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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 64-70

Manas - A practical facet of Āyurveda

Hetal Amin1, Rohit Sharma2
1 Department of Basic Principles including Drug Research, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching & Research in Ayurveda (I.P.G.T. & R.A.), Gujarat Ayurved University (G.A.U.), Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana including Drug Research, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching & Research in Ayurveda (I.P.G.T. & R.A.), Gujarat Ayurved University (G.A.U.), Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

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Dr. Hetal Amin
Department of Basic Principles, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching & Research in Ayurveda (I.P.G.T. & R.A.), Gujarat Ayurveda University (G.A.U.), Jamnagar - 361 008, Gujarat
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DOI: 10.4103/0044-0507.159738

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Manas (~mind) is considered as the factor responsible for yoking Ātmā (soul) with Śār´ra (body) and Indriya (senses). The concept of Āyu (age) is based on the state of Manas, Manas, which is also referred to as Sattva. It is chiefly responsible for perceiving Sukha (pleasure), Dukha (pain), Hita (wholesome), Ahita (unwholesome), etc. in relation to life. Manas has got a close relationship with health also. This demonstrates the importance of Manas in calling a person Swastha (healthy). An accurate knowledge of Manas is necessary to understand the process of production of J˝āna (knowledge) as explained in Āyurveda. Caraka Sam.hitā, one of the authoritative ancient texts of Āyurveda, gives a precise description of Manas Siddhā˝ta (principles of the mind) including its normal and abnormal states, but all these descriptions are highly scattered. Seeds of the Āyurvedic concept of Manas are found in different texts, but Āyurveda considers it in an applied and practical way. In this paper, an attempt is made to explore the applied aspect of Manas in accordance with Āyurveda.

Keywords: Applied Āyurveda, holistic health, Manas, mind, Swastha

How to cite this article:
Amin H, Sharma R. Manas - A practical facet of Āyurveda. Yoga Mimamsa 2014;46:64-70

How to cite this URL:
Amin H, Sharma R. Manas - A practical facet of Āyurveda. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Feb 18];46:64-70. Available from:




As Āyurveda is a medical science and its prime aim is the maintenance and eradication of diseases, the concept of Manas also has been described accordingly. Unfortunately, almost all the texts of Padārtha Vij˝āna (basic principles) have laid emphasis only on the philosophical part of Manas and have not described the applied part of Manas Siddhā˝ta. Āyurveda has described Manas Siddhā˝ta very practically so that all the aspects can be interpreted in the terms of applied or clinical use for origination of Śar´ra (body) as well as Vikāra (diseases). Most of the disorders have some Manas Nidāna (psychological causative factors), which again indicates the importance of Manas Siddhā˝ta in disease manifestation. Here, Manas will be considered in the form of Hetu (diagnosis), Li˝ga (symptoms), and Auṣadha (treatment) Ska˝dha (group) in applied utility.

Manas Par´ksa (examination of psyche)

Manas Bhāva (affective processes) are 22 in number and they can be understood by means of inference as Manas Bhāva are Anumāngamya (inferential) Bhāva. These Manas Bhāva are: (1) Manas (Artha Avyabhicāreṇa) by perception of specific objects even in the presence of all other senses along with their respective objects; (2) Vij˝āna (Vyavasāyen) by proper reaction to activities; (3) Rajah (Sa˝gena) by attachment; and 4) Moha (Avij˝ānena) by lack of understanding, etc. (Yadavji, 2002).

According to Caraka, in Daśavidha Parikṣā (10-fold examination), Prakṛti (constitution), Sattva (positive state of mind), and Sātmya (wholesomeness) are the examinations for Manas. In Vimānasthāna, the 4 th chapter of Caraka Samhita, Acārya Caraka describes that the physician who does not enter in the Antarātma of patient cannot be trusted by him and such a physician cannot treat the patient. Manas can be analyzed or examined on the basis of the following parameters, viz. Akāra (body structure), Ingat (ambitions and desires), Gati (body movements), Cesta (activities), Bhāshana (talking style), and Netra Vaktra Vikāra (movements of eyes and face) (Ghanekara, 2006).

