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What is Vata Pitta  Kapha  Ayurveda, Concept of Tridosha / Tridośa

Tridosha [Subtitles Credit : ] Hello friends,The National Library of Ayurveda Medicine is pleased to present a new episode on Ayurveda. The present release is part of a video lecture series prepared for the education of Ayurveda literature in accordance with the academic curriculum of Ayurveda studies in India. My name is Dr. Sumit Kesarkar and I will be your host throughout this video, which gives a basic understanding about Tridosha theory, the prime foundation of Ayurveda. Dosha means “that which changes.” It is a word derived from the root DUS. Dosha can be regarded as a fault, mistake, error, or a transgression against the cosmic rhythm. The doshas are constantly moving in dynamic balance with each other. The Tridoshas are derived from the Panchamahabhutas (5 elements). You are requested to watch the the Shrusti Utapti video for more about the Panchamahabhutas Vata is a force conceptually made up of the elements Aakash and Vayu The proportions of Akasha and Vayu determine how active Vata is. The amount of Akasha affects the ability of the Motion to gain momentum. If unrestricted, as in an ocean, Vaat can gain momentum and become forceful like a hurricane. Pitta is a force created by Agni and Aapah. This force represents transformation. Pitta transforms raw substances to a state identifiable by the body. Just as the summer heat transforms sea water to rain, and age transforms youth to adult, similarly Pitta in the human body transforms life in various etiologies towards death. Kapha is the conceptual equilibrium of Aapah and Prithvi. Kapha is structure and lubrication. It can be looked upon as the force that keeps the planets in their orbits through their movement around the sun. If disrupted, it can cause a devastation. Each dosha is considered to have prominence of one of the 3 Gunas or the universal qualities of Satva, Rajas and Tama. Rajas is dominant in Vata Sattva in Pitta and Tamas in Kapha To understand Tridosha principles, which may seem hypothetical from a window of application, we need to establish the Tridosha concepts as the fundamental system of regulatory control for all forms of life on earth, whether unicellular or multi-cellular, and trace its continuity from evolution of life towards the present and near future. Though the topic is vast, we can try to get an overview through certain examples or analogies Let us start by understanding the working of the cell, the primary unit of life. Every living cell contains 3 basic functions input or absorption; output or excretion. transformation or assimilation of input to suit its need and conversion of unrequired materials for output. storage or back-up of nutrients to ensure smooth flow of its work. Each cell intakes food, converts it to a nutrition of its class and throws away the waste. The converted nutrition is then intelligently used or stored according to its functions. These three processes require some sort of regulatory mechanism to keep the interconnection and functionality between them. The three doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha, constitute this regulatory mechanism and can be found in all life forms. Vata is considered the regulatory body for input and output, Pitta for transformation and Kapha for storage. The regulatory mechanism of the Tridoshas, though evaluated from the example of a living cell, are applicable to all animate and inanimate objects in the universe. Ayurveda denotes that every animate and inanimate entity found in the entire universe goes through the three phases of Origin, Transformation and Destruction at different time spans with continuity. For example, the solar system may have been formed a billions of years ago and it is expected it will destruct someday again to recreate itself. The process of origin and destruction of the universe is governed by Vata. The process of transformation or continuous changes in the universe leading to manifestation of entities is governed by Pitta. Kapha is responsible for the constant storage and supply of energy to bind the manifested entities together and ensure that the universe completes its life span. In comparison, a mayfly completes its life cycle within 30 mins; up to 1 human day. The time span of a mayfly seems short to us when we consider our own to be around 70 years, but the process of infancy, youth, adulthood and old age, which we may experience over a period of 70 years, the mayfly does in 1 day. The changes in the universe may seem static to us if we compare it to the pace of our lives yet they have the same cycles of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. So it is obvious that any imbalance in these processes may lead to disease with respect to the human body and likewise, changes in the solar system with respect to Universe. The question here may arise then, if Vat, Pitta and Kapha are responsible for the balance of Nature, then why are they called as faults or Doshas? To answer this question, we must again understand Dosha from a cause and effect perspective, as we did while studying the concept of Purusha. On a deep introspection of Ayurveda concepts, we can perceive Dosha in two stages A sustaining, balanced state. In this state Vata, Pitta and Kapha are known as TriDhatu or 3 Dhatus. Here the term Dhatu is different from the 7 dhatus or tissues present in a human body as described by Ayurveda, which we will be discussing in a separate video. The term “Dhatu” means “root” or foundation of an entity. In a balanced state Vata, Pitta, kapha are seen as foundations of all entities including the human body as similarly as the 7 tissues described by Ayurveda and that is why they both use that term. And a state of imbalance, which leads to disintegration. In this state Vata, Pitta and Kapha are known as Doshas. Let us take an example. A person suffering from an acute attack of kidney stones may feel all the ill effects of an imbalanced Vata such as pain and the restricted flow of urine with the disruption of the normal functioning of his organs. However, the complexities of the entire procedure becomes unapparent to him when he is devoid of any disorder. In the first case, Vata, which has ceased from its normal function to bring about urination, is termed as Dosha, while in the healthy state it is called Dhatu. So it becomes apparent that the cause and effect of both balance and imbalance lies with Vat, Pitta and Kapha. Although the Doshas are responsible for the balanced state of each manifestation, they ultimately are the cause of imbalance and hence, though they move in harmony with each other as Dhatus, they are ultimately considered as Doshas or faults. Vat, Pitta and Kapha have their dominant seats of action in the human body. Kapha dosha is described as being dominant in the Aamashaya, which can be correlated to the human stomach. Pitta dosha is dominant in the Grahani, which can be correlated with the Duodenum-Jejunum. Vaat dosha is dominant in the Pakvashaya, which can be correlated to the intestines more prominently to the large intestine Each Dosha is considered to dominate the bodily functions at particular times of day and night. Vedic traditions divide day and night into 8 prahars where 1 prahar=3hours. and have marked the predominence of each dosha according to the prahar. Tentatively, 6 AM -10 AM AND 6PM -10PM FOR KAPHA 10AM -2PM AND 10PM – 2AM FOR PITTA; 2 AM – 6AM AND 2PM – 6PM FOR VATA Vat, Pitt and Kapha perform their functions in the micro channels through their subtypes. Each Dosha is divided into 5 subtypes,making a total of 15 subtypes we will discuss each Dosha and their subtypes further in a separate video. It is important here to understand that although Doshas are indivisible, their subtypes reflect the various actions the Doshas performed at micro and macro channels. The subtypes of the Doshas can be correlated with the term “humors”. To understand this better we will use a small example for Vata. After digestion of food, the nutritive juice is transported to all the cells in the body. This transportation is under the regulation of Vata. The juice may have to move upwards to nourish the heart and downward to nourish the kidneys. Though the movement is under the influence of Vat dosha, logically we are looking here at two movements. Up to the heart Down to the kidneys It may so happen that the juice may reach the heart without any inhibition but may be obstructed on its way to the kidneys, which will increase the force of Vata dosha to push it down more, throwing it out of balance. This state is commonly called VITIATION. Though the entire Vat dosha is universal and one, the dualities are felt because of its properties and its these dualities, or humors. It is like a car rental company who rents its cars to various customers who take them in various directions and return back to the same company after the job is done. If one car breaks down somewhere, however, it is the rental or parent company which has to replace it or service it to avoid inconvenience to the customer. Similar to the above example, Vata, from its main seat at Pakvashaya or the intestine, transports nutrients in various directions but even if the nutrition gets stuck at the kidney level, the treatment or medicines or corrective measures are primarily aimed at its seat of dominance in the intestine. Vata controls its subtypes or humors from its seat of dominance, but its relationship to the humors is so close that it is not uncommon for the doshas to be directly identified with the humors by some authors. The comparisons of Vaat to wind, Pitta to bile and Kapha to phlegm can only be considered loose translations that may have arisen out of the Greek system. I hope this video was informative and made the subject clear. Comments and feedback are highly appreciated and you can leave them by visiting the NLAM website at or likewise by writing to me at [email protected] Thank you for watching. [SUBTITLES CREDIT:NLAM]

