Srotas – channels – all the passages in the body that combine together to form a system. All the systems of the body – digestive, circulatory etc. are srotas. Not necessarily an internal passage, can be external passage too like the nose. Some of these do not exist in Western concepts of the body but other stuff like prana does not either. It is a very different system.
Stravanata strotavansi – anything that oozes/flows through the srotas. The srotas exist because something can flow through it.
Two types of srotas
Functions of the Srotas
The element which flows through the srotas, abhivahanam = to carry. Primary function then is to carry the srotas
Everything that makes up the srotas and ALL that flows THROUGH the srotas IS the srotas. Tridosha and Mana – the whole body is their srotas. The whole body is a srotas for the three doshas and the mind. This is Sarvavyapi.
Why Srotas Vyagunya and Dushti happen – causative factors
Srotas Vyagunya – Deformity of Srotas – (opposite of guna is vyagunya – opposing to the gunyas)
Hetu – causative factors –
Every disease has multiple srotas involved in its expression, but there is a main srotas which is considered the cause of the disease formation.
Khavaygunya – space where problems are caused – where doshas accumulate and disease forms. Space is always present in srotas, that’s why disease is always present. For disease to form, there must be khavaygunya. Because srotas inherently has space, it is naturally a location of khavaygunya
Dhatu is produced in the srotas. Formed in the mulasthana and then carried into the srotas. The change of state happens in the srotas, that is when the mala is also formed. The dhatus need a space to form and that space is the srotas. Srotas can consist of 7 or 8 organs and khavaygunya can be in any of those spaces. When dhatu flows through it, there may be a weak spot due to various causative factors as above, and then doshas accumulate there, and then spread in disease. If mulasthana is defective the whole srotas will be affected.
When these factors combine with dushta dosha dhatus this will form srotas dushti – vitiation of srotas.
Srotavyagunya + dushta doshas = srotas dushti
Defective srotas + vitiated doshas = vitiated srotas
Symptoms of Srotas Dushti – NOT CAUSES
Why srotas are important part of disease formation
All dosha dhatu mala are formed in srotas. Prakruti srotas will have the prakruti, and will form healthy materials. If dosha, dhatu or malas are vikruti will form vikruti srotas, and that will lead to vikruti material being formed. If prakruti is formed will have normal function and balance.
SO THEREFORE, since all are formed in srotas, its VERY IMPORTANT for bodily health and disease formation alike. Basically, without a srotas being involved, there is no disease formation.
This post is due to the experience I have when being in America. There is great value placed on what seems like everything from a subjective experience that is then called knowledge. This is false when there is understanding of what knowledge is as well as what knowing of something is and how it happens.
Knowledge is of five kinds – sensory knowledge, scriptural knowledge, clairvoyance, telepathy, and omniscience.
That which knows its objects through the senses and the mind, or that through which the objects are known, or knowing alone is sensory knowledge. Owing to the destruction of karmas which cover it, that which hears, or that through which the ascertained objects are heard, or hearing alone is scriptural knowledge. These two are mentioned side by side, as these are governed by the relation of cause and effect. This is mentioned later, ‘Scriptural knowledge is preceded by sensory. The next kind is called avadhi (clairvoyance) as it ascertains matter in downward range or knows objects within limits. The object located in the thought of another is called mana (mind) due to association with the mind. Ascertaining it is telepathy. Now is it not sensory knowledge? No. Mana (mind) is merely relative. That which is displayed by destruction alone is merely spoken of with reference to one’s own and another’s mind. For instance we say, ‘Look at the moon in the sky’. Here the sky is intended merely as the background. That for the sake of which the seekers pursue the path by external and internal austerities is pure knowledge. Or it means without the help of anything else. This is mentioned last as it is attained at the end. Telepathy is mentioned close to it because of its proximity to it. How is there proximity? Self-restraint is the cause of both. Clairvoyance is removed. How? It is far removed from knowing.
Indirect knowledge is mentioned before direct knowledge, as it is easily intelligible. These are heard by, familiar to and experienced by all beings, for these are mostly attained by them. Thus these are the five kinds of knowledge.
Sensory knowledge, scriptural knowledge and clairvoyance may also be erroneous knowledge.
Viparyaya means false. How is it? It is because this is the section of right knowledge. Ca means also, that is wrong as well as right. Why are these wrong? These are wrong because these coexist in the soul with wrong belief. It is similar to the milk kept in a bitter gourd. Now the taste of the milk becomes different on account of the defect of the receptacle in which it is kept. But there is no error in the ascertainment of objects by wrong sensory knowledge etc.
For instance, just as the person of right faith perceives form, colour and so on, so also does the person of wrong faith. Just as the person of right faith ascertains form, colour etc. through scriptural knowledge and represents these accordingly, so also does the person of wrong attitude through wrong scriptural knowledge. And just as the man of right attitude ascertains matter through clairvoyance, so also does the man of wrong attitude through erroneous clairvoyance.
The first two (kinds of knowledge) are indirect (knowledge). Sensory knowledge is the first from the real point of view. Being next to it, scriptural knowledge is also considered the first figuratively. By the use of the dual number, the secondary one is also taken. The first and the first are the first two, namely sensory knowledge and scriptural knowledge. These two are indirect pramanas or knowledge. How are these indirect? These are dependent on others.
“Sensory knowledge is acquired through the senses and the mind, scriptural knowledge through the mind.”