Manas Doṣa, Bala (strength), and Bhāva (emotions)

Śar´ra and Manas are two main constituents of the living beings. Āyurveda discloses the existence of three Śār´rika Doṣa (bodily humors viz., Vāta, Pitta, Kapha) and two Mānasika Doṣa (mental humors i.e. Rajas and Tamas), a perfect equilibrium of which is responsible for health whereas their imbalance is responsible for disease (Yadavji, 2002). According to the Bala, Manas or Sattva is of three types, viz. Pravara, Madhyama, and Avara Sattva, and accordingly, persons can be classified into three groups, viz., superior, medium, and inferior psychic capacity (Yadavji, 2002). Ācārya Caraka in Śar´rasthāna described Bhakti (inclination), Śila (character), Śauca (purity), Dveśa (jealousy), etc. as Manas Bhāvā, which are the emotional aspects of personality related to Manas. These Manas Bhāvā are further divided according to Sattva, Rajas, or Tamas dominance by Vṛddha Vāgbhata (Mitra, 2008).

Manas as Vyādhi Āshraya (abode of diseases)

The causes of the diseases relating to both mind and body are threefold, i.e. wrong utilization, non-utilization, and excessive utilization of time, mental faculties, and objects of sense organs (Yadavji, 2002). The body and mind constitute the substrata of diseases and happiness. Balanced utilization (of time, mental faculties, and objects of sense organs) causes happiness (Yadavji, 2002). Āyurveda considers mind and body as two substrata for the manifestation of diseases. The body and the mind have a separate set of etio-pathological agents, and hence, all the diseases are categorized under two basic groups, viz. somatic and psychological. However, it is difficult to schedule such a watertight compartment for the disease grouping (Yadavji, 2002).

Manas -Śar´ra interrelationship

Even though Manas is Bhūtasrita (seated in the Pa˝cabhautik - made up of combination of earth, water, fire, air, space - body), it has got its own specialty and identity. Water-drop on the lotus leaf never adheres to it, but the root of the lotus is always in water. Same way, Manas seated in the body works according to the situation. The Karma (action) of Manas in the gross body occurs through the functional faculty of the body by Tridoṣa. Manas activates bodily functions through Cala Guṇa (mobile feature) of Vāta whereas it influences the stability of bodily functions through the Sthira Guṇa (stable feature) of Kapha. Ācārya Caraka opines that Manas regulates the body because of its association with the soul. In this way, it influences each and every cell of the body (Yadavji, 2002).

The mind and body, together with the sense organs are the sites of manifestation of all miseries and happiness. Body perceives miseries and happiness through Indriya by getting stimulus from Manas. All the different sciences have given the definition of health. In this context, the Āyurvedic definition of health also accepts the importance of Manas in maintaining health. It has been claimed that healthy, strong, and properly controlled Manas is able to cure several physical diseases. On the other hand, psychic factors give rise to physical diseases (Yadavji, 2002).

Each of the three types of psychic faculty viz., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, in fact, consists of innumerable varieties by permutations and combinations of the various factors relating to the body, species, and mutual interactions. Sometimes even the Śar´ra follows the Manas and vice versa (Yadavji, 2002). When psychic or somatic diseases become chronic due to their intensity, they may combine with each other, i.e. a somatic disease may combine with a psychic disease.

Role of Manas in different physiopathology

All three Śār´ra Doṣa, as well as the Manas Doṣa have their own way of functioning, even though they influence one another. This influence can be envisaged on the basis of some classical references regarding the physical cause and its psychological effect/manifestation, or the psychological cause and its physical effect. Some examples are as follows:

Nidrā (sleep): Ācārya Caraka said that when the sensory and motor organs along with the Manas are exhausted and they dissociate themselves from their objects, the individual sleeps. Nidrā is nothing but the location of the Manas in a place unconnected with the sensory or motor organs (Yadavji, 2002).

