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13 / 12 / 2017
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THE SUBDOSHAS:
THE FIVE TYPES OF VATA, PITTA AND KAPHA


Ayurvedic Medicine

  Prakriti / Constitution

  • vata

  • pitta

  • kapha

  • Ayurvedic Medicine

    Basics

  • About Doshas 

  • About Ayurveda 

  • Ayurvedic Diagnose 

  • Ayurvedic Glossary 

  • Ayurvedic Cure 

  • Case Study 

  • Disease and Conditions

  • Examination 

  • Ayurvedic Massage 

  • Panchakarma 

  • Pulse Diagnose 

  • Prakriti

  • Shirodhara 

  • By David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) www.vedanet.com

    There are in total five forms each of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, called "Subdoshas". They reside in different sites in the body and perform different functions. Through them we can treat the Doshas more specifically and understand their dysfunction in a more particular manner. Of these, the five forms of Vata or the five Pranas are the most important because Prana as the life-force underlies all our activities.

    1. THE FIVE TYPES OF VATA (Air or Wind)

    1. Prana 2. Udana 3. Vyana 3. Samana 5. Apana

    These are the Sanskrit names of the five types of Vata. There are no equivalent terms in English. They are formed by adding various prefixes to the root "an," which means to breathe or to energize. They are the most important of these groups of five, as Vata is the most important of the Doshas. They are called "Vayus," which also means winds. They show the different kinds of movement of the life-force.

    1. PRANA

    Prana (pra-ana) means the forward or "primary air" or nervous force. The prefix "pra" means forward, towards or prior, and relates to absorption. Pervading the head and centered in the brain, Prana moves downward to the chest and throat. It governs inhalation and swallowing, as well as sneezing, spitting and belching. It governs the intake of impressions through the five senses that reside mainly in the head.
    On an inner level, it governs the mind, heart and consciousness and gives them energy, coordination and adaptability. It is our portion of the cosmic life energy and directs all the other Vatas in the body. It determines our inspiration or positive spirit in life and connects us with our inner Self or pure consciousness. (It should be noted that the term "Prana" is also used in a broader sense to indicate Vata in general, as all Vatas derive from it).

    Prana has mainly an inward movement. It serves to bring the external air, food and water inward. It enables us to take in impressions, to receive sensory impulses. In the same way, it allows us to take in feelings and knowledge. It affords us receptivity to external sources of nourishment. These depend upon the opening of our mouths and senses, and the opening of the mind behind them.
    Prana gives us receptivity towards internal forms of nourishment, like our inner connection to the cosmic life-force. When Prana is sufficient, no disease can affect us. All diseases involve some impairment of Prana and can be treated by methods like Pranayama, breathing exercises, or aroma therapy, which work on it, as the course will outline.

    2. UDANA

    Udana (ud-ana) means the "upward moving air" or nervous force. The prefix "ud" means upwards. It is located in the chest and centered in the throat and governs exhalation and speech, both of which occur through the outgoing breath. When impaired it causes cough, belching and vomiting.
    On an inner level, Udana is responsible for memory, strength, will and effort. These reflect how our energy tries to ascend in life. It governs how we express our energy in life, including our work. It governs our self-expression in word, thought and effort.

  • vomiting
  • Udana determines our aspiration in life. At death, it rises up from the body and directs us towards various subtle worlds according to the power of our will and karma that move through it. When fully developed, it gives us the power to transcend the outer world, and affords various psychic powers. The practice of yoga is involved primarily with developing Udana, through which the Kundalini arises.
    Udana has primarily an upward movement. It brings the air up and out in exhalation. It brings our energy up in our strivings in life. It causes our minds and spirits to ascend. It gives us higher values and deeper powers of discrimination.