Explaining the destruction of the karmas; sensory knowledge and scriptural knowledge arise in the soul through the senses and the mind in the presence of light, teaching, etc. Hence these are called indirect. And comparison, verbal testimony, etc. are included under these alone. The remaining three constitute direct knowledge. Now it is contended that knowledge resulting from the operations of the senses is direct and that arising without the functioning of the senses is indirect. These definitions which are not open to disagreement must be accepted. But it is improper to say so. For, if such a view is accepted, the authentic person would cease to be omniscient. If knowledge arising through the senses be considered direct, then there can be no direct knowledge in the case of the authentic person. For he does not attain knowledge through the senses. If he also is considered to derive knowledge only through the senses, he would not be omniscient. If it is contended that he derives direct knowledge through the mind, that knowledge is certainly not omniscience, as it is derived through the application of the mind. And it cannot be said that omniscience is established by scripture, for scripture presupposes the omniscient
The basic principle of knowing process of the Jîva or the Atma, and the variations in the knowing process of a particular Jîva are due to associated conditions. An ordinary living being has access to the environmental objects through sense-perception. Sense perception is through the medium of sense-organs of the body. Since they are parts of the body, physical and physiological, the sensory-organs are distinctly material in nature and thus distinct from the nature of Jîva or the Atma. Sense perception therefore is the knowledge which the Atman acquires of the environment through the intermediary of material sense organs. Since it is through the intermediary of physiological organs of sense, perceptual knowledge cannot be considered to be immediate access of the soul to the environment-objects. Hence sense perception becomes mediate and not immediate. Direct contact of Jîva with the object is what is called pratyaksha. Since the sense-perception is conditioned by physical sense-organs, it is not immediate. Sense-perception becomes paroksha, mediate knowledge. In this respect the terms pratyaksha and parokÈa are completely reversed. What is directly in contact with the soul is pratyaksha and what the soul acquires through the intermediary agent is paroksha. Hence the sense perception is a paroksha knowledge and not pratyaksha as described by the other Indian systems. But Jaina epistemology recognizes two kinds of supersensory knowledge, (1) awareness of objects in distant places and times, and (2) contact with thought present in other individual beings. The former is called Avadhij›âna which may be translated as clairvoyant knowledge, and the latter is called Manasparyayajnana which means telepathy in the language of modern psychology. These two features of supersensory knowledge, Avadhi and Manasparyayajnana, clairvoyance and telepathy, are recognized to be knowledge of immediate type or pratyaksha, since they do not depend upon any intermediary of sensory-organs. Of course, the real pratyaksha knowledge is the supreme knowledge of Paramatma when he gets rid of karmic bondage and when he attains Kevalajnana – the knowledge par excellence. This knowledge is infinite and unlimited by spatial and temporal conditions.
From the empirical point of view (vyavahara nyaya), eight kinds of knowledge and four kinds of perception are generally said to be the possessions of the soul. And from the pure transcendental point of view (uddha niucaya nyaya), soul’s distinctive characteristic is pure knowledge and perception.
How does digestion take place?
First you observe what you eat. Prana vayu takes the food in, chew it up and bodhaka kapha (in saliva, important for understanding tastes that in turn stimulate the process of digestion) mixes with food, then we swallow using prana vayu, food goes down to stomach, mixes with kleda kapha – creating separation of food particles away from each other so that pachaka pitta can break it down, it moves from amashaya onwards to the grahani, which further breaks apart and then separates it into the saara and kitta. (gross level/sthula digestion ends with this creation of saara and kitta.) Samana Vayu is the flow of the digestion, not air. Samana Vayu fans the agni before any of its other functions. Samana Vayu controls how much time the food takes to mix with the kledaka kapha. How much food should go on as well. Holds food in particular place in particular amount of time. If not held correct time, it is not broken down enough, and therefore can’t continue onwards in small enough particles to be up-taken by body. Present all over the koshta but specifically in the ileocecal valve. Samana Vayu will hold in the pachaka pitta for right amount of time (if you can see identifiable matter in fecal matter, then samana vayu is not functioning appropriately – malabsorbsion in western lingo but it can be many things and this is why the western labels are so vague). Then samana vayu takes saara to heart. From heart, then vyana vayu carries onwards to dhatus. Kitta is also important and must follow its proper course for elimination. If elimination is not happening properly with apana vayu, vata will move upward instead of downward and disturb digestion.
Whatever mahabhutas have entered the body form saara and kitta. Saara is not the same as dhatus – it goes to nourish those dhatus. The easiest way to understand saara is that it will replenish every dhatu in turn. Kitta will be excreted in form of urine and fecal matter. Saara replenishing all the dhatus is called subtle digestion. This saara is then called Aahara Rasa. Food + Nourishing components = aahara rasa. Dhatus have its own house called the srotas. The rasavaha srotas are the channels that aahara rasa gets moved throughout the body to the dhatus. Rasa + flowing + channels = rasa vaha srotas. If a person has consumed a lot of say pork or meat and the body does manage to digest it, the aahara rasa would be so heavy that it would cause dysfunction. Therefore, it goes to the rasa vaha srotas, actually to the agni of the rasa dhatu and that further breaks down the aahara rasa.
So here it goes…..
Aaahara rasa -> rasa vaha srotas : is it digestible? -> rasa dhatu. If not digestible -> rasagni -> Rasa -> then goes to the Rasa Upadhatus of breastmilk and menstrual fluid -> leftovers are kapha. So if rasagni is not healthy, the aahara rasa wouldn’t be able to create in good manner. Either not enough, or in excessive and bad quality. It takes one day to complete rasa.
It is very important to keep the top of the stomach empty so that there is room for the mix and breakdown of the food to happen. ¼ liquid, ¼ empty, ½ solid – but factor in the water content of all the food you are taking in. According to various conditions of the individual, the rules change – if there is a lot of kledaka kapha in the body, one doesn’t drink water, cause it will lead to nausea because of too much water. By water, we mean liquid. In the Western world, blanket statements are made about water intake around food. Most say that one should not drink with food. by seeing that it is determined by the individuals situation you see that this is very wrong. This as an example is exactly why there are so many theories out there in the Western world of health and they all end up wrong due to generalized blanket statements and a lack of being able to see the individual. What happens if one takes water in before the meal? During the meal? After the meal? Warm water or cold? it all makes a huge difference to what will happen. See the idea?
In the grahani, pachaka pitta is present (has Tejas + Aap Mahabhuta) when levels of aap drop down, this stage is clearly pronounced. You then feel hungry at certain times. That is only when Aap mahabhuta is reduced, Tejas shows its presence and we call that hunger. This is true in every case, every time. no hunger, no digestive capability.
Manda agni – when kapha is more present than others, and qualities of kapha will be more present in the way that it slows down the digestion slightly. This is more than general physiology/prakruti. This is why it is said that when you exercise you increase your agni – raises the fire. Not associated with digestion process.
Tikshna agni – qualities of pitta are more present than others and that is all over. It is more prevalent in digestion but true everywhere in pitta person. The digestion is not connected to the constitution like it is said to be in Western Ayurveda. A kapha person can have tikshna agni. A pitta person can have manda agni.