Upacaya (nourishment): Freedom from anxiety about any work, intake of nourishing diet, and adequate sleep make a person fat and bored. Here, Aci˝tana is the Manas Bhāva which has an effect on the physiology of Śār´ra (Yadavji, 2002). In Agrya Saṃgraha, narrated by Acārya Caraka in the 25 th chapter of Sūtrasthāna, there are many examples of such types of interrelationship of Manas and Śār´ra.

(aphrodisiac therapy): Caraka has defined the term Vṛṣyatā and has quoted that a Dravya (substance) which is pleasant to mind is a Vṛṣyatā one (Yadavji, 2002). In the same chapter, the Acārya says that due to Cesta (activity) and Saṃkalpa (determination), Śukha (happiness) gets squeezed out of the whole body with the help of Vāyu which has great velocity (Yadavji, 2002). Hence, he has indicated Saṃkalpa (determination) as an inevitable factor for Śukra Cyavana (production of semen). It means that sexual intercourse is a psychosomatic event.

Priṇana (delightfulness)/Śoṣaṇa (slenderness): Priṇana is the function of Rasa Dhātu (chyme/chyle). Caraka opines that vitiation of Rasavaha Srotoduṣṭi (~fluids which circulate in body) occurs due to excessive thinking, as it causes provocation of Vāta. In the 25 th chapter of Sūtrasthāna, Caraka has indicated Harṣa (cheerfulness) as the best Priṇana (Yadavji, 2002). Here, Harṣa does not mean an ecstasy, euphoria, or like being in the seventh heaven; rather, it is the mental feeling of pleasure, ease, or comfort (Yadavji, 2002). Such a condition of comfort is Ārogya or Swāsthya (health).

Roga (diseases): Disease may be caused by psychological factors, but it steps ahead with the degree of mental energy drop off. It may be because Roga represents any kind of Rujā (pain) (Yadavji, 2002). The experience, tolerance, and expression of pain are solely dependant upon Sattvabala (mental strength), and hence, definition of Roga itself reveals the psychological aspect of all the diseases, whether somatic or psychosomatic.

Manas and Tridoṣa

All three Doṣa have their influence on Manas. The following are some examples to prove the relationship between Manas and Tridoṣa:

Manas and Vāta

Control and stimulation of Manas are under the influence of Vāyu (Yadavji, 2002). Out of five types of Vāyu (Prāṇa, Udāna, Vyān, Samān, Apān), Prāṇa and Udāna have greater influence on Manas. Vyān Vāyu is also related to the seat of the Manas (Kunte & Navare, 2010). Intellect, sense and mind functions are responsible because of Prāṇa Vāyu, and memory power is responsible because of Udāna Vāyu.

Prāṇa: Pranoatraů Buddhihridayendriyachittadhrika
(Kunte & Navare, 2010)

Udāna: Udanasyaů Smritikriya (Kunte & Navare, 2010)

Vāta Doṣa is the stimulator of Manas, especially of cognitive and conative faculties. It is also considered as the controller of Manas. It carries the impulses to the Indriya (senses) and, thus, becomes the propeller of all sorts of actions. It is the factor which influences the functioning of speech, sensation of touch, etc. All types of bodily functions described in Āyurveda depend upon the Vāta Doṣa in comparison to the other two Doṣa. Vāta has the dominance of Raja Guṇa. Both Vāta and Manas have the same working field called Mastiṣka (~head). Being the controller, activator, leader, and carrier of action, Vāta is responsible for all activities of Manas. People with Vāta Prakṛti show fluctuation of activities and quickness in response to stimuli. This states that the predominance of Vāta makes the physical as well as the psychological activities little exaggerated. As stated earlier, out of the five types, out of five types of Vāyu, Prāṇa, Udāna, and Vyāna have a greater influence on Manas. They are very much related to the seat of Manas, i.e. Hṛdaya (heart) and Śirah (head). Prāṇa Vāyu moves in the Urah (chest) and Śirah, and it regulates the organs situated in these places, along with the control of mental thoughts and assists in better concentration (Kunte & Navare, 2010). Vātika calamity can cause functions opposite to normal Vātika functions. Apart from that, certain Manas Bhāva like Bhaya (frightening), Śoka (grief), etc. are also altered due to vitiation, increase or decrease of Vāta, which once again proves the interrelationship between Vāta and Manas (Yadavji, 2002). Among the 80 Nanātmaja Vyādh´ (single Doṣa disease) of Vāta, there are some psychosomatic diseases also, which indicate a very deep interrelationship between Vāta and Manas.

