Ayurveda identifies that, the functional
integrity of human body is governed by a balance of three specific humors,
termed as Doshas. Practically speaking, their equilibrium is not a static one
but dynamic in nature.
The word Dosha is derived from the root dus, which sounds similar to the English prefix ‘dys’. If translated, the word dosha would mean a "fault", "stain", and "transgression" against the cosmic rhythm or an inaccuracy that leads to chaos. However, in the context of Ayurveda philosophy, doshas are not per se harmful. Rather, they seem to be called doshas for they are prone to undergo chaos or aberrations under disturbed circumstances.
If Doshas are considered to be
manifestations of energy, Vata dosha can rightly be equated to a Kinetic Energy.
The origin of the word Vata can be traced to "that which moves"
and it fits the dosha to the letter.
Vata is the initiator of all life processes that are dynamic in nature. It represents the impulse in the communication network of the body – from brain to periphery, from tissue to tissue and cell to cell. Vata is responsible for perception (pain), transmission and reaction. It brings a thought from the memory to consciousness, and transfers current experiences into memories. It inspires speech and is the base for laughter and exaltation.
In human physiology Vata governs all such functions that involve somatic initiation and dynamism:-
* Vata initiates and transmits all stimuli.
* Vata governs the intestinal motility facilitating the downward movement of food we consume.
* Vata governs whole process of respiration.
* Vata governs the movement of heart. Thus, it takes off delivering the nutrients to all cells in our body. It governs the collection and transport of carbon dioxide and other wastes from body.
* Vata governs our intellectual perception, imagination and motivation.
In order to explain more intricate details of these doshas, Ayurvedic doctrines classified each of them in five sub-doshas; like vata dosha in "Prana, Udana, Vyana, Samana, Apana"
Pitta represents the somatic energy in
all living forms. In a living cell, it converts the ingested food into energy.
Pitta maintains the natural pigmentation/colour of cells. Pitta is primarily
distributed in the regions of umbilicus, the stomach and small intestines,
sweat, lymph, blood, plasma, eyes and skin.
Pitta dosha, as the name suggests, is responsible for all types of transformation in the body. Pitta controls digestion of food in the gut as well as the conversion of light rays which fall on the retina to electrical impulses which in turn are carried by the optic nerve for processing in the brain. A strong Pitta in the brain allows good processing of the information, thereby leading to a certain maturity in comprehension.
If vata dosha controls exultation and laughter, Pitta dosha controls emotions like anger, fear and bravado. In keeping with its effect on the brain, Pitta is responsible for positive and action-oriented emotions. Because it hones the intelligence, Pitta gives rise to greed and may be said to be responsible for Machiavellian tendencies in humans.
In human body, it governs an array of complex activities concerning digestion and metabolism; -
* Pitta generates and maintains some natural urges, like hunger, thirst.
* Pitta represents various secretions, responsible for digestion.
* Pitta regulates the complexion and suppleness of skin
* Pitta is instrumental in the maintenance of vision.
* Pitta supports certain mental phenomena like intellectual comprehension, Conviction, courage and valour.
* Human body is maintained at a constant temperature of 37o C irrespective of temperature in outer environment. This phenomena is called as "Thermo-regulation" and constitutes an important function of Pitta.
In order to explain more intricate details of these doshas, Ayurvedic doctrines classified each of them in five sub-doshas like pitta dosha in "Pachaka, Ranjaka, Sadhaka, Alochaka, Bhrajaka"
In human body, Kapha is primarily
distributed in chest, throat, head, plasma, fatty deposition and tongue. If Vata
is kinetic energy then Kapha is potential energy.
It gives mental strength, as well as resistance to disease. It gives firmness to joints while keeping them lubricated. It also imparts sexual potency.
* Like in living cell, Kapha maintains the structural integrity and confines Individual organs to their specific location.
* It protects the bodily organs against physiological injury.
* Kapha imparts immunity against diseases.
* It maintains the fluid balance.
* Mental phenomenon like, intellectual stability, determinations are governed by Kapha.
In order to explain more intricate details of these doshas, Ayurvedic doctrines classified each of them in five sub-doshas like kapha dosha in "Avlambaka, Kedaka, Bodhaka, Tarpaka, Sleshaka".