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Caraka Samhita - Sutra sthAna - dIrghanjIvitIya adhyAyA - Sutras upto 53


In my last post on Ayurveda (1), I had talked about Ayurveda being a framework to analyse a biological body and in particular human beings.

Any human body can be seen as a matrix of 

1. Information processing Systems (Electrical signaling and Chemical messaging)
2. Energy metabolizing systems
3. Controllers of Information processing and Energy metabolizing systems.

I had mapped Information processing, Energy metabolism and Control of these two systems to Pitta, vAta and kapha. Functioning of every organ system in the body is a matrix of these three. Diseases arise in the body due to defects or shortcomings that arise in any of these 3 systems.

This understanding comes from Caraka Samhita, Sutra sthAna Chapter 1 titled 'dIrghanjIvitIya adhyAya'. The sutra sthAna explains the core principles of medical science.

Let's look at the key slokas from dIrghanjIvitIya adhyAya

Executive Summary upto Sutra 53

Ayurveda is simply knowledge of what is beneficial, what is non-beneficial, what causes happiness, what causes pain to life, the measurements of these factors and the body in which these are expressed.

According to Ayurveda "Living is holding in complete Union the body with the senses, mind and the Atman. These three continuous movement and being connected is said to be life".  Ayurveda calls it the 'tripod of life'. All the biological beings are situated in this 'tripod' of life.

In human beings, this Atman manifests as 'manas' which remains a detached observer.  The remaining two, the logical processing mind and the body with senses are susceptible to diseases.

All matter in this world from  bhumi arise due to combination of gunas called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Each matter form has come combination of gunas in some ratio and  some guna preponderance. Such matter with guna combination rations and preponderance are the 'dravya'.

This dravya comes from 'dhAtu'. dhAtu are ingredients/elements/minerals which interact with each other and engage in a cause-effect action-reaction sequence resulting in different kinds of dravya. Those dhAtus which are equivalent and hence interact with each other resulting in the cause-effect sequences are called dhAtu-sAmya, the equivalent dhatus.

This is nothing but elements/minerals/ingredients of something chemically reacting with each other and producing new matter forms with newer guna combinations and guna preponderance.

A physical body or sarira is also made of different types of dhAtu or ingredients chemically interacting with each other.  These equivalent dhAtus in the sarira engage in a cause-effect, action-reaction sequence and create all the metabolic, electrical signaling, hormonal signaling, control of metabolism and signaling processes by chemical reactions.

These chemical reactions that sustain the different processes of a physical sarira, happen due to asvins, the electromagnetic field. Asvins, the electromagnetic field is the fundamental force-field due to which all chemical reactions happen in a physical body.

Hence asvins, the electromagnetic field is said to repeat the knowledge of life (Ayur-veda) across multiple biological forms.

dravya with 'like' 'gunas or characteristics' add up with each other and grow. It is ordinary. But dravya with opposite gunas or characteristics counteract with each other and they help control. They are special.

The core principle of Ayurveda is observing the characteristics of the change produced in the body and counteracting it with a dravya of opposite characteristics.

In fact most chemical reactions that we see in everyday life are addressed this way.

(For eg., observe an 'iron' getting rusted when exposed to water or humid air. There is a chemical reaction behind it. But we don't get into understanding of the chemical reaction. What dhAtu is opposite of watery characteristics, as it is excess of water that causes the rusting problem..? It is 'oil' as we know oil and water do not mix. So apply oil and rust is prevented. There is also a chemical reaction how oil interacts in this sequence. But just with the understanding of the opposite characteristics humans have been preventing rusting.

For eg., observe there is fire or heat. We apply water because water characteristics of being cool is opposite of fire that produces heat)

If body is a chemical reaction complex of equivalent ingredients that chemically react with each other (dhatu-sAmya), then the same principle could work to address the defects of body with dravyas of opposite characteristics.

In a later Sutra, Caraka Samhita says this principle has limitations and it cannot address all diseases of a physical body. But that's later..

Key sutras from 3 to 53

dīrghaṁ jīvitam anvicchan bharadvāja upāgamat|
indram ugratapā buddhvā śaraṇyam amarēśvaram

Bharadvaja desiring/seeking (anvicchan) long life (dirgham jivitam) approached (upagamat) Indra (indram) knowing/understanding/realizing (buddhva) by severe penance (ugra tapa) the shelter of lord of amara/immortals (zaranyam amaresvaram)

Bharadvaja approached Indra desiring long life. Indra knew it through severe penance, is the shelter of lord of all the immortals.

In Rg vedic scriptures, I translate Indra as proton, the immortal core of all atoms. Proton is the basis of all matter and biological forms. The interaction between proton and electron creates atoms, compounds, chemical reactions and biological bodies through electromagnetic interactions.

brahmaṇā hi yathā prōktam āyurvēdaṁ prajāpatiḥ|
jagrāha nikhil ēnādāv aśvinau tu punastataḥ||4||
aśvibhyāṁ bhagavāñ chakraḥ pratipēdē ha kēvalam|
r̥ṣi prōktō bharadvājas tasmāc chakram upāgamat

Brahman (expansion/evolution) only like (hi yatha) declaration (proktam) ayurvedam prajapatih. grasping (jagraha) completely (nikhil) all these (enadav) asvins repeat it (punstatah). By the Asvins (asvibhyAm) only (kevalam) bhagavan offers (pratipede) the cycle/repetition (cakrah). The declarations (prokto) of Rsi bharadvaja therefore (tasmat) cycles/repeats (cakram) what is obtained/received/experienced (upagamat)

Brahman means expansion or evolution.  Prajapati simply are lord/originator of subjects. There are multiple prajapatis. Brahma is the Prajapati for the entire Universe as Brahma is said to originate the Universe. dakSa, Kardama, Kasyapa are also called Prajapati as they originate different things. For eg. Kasyapa originates all matter and energy forms including the human beings in the Universe.