Manas and Pitta

Manah Prasāda (pleasure of mind) and Medhā (intellect) are the functions carried out by Pitta (Yadavji, 2002). Moreover, though hunger and thirst are physical phenomena, mental desire is also associated with them. Thus, the basic tasks of Pitta involve many psychological as well as psychosomatic functions. Normal mental activities like Śaurya (braveness), Dh´ (determination), and Medhā are under the influence of the normal activities of Pitta (Kunte & Navare, 2010). Sadhaka Pitta (a type of Pitta Doṣa): Sādhaka Pitta is associated with various psychological functions and acts as Sādhana (aid) for their fulfilment. According to Mahaṛṣi Suśruta, Sādhaka Pitta is the main factor which facilitates all desires of an individual. In Bhela Saṃhitā, Sādhaka Pitta is considered as a preceptor of sound, smell, touch, etc. and accomplishes the desires. Alochaka Pitta: Ācārya Bhela has mentioned two types of Ālocaka Pitta (a type of Pitta Doṣa), one of which is Buddh´ Vaiśesika Pitta. It helps in thinking, remembering, desiring, etc., which are the functions of Manas. Generally, people with Pitta Prakṛti are highly sensitive, speedy active in nature. They become more arrogant, possess more ego and fearlessness, and make undue and proud claims.

Manas and Kapha

Avalaṃbaka Kapha occurs nearest to the residence of Manas, i.e. Hṛdaya, while Tarpaka Kapha surrounds the headquarters of Indriya, i.e. Śirah. Bodhaka Kapha, along with other Rasa, perceives the taste of Madhura Rasa which is considered to be the Prasādana of Manas. (Kunte & Navare, 2010; Yadavji, 2002). In this way, despite being the grossest Doṣa, Kapha has an intimate interrelationship with the subtle Manas. Normal mental functions like firmness, enthusiasm, knowledge, intellect, forgiveness, non-greediness, and softness are under the control of Kapha. Kapha can be correlated with Tamas Doṣa in Manas Doṣa (Kunte & Navare, 2010). Out of five types of Kapha, Avalaṃbaka, Tarpaka, and Bodhaka have greater influence on the conative, cognitive, and emotional activities of Manas. Among them, the seat of Avalaṃbaka Kapha is Hṛdaya, which is the site of Manas. The seat of most J˝ānendriya, the Śirah, again is the domicile of Tarpaka Kapha. Bodhaka Kapha (remaining in tongue) influences Manas to produce desire toward different types of Āhāra (food). Kapha Prakṛti people are dull in their activities, but they are bold, gentle, faithful, non-greedy, intellectual, remain quiet and peaceful.

Hence, it becomes very clear that all the Śar´ra Doṣa are closely related to Manas in the aspect of Prakṛti. That is why, while narrating the treatment of Manas Roga, Ācārya Kāśyapa specifies nothing new, but rather suggests the same treatment as that for Śar´ra Roga (Shashtri, 1970). From all the above descriptions, it can be derived that the perfect harmony of Manas is responsible for the perfect harmony of body because physical state is merely an out-picturing of the mental state, as described previously. Manas is also related to different Dhātu, which is depicted in [Table 1]. Dhātu are grosser substances than Doṣa elements and are aimed mainly to support the body to remain steady as well as perform its natural physio-biological functions. Hence, it is not possible that these substances can directly create any impact on Manas, but their unavoidable role in the physiology of the body makes it sure that they indirectly impress Manas in either a positive or negative manner [Table 1].

