DOSHA

Introduction :-

No science can stand the test of time and prove its validity in the practice without having concrete footings of its fundamentals. According to Ayurvedic Science dosha , dhatu and mala are root of the body. These basics of Ayurveda are also accepted by Modern Science . The accurate and extensive knowledge on the autonomic nervous system is a burning example , as we find the functions of prana vayu in regulating the heart, lungs , and intake of food ; the functions of samana vayu in regulating the process of digestion etc. The knowledge of Sarira , particularly the doctrine of Tri-Doshas , was of great significance, as this concept propounded thousand years back have come to know to the modern scientists only for a few decades.

Body is nothing but the combination of dosa, dhatus and malas. If these constituents are in equilibrium body will be in the healthy state. The tri dosas are considered as pathogenic causes, when they attain an inequinity jointly or separately with dhatus and malas of the body. The basic principles of the treatment is to bring back normal state of dosha either increased or decreased by applying samanya-visesa siddhanta. Hence, concept of dosha is very important for treatment as well as to understand the basic principles.

Doshas are broadly classified in to two groups i.e. sharirik and mansik dosha. The Tri-Doshas are generally grouped under sharirik dosha and mansik dosha consist of rajas and tamas. Sharirik dosha are generally called biological elements while Mansik doshas are considered as psychological constitution.

Sharirika dosha are three biological elements which constitute the structural and functional units of all the living cells, tissues , organs and the body as whole. Life starts as fertised ovum . Vata , pitta and kapha are the constituents  of all cells including ovum and sperm which unite and give birth to new individual . When normal they stabilise life but when abnormal the same three elements are responsible for aging , disease and death.

Mind is made of pancmahabhutas and trigunas , these three guna are sattva , rajas and tamas. Mind is under the control of these three gunas.

            

Pad–Nirukti :-                                             

‘दूष्यन्ति इति  दोषाः’। (अ. हृ. सू .- 1 /6 , अरुणदत्त )

The literary meaning of the word dosha is that which causes decay, destruction or vitiates.

Definition :-

प्रकृत्यारम्भ  कत्वे सति  स्वातन्त्रयेण

दुष्टि कर्तृत्वं दोषत्वं।  (मा. नि .मधुकोश )

Doshas can be defined as the structural and functional units of human body that carry out all prominent physiological functions and maintain health when they are in balanced condition but they are considered as pathogenic causes, when doshas get disturbed.

Types:-                                                               

वायुः पित्तं कफश्चोक्तः शारीरो दोषसंग्रहः ।

मानसः पुनरद्दिष्टो रजश्च तम एव च ।। (च. सू.-1/57)

वायुः पित्तं कफश्चेति त्रयो दोषाः समासतः ।। (अ. हृ. सू.-1/6)

Doshas can be broadly classified into two groups:-

  1. Sharirika Doshas
  2. Manasika Doshas
  • Vata , Pitta and Kapha are said to be dosas of the body i.e. Sharirik Doshas.
  • Rajas and Tamas are the doshas of manas i.e. Mansik Doshas.
  • Sharirik dosha are generally called biological elements while Mansik doshas are considered as psychological constitution.
  • Vata , Pitta and Kaphas are further divided into five subdivsions each.
  • Types of Vata:-

वायोः पञ्चभेदाः

प्राणोदानौ समानश्च व्यानश्चापान एव च। ( सु. नि.- 1/12)

Five types of Vata are:-

  1. Prana Vata
  2. Udana Vata
  3. Samana Vata
  4. Vyana Vata
  5. Apana Vata

 

  • Types of Pitta:-

पित्तस्य पञ्चभेदाः

पाचक रञ्जक साधक आलोचक भ्राजकत्व भेदौः पित्तम् ।

Five types of pitta are :-

  1. Pachak Pitta
  2. Ranjak Pitta
  3. Sadhak Pitta
  4. Alochak Pitta
  5. Bhrajak Pitta

 