    3. SAMANA

    Samana (sama-ana) means the "equalizing air". "Sama" means balancing as in our word the "same". It is centered in the small intestine and is the nervous force behind the digestive system. It governs the process of digestion and assimilation of nutrients. When impaired, it causes lack of appetite or nervous indigestion.
    It is the predominant Vayu in the internal organs including the liver, spleen, pancreas, stomach, and upper portion of the large intestine. It functions in all organs to aid in absorption and in this regard works in the lungs to help the absorption of air.
    Samana mainly has an equalizing or balancing action and a contracting movement. It balances the higher and lower portions of the body and their respective energies. It balances the inner and the outer and the upper and lower parts of the body in the process of digestion. As it aids in assimilation and increase of energy, it has some ascending action.

    4. VYANA

    Vyana (vi-ana) means the "diffusive or pervasive air". "Vi" is a prefix meaning "apart" or "to separate". It is centered in the heart and distributed throughout the entire body. It governs the circulatory system and through it the movement of the joints and muscles (musculoskeletal system), and the discharge of impulses and secretions within these systems.
    Vyana has mainly an outward and expanding movement. As such, its action is mainly in the active motor organs, the legs and arms, the main sites of movement in the body. When it is impaired, we suffer from lack of coordination and difficulty in movement, particularly walking. When it is strong, we have good powers of movement and physical articulation. Vyana allows us to exercise and do physical work. However, it can diffuse or disperse our energy.

    5. APANA

    Apana (apa-ana) means the "downward moving air" or the air that moves away (apa). It is centered in the colon and governs all downward moving impulses of elimination, urination, menstruation, parturition and sex. Its impairment manifests as difficulty or abnormality in these discharges, for example, both constipation and Diarrhea.

    It governs the absorption of water, which occurs in the large intestine and gives us the power to take in full nourishment from our food, the final stage of digestion, which also occurs in the large intestine. It aids in the nourishment of the fetus, and supports the immune system (our ability to eliminate or ward off toxins).

  • constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Apana has mainly a downward movement. As Udana, the ascending air, carries our life force upward and brings about the evolution or liberation of consciousness, Apana, the descending air, carries it down and brings about the devolution or limitation of consciousness. In excess, it causes decay and death. It becomes like a drain of energy that allows our life-force to flow away and sink down into the earth.
    Apana supports and controls all the other forms of Vata because it rules the large intestine, Vata's main site of accumulation. Derangements of Apana are the basis of most Vata disorders. As a downward moving force, when aggravated, it causes increase of waste materials and toxins.

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • The treatment of Apana is the first consideration in the treatment of Vata. This allows Prana and Udana and the other Vayus (Vatas) to return to their normal functioning by reducing the restraining action of Apana.
    As Vata disorders are the basis of most diseases and as they usually accompany those of the other two Doshas, we must always consider normalizing Apana in the treatment of any disease. Apana is the descending force of decay that manifests whenever there is loss of strength or an accumulation of toxins. Apana is the power of disease inherent in the body itself, our naturally tendency to decay as part of our connection to the earth.

    MOVEMENTS OF THE FIVE PRANAS

    Prana and Apana govern the intake and elimination of Prana or vital energy. Samana and Vyana operate at a deeper physical level. Samana takes the Prana into the tissues and Vyana circulates it throughout the body. Udana is the culmination of the other four Pranas as our energy and motivation in life. We see then that there is one Prana or life-force in five forms according to its different powers and directions of movement. We can imagine it like a cross with Prana in the center as the regulating factor. Udana, which rises, will be at the top; Apana, which sinks, is at the bottom. Samana will be to the left moving from Apana to Udana balancing the two in an upward direction. Vyana will be to the right moving from Udana to Apana, balancing the two in a downward direction. We must learn to keep these five forces in proper balance.

