According to Ayurveda, body is composed of three fundamental elements called doshas, dhatus, malas. The doshas governs the physciologcal activities of the body, while the dhatus enter into the formation of a basic structure of a body cell, thereby performing some specific actions. The malas are substances which are partly utilised in the body and partly excreted in a modified form after serving their physiological functions. These three elements are said to be in a dynamic equilbrium with each other for the maintenance of health. Any imbalance or their relative preponderance in the body results in disease and decay.
The man has five senses and through these senses he perceives the external world in five different ways. The sense organs are the ears, the skin, the eyes, the tongue and the nose. Through these sense organs, the external object is not only perceived, but also absorbed into the human body in the form of energy. These five types of senses are the basis on which the entire universe is divided, grouped or classified in five different ways, and they are known as mahabutas. They are named as akasha(sky), vayu(air), agni(fire), jala(water) and prithvi (earth).
Importance of Doshas
Doshas, namely, vayu, pitta and kapha are spread all over the body. They regulate functions of every tissue cell and are present in each of them. When the sperm and the ovum unite in the uterus of the mother to form a zygote, the doshas present in them and outside them in the uterus cause certain characteristic features which in Ayurvedic parlance are known as prakriti.. If all the doshas are in the state of equilibrium, it gives rise to a healthy foetus, and the child born of it leads a very healthy life. If the doshas are very much in a disturbed state, then it either prevents conception, or does not allow the zygote to grow, or results in malformations. If, however, one or two of these doshas are in excess, they give rise to a type of physical constitution and psychic temperament of the individual born out of it. These characteristic features of the body and the mind remain with the individual throughout his life. It does not change, and any change in it is indicative of death. Seven types of prakriti are recognised in Ayurveda with their specific characteristics.
For Ayurvedic treatment, knowledge of prakriti is very important. For example, a person of vata prakriti is always likely to get vatika type of diseases and in him diseases of other types do not give much trouble, or are easily curable. To prevent the occurrence of diseases, the individual having vata prakriti should always avoid such factors as would aggravate vataand resort to vata-alleviating food, drinks and regime.
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