  • Types of kapha:-

श्लेष्मनः पञ्चविधत्वम् अवलम्बकक्लेदकबोधकतर्पक श्लेष्कत्वभेदैः शलेष्मा । (अ. सं. सू.-6/20)

Five types of kapha are :-

  1. Avalambak Kapha
  2. Kledaka Kapha
  3. Bodhak Kapha
  4. Tarpak Kapha
  5. Shleshaka Kapha

Inter relationship between Sharirik Dosha and Mansik Dosha:- 

At the level of mind, sattva is considered as guna or good quality of mind and rajas and tamas are called as dosha or bad quality. If we compare similar properties and functions of triguna with tridosha  we can establish some relation with them.

पवनः रजो गुणमयः, पित्तं सत्त्वगुणोत्तरान्, कफः तमोगुणाधिकः।

It has been said that vata is rajas predominant, pitta is sattva predominant and kapha tama predominant.

No. Triguna Tridosha Similarities
1. Sattva Pitta Fire, light, knowledge
2. Raja Vata Mobility, stimulator
3. Tamas Kapha Stability, inertia

 

  • There is predominance of other gunas in doshas also.

                                      

Relation of Tridosha and Shadrasha:-     

Rasa is nothing but the taste which is being  perceived by the tongue.

रसाः स्वाद्वम्ललवणतिक्तोषणकषायकाः।

षड् द्रव्यमाश्रितास्ते च यथापूर्वं बलावहाः।। (अ.हृ.सू.-1/14)

In Ayurveda six tastes have been described as under:

1.    Madhura rasa (sweet)
2.    Amla rasa (sour)
3.    Lavana rasa (salt)
   4.Tikta rasa (bitter)
       5.Usana/katu rasa (pungent)
       6. Kasaya rasa (astringent)

 

Influence of rasas over dosas:-                             

तत्राद्या मारूतं घन्नति त्रयस्तिक्तादयः कफम्।

कषायतिक्तमधुराः पित्तमन्ये तु कुर्वते।(अ.हृ.सू.-1/14)

The first mentioned three tastes of the  i.e. madhura, amla, lavana rasas mitigates vata and increases kapha dosa. While the rest of the three tastes tikta rasa, ushna rasa, kasaya rasa mitigates kapha and increases vata dosha. Kasaya, tikta, madhura rasas mitigates pitta and katu, amla, lavana rasas increases pitta dosa.

 

Vatahara and kapha-vardhaka rasas Vata-vardhak and kaphahara rasas Pittahara rasas Pitta-vardhak rasas
Madhura Tikta Kasaya Katu
Amla Katu Tikta Amla
Lavana Kasaya Madhura Lavana

 

  • The relation amongst tastes and tridosha is mainly useful to understand pathology and treatment.

 

Qualities of Tridosas:-

  • Vata:-

तत्र रूक्षो लघुः शीतः खरः सूक्ष्मश्चलोनिलः। (अ.हृ.सू.-1/11)

Vata consists the following six qualities:-

  1. Ruksha (dryness)
  2. Laghu (lightness)
  3. Shita (coldness)
  4. Khara (roughness)
  5. Sukshma (minuteness)
  6. Chala (mobility)

 

  • Pitta:-

पित्तं सस्नेहतीक्षणोष्णं लघु विस्त्रं सरं द्रवम्। (अ.हृ.सू.-1/11)

Pitta consists the following 7 qualities:-

  1. Sneha (unctuousness)
  2. Tikshna (sharpness)
  3. Ushna (hot)
  4. Laghu (light)
  5. Visra (putrefied smell)
  6. Sara (mobile)
  7. Drava (liquid)

 

  • Kapha:-

स्निगधः शीतो गुरूमन्दः शलक्षणो मृत्स्नः स्थिरः कफः। (अ.हृ.सू.-1/12)

Kapha consists of the following 7 qualities:-

  1. Snigdha (unctuousness)
  2. Sita (cold)
  3. Guru (heaviness)
  4. Manda (dull)
  5. Slakshana (smoothness)
  6. Mritsna (shinning)
  7. Sthira (immobile)

 

Locations of Tridosha:-

ते व्यापिनोSपि हृन्नाभ्योरधोमध्योर्ध्वसंश्रयाः।(अ.हृ.सू.-1/7)

Though the three dosas vata, pitta, and kapha spreads all over the body, they are found predominantly in the following places;

Vata : Below the naval region.