    MOVEMENT OF THE FIVE PRANAS
    Udana -Ascending
    Samana-Balancing In
    Prana-Central
    Vyana- Balancing Out
    Udana- Descending

    Samana has an equalizing but centripetal force (moving towards the center) as the power of digestion. Vyana has an equalizing but centrifugal (moving away from the center) force as the power of movement.
    In ancient texts, like the Upanishads, two primary forms of Prana are recognized: Prana and Apana, as inhalation and exhalation, with Samana in between as the balancing or metabolic factor. Vyana develops as our capacity to circulate the absorbed Prana, which also occurs during retention but more during its later portion (Samana governing the first phase). Udana develops as the positive side of exhalation, the capacity to extract energy that follows from inhalation.
    The five Pranas are different stages of the process of breathing:
    Prana, the primary air, is inhalation.
    Samana, the equalizing air, is retention or the point between inhalation and exhalation.
    Vyana, the outward moving air, follows after Samana. It can be related to the second part of retention approaching exhalation.
    Udana, the upward moving air, is the first part of exhalation.
    Apana, the downward moving air, is the second part of exhalation.
    Through breath control (pranayama) at these different points we can learn to regulate and strengthen the Pranas.

    PRANAS AND SPACE

    The five Pranas exist in their special forms of space. Prana exists in the space formed by the sense openings in the head and the mouth. Apana exists via the space created by the lower orifices. Samana and Vyana do not have specific openings. Samana relates to the space within the internal organs, not only of the digestive system, but also of the heart. Vyana relates to the space within the joints and vessels. Udana, like Prana, relates to the space created by the mouth.
    For this reason, the upper part of the body relates to Prana and Udana, while the lower part relates to Apana. Similarly, Vyana dominates the limbs, while Samana dominates the trunk.

    SUMMARY OF THE FIVE PRANAS

    PRANA governs the INTAKE of energy via food, drink, breath, impressions, emotions, thoughts and consciousness. It resides in the head and moves inward and downwards allowing for the reception of all energy sources. The breath is the key action for Prana. In breathing we not only take in energy from the air, we can also connect with subtler sources of energy through the consciousness. Conscious breathing feeds both energy and consciousness. What brings about right function of Prana is right receptivity in life, openness to the Divine and the cosmic life-force.

    UDANA governs the OUTPUT of energy via our expression through speech, physical effort, emotional enthusiasm and mental judgement. It is responsible for our creative use of energy. It is the ultimate result of nutrition, the positive energy created through it. What brings about right function of Udana is right aspiration in life and right values.

    SAMANA governs the ABSORPTION of energy via the digestive and other systems. If our minds and emotions are not in balance (sama) then we will not be able to absorb nutrients on any level. What brings about right function of Samana is peace and balance-harmony and equilibrium within ourselves and with our natural environment.

    VYANA governs the CIRCULATION of energy via the circulatory system (physical body) but also through the breath, senses, emotions, thoughts and consciousness. It transports the absorbed Prana to the places where it can work and express itself. What brings about right function of Vyana is right action, action in harmony with our values and aspirations, including the free expansion of thought, emotion, perception and consciousness.

    APANA governs the ELIMINATION of waste energy via all energy sources. These include urination, bowl movements, and exhalation. Apana is like a plug on the energy in the body. It can be opened to let waste energy out but if kept too open it will drain the Prana from the body altogether. Yet on the positive side it eliminates toxins, supports the other Pranas, and continues life through reproduction. What brings about the right functioning of Apana is our ability to ward off negativity, to not respond to it. Apana in its right functioning wards off decay by eliminating the forces of decay from the body.
    We see that all five Vayus are more complex than their simple physical presentation. Besides their sites and actions in the physical body, they also have their actions on the subtler aspects of our being as the senses, breath, emotions, thought and consciousness. Each has its activity on the skin as well (which relates to the senses and breath). Keeping all five Vayus in balance and in proper functioning on all the levels of our being is the key to real health.
    In addition the five Vayus are interrelated and work in a seconary way within each others fields. For example, there is Apana (exhalation) acting in the field of respiration (Prana). There is Prana (reproduction) acting in the field of elimination (Apana). We won't explore these variations at this time but they can become important in an advanced stage of Ayurvedic practice.