Table 1: Relation of Manas with Dhātu Sārata

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Worry is one of the causes for Rasa Dhātu vitiation. Excessive indulgence of sex is responsible for Śukra Vaha Srotas vitiation. (Yadavji, 2002). Rakta Dhātu is responsible for consistency of life. Its normal function is elaborately dealt with in Suśruta Saṃhitā, which says that the normal functions of knowledge perception and action stimulation, i.e. Indriyābhigraha, are under the influence of normal functioning of Rakta (Yadavji, 2010). Regarding Twacā (skin), it is directly stated that Manas can do its function only by Sparśa (touch), i.e. Twacā, which is present all over the body (Yadavji, 2002). Ojas (vital fluid made up of essence of all seven fundamental tissues of Rasa, Rakta, etc.) is considered as the bridge between Manas and Śar´ra. As one can see, Ojovṛddh´ (increase of Ojas) leads to Tuṣṭ´, (mental satisfaction), and Puṣṭ´, (well-built body) and, on the contrary, Ojakṣaya (lessening of Ojas) is caused by many mental factors such as Krodha (anger) and Śoka (grief) and manifested as mental symptoms like Bhaya (afraid), Ci˝tā (chinta), etc. (Kunte & Navare, 2010). Also, Ojas is responsible for the perfect functioning of Indriya (senses) and Buddh´ (intellect) (Yadavji, 2010). Dhātu Vriddhi kṣaya (vitiation of Dhātu) is also related to Manas Bhāva, which is illustrated in [Table 2] (Yadavji, 2010). Manas Bhāva is influenced by Kṣaya (decrease) and Vṛddh´ (increase) of Dhātu. Increase, decrease, or vitiation of Dhātu affects either heart and its attachments like arteries, veins, and Srotas (channels), or certain psychological processes which ultimately affect Manas [Table 2].

Table 2: Relation of Manas Bhava with Dhātu Vriddhi ksaya

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Importance of Manas in Triska˝dha (three groups)

There are many references in classics, which accommodate examples of psychological causes of somatic diseases and vice versa, and also psychological therapy as a part of complete course of treatment for somatic diseases as well as somatic medication for treating psychological diseases. Thus, the importance of Manas has been dealt with at three different levels, the three shkandhas, viz. Hetu (cause), Li˝ga (symptoms), and Auṣadha (treatment).

Importance of Manas in Hetu Ska˝dha (Manas as a causative factor)

Ācārya Caraka opines that food particles do have their effect on Manas (Yadavji, 2002), emphasizing the prime role of Āhāra (diet) in the well-being and morbid condition of life (Yadavji, 2002). According to Āyurveda, disease is manifested at both the levels of Śar´ra and Manas. There are three causes of disease. They are Asātmendriyārtha Saṃyoga (unwholesome conjunction of sense organs), Praj˝āparādha, and Par´ṇāma (transformation) (Yadavji, 2002). Mistaken belief by the intellect and misconduct are to be understood as Praj˝āparādha (intellectual blasphemy) (Yadavji, 2002).

Ācārya Caraka mentioned that when Dh´ (determination), Dhṛti (intellect), and Smṛti (memory) are disturbed, all the Tridoṣa get vitiated. After that, the person starts doing Aśubha Karma (bad deed) which produces diseases of the Manas (Yadavji, 2002). Asātmendriyārtha Saṃyoga and Par´ṇāma can also produce Śar´ra and Manas Roga.

Derangement of the three components of Praj˝ā, viz. Dh´, Dhṛti, and Smṛti (Yadavji, 2002): Dh´ is called derangement of understanding whereby the eternal and non-eternal, i.e. Nityanitye, and the good and evil, i.e. Hitahite, are mistaken one for the other, for true understanding always perceives rightly (Yadavji, 2002). In the event of derangement of the will, i.e. Dhṛti, the psyche or Sattva which is always reaching out for its objects is incapable of being restrained from undesirable objects (Yadavji, 2002). Due to the Manas being clouded with passion and delusion, i.e. Rajomohavṛtātmanah, the retention of true knowledge is destroyed, which is called the derangement of Smṛti (Yadavji, 2002).

Caraka explains about two types of Vyādh´, i.e. Guru and Laghu (Yadavji, 2002). Both of them are related to mental stability. Further, Caraka describes three types of Sattva in the 8 th chapter of Vimānasthāna, which are Pravara Sattva, Madhyama Sattva, and Avara Sattva (Yadavji, 2002).