Pitta : In between heart and umbilicus.

Kapha : Above the heart region.

  • Vata:-

बस्तिः पुरीषाधानं कटिः सक्थिनी पादवस्थीनि पक्वाशयश्च वातसथानानि, तत्रापि पक्वाशयो विशेषेण वातस्थानं ।(च.सू.-20/8)

The locations of vata are urinary bladder, place or receptacle of feces i.e. sigmoid colon and rectum, waist, thigh, legs, bones and pakwasaya, amongst these the pakwasaya is specific location.

 

  • Pitta:-

स्वेदो रसो लसीका रूधिरमामाशयश्च पित्तसथानानि, तत्राप्यामाशयो विशेषेण पित्तस्थानम् ।(च.सू.-20/8)

The locations of pitta dosa in body are sweat, lasika(lymph), blood and amashaya, amongst these amashaya is specific location

  • Kapha:-

उरः शिरो ग्रीवा पर्वाण्यामाशयो मेदश्च शलेष्मस्थानानि, तत्राप्युरो विशेषेण श्लेष्मस्थानम्।(च.सू.-20/8)

The locations of sleshma are chest, head, neck, joints, amashaya and medas amongst these the chest is specific location.

 

Relationship between the Doshas and the age, day, night and diet:-

Vata, pitta and kapha are predominantly present in the last, middle and first stages of age, day, night and diet respectively.

वयोSहोरात्रिभुक्तानां तेSन्तमध्यादिगाः क्रमात्।(अ.हृ.सू.-1/8)

Vata is predominantly present in the:

  1. Last stage of the age :   Old age
  2. Last stage of the day :  Evening hours
  3. Last stage of the night :  Ending hours of the night
  4. Last stage of the diet :  End of digestion

Pitta is predominantly present in the:

  1. Middle stage of the age :    Middle age
  2. Middle stage of the day :   Midday
  3. Middle stage of the night :   Midnight
  4. Middle stage of the diet : During the process of digestion.

Kapha is predominantly present in the:

  1. First stage of the age :    Childhood
  2. First stage of the day :   Morning hours
  3. First stage of the night :   Starting of night hours
  4. First stage of the diet : Beginning of digestion.

 

Relationship between Agni and doshas:-

Agni, literally fire, refers to the fire like activity in the alimentary canal, responsible for digestion of food. This activity is influenced by the  condition of dosas.

तैर्भवेद्विषमस्तीक्षणो मन्दश्चाग्निः समैः समः।(अ.हृ.सू.-1/8)

  • Increased vata causes visamagni, increased pitta causes tikshnagni and increased kapha causes mandagni. In case of sama agni remains normal.
  • Tikshnagni causes fast metabolism mandagni slows down the metabolism and in case of samagni metabolism remains normal.

Always increased dosha produces disorder . Dosha plays lead role in the formation of prakriti of a person. So they are not injurious to person, because of this dosha psychosomatic constitution of a person remains alike for whole life span and this constitution never causes harm to that person. For e.g- organism that originates in poison never gets effected to that poison but gets effected when surroundings conditions are alike poison.

Heat of its own poison never effects its body but external heat effects him a lot.

Similarly in case of favourable environment of food and activities dosa also increases and in such situation this causes disorders.

Influence of Tridoshaosha on Kostha:-     

Kostha also have direct relationship with the dominancy of dosas.

No. Dosa Dominacy Kostha
1. Vata Krura (hard bowels)
2. Pitta Mridu(soft bowels)
3. Kapha Madhyama (moderate bowels)

 

Relationship of Dhatus and Dosha:-

There is definite relationship between dhatus and dosha because all substances in the universe are formed by the five basic elements only. Relationship of dhatus with dosha is known as Ashray-ashrayi bhav.

