The internal medicine of Ayurveda

3 types of therapy

There are three types of therapy – spiritual, rational and psychological. Spiritual therapy consists of recitation of mantras, wearing roots and gems, auspicious acts, offerings, gifts, oblations, following religious precepts, atonement, fasting, invoking blessings, falling on (the feet of) the gods, pilgrimage etc. Rational therapy consists of rational administration of diet and drugs. Psychological therapy is restraint of mind from unwholesome objects.

Charaka Volume I, Chapter 11, Section 54


Psychic dosas/predispositions of Ayurveda

Diseases are innumerable because there are innumerable kinds. Dosas/predispositions are numerable because there are not so many and they can be counted. Hence I will explain disorders only as examples but will describe dosas fully.

Rajas and tamas are two psychic dosas/predispositions. They cause disorders like passion, anger, greed, confusion, envy, conceit, narcosis, anxiety, excitement, fear, and exhilaration. Vata, pitta and kapha are the bodily dosas/ predispositions. They cause disorders such as fever, diarrhea, swelling, phthisis, dyspnea, prameha, leprosy etc. Thus dosas are said to relate to the person in their entirety while the disorders only partially.

Charaka Samhita Part 3- Chapter 6-Section5


From ancient times Ayurveda has been Psychosomatic Medicine

These (psychic and somatic) diseases sometimes occur together and are associated mutually, such as passion and fever, etc.

Charaka 3-6-8


The sattvika type of mental faculty is auspicious and is of seven categories. Their characteristic features are furnished in the statement given below:

  1. Brahma: Purity, love for truth, self-controlled; power of discrimination, material and spiritual knowledge; power of exposition, reply, and memory; freedom from passion, anger, greed, ego, ignorance, jealousy, dejection, and intolerance; and favorable disposition equally for all creatures.
  2. Arsa: devotion to sacred rituals, study, sacred vows, oblations, and celibacy; hospitable disposition; freedom from pride, ego, attachment, hatred, ignorance, greed and anger; intellectual excellence and eloquence; and power of understanding and retention.
  3. Aindra: Lord-ship and authoritative speech; performance of sacred rituals; bravery, strength, and splendor; freedom from mean acts; far sightedness; and devotion to virtuous acts, earning of wealth and proper satisfaction of desires.
  4. Yamya: observance of the propriety of actions; initiation of actions in time; non-violability; readiness for initiating action; memory and lordship; freedom from attachment, envy, hatred, and ignorance.
  5. Varuna: bravery, patience, purity, and dislike for impurity; observance of religious rites; fondness for aquatic sports; aversion for mean acts; and exhibition of anger and pleasure in proper place.
  6. Kauvera: possession of station, honor, luxuries, and attendants; constant liking for virtuous acts, wealth, and satisfaction of desires, purity; and liking for pleasures of recreation.
  7. Gandharva: fondness for dancing, singing, music, and praise; expertness in poetry, stories, historical narrations, and epics; constant fondness for scents, girl.

Seven Types of Sattvika type of mental faculty Charka Samhita: Sharira Sthana Chapter IV Verses 37–40


Radha Chihiro