Astro customers can catch ‘Piravi Sittam’, a new, local Tamil documentary featuring mystical and intriguing aspects of Hinduism, specifically of local Siddhars or Hindu saints.

This is what director Chilian S Perumal and hosts Arulselvan Selvasamy and Meena Kumari Kadianpan have to tell about their experiences working on the show:

Chilian S Perumal: I was inspired to tell the story about the Siddhars and the related temples in Malaysia. This documentary revolves around unresolved mysteries in Hinduism and spiritual occurrences, including ‘Jeeva Samathi’ or ‘Mukthi Nilai’. Each episode contains the speciality, individuality and history of a Siddhar, as well as a temple, some revealed through animation or re-enactment. Viewers can also learn about the Siddhar’s living style. We thank Astro and Master Sivabarathy for their support in the production of this programme. I hope viewers will enjoy this virtual experience and be aware that we can search for wisdom and spiritual energy locally.

Arulselvan: The shooting at the Taiping Bukit Maxwell Murugan temple was memorable. It was located in the heart of a jungle and the shoot was done at night, creating a divine feel and connection to elements of nature. The transformation I experiences is hard to explain because it was not a physical one. The experience at Sungai Kechil Palanisamy Ashram was also memorable, as every Sunday, Vaasi yogis from all over Malaysia will gather here to meditate.

The crew had to wake up as early as 4am to prepare a meal together using herbs and food with medicinal value. We continued with exercise, resulting in me feeling vibrant and blessed throughout the day. It was amazing to learn about the serene locations with hundreds of yogis gathering to practice Vaasi Yogam. This experience was spiritual for me. I hope that through this documentary, we can spread awareness that there are many “sittars” or “sittar margam” (sitha path) who attained ‘jeevasamadhi’ or ‘mahasamadhi’ in Malaysia too, and encourage them to follow “nyana margam”.

Meena: We started the shoot with many unanswered questions but as we went on with the shoot, everything worked out smoothly, like we were guided by the Siddhars. The uniqueness of the temples that were built during the British rule was astonishing. There was a mesmerizing 12-foot-long white snake which stretched from the Kanthaan Kaali Temple to the Sungai Siput Siva Shanmugar Temple. From the ‘panjalingam’ worshipped by the Siddhars to the inextinguishable lamp lit up by the Agastya sage, everything was astounding.

I’m honored to have had these unforgettable moments, looking back at our history, and hope that our beautiful culture continues. I hope no doubt that 'Piravi Sittam' will increase our appreciation for art, culture and worship. The siddhars taught us valuable life philosophies which we should learn and I hope this show will answer doubts that are yet to be answered.

'Piravi Sittam' also discusses the benefits of traditional medicine, the practice of Yoga, breathing exercises, the practice of vegetarianism, along with visits to eight sites where the practice of ‘Jeeva Samadhi’ or ‘Mukthi Nilai’, a ritual carried out upon reaching a transcendental spiritual state, is held.

These include the Sri Jeganathar Sivalaya Ashrama and Kasivasi Kandaiya Swamy Samadi in Perak; Siddhar Palanisamy Meditation Centre, Brammah Sri Swami Sarahana Bhavanantha Samathi, Sri Ranganatha Swamy Madalayam and Kandaswamy Temple in Penang; and, Sri Sivapithu Gurumatha (Amma) and Swamy Santhanantha Siddhar in Kedah.

Watch 'Piravi Sittam' every Saturday, 9pm on Astro Vaanavil (CH 201), Astro GO or On Demand.