If we like the food we eat, the mind wants more, increases hunger. If we have properly digested the meal, we will be hungry again.
Dudhi is most patyahara – best food. Add it to green mung beans for recovery from fevers and illness. Dudhi has Sattva Guna in Abundance. Dudhi is also known as Calabash, Lagenaria siceraria, long melon, Opo squash, and Bottle gourd. To find a ripe one, you should be able to pierce the skin with a fingernail. You can usually find them in chinese grocers or Indian stores.
Qualities of Dudhi: Madhur Rasa, Laghu Guna, Virya: Shita, Vipaka: Madhur. Because of its Laghu quality, it is more easily digested.
Dudhi is sometimes prepared with tomato, but this will increase Rajas Guna and the desire to eat more and faster without experiencing satiation. However, if you did want to add tomatoes, you would do so after sautéing onions and before adding dudhi – cook until the break down a bit and get mushy. Will also aggravate Pitta, so be forewarned.
Peel green outer layer. Scoop out the inner seeds and discard. The remaining part is the part we eat.
We prepare differently according to dosha vikruti.
It can be made to pacify each dosha. Like most cooking that is done in Ayurveda, this is one aspect. Ayurvedic cooking is not eating foods for a dosha specific diet found from a checklist and then followed all year around.
Vata Shamana Dudhi/Vata Pacifying Dudhi
To pacify Vata, add sweetness, unctuousness, and warmth.
Heat ghee, cumin and hingu, then sauté onions, add turmeric, then when onions soft, add dudhiand salt, cook till dudhi is soft but not mushy.
Saute in pressure cooker with NO water. Let steam for 4-5 long whistles.
Kapha Shamana Dudhi/Kapha Pacifying Dudhi
To pacify Kapha, add pungency and very little ghee or salt (aap increasing), and no onions (kapha increasing).
Heat ghee, add mustard seeds, wait for seeds to pop. Then add turmeric, dudhi and grated ginger, then a little salt.
Saute in pressure cooker with NO water. Let steam for 4-5 long whistles.
Pitta Shamana Dudhi/Pitta Pacifying Dudhi
To pacify Pitta, add sweetness and bitters, and no pungents. Possible inclusions could be ghee, onions, cumin, fennel seeds, methi/fenugreek, dhanyaka/coriander
Heat ghee, add cumin and fennel seeds, turmeric and onions. Saute till soft, then add dudhi, coriander powder and salt.
Saute in pressure cooker with NO water. Let steam for 4-5 long whistles.
Dudhi – anyone can have it, if not in vruddhi- it is easily digested and a good food for rasa dhatu. If in kapha vruddhi, already laghu so would it would add laghu. In vayu vruddhi, add more ghee and onions and garlic. In pitta, can add coriander leaves, fennel, cumin. The idea with ayurvedic cooking is more medicated cooking, not following a list of foods for a dosha, that is incorrect. Opo is homologous to all. Eggplant is hot and dry – so we aggravate vata and pitta. It is only good then for pure kapha. If someone is vata kapha may benefit from eggplant with a little oil.
Opo is nourishing, yet light good for rasa dhatu. Good post-fever, with aama, while convalescing, improves milk production. Famous for helping everyone get better – even eat it in the morning. Not only good in spring cause of its light and madhura quality, but also good for Pitta in the summer – balances pitta without aggravating vayu. Dudhi across the line is good for healthy and sick alike. If body weight loss is a concern, add less ghee.
In Ayurveda, disease is studied in this way and order.
If the person is following the same lifestyle and they do not change it, they will have a recurrence of disease. This must also take into account food, lifestyle, exercise etc.
Nidana and Lakshanas gives knowledge of the disease while Chikitsa and Apunarbhava give knowledge of the management of the disease.
Nidana and Hetu
Treating a disease without proper diagnosis, even though it may be cured it is an accidental cure. In treating the disease with full knowledge of diagnosis, and the doctor has good knowledge of all factors (desham, kalam, etc.) then the patient will get the positive benefit and it will not be accidental. We must be really aware of factors so we can be 100% sure of the treatment of the disease.
16 factors are described in Astanga Hrydaya. The first chapter describes sarva roga nidana. It has a comprehensive awareness of nidana, purvarupa, vyadhi etc. but no disease described.
2nd chapter – describes jwara (fever), it is the first disease to occur in the universe.
Very simple examples of hetu are given in it like excessive eating of anything can cause aama. This can be cured by a day of fasting or shunthi boiled with water to help to digest that aama.
Hetu alone is not sufficient to study a disease.
Nidana Panchakala – Causatives 5 times
Hetu, Nidana, Nimitha , Ayathanam, Karanam – all synonyms for Nidana meaning causative factors
Hetu is causative factors – if the causative factors are not addressed this can lead to more serious disease. Stopping the causative factor is a treatment itself. If you understand the causative factor in detail you can then understand what dosha is involved. Understanding the strength of the causative factors will help you understand what kind of strength of treatment is required. Going outside in the cold and starting to sneeze is an example of Shita and kapha vrudhi. It is not a strong hetu so it only needs a mild treatment. Hetu also determines potency of the drug required to treat, as well as how long it will take to treat. Example, arthritis: causative factor may be very longstanding, so treatment may also be longstanding. Bala (strength) of the Roga (disease) can be understood by…
Purvarupa - This is before the full manifestation of the disease. It is pre-signs and symptoms of the disease. There are always subtle premonitory signs and symptoms. They may be very difficult to assess which roga (disease) is going to be created because in this period people wont generally go for any medical management. It is always in the full blown disease when people go to get help. Premonitory signs and symptoms before onset of disease. If one can recognize the purvarupa, one can take some precautions so it doesn’t advance into the next stage of disease. It helps to identify the doshas and to know the strength of the disease. If the purvarupas are well known in the patient, the disease will be stronger. Knowing the bala (strength)of the vyadhi can be ascertained from the purvarupa. If one is able to cure it at the purvarupa stage, it wont advance to next stage.
Samyapurvarupa – general – described in detail in texts
Vishistapurvarupa – specific – understand dosha predominance of the disease yawning for jwara – vata. Burning sensation in eyes for jwara– pitta dosha. Indigestion is seen or no taste for disease – kaphajwara. One can determine the dosha combination of the disease.
