan. Even after became Aasan, the relationship between the Aasan and student (himself / herself) will continue forever.

    Requirements for training

    Varma Kalai teachers are highly selective in their choice of students. Disciples must meet a number of criteria; beyond martial arts competence they are required to have an understanding of :

    Political science
    Saamuthriga Lakshanam
    Military tactics
    Elephant riding
    Hindu philosophy (Saiva, Vaisnava, Saktha, Koumara, Boutha, Samana) etc.

    The Varma Kalai martial artist is not allowed to teach the art to others until he receives Deeksha from his Aasan or Periyaasan as in recognition of him as an Aasan.

    Hearsays are that the rules were followed sincerely without exception, everyone who wished to learn the art were not qualified to learn. It was taught only to selected individuals who qualified but again all who learned does not qualify to become an Aasan. Also the Aasans and Periyaasans did not pass on few techniques as they never met qualified diciple. It is being said that causes such led to the loss of many great techniques, few Aasans who spoke to media deny that thought. There is also a belief that the art was kept hidden for centuries for various reasons, it seems that Aasans agree to that but there is no sound record on what facts set the art hidden.

    Knowledge of Varma Kalai (the art of Varmam) is passed through several generation. Person who mastered this art are called "Aasan" (which means Master / Instructor). Varma Aasan are extremely calm in nature; never show anger even by words of mouth and will be very devoted in God. Aasan usually hesitant to reveal their knowledge to anyone, very humble and not pride. They show their special talents only to selective students.

    To become a good Varma Aasan , one should learn :

    Martial Arts (Silambam & Kuttu Varisai)
    Siddha Medicine
    Knowledge of Herbs
    Chanting Mantras
    Tantric practices
    Anga Sasthra
    Boomi Sasthra
    Vaastu Sasthra (study of building architecture, similar to Chinese Feng Shui)
    Nimitha Sasthra
    Thoni Sasthra
    Dharga Sasthra
    Kama Sasthra (desires & sexuality) ( காமசூத்ரா )
    Navaratna (precious stones)
    Saranool (breathing)
    Soola Nilai

    It requires at least 12 years to learn these arts.

    Common training taught by Varma Kalai classes - for fighting skills

    • Kai Murai (Hand / Finger Methods)

    • Seiyal Murai (Application Methods / Ways)

    TRAINING IN LEVEL 1 : Varma Varisai (Understanding of Vital Points strikes / attacks)

    • Padu Varmam - 12 with Mudras (Varma Techniques)

    • Adangal (Releasing of Varmam / Recovery from unconscious) - 12 (actually have 56 Adangal but reduced to 12)

    Varma Adangal, Bringing back to normal ( Marma Thiravukol ( method to open varmam ) ). While the Siddha's have mentioned a lot about the beating, push or touch in the Varmam to make a person incapacitated. In real life a person may get attacked accidentally in the Varmam and incapacitated. Siddha's have also mentioned the ways to bring back such affected person to normal. This is called Marma Thiravukol ( method to open varmam ) or Adangal or key to bring back to normal. A push, a touch or a beating in the relevant place, applying oils, medicines, administering medicines brings back the affected person to normal. This is possible to all Varmams.

       +Usually Guru ( Aasan ) will teach to student which consist of 3 parts:

    Mel Adangal ( Top )
    Naduvu Adangal ( Middle )
    Kii Adangal ( Bottom )

    • Podhu Adangal ( Common Release ) - 03

    • Sarvāanga Adangal - 01

    TRAINING IN LEVEL 2 : Pormuga Varma Varisai ( Lesson for Vital Point attacks )

    • Padu Varmam - 12 ( Deadly Points )
    The meaning of Padu is nothing but death. Padu Varmam are highly dangerous. These are located in the front part of the body. A gentle touch or a push in these places may result death :

    Thilarntha Kaalam
    Natchathira Kaalam
    Sevi Kutri Kaalam
    Pedraei ( Pidari ) Kaalam
    Urakka Kaalam
    Sumei Varmam
    Ner Varmam
    Adappa Kaalam
    Urumi Kaalam
    Valia Athisurukki
    Siriya Athisurukki

    • Por Varmam - 24 ( used in Combat / Self Defence )

    Total : 36 Varmam Points

    Total : 36 Varmam Points   x   12 Thadupugal ( Blocks )   =   432 Varma Adigal ( Vital Attacks )

    • Amrithanila ( Nectar placement )
    This concept explains the effectiveness of attack on Varmam depends on the lunar movement. The Varma point keeps moving from toe to head and vice-versa with the movement of moon. The movement will be of X shape. The vital Varma points and the poison will travel in the opposite direction. Such effective points of each day are known as the Amrithanila.