    THE THREE MAIN PRANAS

    PRANA governs the RECEPTION of the life-force. It allows us to receive the life-force on different levels. It also provides the connection with the primary life-force or Spirit (Purusha) that enables us to vitalize all the energies we take into us.

    UDANA governs the ASCENT of the life-force, its positive extraction on different levels. Our life-force naturally ascends, naturally promotes the evolution of consciousness. If we surrender to life, it takes us upwards and guides us towards and through transformation. What blocks this natural ascent of the life-force is its identification with the forces of descent through thought and attachment to the external world.

    APANA governs the DESCENT of the life-force, its negative extraction. This in its right functioning is the elimination of any negative life-energy. In its wrong functioning it is the opening up to forces of death and decay.

    UDANA AND APANA: The Forces of Evolution and Involution

    There are two forces in life, two currents of the life-force. There is a positive current towards growth and evolution of consciousness, a positive life-force. This is Udana. There is a negative current towards decay and involution of consciousness, a negative life-force. This is Apana.
    Udana is the soul or the individualized consciousness (Jivatman). Prana is the Divine or universal consciousness (Paramatman). Udana is the force through which the soul rises in consciousness and rises to higher states of consciousness. It takes the soul upwards to higher worlds after death.
    Apana is the force through which the soul descends in consciousness and falls into lower states of consciousness. It takes the soul downwards to lower worlds after death. Apana is the ego or process of selfishness.
    What is necessary is to unite Udana with Prana. This is to unite our aspiration with the Divine source of life, light and love. To do this, we must open ourselves to pure sources of Prana on all levels of our being-food, breath, senses and mind. We must unite ourselves with the ascending force in nature. This means that we must increase Sattva, as Sattva alone of the gunas has the power to ascend. Sattvic regimens increase Udana, further the powers of ascent by their luminosity and lightness. Rajasic and tamasic regimens increase Apana by their turbulence, darkness and heaviness.
    Udana is the power of speech, which in its higher form is the power of mantra (mantra shakti). Hence the chanting of mantra increases Udana. OM itself is the sound of the liberating ascending life-force (Udana). Tapas, spiritual discipline, works to increase Udana. Surrender to God as the source of life increases Prana. These are the basis of the practice of yoga.
    Some spiritual teachers encourage effort (purushartha) in spiritual practice (Udana). Others encourage surrender (Prana). Both should go together. Our effort should be based on the awakened life-force and aspiration. Our surrender should be to the Divine source of life. This is like the effort of a river to move to the sea and merge into it.

    THE FIVE MINOR PRANAS

    Prana is fivefold as major and minor (Mahavayu and Upavayu). The five minor Pranas are Naga, Kurma, Krichara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. Naga is said to be the most important of these and is their leader. They are not as important as the major Pranas and it is enough to know them generally.
    DEVADATTA is located in the nostrils and the mouth. It governs yawning and sneezing.
    KRICHARA (also called krikal) is located in the throat. It governs hunger, thirst and digestion.
    KURMA is located in the eyelids. It governs the opening and closing of the eyes, including winking and blinking.
    NAGA is seated in the mouth. It causes belching and hiccuping. Some consider helpful in awakening the Kundalini.
    DHANANJAYA pervades the entire body. It causes swelling, including abdominal distention. After death it is responsible for the swelling up of the body. It aids in bodily movements and helps provide for the absorption of nourishment.

    2. THE FIVE FORMS OF PITTA


    The five forms of Pitta are called Sadhaka, Alochaka, Pachaka, Bhrajaka and Ranjaka. They are sometimes referred to as Agnis or forms of fire, as they all serve to provide or promote heat on some level.

