The Doshas

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Tri - doshas & the corresponding senses & elements
Qualities of the tri-dosha
Elements of the Tri Dosha
5 Sub-Types of Vata
5 Sub-Types of Pitta
5 Sub-Types of Kapha
Twenty attributes of the Tri-Dosha
Tri - doshas & the corresponding senses & elements

Maha Bhuta
(Elements)
Jnanendriya
(Sensory Faculties)
Sensory OrgansKarmendriyas
(Faculties of Action)
Motor OrgansTanmatras
(Objects of the Senses)
EtherHearingEarsSpeechVocal cordsShabda (sound)
AirTactile PerceptionSkinGiving & receivingHandsSparsha (Touch)
FireVisionEyesWalkingLegsRupa (Form)
WaterTasteTongueProcreationGenitalsRasa (Taste)
EarthSmellNoseExcretionExcretory organsGandha (Colour)
Qualities of the tri-dosha

Qualities of Vata doshaQualities of Pitta doshaQualities of Kapha dosha
DryHotHeavy
LightSharpSlow/Dull
ColdLightCold
RoughLiquidOily
SubtleMobileLiquid
MobileOilySlimy/Smooth
ClearDense
Soft
Static
Sticky/Cloudy
Hard
Gross
Elements of the Tri Dosha

Elements of Vata DoshaElements of Pitta DoshaElements of Kapha Dosha
Space + AirFire + WaterWater + Earth
5 Sub-Types of Vata

SubtypeGoverning ElementPrimary SiteFunctionsDirection
PranaEtherHead & BrainPurana - To fill the spaceDownward - Inward
UdanaAirDiaphragm - ThroatUdvahana - moves upwardsUpward
SamanaFireSmall Intestine - navelViveka - Isolation - separation - splitting apartLinear
ApanaWaterColon - pelvic cavityDharana - holdingDownward - outward
VyanaEarthHeart and whole bodyPraspandanam - pulsation and throbbingCircular
5 Sub-Types of Pitta

SubtypeGoverning ElementPrimary SitesFunctions
PachakaFireSmall Intestine - StomachDigestion - absorption and assimilation of foods
RanjakaWaterLiver, Spleen - Intrinsic Factor in StomachProduces bile, liver enzymes - gives colour to blood
Sadhaka EtherBrain (grey matter) - HeartConscious thinking and emotion; comprehension
AlochakaAirEyesMaintains iris colour, visual perception
Bhrajaka EarthSkin Maintains skin colour, texture, and temperature; stereognosis
5 Sub-Types of Kapha

SubtypeFunctionsPrimary Sites Governing Element
KledakaFireStomach Gastro - Intestinal Tract - Gastric SecretionsDigestion and absorption - nourishes rasa
AvalambakaAirLungs, Pleural Cavity - Heart, Respiratory Tract, SpineSupport - Holds emotions - supports all kapha systems
Bodhaka WaterOral CavitySalivary secretions; taste - swallowing - speech
TarpakaEarthBrain (white matter) - Myelin Sheath, Cerebrospinal FluidSubconscious thinking and emotions - memory
ShleshakaEtherJointsLubricates joints (synovial fluid) - nourishes bones
Twenty attributes of the Tri-Dosha
COLD/HOT (Shita/Ushna)
OILY/DRY (Snigdha/Ruksha)
HEAVY/LIGHT(Guru/Laghu)
GROSS/SUBTLE (Sthula Suksma)
DENSE/LIQUID (Sandra/Drava)
STABLE/MOBILE (Sthira/Chala)
DULL/SHARP(Manda/Tikshna)
SOFT/HARD(Mridu/Kathina)
SLIMY/ROUGH(Slakshna/Khara)
CLOUDY/CLEAR (Picchila/Vishada)
 

If one attribute or quality is unlike another it tends to reduce it, for instance black pepper is hot, dry and light and is the opposite of cold, dense or liquid and will therefore reduce the liquid or mucous (Kapha) quality in the body. The elements from which the three doshas arise increase or decrease in the body according to what types of food and environment we subject our selves to and are not limited to the physical elements of the body. The thoughts and emotions have there own qualities and can effect the doshas.

  • Hot is the primary attribute of Pitta thus attribute increases the Pitta dosha but decreases Vata and Kapha dosha.
  • COLD has the effect of decreasing Pitta but increasing the Kapha and Vata dosha.
  • WET tends to increase Kapha because the Kapha dosha is composed of water and earth. It decreases Vata (air/ether) and mildly decreases Pitta (fire/water).
  • The attribute of dryness relates to air thus increases the Vata (wind) dosha but decreases the Kapha dosha and mildly decreases Pitta.
  • HEAVY relates to earth and water thus increases Kapha (earth/water) decreases Vata and mildly decreases Pitta.
  • LIGHT is related to air, ether and fire. It greatly increases Vata and increases Pitta moderately and decreases Kapha.
  • GROSS is related to earth and water. Gross increases Kapha, decreases Vata (strongly) and decreases Pitta (moderately).
  • SUBTLE relates to fire air and ether and thus increases Vata (strongly) and Pitta Moderately. It decreases Kapha
  • DENSE has its primary attribute in earth. Dense being related to earth is heavy thus increases Kapha but decreases Vata and Pitta.
  • FLOWING or liquid is related to water and fire. It increases Pitta, decreases Kapha (Moderately) and Vata (strongly).
  • MOBILE or FAST is related to the element of air and also to fire. It increases Vata (strongly), Pitta (moderately) and decreases Kapha.
  • STATIC or SLOW is related to the elements of earth and water. It increases Kapha, decreases Vata (strongly) and Pitta (moderately).
  • DULL or “resistance” is related to the elements of earth and water. It increases Kapha, decreases Vata (strongly) and Pitta (moderately).
  • SHARP is related to the elements of fire, air and ether. The penetrating sharpness of the element of fire increases Pitta (strongly), Vata (moderately) and decreases Kapha.
  • SOFT is related mainly to the element of water. It increases Kapha (strongly), Pitta (moderately) and Vata (strongly).
  • HARD is related to the elements of air (which dries earth and makes it hard) and earth. It increases Vata and decreases pitta (moderately) and Kapha strongly.
  • SMOOTH is related to the element of water. It increases Kapha (strongly), Pitta (mildly) and decreases Vata.
  • ROUGH is related to the elements of air and earth. It increases Vata, decreases Pitta (mildly) and Kapha (strongly).
  • CLEAR and LIGHT is related to the elements of fire, air and ether. It increases Vata (strongly), Pitta (moderately) and decreases Kapha.
  • CLOUDY, DARK is related to the elements of water and earth. It increases Kapha and decreases Vata and Pitta.