    The varma points present in the body are 108, head and neck are 25. A song from a literature which giving details about the location of the points in the head and neck

    "Thaanana thalai naduvil kondaikolli
    Chanendrathukung keel cheerungolli
    Oonana idharku nalangulathin keele
    Utrathoru pidari varmamagum paru
    Enana uchiyile irundhu ettu viral keel
    Charidhi varmamenave solvar
    Vanana idharku iru viralin keele
    Magimayulla porchai endra kalame"

    "Kaalamam adhukkum oru iraikkum keel
    Ganamana kuthi endra kalamagum
    Moolamam kadhil siruthandarugil thane
    Murayan chevikuthi kalamenbar
    Kalamam idhil irandiraikkum mele
    Gunamana poigai endra kalamagum
    Thoolamam kadaikannil iraikkulle than
    Thulangugindra natchathira kalamenne"

    "Ennave idhukkum irandiraikkum keele
    Idhamana kamboodhari kalamagum
    Thullave adharku mel valam irai moondril than
    Surukkana moorthi endra kalamenbar
    Munname sonnadhin keel arai iraikkulle
    Murayana thilardhamendra kalamagum
    Innume arai irayin keel minvetti varmam
    Isaindha karuvizhiyarugil mandhirakalame"
    "Mandhiramam kalathodaga varmam
    Valuvaga irupuramumenave solvar
    Andharamam machai nadu ner varmamagum
    Adhukkum arai irayin keel pachi varmam
    Sundharamam nasi mathi kannadi kaalam
    Thulliyamai kanda nadu pala varmamagum
    Mandhiramam adhanarugil sundigai kaalam
    Sollu varmathin arugil kona varmame"

    "Kuriyana cheviyin keel angulame naalil
    Kurugira udhirakalamadhu agum agum
    Neriyana keel naadi ottu varmam
    Nindravai arugurandum urakka kaalam
    Arivana kural valayil sangu thiri kaalam
    Adhukkung keel angulam naalil simai varmandhan
    Poriyana poriyadhu than kazhuthin mele
    Poonda uchi thanaikkum keel pugalthavare"

    Varma adi recognizes 108 marmas (lethal Varma points), 12 Padu marmas (death marmas) and 96 Thodu marmas (touch marmas) and about 350 therapeutic Varma points within our body. There are also counter marmas to heal trauma to the marmas. Varma also known as Marma points which located at point of specific part of body surface whereby application of pressure or insertion of needles will affect the vital energy flow or Prana (life) along a complex system of subtle channels called Nadis. By using varying degrees of force to strike the body at different vital points, can produce astounding results. When used in warfare by a skilled combatant, these blows can cause instant death, great pain, paralysis or infection even delayed death. The results vary according to the power and velocity used by the combatant, subject to the timing of the day as well.

    Varmam points are the vital points which present all over the body; many literatures quoted that there are totally 108 varmam points. They are in the pathway of dhasanaadi, dhasavayu, saram. They pass the pranan energy from sole of the foot to universe through the nose. The naadis present in the forehead are 7000, in both ears 3300, in both eyes 4000, in nose 3380, in pidari and shoulder region 6000. According to "Narambu Vagada Soothiram Thiravukol", literature's uniqueness stands for it's quotes regarding of:

    32 Urruppukal
    Narambu Suzhikal
    Narambu Mudichugal
    72,000 Nadikal
    64 Kalaikal (with several sub-branches of unique Kalaikal)
    Aagaa kaalam
    Parisothanai kaalam
    Mudiyatra kaalam
    Meitheenda kaalam
    4448 Noikal
    Sara Otta Pathaigal

    Those varmam points mentioned in the text with their locations are in Paripashai (hidden meaning), so this art will be learnt thoroughly from Aasan (Masters/Gurus), a therapist can perform a Varmam treatment in a right way. Those Aasan will not teach this art to every one , as they will select the suitable sichiyans (students), after many tests in considerable days to ensure their saatvic characterness and obediency.