Shatkriyakal – (stages of disease) at stanasanshrayam, purvarupa are seen, sanchayam, prakopama. Classical texts talk about vyakti bhava – at rupa full blown manifestation of disease is already there.
Khavaigunya/weakness place in body
Rupa – Ayurveda is science of lakshana (sign diagnosis). It is able to observe the lakshanas and then cure from that. There were no investigative sciences before then. It is actually pretty exacting as it is just understanding nature.
Synonyms of Rupa, akruti, lakshanas, chinam
If one doesn’t know lakshanas (signs) they can’t diagnose the disease. It is most important factor. One disease is differentiated from another because of Lakshanas. Each and every disease is distinguished by its lakshanas. One can understand the strength of the disease and the strength of the treatment. If all standard lakshanas are seen, one will have to use very strong drugs and long treatment. It can also tell us how long a patient will need treatment, what potency will be required, the frequency dosage and time of medication.
Signs – objective manifestations of the disease in patient observed by the doctor during the examination
Symptoms – subjective sensations experienced by the patients: I am having a headache, or a pain here or there. In pediatric conditions very difficult because the patient cant explain what is going on. One pediatric text talks about how pediatrics is like veterinary science.
Upasaya – therapeutic test or trial. Diseases may hide signs and symptoms and may be difficult to find out the disease. So at this point Ayurveda gives the patient some medicines to see if that is correct – 18 types of therapeutic tests or trials. One may not be able to diagnose appropriately, so this is another tool for diagnosis. In other words it is eliminatory methods. Even now the modern physicians use this technique. Actually, most modern doctors use this technique alone! It has importance today and we see it in examples like broad spectrum antibiotics being prescribed. They may or may not work when the doctor doesn’t know anything about this disease, they prescribe antibiotics. This is very dangerous because the drug is intended for limited restrictive use. Anupasaya – if patient doesn’t get any relief from a particular drug or food for their disease
Samprapti – the changes that are occurring within the body: the story of the disease from the doctor’s point of view. Ingestion of the nidana leads to the disease, after that signs and symptoms show up, after that before disease full blown, some pathological conditions are occurring in the body – this is the progression of the disease that is called the samprapti – collectively from hetu to lakshana/manifestation is known as samprapti. Why particular srotas are involved, etc.
Samprapti has 5 types:
Ex. Diabetes causes kidney disorders after a long time, but treat diabetes not the nephritic/kidney problems which are complications of the primary disease.
Satmya /Asatmya – curable/ incurable.
Sukhasatmya/easy to treat.
Krucasatmya/Difficult to cure
Yapya/incurable but manageable (diabetes mellitus)
Anupakrama/definitely incurable and not treatable.
Samanya Samprapti / General Samprapti of any disease – it all starts with hetu
So here we go. This is how Ayurveda works. At least partly.
But this leads to
This leads to
If it leads to another hetu then.
Very complex and we cannot understand all of them. What is known is a handful, what is not known is as wide as the sea. This is why a doctor cannot say someone is incurable.
Good diagnosis leads to good treatment
Jwara – main cause is aama – but may be caused by all 3 doshas. At which point it will change into each
Which srotas is involved also affects the samprapti.
samprapti same up to aama
For any disease there may be many
Duty of any doctor is to diagnose properly, treat properly, but don’t tell the patient their life expectancy or whether curable or incurable. Their duty is only to diagnose and treat. Modern doctors don’t know these factors, no one does.
So is anyone out there gonna argue anymore that Ayurveda is what is written in those Western books and what Dr. Oz has pushed on his show? Vata, Pitta, and Kapha diet plans huh? Really?
And if you are calling yourself an Ayurvedic Practitioner and do not know this stuff, what are you doing? This is basic Ayurveda.
What exactly happens when we say these causative factors increase doshas? When we say one is having a lot of cooling things, what exactly is happening to his body? Why are we learning what is happening to his body?
Shita guna is entering into body and same gunas are increased in the body by doing this.
Like increases like, so by exploring what is increasing in the body we can observe
How will it affect in the body if these doshas are increased? This is not the same as disease. If we are talking about paralysis – vata is vitiated.
Prakruti, again, is something that is the natural condition of body in normalcy. Beyond that, when prakruti is set at conception will be there for the lifetime and will not change at all. The causative factors however will increase different doshas in body. If food and lifestyle is kapha of the parents conceiving a child that will be vata, that will increase the kapha in the vikruti of the child. When we find out prakruti, that is the most difficult thing, because the prakruti of the person is despite what is happening right now in their life. How were you as child? This helps us to generalize a prakruti, but for example if you are pitta prakruti and will have a tendency towards pitta disorder, this doesn’t mean that you won’t have vata or kapha disorder.
If you change your diet and lifestyle in your body, the dosha can increase beyond a state of increase that the body can deal with and then disease developes. Any vitiated dosha CAN lead to disease formation. Unless you have vitiated dosha, you can’t have disease.
2 factors for disease
How do doshas responding to causative factors give us an idea of when the dosha is increasing or decreasing? They also help us to understand the different stages that can lead to disease formation.
Vikruti is something beyond Prakruti, but not necessarily a full blown disease. To convert to a disease must go through stages. As we study different symptoms (vata for example shows some pain or discomfort – not the disease, but a stage prior to disease).
First different stages of doshas, then certain symptoms/signs are given out – vikruti jenaka (vikruti leading to disease).
Before we start understanding about stages, we must understand the certain symptoms of each vitiated dosha. It may be present in disease or before disease.
Ex. Body ache – not a disease, but can lead to a disease. Vata jawara – specific vata related fever. So understanding symptoms can help you understand disease. Not necessarily a precursor to disease, but good to know it could lead to that.
Every dosha has certain symptoms associated with it, that are seen only when doshas are aggravated. Then what the stages are and how they can lead to disease formation.
Samavasta – normalcy stage
Sanchaya (also called Chaya) – Accumulation of Doshas – 1st stage before prakopa – if you follow certain measures to alleviate that dosha, will come back to Prashama. Not normalcy stage, but rather first stage of accumulation. Whenever we get certain symptoms, we want to act at that point so it doesn’t go beyond that stage. If we ignore these symptoms, gets worse. Ex. Increase in cold, if you treat with shunthi and warm water, can bring back into alignment.
