There are scattered references to health as well as to diseases in the Vedas especially in the RIGVEDA & ATHARVAVEDA. Atharvaveda has many as 114 hymns, which describe the treatment of diseases. According to Hindu philosophy the universe & all the laws of the universe have been decreed by lord BRAHMA. He is believed to have taught Ayurveda to DakshaPrajapati who in turn taught it to the Ashwini Kumar twins. They in-turn taught Lord INDRA, who is considered to be the common teacher of all branches of medicine.
Ayurveda developed in due course into eight well-defined specialized branches & two major schools, the school of physicians (ATREY SAMPRADAY) and the school of Surgeons (DHANWANTRI SAMPRADAY).
The specialized branches comprise the following:
- KAYA CHIKITSA(INTERNAL MEDICINE)
- AGAD TANTRA( TOXICOLOGY)
- KAUMARYA BHRITYA(PEDIATRICS)
Among the eight-sub divisions, the third named i.e. kaya is of primary importance. Kayic (bodily) doshas are Vayu (wata), Pitta & Kapha.
These tridoshas are:
- Wata or vayu dosha is dry, light, cool, rough, subtle and mobile.
- Pitta dosha is a little oily (sneha), light, sharp, hot, has a peculiar unripe odour, mobile & liquid.
- Kapha dosha is oily, cold, heavy, slow, smooth, has an earthly odour and steady.
Besides the tridoshas, the body is composed of seven DHATUS or Tissues and three malas or the excretas. The ayurvedic sevenfold classification of the dhatus is based on physiology than on structure or micro-anatomy. Each is a precursory component of the next. So an unbroken chain of tissue formation precursory component of the next.
Their respective functions are nourishment, continuance of life, giving of form, greasing, maintenance of the form of the body, filling up of the bone cavities and generation and preservation of the species.
The theory of tridosha is one of the grandest & holiest contributions of ancient India to the world culture. The tridosha doctrine is unique and supreme. Its practical value in diagnosis and treatment is without a parallel. Ayurveda caters to and takes care of both the healthy and sick but it gives primary importance to the maintenance of sound health and prevention of diseases.
Ayurveda achieves this noble aim and difficult task not by discovering and the destroying, the various germs, Worms and viruses, but by simple devise of revising the individual resistance of the body and providing active immunity by vigorous discipline, not only on the physical and mental levels but also at the spiritual and supermental levels. Factually, the tridoshas are mere reflections of the trigunas on the physical level and in the physical frame i.e. our body.
The Panch-maha-bhutas and the akasha vayu have entered animate creation in a vivified form, forming the tridosha complex as shown below:-
Akasha + Vayu = Wata dosha
Teja + Apa = Pitta dosha
Apa + Prithvi = Kapha dosha
The tridoshas are evidently material and mundane. They are subtle atomic and organic groups of materials. Particles are responsible for creations, maintaining and terminating life and its varied processes The qualities are grouped into the doshas triad as shown below:-
1. Guru, Manda, Hima etc. = Kapha dosha
2. Chala, Ruksha, Sheeta, etc. Wata doshas
3. Ushna, Amla, etc. = Pitta dosha
2. Analysis i.e. splitting out -Pitta dosha
4. Activation, i.e. urging and propelling – Wata dosha
The triad of Wata-Pitta-Kapha is active in the psychosomatic field during one’s lifetime.
Let us have a bird’s eye-view of it as tabulated below:-
|Dosha activity||Body function||Psychic|
|Watar Activation,||Respiration, Limbal integrity||Energetic|
|Pitta Bravery, Desire, etc||Digestion, Body heat, Thrust and hunger||Memory Softness|
|Kapha Forgiveness,||Strength bodily, sexual, etc.||Friendship, Intelligence|
Each dosha is subdivided into five sub-divisions, e.g., Pitta dosha has the following fivefold sub-divisions and specific:-
1. Pachaka Pitta – digestion
2. Sadhaka Pitta – cerebration
3. Ranjaka Pitta – color to the blood
4. Bhrajaka Pitta – skin complexion
5. Alochaka Pitta – perception (seeing)
Depending upon preponderance of doshas there are seven types of constitution: –
All these facts are taken into consideration in the following ancient triple
classification. Tick marks the choice according to your total life experiences
|BODY & MENTAL TRAITS||WATA PRADHAN||KAPHA PRADHAN||PITTA PRADHAN|
|Body Structure||Tall & lean||Short & stout||Medium build|
|Mental Strength||Fickle mind||Steady, Patient mind||Impatient mind|
|Speech||Very talkative||Rather silent||Medium|
|Body||Dry body||Little Oily body||Excessive|
|Hair||Very hairy||Hairy Early||baldness|
|Appetite||Capricious appetite & thirst||Normal appetite & thirst||Excessive appetite & thirst|
|Bowel movements||Constipative tendencies||Normal, steady evacuations||Quick motions (evacuations)|
|Skin||Skin of earthy colour||Skin of whitish palor||Skin of pinkish tinge|
|Fond habits||Fond of travelling, enjoys, life, hot & oily dishes||Disinclined to move about, Idler, not so fond of hot & oily dishes||Brave & Ambitious dislikes hot & oily food|
|Sleep||Capricious||Deep & long||Average sleep|
|Dreams||Of storms, the sky, etc.||Of earth & water||Of fire & flame|
|Pulse at ease||80-100||60-70||70-80|
|Weight||Low & Bony||Often overweight||Medium & muscular|
|Memory||Quick grasping & soon forgets||Slow to learn, never forgets||Sharp & clear|
|Beliefs||Radical or changing||Loyal & constant||Leader & goal oriented|