16 thoughts on “What is Vata Pitta Kapha Ayurveda, Concept of Tridosha / Tridośa

  1. Hello

    This videos are part of an online course at NLAM. The videos would be released as HD series as part of NLAM support. You can register at the website to get an update whenever it happens. Thank you for your interest

  2. I have dificulty to find out what dosha i am ? Now i am unwell and i my behaviour is different,where i could find good quiz? I am being trying different tests(honest) and every time answers are different,so,i am quite confused.
    Thanks for video 🙂

  3. Doshas on deep level need to be evaluated by a competent ayurvedac practitioner. Online quiz can give you a general idea. I have a small script which asses mental and physical and spiritual aspects of Doshas, on my website, Its a bit buggy as i have not updated it but it will give you fair options. Just do not access it from any handheld device. i cannot post links, so just copy paste "" and access ayurveda body type

  4. yaar hindi bolne mai manmohan ki taehan sharam aati hai kya,,,,,,,,, samjha rahe hi bhartiya ayurveda aur bol rahe ho angrezi………….

  5. TRIDOSHA is simply and scientifically explained in KALIYUGAPURANA which explains VEDA PURANA UPANISHEDS fully on the basis of modern science
    DONT make it complicated without reasoning

  6. Excellent work. Keep it up. I am an allopathic doctor, but very interested in the profuse wisdom of Ayurveda. You have very beautifully and lucidly explained the concepts. Please keep making such videos!

  7. Is there a sequence that a viewer needs to watch the videos?
    Which is the first one or the next in line!
    If you can link them in such a way that a new person can follow so the person can have a previous understanding of the topics explained in the current one.

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