Hot water, black pepper, ginger tea to counteract kapha increase. But watch that you don’t increase Pitta at the same time. If at the same time you start drinking cold things or kapha increasing diet, after a few days you will notice coughing, cold, fever and other kapha disorders. Fever is not just a pitta disorder – there are also vata and kapha fevers due to aama increase. If someone is pitta prakruti and is generally following pitta pacifying food intake but is experiencing kapha accumulation, you don’t want to follow a Western Ayurveda coconut oil rub or other kapha increasing choices. Go beyond what the prakruti says to respond to what is going on in the moment (hence the reson for not using those dosha oils and staying to using sesame oil as the texts state as the default oil due to its balance of gunas). Don’t keep with same old pitta diet in the winter. That is ridiculous. Give the dosha that is accumulating the proper treatment. Superficial knowledge will harm you and others.
Prakopavasta– crucial stage before disease formation (far away from prakopa, but when it happens it can be very fast). It can go towards disease formation or back to normalcy. Ex. Staying up late at night, then next morning get up, then before eating take nap and help treat symptom to move into prashama.
Prashama – coming back to normalcy
Symptoms of Vata Prakop – dryness, constipation, cold hands and extremities, pain, etc. a particular guna of vata will always show when in prakopa – dryness increases more. Treat the gunas.
Arteries and vessels when disconnected at a certain point surgically causes vayu to stop at that point and causes vata prakopa
When vata is disturbed it can disturb so many other things. 80 diseases are associated with vata. A whole chapter in Charaka Samhita is related to this.
All pain is associated with vata. Depending on the severity of vata imbalance, the pain is more severe. Not that much vitiated vata will lead to dull pain. Depends on which organ is involved too. Menstrual pain due to Atharva srotas + referred pain to abdominal muscular wall. If vata disturbance is at site of bones, more severe than when located at muscle wall.
When pitta is disturbed specifically in G.I. tract – first reaction of body is to throw it out – vomiting. We feel better then because we get it out. That particular kind of vomiting is pungent sour and bitter. Hyperacidity and then after that stage, everything tries to come out and that’s pitta vamana. Like lemonade.
Determination of causative factors of disease
Parinama – if someone is following everything then what would be the reason for disease? If someone is following everything in right manner – food in right dosage, ritu and dinacharya they can still get diseases or vitiation of doshas. External effects such as seasonal changes or natural effects like floods etc… can effect doshas – certain diseases will happen: that is called parinam.
Seasons with respect to vitiation of doshas and coming back to normalcy.
Shishira – late winter
Vasanta – spring
Grishma – early summer
Varsha – rainy season and late summer
Sharada – autumn
Hemanta – early winter
Earth is moving in proper fashion and seasons not due to certain areas – due to sun, moon, wind or prana, and all of it is atmospheric. Even though a little different from place to place in microclimate, the same seasons are everywhere as well. In India, people think there are 3 seasons – summer, winter, and rainy. But there are same 6 seasons. When we are saying its raining in rainy season due to Shita Guna (cold quality), Kapha and Vata increase and go out of balance.
Okay, before we go into that, draw yourself a circle. Now draw a line from the top to the bottom cutting the circle into a left half and a right half vertically. This line is showing the path of the sun and the length of the day. Lets say the top of this line is the Winter solstice or where the sun changes course, the shortest day of the year. This means the other end of that line at the bottom of the circle is the longest day of the year in the middle of Summer. This IS what makes up all of the seasonal varieties. Uttarayana and Dakshinayana. Look em up for a deeper understanding, since this concept is throughout all of the Vedic wisdom at its foundation.
Top of the circle is the coldest and wettest and the bottom of that circle is the hottest and driest. This is the basic foundational understanding that makes up the seasons in the atmosphere. When you understand this perfectly, you can then apply it to whatever latitude you wish and understand how it would change and what will happen to the elements for each season there. Work to understand the basic template of the seasons before trying to understand it in any detail to variation of location, desha (land).
Pitta. Pitta accumulates in the second half of summer and then aggravates in autumn. The moisture and humidity of the second half of summer after the days start to shorten starts the accumulation of pitta. Nowhere in the United States that I have personally experienced has there ever been pitta accumulation or aggravation in the beginning of summer time, especially in New Mexico where it is very dry in the Summer. This is counter to what is taught in the Western world as Ayurveda. Pitta cannot be accumulating or aggravated in the beginning half of summertime due to it being the driest season of the year. Pitta is water element and fire element and therefore it gets dried out and cannot increase due to dry heat of summer. The increase in moisture in the middle of summer where it starts to get a bit more humid can start to increase pitta. I personally lived in New Mexico while attending the Ayurvedic Institute and experienced no pitta increase in summertime. This is in opposition to what Dr. Vasant Lad teaches there and in his books as well as all of his students stating in their articles on the web ezines. It is very incorrect and if one was to treat based upon this idea, it will harm and create disease badly. I have not seen aggravation of pitta at all anywhere in the US during summertime except in cases where vata was pushing pitta in individuals that are excessively pitta imbalanced to start with. Besides all of this, real Ayurveda diagnosis with the gunas. One guna of a dosha can be aggravated and the other gunas are fine. This is deep diagnosis and how Ayurveda has to be practiced to have accuracy in treatment. Be very careful on what you read and believe. It isn’t about the doshas and a check list. Even don’t trust what I am writing. Take it, question me, and experience it for yourself. A blind and numb trust will only cause more ignorance and suffering.
Chaya, – dosha increasing and accumulating in their place only
Prakopa – increased dosha in enormous quantity and vitiated.
Prashama – dosha comes back to normalcy
This is the normal patter or cycle in nature. It is only due to avidya (ignorance) and pragnaaparadha (willful violation of wisdom)
Doshas are constantly changing. They are not the same the whole life and even in the day.
In the beginning of summer, excessive heat from sun, causes laghutwa (lightness) in everything. In water, seeds, grains and everything. Because of that, vata starts increasing but because of heat (ushna guna), vata doesn’t go out of balance. Because of dryness, pitta does not accumulate and kapha has come back to normalcy. In the late summer, vata aggravates due to the increase in vayu. The winds change direction. I have personally seen this everywhere I have been in America at this time of year. It is to be experienced.