    Varma Points Description Notes
    Aanthai Kalam - ஆந்தை காலம்    
    Aattru Varmam - ஏற்று வர்மம்    
    Adapakalam / (Adappa kaalam) - அடப்பக் காலம் below armpit  
    Allkaatti Varmam    
    Amathu Varmam - அமத்து வர்மம்    
    Andu Varmam - அண்டு வர்மம்    
    Ani Varmam - அணி வர்மம்    
    Annan Kalam - அண்ணான் காலம்    
    Asaivu Varmam - அசைவு வர்மம்    
    Athichuruki Varmam / (Athi churukki kaalam) Just above the hip near superior iliac spine  
    Anil varmam    
    Annakala varmam    
    Annapoorani varmam    
    Anjali varmam    
    Appu varmam    
    Arayappu varmam    
    Arukon varmam    
    Athisara varmam    
    Bala Varmam (Baala varmam) centre of the neck in the lateral aspect  
    Balamani sudar varmam    
    Bala kuzhi vatha varmam    
    Boomi varmam    
    Charidhi varmam 8 fingers from kondaikolli in the lateral side of the skull above the ear  
    Chankuthiri Kalam - சங்குதிரி காலம்    
    Cheerum-Kolli Varmam (Cheerungolli) - சீறும்கொல்லி வர்மம் 8 fingers from the back of kondai kolli  
    Chevi-Kuthi Varmam (Chevi kuthi kaalam) - செவிக்குத்தி வர்மம் back of the ear lobule (on the stylo mastoid foramen)  
    Chumai Varmam - சுமை வர்மம்    
    Eanthi Kalam - ஏந்திக் காலம்    
    Erakku Varmam - இறக்கு வர்மம்    
    Guru naadi varmam    
    Hanumar Varmam - அனுமார் வர்மம்    
    Iruppukala varmam    
    Ilamangai varmam    
    Ivirali varmam    
    Kachai Kalam - கச்சைக் காலம்    
    Kai Vellai Varmam - கை வெள்ளை வர்மம்    
    Kai Viri Kalam - கை விரிக்காலம்    
    Kaiketti Kalam - கைக்கெட்டி காலம்    
    KaiKoottu Kalam - கைகூட்டு காலம்    
    Kakattai Varmam - காக்கட்டை வர்மம்    
    Kal Vellai Varmam - கால் வெள்ளை வர்மம்    
    Kallidai Kalam - கல்லிடைகாலம்    
    Kampoori Kalam (Kaamboodhati kaalam) - காம்பூரிக் காலம் 2 irai below the natchathira kaalam  
    Kandi Varmam - கண்டி வர்மம்    
    Kannadi Kalam - கண்ணாடி காலம் in the centre of the nose  
    Kannu Pugai Kalam - கண்ணு புகைக் காலம்    
    Kanthi Varmam - காந்தி வர்மம்    
    Kareeral Varmam - காரீரல் வர்மம்    
    Kasa Varmam - கச வர்மம்    
    Kathir Kama Varmam - கதிர்காம வர்மம்    
    Kathir Varmam - கதிர் வர்மம்    
    Kattu Varmam - கட்டு வர்மம்    
    Kazhaladi Varmam (Kallidai kaalam) - கழலாடி வர்மம் centre of the testis for men, centre of clitoris for women  
    Kilimega Varmam - கிளிமேக வர்மம்    
    Kilipira Varmam - கிளிப்பிற வர்மம்    
    Kona Varmam - கோண வர்மம் near sundigai kaalam  
    Kondai Kolli Varmam - கொண்டைக்கொல்லி வர்மம் in the vertex of the skull  
    Kondodi Kalam - கொண்டோடி காலம்    
    Koombu Varmam - கூம்பு வர்மம் Bottom of the sternum  
    Kundigai Kalam - குண்டிகை காலம்    
    Kuthikal Varmam - குதிகால் வர்மம்    
    Kuthirai Muga Kalam - குதிரை முக காலம்    
    Kuthu Varmam - குத்து வர்மம்    
    Kutti Kalam (Kuthi kaalam) - குற்றிக் காலம் 1 irai below to porchai kaalam  
    Kuzhivu Varmam - குழிவு வர்மம்    
    Kaareeral varmam    
    Kaal pada varmam    
    Kaal thumbikai varmam    
    Kanu varmam    
    Kanal pala varmam    
    Kondancheeradi varmam    
    Kai pitchai poruthu naankana varmam    
    Kaikuzhi varmam    
    Karu varmam    
    Kathirkama varmam    
    Kallali varmam    
    Kevuli varmam    
    Kurukku sushi varmam    
    Kuttikai varmam    
    Komberi kaalam    
    Konnai varmam    
    Koonai varmam    
    Kuthirai muga varmam    
    Kanukal varmam    
    Karandai kaalam    
    Karandai guru naadi varmam    
    Kallalli siru madakki kaalam    
    Kalotti varmam    
    Kari idai kaalam    
    Kottavi varmam    
    Kozhunthu varmam    
    Kerpa kaalam    
    Kari idai kathar varmam    
    Kuzhai varmam    
    Kallu muthi kaalam    
    Lingathara varmam    
    Laalaada varmam    
    Manthi Varmam - மந்தி வர்மம்    
    Manthira Kalam (Mandhira kaalam) - மந்திர காலம் it is situated between the eye and nose  
    Minvetti Kalam (Min vetti kaalam) - மின்வெட்டி காலம் ½ irai below thilartham  
    Moolathara Varmam (Mooladhara varmam) in coccyx  
    Moorthi Kalam (Moorthi kaala varmam) - மூர்த்தி காலம் 3 irai near to kamboodhari kaalam in the medial side  
    Moothira Kalam - மூத்திரக் காலம்    
