what is vata?


What is vata?

What is vata?

While going through the Ayurvedic classics one can observe that vata dosha is considered as important one other than pitta & kapha. Without any further arguments all acharyas accept this fact. In different classics and also in different contexts of the same classic acharyas specify this mastership of vata dosha. A variety of Vatavyadhi described in Charaka Samhita are divided into Samanyaja and Nanatmaja group. Grudhrasi comes under 80 types of nanatmaja vatavyadhies. The cardinal signs and symptoms are Ruk, Toda, Muhuspandana, Stambha in the sphik, Kati, Uru, Janu, Jangha and Pada in order and Sakthikshepa nigraha i.e. restricted lifting of the leg. In kaphanubandhi Tandra, Gaurava, Arochaka are present.

Vata – Etymological derivation:

Grammatically this technical term vata is derived in two ways:
a. The basic verb root is ‘Va’ which means ‘Gati gandhanayoh’ (su.su21/5). To this verb root the application of ‘tan’ pratyaya (suffix) and expelling ‘n’ pratyaya leads to the term Vata.
b. To the same verb root i.e. ‘Va’ the application of ‘kta’ pratyaya leads to the word vata, which has the same meaning. (siddhanta koumudi).For better understanding the term vata with its original root and meanings can be analysed as ‘tatra va gati gandhanayoh iti dhatu’ (Su.Su.21/5)

SYNONYMS OF VATA: Some of the synonyms of vata dosha has been collected from the classics and is given below.
Gandhav, Avamana, Pavana
Maruta, Sharasana, Nabhatya
Anila, Jagat, prana, Sadagati
Pashyatha, Prabhanjana, Dhruva
Khaga, Vayu, Mahabala.
Sparshana, Ashuga, Matarishwa.
Sameerrana, sameera, Thararsre
Anavasthitha, Matana, Prabhu

Composition and primary functions:

Vata is the primal constituent of the human body, composition mainly consists of akasha and vayu. Its functions are more rajasik,being concerned with the production of those somatic and psychic processes which are predominantly dynamic in nature. It upholds all the supporting constituents and their circulation throughout the body.

General functions:

Almost all the major functions of the body are directly or indirectly controlled by vata dosha. The full swing performance of the other two doshas cannot take place without the control and co-operation (niyantrana and sahakaritwa) of this biological humor. This is the reason for considering vata as the main humour by all acharyas. Vata is the urger of all the senses,carrier to the mind of all sense impressions, it holds together the various elements of the body in their proper form and maintains the cohesive unity of the body as a whole, it brings about speech, it is the basis of sound and touch,as well as the root matter of the organs of hearing and touch. It is the origin of joy and stimulator of agni. It is the cause of doshas getting dried up and the malas being thrown out of the body. It is both sookshma and sthoola (microscopic and macroscopic)respectively. It is the cause which makes embryo in the womb to take particular forms and finally it stands as an evidence of existence of life.

Vata- physical properties:

Since akashbhoota and vayubhoota mainly constitute in the evolution of this dosha, majority of physical properties of vata dosha are of akasha and vayu.Acharyas have opined differently regarding the number and nature of physical properties in classics and also in different contexts of the same classic. The physical properties described in main classic have been tabulated in the
 Table no - 1
Serial No.
Physical
properties
Ch.
Su.12/4
Ch. Su
1/59
Ch.
Vi.8/98
Su.
 Ni 1/7
Ah.Su 1
As. Su.1
1
Rooksha
*
*
*
*
*
2
Sita
*
*
*
*
*
3
Laghu
*
*
*
*
*
4
Khara
*
*

*
*
5
Visada
*
*
*


6
Chala

*
*

*
7
Sookshma

*


*
8
Darun
*




9
Parusha


*


10
Seeghra


*


11
Bahu


*


Total

6
7
8
4
6



As all the ancient scriptures observed the same fact regarding the importance and leadership of vata dosha for the secrecy (goodhata) and brevity (sankshepata) of their acceptance and expressions, it should be analyzed and explained in detail for better understanding.

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