Doshas: The most fundamental and characteristic principle of Ayurveda is called “tridosha” or the three Humors or three biological elements. Doshas are the physiological factors of the body. They are to be seen as all pervasive, subtle entities, and are categorized into –
Vata, pitta and kapha are the biological elements which are responsible for structural and functional unit of the living cells, tissues, organs and the whole body. The three doshas are originated from panchamahabhuta in the following pattern of predominance –
Akasha (space) + Vayu (air) = Vata
Tejas (fire) + Jala (water) = Pitta
Jala (water) + Prithvi (Earth) = Kapha
Doshas exist only in life state, after death they are left as panchamahabhuta (the origin source of doshas).
Vata regulates movement, vibration, and impulse and is represented by the neural activity.
Pitta is the principle of biotransformation and is the cause of all metabolic processes in the body.
Kapha is the principle of cohesion and functions through the body fluids.
In the state of normalcy the three doshas are responsible for sustaining healthy life and thus also termed as Tridhatus.
It is difficult to understand in what form the tridoshas exist in the body. They pooled over the total body in the physiological form. For example a single living unit of the body is a cell which appears to consist of three broad organo-functional components:
- Each cell has solid substratum in the form of its cytoplasm, cell membrane, nucleus, intranuclear and intraplasmic materials.
- It is observed that each cell hasintensive constant chemical activity (metabolic activity) and each cell is endowed with a range of potential energy.
- Each living cell always has a fine vibration which stops after death. This vibration or motion is transmitted from one cell to another and responsible for energetic activity and impulse.
The above mentioned three dimensions of the life unit are represented by three doshas – Kapha, Pitta and Vata respectively.
These three doshas and their fine subdivisions perform entire functioning of body. The ratio and proportion of three doshas in a living unit determines the structure and specific function of respective unit or cell, that is why the cell in brain differ in their structure and function from those in the liver or in muscle mass. In the same way these three doshas are in definite proportion in whole body and determine the over all physique, physiology and psychology of an individual.
When the range of proportion of three doshas remains within the limit or normalcy or equilibrium, it is called heath. When these doshas lose their equilibrium and become imbalanced, they lead to disease.
Thus Ayurveda always focus on Balancing vata, pitta and kapha for proper healthy life.