    Mudakku Varmam - முடக்கு வர்மம்    
    Mudavu Varmam - முடவு வர்மம்    
    Mundellu Varmam - முண்டெல்லு வர்மம்    
    Mundu Varmam - முண்டு வர்மம்    
    Mundu Varmam (Kai) - (கை) முண்டு வர்மம்    
    MunSaruthi Varmam - முன்சருதி வர்மம்    
    Muttu Varmam - முட்டு வர்மம்    
    Moorchai varmam    
    Maradappa kaalam    
    Manmatha mega varmam    
    Mana vanni man thudi varmam    
    Mulmunai nunil varmam    
    Muttunni varmam    
    Mannai kaalam    
    Muttarisai kaalam    
    Mum munai thandu varmam    
    Nadodi Varmam - நாடோடி வர்மம்    
    (Naga) Kannu Varmam - (நகக்) கண்ணு வர்மம்    
    Nanku Kutti Kalam - நான்கு குற்றி காலம்    
    Natchathira Kalam - நட்சத்திர காலம் near the lateral end of the orbit of the eye  
    Nattellu Varmam - நட்டெல்லு வர்மம்    
    Nema Varmam - நேம வர்மம்    
    Ner Varmam - நேர் வர்மம்    
    Neruppu Varmam in the centre of the vertebral column  
    Nurai Eeral Varmam    
    Nandidiki varmam    
    Naanakuzhi varmam    
    Nila varmam    
    Naathamani varmam    
    Naduvakurichi varmam    
    Naanakol varmam    
    Oorani varmam    
    Oru pambu varmam    
    Oru pambu varmam veru    
    Ottu Varmam - ஒட்டு வர்மம் in the centre of the mandible  
    Paasi varmam    
    Pada Varmam - பட வர்மம்    
    Pala Varmam (Paala varmam) - பால வர்மம்    
    Pallai Varmam - பள்ளை வர்மம்    
    Pandri Varmam - பன்றி வர்மம்    
    Pantha Kalam (Panthu varmam) - பந்தக் காலம்    
    Patzhi Varmam (Pachi Varmam) - பட்சி வர்மம் ½ irai below neruppu varmam  
    Parappa Kalam    
    Peesa Kalam - பீசக்காலம்    
    Periya Athi Surukki Varmam - பெரிய அத்தி சுருக்கி வர்மம்    
    Pidari Varmam / Pidari Kalam - பிடரி வர்மம் 4 fingers from the back of cheerungolli  
    Peru viral idalpera varmam    
    Perunkal thimir varmam    
    Pin Saruthi Varmam - பின் சருதி வர்மம்    
    Poigai Kalam (Poigai kaala varmam) - பொய்கை காலம் 2 irai above chevikuthi  
    Poonoolu Kalam - பூணூலு காலம்    
    Porchai Varmam (Porchai kaalam) - பொற்சை வர்மம் 2 fingers below the charidhi varmam  
    Poruthu Varmam - பொருத்து வர்மம்    
    Pozhivu Varmam - பொழிவு வர்மம்    
    Pusa Varmam - புச வர்மம்    
    Ratha pitha thasa varmam    
    Sadapira Kalam - சடப்பிற காலம்    
    Sakkra varmam    
    Sandamadaki varmam    
    Sandaiki varmam    
    Saraswathi varmam    
    Saruthi Varmam - சருதி வர்மம் (சுருதி வர்மம்)    
    Senkamari varmam    
    Siriya Athi Surukki Varmam - சிறிய அத்தி சுருக்கி வர்மம்    
    Simai Varmam 4 fingers below sangu thiri kaalam  
    Sundothari Varmam - சுண்டோதரி வர்மம்    
    Soondothari Varmam - சூண்டோதரி வர்மம்    
    Sundigai Kalam near bala varmam  
    Surrappu varmam    
    Suvasa kalai naadi varmam    
    Suzhukku Varmam - சுழுக்கு வர்மம்    
    Thaarai varmam    
    Thara paikala varmam    
    Thavalai Varmam - தவளை வர்மம்    
    Theendaga varmam    
    Theivu varmam    
    Thekshanai Kalam - தெட்சணை காலம்    
    Thilartha Varmam / Thilartha Kalam - திலர்த வர்மம் Centre of the eyebrow  
    Thilartham in the centre between the 2 eye brows  
    Thirumi Varmam - திருமி வர்மம்    
    Thirupuvanam naankana varmam    
    Thivalai Varmam - திவளை வர்மம்    
    Thudai Thatti Kalam - துடை தட்டி காலம்    
    Thudai vazhai val varmam    
    Thumbi Kalam (Thummi kaalam) - தும்பிக்காலம் inter clavicular notch  
    Udal Sulukki Varmam - உடல் சுளுக்கி வர்மம்    
    Ull sanguthiri ull thirintha kaalam    
    Ullappa varmam    
    Unthi varmam    
    Unni varmam    
    Uppu Kutti Kalam (Uppu kuthi varmam) - உப்புகுற்றி காலம்    
    Urakka Kalam (Urakka kaalam) - உறக்க காலம் below the mandible, near to neck  
    Ural varmam    
    Urumi Kalam 4 fingers above the umbilicus  
    Utchi padapa (Uchi Padhappam) Kalam in the vertex of the skull  
    Uthira Kalam (Udhira kaalam) - உதிர காலம் four fingers below chevikuthi varmam  
    Valampuri Kalam & Edampuri Kalam - வலம்புரி காலம் & இடம்புரி காலம்    
    Vallurumi Kalam & Vellurumi Kalam - வல்லுருமி காலம் & வெல்லுருமி காலம்    
    Vasavu Varmam (Vasaya varmam) - வசவு வர்மம்    
    Velleral Varmam - வெள்ளீரல் வர்மம்    
    Virthi Varmam - விர்த்தி வர்மம்    
    Vill Varmam    