    1. SADHAKA PITTA

    Sadhaka Pitta means the fire that determines what is truth or reality, from the root "sadh" meaning "to accomplish or to realize". It is located in the brain and heart and allows us to accomplish the goals of the intellect, intelligence or ego. On a lower level, these include worldly goals of pleasure, wealth and prestige and, on a higher level, the spiritual goal of liberation.
    Sadhaka Pitta functions through the nervous system and senses. It gives fire and digestive capacity to the brain and senses. When impaired, we suffer from lack of clarity, confusion or delusion and become unable to distinguish between our fantasies and reality.
    Sadhaka Pitta governs our mental energy, mental digestion (the digestion of impressions, ideas or beliefs) and our power of discrimination. Its development is emphasized in Yoga, particularly the Yoga of Knowledge, where we are taught to discriminate between the eternal and the transient, the real and the apparent. Our intelligence (buddhi) functions through it.
    Like Prana it has an inward movement. It governs inner combustion, the release of energy from our impressions and life-experiences to empower the mind. It directs our intelligence within.

    2. ALOCHAKA PITTA

    Alochaka Pitta means the fire that governs visual perception. It is located in the eyes and is responsible for the reception and digestion of light from the external world. Centered in the pupil of the eyes, it allows us to see. When impaired, we suffer from failure of vision or eye diseases.
    Like Udana Vayu it has upward motion and causes us to seek light, clarity and understanding. Its reception of light helps feed the mind and soul. The quality of the soul is always visible through the light of the eyes. Through it we can read the condition of the liver in the body. Clearness in the eyes reflects a good digestive power and deeper intelligence (sattva).

    3. PACHAKA PITTA

    Pachaka Pitta means the form of Pitta (fire) that digests things (pachati). It is located in the small intestine and governs the power of digestion. From it comes the bile salts and acids that digest our food. In addition, it governs the regulation of body temperature and helps maintain the power of circulation.
    When impaired, we suffer from indigestion. This consists of hyperacidity and ulcers when it is high. When it is low, we have poor absorption, lack of bodily heat, and low agni or digestive fire.

  • Agni
  • Pachaka Pitta is the basis and support of the other forms of Pitta. Pitta's prime location is in the small intestine and its main function is digestion.
    Pachaka Pitta is the first consideration in the treatment of Pitta, as our primary source of heat is the digestive fire, Agni, with which this form of Pitta is intimately bound.
    Like Samana Vayu, it has mainly equalizing or balancing action and discriminates the nutrient from the non-nutrient part of food. It is responsible both for building up our tissue and for destroying any pathogens that have entered the body with the food.

  • Pitta
  • 4. BHRAJAKA PITTA

    Bhrajaka Pitta means the fire that governs lustre or complexion. It is located in the skin and maintains complexion and color of skin. When aggravated, for example, it causes skin rashes or discolorations. It governs our digestion of warmth or heat and sunlight, which we absorb through the skin. Through it we can read the heat and warmth of the body generally, the glow of our aura.
    Like Vyana Vayu, it is involved in the process of circulation and has an outward moving energy. It is like the warmth of our peripheral circulation. Through it our heat is diffused and dispersed. When increased it causes sweating.


    5. RANJAKA PITTA

    Ranjaka Pitta means the form of fire that imparts color. It is located in the liver, spleen, stomach and small intestine and gives color to the blood, bile and stool. It primarily resides in the blood and is involved in most liver disorders. It functions as the warmth in the blood and the circulatory system.
    Like Apana Vayu, it has a downward moving energy and can promote toxins. Accumulated Pitta through it colors the other secretions and waste materials of the body, particularly urine and feces.

    3. THE FIVE FORMS OF KAPHA

    The five forms of Kapha are Tarpaka, Bodhaka, Kledaka, Sleshaka and Avalambaka. They are different forms of mucous secretions or lubrication.

    1. TARPAKA KAPHA

    Tarpaka Kapha means the form of water that gives contentment (tripti). It is located in the brain and heart, and supports the cerebrospinal fluid. It gives strength, nourishment and lubrication to the nerves. Inwardly, it governs emotional calm and stability, happiness, as well as memory (the capacity to retain ideas). Its impairment manifests as discontent, malaise, nervousness and insomnia.
    The practice of Yoga increases this mental form of Kapha as contentment and bliss (Ananda). Like Prana, it has an inward motion and allows us to feel happiness in our own nature. It orients us towards inner forms of joy. Meditation promotes its secretion and it becomes Soma or Amrit, the nectar of immortality.

