Thursday, 27 February 2014

Ayurveda: Dosha and Prakriti

Assalāmu'alaikum wa ramatullah

Ayurveda classifies two distinct but inter-related type of person. It concerns with both body and mind. Our nature is determined by this combination of body and mind types. This "nature" is known in Sanskrit as Prakriti. When we refer to the theory of creation, we identify it as the unmanifested nature of matter in the cosmic. When referring to human-being, it refers to unique physical and psychological nature displayed in them.

The knowledge about our dosha and guna provides us with an understanding of our basic physical and psychological nature. It helps us to decide on our personal diet, lifestyle that maintain optimum health and peace of mind. Each person has a unique dosha with unique nutritional needs. By establishing our dosha, we would enable ourselves to get suitable diets, exercise and lifestyles to maintain the balance.



The translation is quite complicated. It is often translated as "biological type" or physical constitution. This definition brings a simple and easy understanding of the concept. While, the original definition is more complex.

Sanskrit defines, dosha as dusyati iti doshah. It literally means, "that which contaminates is called dosha". The Malay language absorbed this word into the vocabulary, dosa and the meaning turns out to be "sin" in Brahman-Buddhism context where the sin taints one's karma (action). The Muslim missionaries in South East Asia later then, employed the word into their speeches and so; the word dosa remains there but to explain Islamic concepts. The same thing in Thai language, where it is used together with native word as a fixed phrase, khor thod (thod is spelled as thosh) which means, "pardon".

So, doshas may be considered the pathogenic factors, or disease-causing agents in the body. Imbalance of the vata, pitta and kapha doshas cause disease in the body. Dosha only refers to the three biological energies of vata, pitta and kapha. Imbalance of these elemental combinations is the direct cause of physical disease. The become the prime cause factors or contaminants to the body. Secondary factors in the disease process, like dhatus (body tissues), ama (toxins) and malas (waste materials) are just the product of, or, dependent upon, an imbalance in doshas.


Knowing our prakriti helps you to tailor a personal diet and lifestyle that can prevent disease and physical disorders, and obtain peace of mind. It provides us with an understanding of our basic physical and psychological nature, and how to keep it in balance with our surroundings. This is the key to maintaining health.

Every human usually has varying degrees of vata, pitta and kapha. The doshas are usually not present in equal proportions. In most people there is a natural uneven distribution. Very rarely, a person may have a completely even distribution of doshas.

Although we each have characteristics of vata, pitta or kapha to different degrees, one of these elemental natures will dominate and that is the “main” dosha. The secondary dosha is the one present in the next highest proportion. Every dosha type or combination is acknowledged in Ayurveda, which lists seven separate physical constitution types based on the basic three...

  • vata
  • pitta
  • kapha
  • vata-pitta
  • vata-kapha
  • pitta-kapha
  • vata-pitta-kapha
I am not so much a traditionalist. I employ both modern and complimentary health sciences. Other than Indian health sciences... I also read about other methods such as from the Greeks, the Babylonian's, the Islamic ones based from our prophetic tradition, European and even natives' herbals and remedies. Nothing rigid except that I believe... Health is an important treasure which one could ever has in his life.

Adapted, copied and modified from:
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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