    Thus there are 108 Varmam mentioned by Siddha's in a human body. They are located in the places such as :

    Varma Points Description Notes
    37 places Places above neck கழுத்து மேலே புள்ளிகள் - Kaḻuttu mēlē
    34 places Places below neck கழுத்துக்கு கீழே - Kaḻuttukku kīḻē
    16 places Places back of the body உடல் பின்னால் - Uṭal piṉṉāl
    11 places Places in legs கால்கள் - Kālkaḷ
    10 places Places in hands கைகள் - Kaikaḷ
    TOTAL = 108    

    Human body is divided into 5 areas in which Varmam (Varma points) and there are 108 Varmam's (Vital points) :

    Vital Points - Part of Human body

    25 - From Top of the Head till Neck ( தலை மேல் கழுத்து வரைக்கும் - Talai mēl Kaḻuttu Varaikkum )
    45 - From Neck till Naval Point
    9 - From Naval Point till Anus
    14 - Arms
    15 - Legs

    TOTAL = 108

    Varma Points Description Notes

    The same 108 Varmams are classified under different categories. One such classification is based on 12 nerves ( or a meridian channel ) in the nervous system. Each meridian channel consists of 1 Padu Varmam and 8 Thodu Varmam ( தொடு வர்மம் - Toṭu Varmam ).

    Vital Points - Varmam Types

    96 - Thodu Varmam ( தொடு வர்மம் - Toṭu Varmam )
    12 - Padu Varmam

    TOTAL = 108

    Varma Points Description Notes

    The number of Varmams (108) various between various schools of Varmam.

