If you have ever been to an Ayurvedic physician or have taken any kind of online dosha quiz, you might know, the first thing they tell you is your Prakriti, which is the Sanskrit term for what combination and proportions of the three dosas you have.
Doshas at Birth
Each of us are born with a unique nature, a unique constitution that we carry with ourselves throughout the life. From the time of our creation, prakriti (constitution of an individual) is determined by predominant doshas (functional bio energies of the body) located in shukra (sperm) and artava (ovum).
There is the question if the presence of dosha in shukra (sperm) and artava (ovum) is bad?
No, of course not! Doshas are functional bio energies and are always present within the body. It is considered bad, ONLY when these doshas get imbalanced and begin creating pathological conditions which eventually lead to disease. When the doshas are present in equilibrium, they perform their normal physiological functions, which supports our being.
The three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) influences shukra (sperm) and artava (ovum) at the time of fertilisation providing three constitutions of single dosha predominance. These are:
* Vata dosha Prakriti (of hina quality, not revered),
* Pitta dosha Prakriti (of madhyama quality, middle range)
* Kapha dosha Prakriti (of Uttama quality, superior).
There is also three double dosha predominances, which are:
* Vata-Pitta Prakriti
* Vata-Kapha Prakriti
* Pitta-Kapha Prakriti
Tridoshic Prakriti (??? – ?????, ?????? – ???????? ?? ?????)
There is a rare type of constitution which is formed by the predominance of all the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha which is said to be Tridoshic Prakriti.
Usually dosha causes dushti (harm). But here in the context of fertilization, the doshas located in sperm and ovum at the time of union orchestrated have so many other factors that are harmless to the extent that they do not cause any disease. They are the ones which determine the ultimate constitution of the individual. This statement also directly exemplifies that genetic traits are transferred to next generation. Constitution is partly the result of genetic machinery being transferred to offspring. The human body is always subjected to humoral influences, which are usually capable of producing disease susceptibility. However, in the case of Prakriti, these do not cause any disease.
Now that we know what Prakriti is, let us see why it important for us to know our unique Prakriti and how it governs our day to day life.
There are to aspects to this:
1 ) Your lifestyle should depend on your Prakriti
2 ) You’re treatment (if you get sick) is also determined by your Prakriti
Why do we say that? There is an Ayurvedic concept derived from Indian Philosophy, named as Samanya-Vishesha Siddhant, which supports exactly what is said above.
Samanya – the one that increases of aggravates doshas and dhatus (tissues)
Vishesha – the one that cancels out the excess, does the opposite function of Samanya
Siddhant – principles
According to Ayurveda, we know that we need to maintain the equilibrium of doshas in our body. Equilibrium of these doshas is responsible for maintaining the health of an individual. And we, on our day to day basis, may create imbalance within these dosha due to the aggregation of a number of factors, such as sedentary lifestyle and consuming foods low in prana (life force).
NOW, according to Samanya-Vishesha Siddhanta and Ayurveda, we have a tendency to over consume everything, which includes our daily rituals to the food we eat, putting us in a state of Vishesha guna. If you find yourself in an aggravated or deficient state, that is indicative of Samanya guna. Meaning? We would want to adapt to a lifestyle which cancels out the excess (Vishesha guna) of our predominant dosha to maintain the equilibrium in our body; and we would also want to adapt to lifestyle that increases the predominant dosha of our body to create the equilibrium. Yes, that is the whole story!
For example, if you’re a Pitta Prakriti person, your mind and body creates your unique personality which is governed by normal functions of Pitta Dosha. We want to make sure that your Prakriti stays in balance, neither do we want it to be aggravated or deficient! So we consume everything either of Vishesha guna (opposite in qualities) or of Samanya guna (similar in qualities) to create that balance. Suppose, you are having Pitta aggravation, you’ll observe symptoms like redness on skin, inflammation, irritated mood and aggression. In this condition, we want to balance the Pitta Dosha. Therefore we follow the Vishesha Guna principle and consume food and follow lifestyle which cancels the excess Pitta out, like eating foods of sweet, bitter and astringent taste and by spending time in nature, having conversation with friends. All in all, rituals that helps you calm down. On the other hand, if you observe sluggish digestion, decrease in body temperature or loss of body lustre, these are the symptoms that you’re Pitta Dosha deficient. According to Samanya gunaprinciple, we would want to consume food and follow lifestyle that helps us increase the Pitta dosha to the extent of absence of these symptoms. So we would consume foods of sour, salty and spicy taste.
(you being a Pitta person doesn’t mean the other two dosha are not present within you. ALL THREE doshas are always present within the body, but it’s the predominance that makes all the difference)
Ayurveda believes in :
~ Food is medicine
~ You can stay healthy and prevent diseases by changing your lifestyle
~ Not everyone is advised similar lifestyle. Your lifestyle varies based on your Prakriti.
Now that you know how important it is know your Prakriti, when are you planning to discover yours? Check out our website and finish the Dosha quiz and make an appointment for an in-depth Ayurvedic consultation to find your strengths and weakness based on your constitution.
References: 1) Ashtang Hridaya vagbhatta sutrasthan 1 by T. Sreekumar (fifth edition) 2) Padarth Vijnana by Gayatri Devi
Some definitions: artava (ovum) dhatus (tissues) doshas (functional bio energies of the body) prakriti (constitution of an individual) prana (life force) shukra (sperm)