तत्रास्थनि स्थितो वायुः , पित्तं तु स्वेदरक्तयोः।

श्लेष्मा शेषेषु, तेनैषामाश्रयाश्रयिणां मिथः।। (अ.हृ.सू.-11 /26 )

Vata resides in asthi dhatu, pitta in rakta and sweda where as kapha resides in the rest of dhatus i.e. rasa, mamsa, meda, majja, shukra, mala and mutra.

 

Ashrayi (Dosha) Ashraya (Dhatu and malas)
Vata Asthi dhatu
Pitta Rakta and sweda dhatu
Kapha Rasa, mamsa, meda, majja, shukra and mala-mutra.

 

  • The causative factors which are responsible for the increase and decrease of the ashrayis i.e. dosha also causes to increase and decrease of ashrayas i.e. dhatu and malas respectively except in case of vata.

 

  • The factors responsible for increase of pitta, also increase rakta, sweda and vice versa.
  • The factors which increases kapha also increases rasa, mamsa, meda, majja, shukra, mala, mutra and vice versa.
  • But the factors which increases vata, doesn’t increase asthi dhatu, moreover it decreases.
  • Similarly those factors increasing asthi causes diminishing of vata.
  • Hence, the diseases caused by increase or decrease of dhatus is to be treated with reducing or nourishing therapies respectively except in vata.                    

Relationship between Doshas and Seasons:-

The increase of dosha is of two kind i.e. chaya(accumulation) and prakopa(aggravation). Prasama is the normalcy or equilibrium state of dosha in their normal state.

 

चयप्रकोपप्रशमा वायोर्ग्रीष्मादिषु त्रिषु। (अ.हृ.सू.- 12/25)

वर्षादिषु तु पित्तस्य , श्लेष्मणःशिशिरादिषु। (अ.हृ.सू.-12/26)

  • In grishma ritu, generally all the drugs and diet are light and dry. As the vata also having similar qualities, vata undergoes chaya (mild increase) only, but not prakopa merely because of hotness of the season. The vata which accumulates in grishma ritu will be aggravated in varsha ritu due to it’s coldness and subsides automatically in sarad ritu.
  • In varsha ritu, pitta undergoes only chaya, because of the food substances that are used possess amla vipaka, but not prakopa merely because of the coldness of the season. The pitta which accumulates in varsha ritu, will be aggravated in sarad ritu and subsides automatically in hemanta ritu.
  • In shishir ritu, kapha undergoes only chaya by the use of food substances, which are unctuous, cold etc. that are similar to the dosa. Kapha becomes solidified by the effect of season and doesn’t undergo prakopa. Kapha becomes liquified in vasanta ritu and gets aggravated, and subsides automatically in grishma ritu.
Dosa Chaya Prakopa Prasama
Vata Grishma Varsha Sarad
Pitta Varsha Sarad Hemanta
Kapha Shishira Vasanta Grishma

 

Conclusion:-

  • The tri dosas are considered as pathogenic causes, when they attain an inequinity jointly or separately with dhatus and malas of the body.
  • Vata , Pitta and Kapha are said to be dosas of the body i.e. Sharirik Doshas whereas Rajas and Tamas are the doshas of manas i.e. Mansik Doshas.
  • The relation amongst tastes and tridosha and their qualities are mainly useful to understand pathology and treatment.
  • Though the three dosas vata, pitta, and kapha spreads all over the body, they are found predominantly in the specific places in body.
  • Vata, pitta and kapha are predominantly present in the last, middle and first stages of age, day, night and diet respectively.
  • The activity of agni is influenced by the condition of dosas.
  • Kostha also have direct relationship with the dominancy of dosas.
  • There is definite relationship between dhatus and dosha.
  • Seasons are the main factors which are responsible for the accumulation, aggravation and alleviation of doshas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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