    Vital Points - Varmam based on

    27 - Stars (Hindu Astrological)
    30 - Lunar
    35 - Padu Varmam

    TOTAL = 92

    Varma Points Description Notes

    Based on the text Naramparai, written by Kumbamuni Siddha :

    Vital Points - Classification

    18 - Padu Varmam
    96 - Thodu Varmam ( தொடு வர்மம் - Toṭu Varmam )
    8 - Pakka Varmam
    86 - Narambu Elumbu Varmam
    45 - Maru Varmam

    TOTAL = 253

    Varma Points Description Notes

    Based on yet another classification :

    Vital Points - Classification

    65 - Vata Varmam (Air)
    24 - Pitta Varmam (Heat)
    6 - Kapha Varmam (Cool)
    12 - Concealed Varmam

    TOTAL = 107

    Varma Points Description Notes

    According to Vaidhiya murai ( Healing therapy under Siddha medicine ) the vital points are explained as :

    Vital Points - Function

    64 - Vadha Varmam
    24 - Pitha Varmam
    6 - Kaba Varmam
    6 - Ul Varmam
    8 - Thattu Varmam ( தட்டு வர்மம் - Taṭṭu Varmam )

    TOTAL = 108

    Varma Points Description Notes

    Thodu Varmam
    ( தொடு வர்மம் - Toṭu Varmam )
    (Minor Varmam points which activated by fingers / hands and stimulated by touch)
    96 Vital Points triggered by a touch. Not deadly, but will affect the victim by disabling the body, organ movements and function. A touch or a small push with a finger or a beating in these places make one faint with many side effects like fits etc. In some cases the organs will get affected for a specific period such as 15 days, 30 days, 45 days etc.

    All the points are not dangerous, but some points show symptoms like Padu varmam injury. Some points will reduce the number of days in life; some points causes permanent disability or diseases. Some points will cause small injury and after some time it will rearrange the sara and kalai ottam itself. For example in ancient age siddhars used Urakka kaalam for anesthesia purpose during surgery. The mathirai to be given in the point for anesthesia was according to the type of surgery. The point induces the sleep according to the mathirai level. After some time the patient will wake up normally. In martial arts the point was used for temporary loss of coordination.

    Padu Varmam
    (Major Varmam points which activated by fingers / hands due to injury)
    According to Varma sastras these are 12 in number. 12 Vital Points that are fatal, causing immediate, severe effects upon the victim. These points are mainly situated in the pathway of Vagus nerve, main vessels and internal organs. If a Paduvarmam point hit by humans or weapons the man will die immediately or after some time. If the mathirai level is ¾ or 1 the man will definitely die. If the mathirai level is ¼ or ½ we can save the man by proper treatment and medication. By treatment we can save the life but after some years it may create some problems in our body, by taking medicine for Pazhaya varmam we can definitely save the life. The first varmam point that created in our body Thilartha kaalam, it is in the literature of Narambu vagada suthira thiravugol, varmakandi, varma chuthiram. But some other literatures noted that Uchi padhappa kaalam is the first point, the literatures are Varma beerangi, Varma kannadi. These points are very important, because we can calculate the other varmam points by these points only.

    Thattu Varmam
    ( தட்டு வர்மம் - Taṭṭu Varmam )
    (Varmam points which stimulated by tapping / blows)
    Decisive Vital points in 8 places in the chest and abdomen area that are used by the master. These are kept confidential until the master pass on the knowledge to the selected disciple. They are eight in numbers. These points are mainly used in therapeutic aspect only. The points are situated in the Puratharai 8. If these points are injured It will mainly affect the kalai ottam. That will cause dyspnoea. The pitham will increase if the point injured. The eight points are:

    Aalli varmam / (Aali varmam)
    Komberi varmam / (Komberi kaalam)
    Karunya varmam
    Moothirakalam / (Moothira kaalam)
    Rathaasaya varmam / (Iratha saya varmam)
    Sanguthiri kaalam / (Sangu thiri kaalam) - in the adams apple
    Sirukudal aalli varmam / (Siru kudal aali varmam)
    Ullumikalam / (Ulumi kaalam)

    Urinjal Varmam
    (Varmam points which stimulated by sucking before/after use Uuthu Varmam)
    "Receiving methods"

    Uuthu Varmam
    ( ஊது வர்மம் - ūtu Varmam )
    (Varmam points which stimulated by blowing using mouth)
    "Sending methods"
    e.g. Decisive Vital points that are used by the master. Master ( Aasan ) chew small piece of dry ginger and blow the air into nose and ears of patience to help reduce some Varmam related problem. Betel leaf air also can be used if dry ginger not available, because both have anti-vayu property. Ginger air will dislodge the stagnant vayu and stimulate good energy flow through whole body, and thus patience will become conscious. This blowing method used because some Varmam points can't be reach in-depth by finger / touch. These are kept confidential until the master pass on the knowledge to the selected disciple.

