Health is a equilibrium state (qualitatively / quantitatively) of doshas, proper functioning of Agni, proper formation and functioning of seven basic dhatus, excretion of malas, soundness of senses, mind and soul.To remain healthy requires active participation of the person by following the biological required life style , dietary regimen & seasonal detoxification with Panchakarma Therapies.
Thus the four dimensions of integral health is body, senses, mind, soul [ Sharira-satva-indriya-Atma Samyoga is Ayu]
Sharira [Body] – The biology of human system is described in Ayurvedic Literature from cellular level to gross whole body level in terms of Dosha – Dhatu – Mala.
Doshas are the physiological / functional units of body – Vata, Pitta – Kapha
Vata (governing all movements) – force behind every movements and their control. Vata governs all higher sensory functions, speech, sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste etc. and activities of heart, lungs,mind and consciousness. Pitta (Agni) – The responsible force for digestion and metabolism at body and mental level. Pitta governs- digestion, body temperature, visual perception, hungers, thirst, complexion, understanding, intelligence, courage and softness of body. Kapha (Inertia/ house-keeping force) – It is a cohesive force and reflects the power of body, mind and resistance power.
Kapha provides stability, lubrication, compactness and patience, good retention power.
These three categories of doshas are basically the three active elements among the five basic elements Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space. In specific permutations and combinations they form various types of particles, elements, molecules, cells, tissues,systems and organisms including human the most developed one.
Dhatu – structural units of all the bodily elements that provide support / nourishment to cell- tissue- organs – organ systems. These are of seven categories:
1. Rasa [Body fluid] – nourished from food chyle. It provides nutrients to all other dhatus. It provides calmness, quietness, softness and happiness
2. Rakta [Blood cells] – nourished from rasa and Pitta, mainly located in liver and spleen & remains in circulation throughout body. It provides freshness warm feelings, ambition, brightness, courage and delicacy.
3. Mamsa [Muscular tissue] – nourished from rasa and rakta. It provides shape and strength to bodily organs, body, offer protection and ability to work, forgiveness, bravery and straight forwardness.
4. Meda [Adipose tissue] – nourished from rasa& mamsa. Lubricate all tissues. It is responsible for feeling like love, compassion, delicacy and abundance.
5. Asthi [Bone tissues]- nourished from meda and rasa. It gives the body a functional shape, hair, nails, teeth, joints are nourished by it; it is responsible for supportive nature, hard working and leadership quality.
6. Majja [Bone marrow] – nourished from asthi& rasa. It maintains softness, oiliness, liquidity and smoothness. It provides happiness, strength, compassion and caring attitude.
7. Sukra [Generative tissues including semen]- nourished from majja& rasa. It remains distributed in all tissues to facilitate cell division in healthy state & to repair & regenerate the damaged cells. Most obvious form of it is produced in males. It provides happiness, joy, inner- beauty, vitality, physical strength, intelligence and differentiation power to tissues and reproductive power.
OJAS The most active part of seven Dhatu. It initiates, strengthen & integrate the activities of doshas and Dhatu as well. Mainly located in heart & in general it pervades the entire body. It provide stability, support, regeneration& rejuvenation to damaged tissues, control ageing mechanism, calmness, helps in meditation, concentration power, intellect, memory, resistance power to fight various diseases.
Mala (WASTE MATERIALS), During the process of digestion and metabolism the essence formed from food taken, nourish the basic elements of body and waste materials formed are excreted through different orifices from the body from time to time in the form of sweat, urine, faces, dirt of ears, eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, nails etc. Their proper excretion is health but accumulation or/ and disturbance in the process of digestion and metabolism creates a lot of health problems.
Indriya [Senses] – the organs through which we perceive the knowledge & communicate & act accordingly.10 Sensory organs [5 Sense organs+5 motor organs]
Sense organs are Eyes [To see], Ears [To hear], Nose [To smell], Tongue [To taste], and Skin [To feel touch, temperature, and pressure]
Motor organs are Hands [To work], Feet [To walk], Tongue [To speak], Anus [To defecate] & Genitals [To urinate and sexual activities].
Manas [Mind] – is said to be one, subtle, substantial basis & abode of egoism, perception, intellect& memory. Mainly 4 levels are described to explain the functions of mind-
a) It is the storage house of the deeds done in previous & present life depending on that birth & quality of present life is decoded
b) An independent faculty which generates willingness, thought processing and developing concepts, research and discovery, anger, manipulations, ego, reality
c) It acts as a messenger also to communicate in between various organs & brain working under autonomic nerves system.
d) The faculty to process the knowledge generated by external stimuli, received through sense organs. Satva, the quality of goodness, light & calm. Rajas, the quality of activity, passion & unrest Tamas, the quality of darkness, inertia & delusion Satva, Rajas & Tamas are the gunas of mind.
Atma (Soul),The principle of life/ consciousness; the divine principle along with the subtle body that descends for evolution at the time of fertilization and architect the required human system- body, mind & senses depending on the stored deeds & experiences of previous life.
The soul that is immortal while rest disintegrates; it passes & grow from life to life by using its instruments. The life sustain till this life principle integrate the body and all senses, mind, body and its metabolic powers get lost when this life principle detached along with the subtle body from the gross body in view of Ayurveda.
The soul is the micro part of cosmic consciousness. Higher than this Atman state in the process of evolution is jeevatma which is nor born nor evolve but presides over the individual birth & evolution& put forward a representative of Him on each plane of consciousness. It remains pure, stainless & unaffected by the stains of life, desire, ego& ignorance;hence described as omnipotent, pure consciousness, unborn, omniscience, Illuminator, omnipresent, undifferentiated.