Hemanta (early winter) and Vata. Vata will only go up in winter if the individual is not eating enough and not feeding their agni (digestive fire). In this case, the agni eats the dhatus (tissues) and it increases ether (akasha) and vayu (air). Due to the coldness of winter, the heat of the body is pushed into the digestive system and the extremities are left cold. Vata cannot go up due to this. This is also opposite to what is taught in the Western ayurvedic world. It is totally possible for people who have vata imbalances already to have vata go up at this time. This does not mean vata is a seasonal change at this time though. What proves this is the lack of vata diseases that are see at this time. Vata diseases have their symptoms in early late summer. Can set your watch by it. Every year I see many patients that have nerve pain like sciatica show in summer not winter.
Kapha and Vasanta (Spring) – In late winter starts Kapha is accumulating in body, but with heat in spring, starts to come out of the body in aggravation. Can cause certain conditions like seasonal allergies, colds, flus… of which these really do not exist but are just the impact of continuing to eat foods that increase kapha during this season – this is time of kapha prakopa. If we give a little push to that – vamana esp. good (medicated emesis in real Ayurvedic treatments) (not to be done on your own!!!!) or kunjal kriya in yoga, it helps to hurry that process, get rid of kapha and move things along more quickly. Vamana is specifically done as ritucharya to specifically keep dosha in balance. It maintains health and heals disease by reducing vitiated kapha. Vamana in done only in morning in kapha time, this is before 8 AM (based upon textual reference and completely against Western idea of kapha time. Vamana is only given before 8 AM ever in India)– kapha is already increased, and helps to eliminate when kapha is in maximum quantity.
In Spring, all one needs to do is control urges and control eating (eat more kapha reducing food) so one doesn’t further aggravate kapha. Allergies happen in spring when kapha is high. Not in summer, even if it is warm, it’s the spring – people start eating cold desserts like ice cream and yogurt and its kapha accumulation time, so aggravate kapha excessively. Not pollens at all, but rather kapha. Jala neti can be helpful if we give importance to warmth of water and then do neti, can be helpful to keep kapha under control. It can also create complications if the water is cold. Salt actually increases kapha. From an Ayurvedic view point, doing jala neti everyday is not good and would never be prescribed. However if done properly, probably would be all right for a healthy person. Should research more before trying. Maybe I will write a post on this.
Kapha, if it keeps accumulating in body, once reaches stages of prakopa and then moves into the next stage of disease, it shows the premonitory symptoms of a disease, after that point will start heading into disease state and you will have different symptoms and after that you will have a label-able full blown disease.
Kids and kapha– Gerber food (if you want to call it food) increases kapha in babies bodies. When child is in infancy it needs specific herbs and foods – when child is born, 1 month later start mixing certain herbs in breast milk. That takes care of baby and excessive kapha, pitta, and vata – keeps doshas in balance. Guti – herb mix that rub on stone and mix with milk and give to baby. If a baby has constipation, more haritaki can be used. Loose stools, more dry ginger can be used. In certain cases, give it to the mother and the medicine comes through breast milk. If mother becomes ill, she needs to stop breastfeeding – if mother has fever etc. Mother has to be cured within short period of time because breast milk is by far the best for a baby.
Here is a few things for babies:
Boiled milk with dry ginger and Vidanga – heat milk with both herbs and ½ water, let water evaporate out and whatever is left you cool, then strain, then give to baby/small child. Vidanga in seed first ideally, then powder if you can’t find the seed.
Vidanga’s qualities are (katu vipaka, tikta/katu rasa, ushna/but not very ushna virya, anti-parasitic, very nourishing to rasa dhatu, excellent for pitta, antialmetic/reduces worms – most important part is that it helps to reduce kapha/marshy quality of body). Vidanga purely reduces kapha and therefore worms don’t like to live there. This is how to naturally deal with parasites in all cases. Change the environment. Vidanga is good for kleda as well.
Vacha/Calamus – also good for reducing kapha and anti worms but prabhava is that it helps the mind to increase dhee/dhrutti/smrutti. Beneficial for kapha. Good for depression and headaches too but those are not main indications to be used for. VERY ushna.
Once again, Ayurveda does not just use a single herb usually. It normally will use a blend that is a classical blend that has time tested results but the knowledge of herbal use is far more than taking a single herb because you have read it is good for something on a blog. Do not do that here please. Please do not try to do your own self diagnosis and treatment.
After spring, in Grishma (early summer), its comparatively getting more dry and naturally reduces kapha by ushna (heat), (dry), and ruksha (roughness)– bringing nature back to normalcy. If it was raining a lot in Grishma, it would increase kapha due to aap mahabhuta instead of reducing kapha. This is called parinama – the effect of an abnormal seasonal disturbance. By knowing how you are able to decrease kapha by diet, you can avoid seasonally abnormalities. By not understanding any of this, eating ice cream in the beginning of spring because it is getting warmer out, well…. you are living in the world of allergies, influenza, and colds and then needing vaccinations and antibiotics. Added to that a view that it is something outside of you that is making you sick. Wake up, it is not outside of you, just lack of knowledge and lack of awareness of nature, that is all.
Same thing with Pitta and Vata. They increase in body, show up, then naturally they reduce to the range of normalcy. The first two stages of accumulation and aggravation are the first two stages of disease. Nature creates them but brings it all back to normalcy naturally as well.
Constant change is nature. Human minds really don’t like that. The small mind is attached to meaning and entitlement or being special, our suffering is only due to the inability to be with what is natural and be present to all that is. That is change. This constant change is needed for the constant change of the human system as well as it is the chaos to order to chaos cycle of everything natural. The immune system needs building, the strength of the system needs building. This is the cycle of life and death or wane and wax. The sun takes away in summer. This is obviously seen by the drying of all of nature around. The grass goes brown the plants dry out. All of this is very simple to understand if you do your own landscaping and take care of plants. It is the same in our bodies, nothing at all different except for walking into freezing air conditioning from hot external conditions shocking the body and throwing pranas out of balance or gulping down a huge cup of ice water into the weakened digestive system in the middle of the hottest day. Just a couple things we typically do that maybe you might want to think about instead of spending that hard earned money on a expensive detox or the newest diet fad. Learning to dance with the seasons will make you healthy.