    Nakku Varmam
    ( நக்கு வர்மம் - Nakku Varmam )
    (Varmam points which stimulated by licking)
    e.g. Using licking method to reduce hard/heavy pressure on Varmam points. Decisive Vital points that are used by the master. These are kept confidential until the master pass on the knowledge to the selected disciple.

    Nooku Varmam
    ( நோக்கு வர்மம் - Nōkku Varmam )
    and Meitheenda Kalai / Meitheenda Kaalam
    Triggering vital points by focusing / staring / concentrating on the target. It takes several years of practice for 1 to become an expert in Nooku Varmam. It is said Nokku Varmam and Meitheenda Kaalam are so highly vulnerable so that a mere gaze at these areas of the body itself will do to down the man. In olden days Aasan had used Nokku Varmam and Meitheenda Kaalam to control enemies and wild animals.

    Ul Varmam

    These are totally 6 in numbers. These are very dangerous. If these points are damaged they will cause many sever problems, and after certain number of days the man will die. If the point is injured the man will develop psychic problems. They may cause the following problems deaf, heart failure, lung failure, Asthma, Ascites. The five sense organs will be affected by diseases.

    Iruthaya thattu varmam / (Irudhaya thattu)
    Ull moolai thattu varmam / (Ul moolai thattu)
    Koombu thattu varmam / (Kumbu thattu)
    Linga yoni varmam
    Meitheendakalam / (Meitheenda kaalam)
    Tharai thattu varmam


    The Origin ( வரலாறு - Varalāṟu )

    The origin of the art dates back to thousands and thousands of years. In ancient Tamil history, there were mentions about 18 saints called Siddha's. Saint Agasthiyar was the outstanding among them, who lived in the Agastya Hills of the Western Ghats surround by the southern districts Tamil Nadu and south Kerala. Saint Agasthiyar's contribution to Varma and Medicine is glorious. It is wonder that without modern scientific inventions like X-ray and Scanning, the Saint accurately pin pointed human anatomy. His original literature is in Tamil language, graded as classical language by the Govt of India. The original script was written in palm leaves and kept secret for generations. Due to the vulnerability of the art, it is taught only to the blood relations. Siddha doctors are still using this literature for studies. Besides Saint Agasthiyar other Siddha's like Saint Pulipani and Saint Bohar also contributed to Varmam. They have recorded everything in palm leaves.

    Varmakalai (the art of varmam) is considered to be very auspicious. It is believed that Lord Siva taught this art form. Indians overwhelm by saying that all rare art forms originate with roots from God. For example, epics illustrate that Tamil and Sanskrit have their origin from the sound of the 'Oodukkai' (musical instrument in the hand of Lord Siva). bhārata Naatiyam (the traditional dance) originated from Lord Siva. Kama Sũtra (the art of love and sex) originated from Lord Siva. So it is of no surprise when it is said that varmakalai, the rare art that saves humans from diseases, also originated from Lord Siva.

    " தேறவே   சிவன்   உமைக்குச்   சொன்ன   போதம்
        ஆறாமல்   நான்   அறிந்து   இந்நூல்   சொன்னேன் "

    - ( ஒடிமுறிவு   சரசூத்திரம் 1500.   பா. 833 )

    According to the above versus (Odivu Murivu Sara Suthram 1500 Verse 833), Lord Siva taught varmam to his wife Parvathi; later Parvathi taught varmam to their son Lord Murugan. While disguised as an old man, Lord Murugan then taught this art to the sage Agasthiyar, foremost of the Siddhar's, during the times of Sangam Literature, who then recorded it and disseminated the skill among his students. Agasthiyar transferred the knowledge of this art to other Siddhar's and he also wrote treatises on this art in Tamil. The presence of shrines to Agasthiyar in Courtallam suggests that he researched the art there. But the original texts (and their copies), directly written by siddhas, are not available now. Saints who have grasped the meaning of the siddhas sayings have given a poetic form, which is used in modern day learning. So far, around fifty thousand (50,000) songs are available. The narrated history has been mentioned in the 41st prose of " Kai Mathirai Thiravukol " as follows :

    Kai Mathirai Thiravukol Verse 41

    " பண்பாக   அகத்தியனார் . ராமதேவர்
        பணிவாக   போகமுனிவர்   தானும்
    பருவமாய்   மனித

    The above narration (Kai Mathirai Thiravukol Verse 41) says, cannot be merely considered as a made-up story. One of the names that denote varmam is 'Siva'. Another name that denote varmam is 'Vasi', which means air. If you repeat 'vasi' continuously, you can hear 'Siva'. 'Sivam' means life. That is why Thirumoolar preached the philosophy of 'Love is Sivam' (Love is Life). One of the current available texts 'Sarasuthram' gives the criteria for teaching varmam to eligible students.