    2. BODHAKA KAPHA

    Bodhaka Kapha means the form of water that gives perception. It is located in the mouth and tongue as the saliva that allows us to taste our food. Like Kledaka, it is also part of the first stage of digestion. Its impairment manifests as lack of taste or a deranged sense of taste, which often precedes Kapha disorders.
    Like Udana, it has upward moving action and gives us knowledge. Like Alochaka Pitta, it resides in the head and affords perception. It governs our sense of taste in life and our refinement of taste as we seek subtler forms of enjoyment as we evolve.

  • kapha
  • 3. KLEDAKA KAPHA

    Kledaka Kapha means the form of water that moistens. It is located in the stomach as the alkaline secretions of the mucous lining and as the mucous lining of the digestive tract generally. It is responsible for the liquefaction of food and for the first stage of digestion. If food is not liquefied properly, the acids cannot work upon it in the right manner. Its impairment manifests as irregular secretion of stomach fluids and excess phlegm.
    Like Samana, it has a balancing action and mediates between the contents of the G.I. tract and our internal tissues, as well as regulating the moisture content in the digestive process. It works in harmony with Pachaka Pitta to protect the mucous lining of the digestive tract from being damaged by the heat of Pachaka Pitta and Agni, the digestive fire.

  • Pitta
  • 4. SLESHAKA KAPHA

    Sleshaka Kapha means the form of water that gives lubrication (from the root "slish" to be moist or sticky). It is located in the joints as the synovial fluid and is responsible for holding them together and affording ease of movement. Its impairment occurs in arthritic conditions.
    Like Vyana Vayu, it has outward going action and affords us strength and stability in outer movement. It can, however, cause looseness, heaviness and difficulty in movement and is usually involved in arthritic disorders. Too little of it causes dry, cracking joints and difficult movement. Too much of it causes the joints to swell.

    5. AVALAMBAKA KAPHA

    Avalambaka Kapha means the form of water that gives support. It is located in the heart and lungs and gives lubrication to the chest. It is the storehouse of Kapha (phlegm) and upon it depend the actions of the other Kaphas in the body. It creates not only the mucus and fluid lining of the lungs, but also of the heart and throat.

    Avalambaka corresponds to the basic plasma (rasa) of the body, the body's primary watery constituent, which is distributed by lung and heart action, from which all Kapha is produced as a by product.
    Like Apana, it has downward action and gives support. It makes us feel stable in our chest and heart. However, it can render us heavy and attached. Most forms of emotional clinging cause it to increase. Physically, Avalambaka Kapha causes obesity and most pulmonary disorders, and is evidenced by congestion in the lungs and swollen glands.

    Avalambaka is the main form of Kapha in the treatment of disease. Its dysfunction is behind most accumulations of phlegm in the body. Clearing the chest of phlegm is the basis for removing phlegm from all the body. Even water retention (edema) is often better treated through dispelling phlegm in the chest rather than simply promoting urination.
    Like Apana Vayu, and Pachaka Pitta, we must remember it as the key subdosha in the disease process.

    SUBDOSHA RELATIONSHIPS

    These five forms of Vata, Pitta and Kapha generally correspond:

    PRANA VAYU SADHAK PITTA TARPAK KAPHA
    UDANA VAYU ALOCHAK PITTA BODHAK KAPHA
    SAMANA VAYU PACHAK PITTA KLEDAK KAPHA
    VYANA VAYU BHRAJAK PITTA SLESHAK KAPHA
    APANA VAYU RANJAK PITTA AVALAMBAK KAPHA

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • kapha
  • The first three-Prana, Sadhaka and Tarpaka-relate to brain-heart-spine-nervous system function and have a controlling action on the other of the five forms of their respective Dosha.