Hetu or Nidāna of diseases are of several types. Keeping in mind the importance of Nidāna in manifestation and treatment of the diseases, almost all Ācāryas (ancient experts) have separately mentioned them in Nidānasthāna. Here, a few examples of psychological and somatic Nidāna are described, which cause psychological ailments.

In Śār´rika Doṣa, Manas plays an inevitable role; but for that, it is necessary for Manas to be dominant in Rajas and/or Tamas (Yadavji, 2002). Manas and its emotions can cause physical signs and symptoms in different ways, e.g. by initiating Jwara (pyrexia) derivation: Jwara is a Vyādh´ of Pitta gets provoked by anger (Yadavji, 2002).

Pitta consists mainly of Sattva and Rajas. As Sattva does not cause any harm, most of the triggering factors of Pitta act through impairing the functions of Rajas. The same phenomenon takes place in the etiopathogenesis of Atisara (diarrhea), where the Nidana, i.e. Krodha and Eerṣya (jealousy), are Rājasika Bhāva and they cause Ateesāraṇa (diarrhoea) (Yadavji, 2002).

Among the causes of both Kuṣṭha (skin disorders) and Kilāsa (leucoderma), Pāpakarma (sin) is counted as one of the important factors. Literally, Pāpakarma is said to be the function/characteristic of Tamas (Yadavji, 2002). Please refer to [Table 3] (Yadavji, 2002) for the different Manas Hetu that produce many diseases (Yadavji, 2002). While describing the causative factors for vitiation of different Srotas, some psychological factors have been included [Table 4] (Yadavji, 2002).

Table 3: Manas Hetu and Vyadhi

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Table 4: Manas Hetu and Srotas

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Importance of Manas in Li˝ga Ska˝dha (Manas in symptoms of diseases)

Any somatic disease may also manifest one or more psychological symptoms in different degrees. Some of the classical references supporting this are as follows:

The characteristics of Bahudoṣa (excessive Doṣa) create a picture of Sa˝ga (obstruction) of Vāta. It may be that Doṣa (mainly Kapha) in excessive amount and in intensely aggravated condition causes Srotorodha (obstruction of channels) and hence, hampers the functions of that particular Srota. Ta˝drā (sleepiness) and Abuddh´tvam (mental retardation) may be a result of Manovaha Srotorodha (channels which carries senses) (Yadavji, 2002).

Jwara (~fever) is said to be the cause of pain and agony in the body and Manas. In addition, it mediates misery of the Indriya. The cardinal sign of Jwara is "Sa˝tāpa," which, both in the context of the body and the Manas, means raised temperature or suffering. Jwara is merely considered as a somatic disease, but lots of references regarding its psychosomatic approach are found, especially in Caraka Saṃhitā (Cikitsāsthana). According to the causative emotion, treatment is also described. Among all the treatments, Pratidwandwi Cikitsā (counter treatment) is unique and eye-catching. Though it means overwhelming one emotion by the other, it can be accommodated under the umbrella of psychosomatic remedies as finally it cures the physical signs and symptoms of Jwara. Psychological manifestations are found at both levels, Pūrvarūpa (prodromal) and Rūpa (symptom), of Jwara (Yadavji, 2002). Some other psychological symptoms of different ailments have been mentioned in [Table 5] (Yadavji, 2002).

Table 5: Sharirika Vyadhi and Manas Lakshana

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Importance of Manas in Auṣadha Ska˝dha (Manas in treatment of diseases)

Āyurveda suggests three types of treatment according to the nature of the diseases: if the disease is caused due to Karma (activity) done in previous birth or in present life, it may be incurable or may be treated by Daivavyapāśraya Cikitsā (divine treatment); for somatic diseases, Yuktivyapāśraya (physico-pharmacological treatment) is designated and for diseases of psychological origin, Sattvāvajaya (psychological treatment) is indicated. To create defense against certain psychological and psychosomatic diseases, Āyurveda has introduced a peculiar way of Sadvritta (good conduct) and Ācāra Rasāyaṇa (code and conduct of diet and lifestyle). These can be taken as Manas therapy for avoiding Śār´rika ailments.