Grishma (early summer) is drier, hotter, increase of laghu everywhere which imparts to our body, we have already started accumulating vata but doesn’t go out of balance because of heat. Heat opens channels and vata doesn’t get stuck at a single point. Ex. If we have constipation, vata can get trapped and we show vata conditions like pain and dryness. If we warm the channels, we allow srotas (channels) to open and vayu moves through. This is also what is happening in abhyanga and swedana.
DIFFERENT STAGES OF DOSHAS
The three doshas and and their subtypes is discussed at nausea on the web and is what every book concentrates on so you can find the information of this there or in past posts. There is more important things to explain.
Each dosha has certain functions they perform, Vata- movement, Kapha – strength, Pitta – conversion
When we say a person is healthy and everything is in proper equilibrium, each dosha is working properly. If these same doshas go out of range though, they are responsible for creating diseases.
Ex. Anemia – layman thinks related to blood/hemoglobin reduced. In Ayurveda, it means rakta dhatu is disturbed, but a dhatu gets disturbed when a vitiated dosha is “attacking” it. When a disease is related to a dhatu, it cannot be just related to that dhatu – must be related to a dosha as well. Just because its blood related doesn’t mean its necessarily Pitta related. Anemia is mainly due to rasa dhatu specifically.
Ex. Obesity – fat is increased in body so layman or Western practitioners will think kapha is imbalanced or maybe they might go as far as to think meda dhatu is vitiated or increased. But meda dhatu will not vitiate on its own, must have kapha dosha pushing it, and therefore vata must be pushing kapha.
Disease ONLY happens in improper action of doshas. Dosha are an integral part of disease. The range of normalcy for doshas will increase and come back, not a particular level all the time. In the flow of the natural range if it goes above its upper limit, may result in pathological disturbance. Prakopa is upper level of normal range, if it doesn’t come down from that level, it will result in disease. If it is at its peak level of prakopa and we do something wrong that adds more to the system, it will result in disease.
Yogurt is not that bad – it actually acts as an aphrodisiac and is nourishing. It clogs channels though because of water content of whey which increase kleda. Kleda is actually responsible for the clogging of the channels. Add cooked mung or sugar to the yogurt, they both bind with water and then doesn’t increase kleda in body. Like mango lassi in summer when whole surroundings are dry, body needs some unctuousness and yogurt is good for that but whey protein is worst for that so use sugar or mix with mung beans. Increasing protein intake is responsible for certain diseases. Think about why we have so many new diseases out there and how many supplements we have on the market. I am not saying it is all from whey. Most of the stuff on the market is excessive and causes disease. What is healthy is a really great question to ask oneself and sit on it for a while.
Kleda reducing – best thing is exercise and then stop eating kleda karana foods. Then certain herbs like Punarnava (works on bladder). It depends on stage and condition before you figure out which herb to take though. Food that is kleda reducing is mung and green gram prepared in specific manner (make soup of mung). It can be kleda producing if prepared in a way like porridge of mung is with ghee/sugar/milk – this is surely not NOT kleda reducing.
Here is a recipe for kleda reducing:
2 tbl whole green mung, roast with a little ghee on pan. Heat beans to increase laghu and ruksha and that dryness will reduce kleda in body, ghee is important to stop increasing vata. Only a little because too much ghee will also increase kleda. Add water to it and boil for a long time. Don’t use pressure cooker as it gives a lot of heat in very short time. When you heat without pressure cooker, heat is given for a long time and because of that extra time, there is more lightness in mung beans which will help reduce the kleda. Laghu, ruksha and ushna – 3 gunas that help reduce kleda.
Making kitchadi to reduce kleda:
Roast rice and mung both to help reduce kleda increasing qualities. Due to the use chemicals etc. on rice, for kitchen storage, rinse the rice then allow to completely dry. Then roast and use. Dry in shade not in sun ideally. When mung is completely cooked, then its ready. Making mung bean soup in slow cooker can be a good idea for more time, but not to the extreme of 10 hrs. A couple of hours in the slow cooker is ok, not all day. This kind of slow cooking is not good and a ati or excessive samskara. Soaking mung overnight isn’t harmful, won’t increase kleda. Theoretically will add some water, but mung itself won’t increase kleda. If you keep too long, then it will sprout and will increase in kleda. THERE ARE NO SPROUTS OR SPROUTED FOODS IN AYURVEDA!!! They create excessively moist tissues that are not formed properly (abhishandi). Those tissues are ideal for the production of diseases.
Everything is in respect to agni – if person is exercising heavily, agni is strong, may manage to digest the sprouted foods, but not good for most people. If you are exercising it won’t affect you right away because that reduces kleda, however long term it will.
Sprouts – Ayurveda emphasizes that anything that produces kleda should be avoided. When they are soaked in water, they retain water and when eaten, the body will start retaining water. That forms kleda, kleda mixes with meda dhatu, provides environment for worms. Now in US, there are not so many eggs of worms due to how excessively clean it is here (which presents other problems) and kids don’t hang out in soil, so actively there are few complaint of worms but it still creates the environment of kapha. Later in life, these is those big round parasite bellies and yeast problems.
Fermentation also increases kleda. Yeast and sugar are most important ingredients of alcohol. They create a reaction like in beer. This is why people that drink a lot can look bloated. It does the same in the tissues.
Doshas are integral part of any disease process/mechanism.
In any disease formation doshas are increased. When they are out of balance they are circulating throughout the body and get stuck at points of weakness. This point of weakness and the vitiation is the place where disease is formed.
Different stages of doshas –
There has to be doshas involved in disease. There can not be a condition where dhatus are out of equilibrium and doshas are in balance. It does not exist. Doshyanti iti doshaya – the one that has the capacity to vitiate the body.
Doshas causative factors are important to make doshas a pathological entity as opposed to a physiological entity. This is important to understand. Read this several times. Dosha labels are constantly changing according to the season – increase, go out of balance, and peak, then come back. Same thing for time doshas and periods in a day. Time for Vata increase – brahma mahurta and 3:00 pm ish. Evening is considered the time for Vata prakopa. Proof is the statistics for heart attacks in early morning time when vata is already increased. The settings have to be right though. As an example, when a person already having a vata imbalance, seasonally there could be vata prakopa, the time of day is when vata is most active… add this together for the causes of vata diseases like heart attack and asthma.
Dosha Vishamya – abnormal changes in the levels of dosha. Still not considered pathological, but abnormal or unusual. The chaya, prakopa, and prasham are all in the range of normalcy. Either doshas are reducing or increasing.