    The second three-Udana, Alochaka, and Bodhaka-are in the head, face, mouth and neck and relate to sensory activity. They improve sensory perception, increase will and aspiration and help raise the functioning of the other forms of the same Dosha.

    The third group-Samana, Pachaka and Kledaka-aid in the digestive process and are located mainly in the stomach and small intestine region.

    The fourth group-Vyana, Bhrajaka and Sleshaka-relate to the limbs, the skin, the joints and the surface of the body and are connected to our power of circulation.

    The fifth group-Apana, Ranjaka and Avalambaka-play a supportive role for the other doshas and are mainly related to the internal organs (kidney, liver and heart). They govern the waste-products of the doshas, Apana-intestinal gas, Ranjaka-excess blood and bile, Avalambaka-excess mucus in the chest and lungs.

    We should always consider these relationships when treating any subdosha. For example, when dealing with Sleshaka Kapha as in the case of arthritis, we should consider the role of Vyana Vayu (peripheral energy flow) and Bhrajaka Pitta (surface heat) as well.

    Generally, we should also try to increase the power of the subtler forms of the Doshas and decrease that of their grosser forms.
    Prana is increased by the practice of Pranayama and by the creation of a positive attitude and positive will in life. Sadhaka Pitta is increased by the practice of discrimination and by clarity of perception. Tarpaka Kapha is increased by the practice of contentment and by faith in life.
    Prana Vayu, Sadhaka Pitta and Tarpaka Kapha as related to Prana, Tejas and Ojas can also be increased through the factors that increase Prana, Tejas and Ojas. These treatment factors will be discussed later in the course.

  • Pitta
  • THE SUBTLE FORMS OF THE DOSHAS
    PRANA, TEJAS AND OJAS


    There are subtler forms of the three Doshas than their five forms in the physical body. These are their three forms in the mental and Pranic fields (mind and Prana) or in the subtle and causal bodies (which we will discuss later in the course). They are the essence of their three forms in the brain and they fulfill similar functions but on a supraphysical level as well. So they can be looked upon like the subdoshas as a sixth or higher form of the regular five, developing out of the mental forms of Prana Vayu, Sadhaka Pitta and Tarpaka Kapha.
    The subtle form of Vata is also called PRANA (though its meaning here is slightly different than above), working through Prana among the five Vayus.
    The subtle form of Pitta is called TEJAS (from the root "tij" meaning to give heat), working through Sadhaka Pitta on a gross level.
    The subtle form of Kapha is called OJAS (see section on Ojas) and works through Tarpaka Kapha on a gross level. Ojas is the essential vital fluid of the body in subtle form in the brain.

    These three vital essences regulate our mental and vital nature, including endocrine function. They control Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the body as their master forms. (In this regard they resemble the concepts of Chi, Yang and Yin in Traditional Chinese Medicine for those who may be familiar with this terminology). On the other hand, Vata, Pitta and Kapha are like the malas or waste-materials of Prana, Tejas and Ojas. Prana, Tejas and Ojas are like the positive side of the doshas, while the doshas are like their negative side.

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • kapha
  • PRANA gives mental adaptability, capacity to communicate, coordination of ideas and breadth of comprehension. It is the basic life force or vitality of the mind. On a Pranic level, it gives enthusiasm, adaptability, creativity and strength. It provides the will to live, to grow and to get well. It governs overall growth and evolution of body and mind.

    TEJAS gives intelligence, reason, passion to learn or discover, zeal, power of self-discipline and the capacity to perceive. It is the basic clarity of mind. On a Pranic level, it gives courage, fearlessness, daring, boldness and valor.

    OJAS gives mental strength, contentment, patience, fortitude, calm and the capacity for good memory and sustained concentration. It is our basic mental and psychological stability and endurance in life. Ojas is essentially our peace of mind. On a Pranic level, Ojas gives a strong immune system, physical endurance and capacity for sustained work and exertion. Note lesson in Part IV for a detailed study of Prana, Tejas and Ojas.

     

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