Rasāyaṇa (rejuvenation): Emotional balance is said to be inevitable for Kuti Rasāyaṇa (a type of rejuvenation related to the house). Right from the construction of the Kuti (house) to the time of the person entering into it, everywhere psychological stability and peace are given much importance (Yadavji, 2010). Kuti should be comfortable and pleasant to one's Manas (Kunte & Navare, 2010). Balanced and steady condition of Manas is necessary for one while entering in the Kuti (Yadavji, 2002).

Vājeekaraṇa (aphrodisiac therapy): In Vājeekaraṇa remedies, it is essential for the drugs to have Harṣaṇa (ejaculation) property. Female is told to be the best Vājeekaraṇa Dravya; it is also acceptable only when the male has affinity and intimacy with her.

Garbhāvastha: It is important for the mother to stay happy all the times, as the joy of mother adjoins fetal development (Yadavji, 2002).

Ateesāra (diarrhea): Treatment of some diseases, encountered often in routine life, also involves psychological management along with drugs, as stress and emotional calamities are also common in this era. Among such diseases, the most often is Ateesāra as Vata gets provoked hastily in the condition of fear and gloom and, hence, causes Ateesāra (Yadavji, 2002).

Chardi (vomiting): Caraka has indicated the therapeutic use of various types of fragrances, which are obviously pleasant to one's mind, in the management of Chardi (Kunte & Navare, 2010). This reference may be quoted as the root of aromatherapy in ancient India. It also points toward the role of Indriya as a mediator between the body and the psyche.

Tṛṣṇā (thirst): Another example showing the importance of Manas in the treatment of somatic diseases is of management of Tṛṣṇā through memorizing the cool and pleasant wet atmosphere or listening to stories narrating rivers and lakes having lotuses, etc. Also, drinking and sprinkling the holy water, consolation, and pleasure are mentioned to be a part of the management of thirst (Yadavji, 2002). Some other examples showing the importance of psychological aids in the treatment of diseases are as follows:

Sthaulya (obesity): Gradual increase of Ci˝tana means keeping the mind engaged with thoughts, and paying sincere attention to things, which help in reduction of weight is suggested (Yadavji, 2002).

Kārśya (thin): Most of the tools of the management of Kārśya are related to psyche as Ācārya Caraka himself has said that mental joy is the best Priṇana (Yadavji, 2002). Sleep, pleasure, comfortable place for sleep, mental withdrawal, peace, and to witness the favorite ones are indicated to treat Kārśya. Also, excessive thinking, sexual intercourse, and physical exercise are to be avoided.

Nidrānaśa (insomnia): Pleasant odors and words are considered to help in bringing sleep (Yadavji, 2002).




When the abnormalities of the Manas Doṣa continue to exist for some period, they further reach the stage of aggravation, i.e. Prakopāvastha (aggravation), in which certain psychic symptoms such as Ci˝tā (worry), Vyākulatā (apprehension), Bhaya (fear), and Śoka (grief) develop. It can be said that psychological symptoms occur in the early stage of the diseases. When the override of psychic responses happens, it continues for a prolonged period and starts influencing the body. Doṣa, especially Vāta, gets further aggravated. The interaction of Śār´rika Doṣa with Mānasika Doṣa occurs in the phase of Prasara Avasthā (dissemination). When all these Doṣa affect the Hṛdaya, Manovaha Srotas, and Dhātu, they result in Sthānasaṃshraya Avasthā (localization). Afterward, many symptoms become predominant in Vyaktāvasthā (manifestation) of any Manas or Śar´ra Vyādhi. At last, all the Vyādhi come under Bhedāvasthā (untreatable) if not treated. It can be said that in Manas Vyādhi, Udbhavasthāna (place of manifestation) can be Manas, Asrayasthāna (place of vitiated Dosha) can be Hṛdaya, and Śar´ra can be Vyakti Sthāna (place where the symptoms arise). All Manas Vyādhi may manifest anger, grief, fear etc. in the primary stage of Vyādhi. After that, in the subsequent stage, Hṛdaya also gets involved, and hence, Doṣa like Prāṇa, Udāna, Vyāna Vāyu, Sādhaka Pitta, Avalaṃbaka and Tarpaka Kapha get affected, along with Dhātu and Mala (waste). Thus, symptoms of Manas Bhāva can illustrate both Śār´rika and Mānasika Vyādhi.