Dosha Kshaya – depletion of doshas and reducing doshas. Reducing not from prakopa to normal, rather from normal to below normal range, depleted. That depletion will cause loss of functions, normal functions are absent or impaired. When one dosha is in kshaya, another will be in vrddhi but this is a more complicated picture. This is also what most of the detoxing stuff that is popular out there does to people. There are no ways of understanding this from a Western model. It just does not exist. When should one detox or build or what????? With kshaya, there are not symptoms of disease yet. To generate disease, must be prakopa. Then it goes to particular point where dhatus can be affected and dosha gets stuck in that point of the body and create disease. At every level there are certain signs and symptoms, but not necessarily a disease. Symptoms are signs to help us to come into balance, and things do begin in their home.
Kapha Kshaya – say there is a case of kapha kshaya, not a disease at this point, but kapha is unable to perform its natural functions – to give moisture, unctuousness, strength to body. If kapha is not there, kapha is not doing its proper function. Ex. If someone is eating a very less amount of food, ahara rasa itself doesn’t have enough quantities of aap and prithvi mahabhuta and the dhatus are not nourished properly. The mala of rasa dhatu is kapha, no rasa means no kapha. Physiological change from normal, conditions are forming, but THIS is not disease yet per se. So if someone is fasting for a long period of time, kapha will be depleted, because the fast has increased laghu guna that leads to vata prakopa. They are opposites in gunas after all. Each dosha can affect the others – have potential to create changes in the others. Movement is vata only though. It takes vata to create a disease. If kleda kapha is depleted, digestion is affected. Specifically kapha kshaya itself won’t lead to diseases, but Vata increases and gets vitiated. A depleted dosha cannot travel because its depleted. Just that simple.
Pitta Kshaya – leads to reduced temperature in body, agni is reduced so the body feels cold and the luster of the skin is reduced. Maintaining proper temperature, keeping agni active, and giving luster to skin are all functions of pitta.
Dosha Kshaya is for only a limited time, then we focus on vata prakopa and then that triggers disease.
Vata Kshaya – movements in body becomes slow and sluggish, then lethargy and laziness, heaviness, overall dullness of body, lack of understanding. Gunas are seen in kshaya and vrddhi. And needs to be treated through them before gets to conditions or symptoms. Effects are much subtler than in prakopa. If not paying attention may not even be aware at start. Ignore it and then it may get to prakopa. If vata is not functioning properly, prana vayu is not working, so understanding and ability to take in is limited. Obesity will eventually happen but there is happiness long term to this person. Can you understand why?
To understand pathology, must understand dosha vishamya – dosha vruddhi kshaya. These are happening in the body, if it goes beyond them then it can turn into vikruti which leads to disease.
Kapha kshaya is when kapha goes down, then space where kapha was is empty and vata will fill that place. Think about dieting and detoxing here. Vata increases, when it goes beyond a normal level can lead to prakopa. This can happen in any season. Kshaya is a short state of time. When kapha goes down, vata has to and WILL go up, but can be a slow process. Pitta Kshaya could go either way because shita guna will increase, but could be wet or dry, so either kapha or vata could increase.
There are conditions where kapha and pitta are at base levels and vata could be increasing on its own. In kapha kshaya, it could be quickly changed by hunger and then it can be treated by eating a meal.
Causative factors for increase in doshas.
Vata – rasa kashaya/astringent – has prithvi and vayu – becomes laghu and increases in vayu because like increases like. Katu – pungent, fire/tejas and vayu – so increase in vayu. Heat usually reduces vayu in body. But because the dry heat here increases dryness. Gati (path) of fire is always upwards so the lightness of the fire is always there. Vata then increases. Tikta Rasa (bitter) has vayu and aakash and is therefore MOST vayu increasing of the rasas. Kale is one of the highest vata provoking foods. Make dehydrated kale chips and what do you have? Bitter gourd juice will increase vayu in the body. In a pathological condition it is not that simple, in kapha condition one can’t just increase vayu to treat. In a vata condition that is already raised, will have more affect.
Neem juice in morning is so bitter and vata increasing that it can cause vata disorders, and it depletes shukra dhatu. If you connect it to real yogis and real brahmacharya, they often drink neem juice. So the sexual desire and libido is lessened. It will kill the shukra dhautu and reduce potency.
Onions and Garlic – They increase rajas and have a tendency to go downwards – actions are always in the lower part of the body. That is why onions specifically affect shukra dhatu. Onions increase shukra dhatu and increase desire. Garlic has aphrodisiac effect. They increase Rajas and Tamas in the body. People try to use as a contraceptive as an intra-uterine treatment.
Heat and cold (hot cold plunge) or also it has been applied to scrotum to reduce spermatogenesis. Bad for you because disturbs the spermatogenesis and imbalances doshas. At the same time this causes skin conditions. Testes should not be hanging because it disturbs spermatogenesis as well and causes vata prakopa. Body heat also can affect and should not be so high as to disturb the spermatogenesis. If you have certain diseases like pitta disorders like mumps, measles, jaundice etc. it will disturb shukra dhatu in body.
Vata – laghu, ruksha, shita – All beans aggravate except mung, moth, toor, and masoor/red lentils as don’t increase vata too much but all the rest of the lentils and pulses are very vata increasing. That is why must be cooked with oil and garlic. Hing is also used to balance vata provocation. Heating it all for certain period of time to then combine with lentils. Chana/chickpea when cooked without oil, ghee, or hing will greatly increase gas in the GI tract and stomach. If not eating garlic, add Hingwashtaka churna.
Certain grains like millet compared to wheat will increase vata, but much less so than ragi. Barley is not that vata increasing but will increase vata if consumed without ghee or milk because it is drying. Green peas increase vata. All dried and dehydrated vegetables increase vata. Light and heavy are all relative. Solution is to cook with ghee and heat, but over the long term it will still have its own effect on the body. If one is having green peas everyday, it will definitely have affect on body even if it is cooked with ghee and spices. All lentils have dryness. Some substances have similar appearance to body parts and are good for them like walnut are to the brain tissue. They are helpful for the brain tissue. Pigeon peas and dahl is good for skin and complexion. They have many benefits despite their vata increasing quality so use them with proper usage of ghee etc.