    " ஈவது   தான்   யாருக்கென்றால்
    சிவயோகிக்கு   தான் "   ( பா. 4 )

    The above versus (Sarasuthram Verse 4) says that a varmam teacher should teach varmam only to a 'sivayogi'. Sivayogi is the one who loves all life forms. In all the varmam texts written since Thirumoolar till ones in 18th - 19th century, varmam is spoken along with sivam.

    The history that is said so far has been taken from epics. In reality, varmakalai might have its roots in self-defense martial arts. It is the tactics man might have learnt by observing birds and animals. In Kalari (Defense Varmalogy), practiced in southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala, various forms like Elephant Form, Tiger Form, Fox Form, Lion Form, Hanuman Form, and etc. are still in use.

    In cockfight, to improve the fighting spirit, the owner of the cock will massage the back of the cock. This looks similar to how now a days the teacher gives a pat on the student's shoulder to encourage him or her.

    From the medieval period, the ornaments worn by man in the ears, fingers, legs and foot, knowingly or unknowingly gave him health and energy. The body piercing done in the name of god also helped him to improve his life. Similar to how circumstances helped him to learn the about various parts in the body that helped him to improve the health, he also learned about the parts that caused illness. He used this knowledge to attack his enemy and create damage. On the other hand when he got hit, with spiritual thoughts, he cured himself by tuning the points that revived the good health.

    Though he could command victory over his enemies, he also performed rituals and took the help of 'Kalari Moorthy - Kali' god. Also to save the life of the people, who were injured by his enemy, he took the help of the god 'Kalari Moorthy - Sarabesvarar'.

    Hence, for the growth of varmakalai, mankind's capability, thinking process and action played a dominant role. Our ancestors invented this art to help the mankind. It is our duty to preserve this rare art.

    Though Varma Kalai has its own form of katas and procedures, it was closely assorted with Silambam's component Kuttu varisai and Kalaripayattu. Knowledge of Varma Kalai was considered vital in both arts to become a Grand Master. The teachers were called as Aasan (ஆசான்) and the grand masters were called as Periyaasan (பெரியாசன்) or Iyan (ஐயன்).

    Historically, Varma Kalai has been one of the arts taught to those of royal blood. However, even royalty were required to pass the stringent requirements for discipleship. The schools received nivandhānams (donation with high respect) from the Kings of Tamil Kingdom - Chera, Chola, Pandya and Pallava. Aasan and Periyaasan of Varma Kalai were highly respected.

    The art was taught only to selected individuals, but due to the strict requirements for new students it never gained large numbers of adherents. Due to its secretive nature, Varma Kalai remained largely unknown even in India until the release of the movie Indian, in which Kamal Haasan played the role of a Varma Kalai expert. The film's popularity generated a resurgence of interest in the art.

    Currently Varma Kalai is practised in Tamil Nadu as Kuttu varisai and in Kerala as Kalari training.

    Introduction to Varmam

    The points where life force resides and flows in the human body are known as varmam. Varmam also means where breathing enery resides in the body (Vaakata Nithanam : Verse 31). Varmam are scattered over various parts of body like in nerves, nerve joints, bones, muscles, ligaments and inner organs.

    Based on where varmam is located in the body, it has gathered various names like Vasi, Puravi, Kaalam, Uyir, Mayakkam, Pranan, Kalai, Suvaasam, Saram, Yogam, Param and Sivam. This has been mentioned in the Tamil text, Vaakata Nithanam.

    Vaakata Nithanam Verse 350-30

    Based on this song (Vaakata Nithanam Verse 350-30), the word Varmam referred to flow of life force in relationship with breathing. In Malayalam, Varmam is known as Marmam.


    • Guruji Murugan Chillayah - World Yoga Association
    • Thirumoolar Varmalogy Institute, India
    • Book of Ben Stevens "From Lee to Li", HarperCollins 2009 ISBN 9780007347414
    • Sacred Books of the East series edited by Müller (1879 to 1910)
    • Ralph T. H. Griffith (English translations of the four Saṃhitās), published 1889 to 1899