From time immemorial, the concept of mental illnesses and their treatment has been discussed. Being a health science with a holistic approach, Āyurveda considers Manas as an integral part of life, and therefore recommends various practices to control Manas for a healthy life. Caraka describes three groups of treatment, i.e. Daivavyapāśraya (divine treatment), Yuktivyapāśraya (physico-pharmacological method), and Sattvāvajaya (psychological method). Here, Daivavyapāśraya is a treatment with faith which creates confidence and removes the fearing and pessimistic tendencies which, in turn, facilitate the cure of Vyādhi. Diet and medication is the second treatment category (Yadavji, 2002). Saṃśodhana (purifying treatment) and Saṃśamana (pacifying treatment) help in the management of Vyādhi. Daivavyapāśraya and Yuktivyapāśraya are without and with medicine therapy respectively. The methods of Adravyabhuta Cikitsā (treatment without substances) are fear, excitement, etc. Atharvaveda described some of the psychological disorders and their treatment in the form of Prāyascitta (repentance), which developed as Sattvāvajaya Cikitsā in the later period of Āyurveda Saṃhitā.

Evolution of Manas from subtle part of food has been described in Chāndogya Upaniṣada, which indicates that there is definite effect of quality of food on Manas. This concept was further developed in the various Āyurvedic texts in the form of Medhya (nootropic), Amedhya (non-nootropic), etc., qualities of Āhāra and Auṣadha.




0Caraka Saṃhitā gives a very good description of Manas Siddhā˝ta including its normal and abnormal states, but all these descriptions are highly scattered. Seeds of Āyurvedic concept of Manas are found in different philosophical texts, but Āyurveda considers it in an applied way. Manas is the connecting link between the Ātmā with Śar´ra, and hence, influences both. Manas plays an important role in vulnerability (Hetu Skaňdha), in severity, and prognosis (Li˝ga Skaňdha), and in bioavailability of drugs, dose, mode of administration, and route of administration (Cikitsā Ska˝dha). Manas Hetu plays an important role in causing diseases through Asātmendriyārtha Saṃyoga, Praj˝āparādha, etc. In the same way, Manas also plays a role in keeping healthy status as well as in disease production. Rajas and Tamas are the two Doṣa of Manas which play a major role in causing the diseases, both psychological and somatic. The changes in lifestyle and circumstances have changed the face of modern man. For the successful survival of an individual, one has to face cut-throat competition in every field of life. This creates tremendous stress which further escalates into many physical and psychological diseases. Therefore, for the successful survival in this competitive world, there is a need of promotion of mental health, and Sattvāvajaya Cikitsā through Ayurveda can play a vital role in this field.







Ghanekara, B. G. (2006). Vaidhyakiya Subhashitani. (Reprint). Varanasi: Chaukhamba Prakashana.  Back to cited text no. 1


Kunte, A. M. & Navare K. S. (2010). Astanga Hridaya. (10 th ed.). Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrita Sansthana.  Back to cited text no. 2


Mitra, J. P. (2008). Astanga Samgraha, (6 th ed.). Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Series office.  Back to cited text no. 3


Shashtri G. M. (1970). Kashyapa Samhita. (6 th ed.). Ahmedabad: Sastu Sahitya Vardhaka Karyalaya.  Back to cited text no. 4


Yadavji, T. A. (2002). Caraka Samhita. (Rev. ed.). Varanasi: Chaukhamba Orientalia Prakashan.  Back to cited text no. 5


Yadavji, T. A. (2010). Sushruta Samhita. (Rev. ed.). Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surabharati Prakashan.  Back to cited text no. 6



  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]








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