Brahman, the evolution declares the knowledge of Ayu/life to different originators of subjects. The different subjects could be physical matter that arise out of electromagnetic interaction between protons and electrons, chemical compounds/polymers that arise out of electromagnetic interaction between elements, biological cells that arise out of electromagnetic interaction between compounds. There are different prajapatis for these different matter and biological forms.

In all these cases, asvins, the electromagnetic field by their repetition establish these matter and biological forms.

Thus asvins grasp this knowledge of 'life' of biological forms and establish them entirely. Rsi bharadvAja therefore repeats this experience.

This is the knowledge of Chemical reactions established by asvins, the electromagnetic field that Rsi bharadvaja communicates.

hitāhitaṁ sukhaṁ duḥkhamāyustasya hitāhitam| 
mānaṁ ca tacca yatrōktamāyurvēdaḥ sa ucyatē||

Advantageous (hita) dis-advantageous (ahita) good environment/happy(sukham) bad environment/ pain (duhkham)of  life (ayus tasya) advantges disadvantages (hitahitam) and (ca) their measurements (manam) and in which that is said/declared (ca tat yatra uktam), knowledge of life (ayurveda) is called that (sa ucyate).

Beneficial, not beneficial, happiness, pain of life, measurements of the benefits, non-benefits and in which that (in the body in which) is uttered is called the knowledge of life, the Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is simply knowledge of what is beneficial, what is non-beneficial, what causes happiness, what causes pain to life, the measurements of these factors and the body in which these are expressed.

śarīrēndriya sattv ātma saṁ yōgō dhāri jīvitam|
nityagaś cā anubandhaś ca paryāyair āyur ucyatē

The senses of the body (sarira indra), the logical mind (sattva)  atma (atma) complete union (sam yoga) holder (dhari) living (jivitam). Continuously moving (nitya ga) and bonded (anubandha) and their repetition/revolution (paryaya) is said to be long life (ayur ucyate)

Living is holding in complete Union the body with the senses, mind and the Atman. Their continuous movement and bonding/connection is said to be life.

Sattva is information processing. Sattvam is the 'logical mind' which processes the information.

tasyā ayuṣaḥ puṇyatamō vēdō vēdavidāṁ mataḥ|
vakṣyatē yat manuṣyāṇāṁ lōkayōr ubhayōr hitam

Life of this (which holds the complete union of body with senses, mind and atman with all their continuous movements and bonding) (tasya ayusah) is the best of the puNya (punya tama) is the opinion (mata) of the scholars (vedo veda vidam), They say (vaksyate) which (yat) is beneficial (hitam) for both (ubhayor) mankind (manusyanam) and the world (loka).

Best of the scholar opine that long life is the best of the punya and declare it as beneficial to both mankind and the world (of other beings).

sarvadā sarvabhāvānāṁ sāmānyaṁ vr̥ddhikāraṇam|
hrāsahēturviśēṣaśca, pravr̥ttirubhayasya tu

Growth (vrddhi) is the reason (karanam) normally/ordinarily (samanyam) for giving everything their manifestations/forms (sarvada sarva bhavanam). Diminishing (hrasa) causes (hetur) special and (ca) of both their activities/application/attachment (to body) (pravrtti ubhayor asya)

Normally growth is the reason for every manifestation and whatever they yield.  Diminishing causes specialities or variants and both these are attached to all manifestations.

sāmānyam ēkatvakaraṁ, viśēṣastu pr̥thaktvakr̥t|
tulyārthatā hi sāmānyaṁ, viśēṣastu viparyayaḥ|

Similar Characteristics (ekatva karam) is ordinary (samanyam). Opposite Characteristics (prthakt vakrt) becomes (astu) special (visesa).  Equal to substance (tulya arthata) is ordinary. opposite (viparyaya)  becomes (astu) special (visesa).

Similar characteristics cause growth which is Ordinary. Opposite characteristics cause reduction which is Special. This is the principle used in Ayurveda.

sattvam ātmā śarīraṁ ca trayam ētat tridaṇḍavat|
lōkas tiṣṭhati saṁyōgāt tatra sarvaṁ pratiṣṭhitam
sa pumāṁś cētanaṁ tacca taccādhikaraṇaṁ smr̥tam|
vēdasyāsya, tad arthaṁ hi vēdō' ayaṁ samprakāśitaḥ

Mind, soul and body (sattvam, atma, sariram) and (ca) these (etat) three (trayam) are like three legs (tridandavat) the worlds (lokas) stand (tisthati) on their complete union (samyogat), there (tatra) everything (sarvam) is situated (pratisthitam) with observer of consciousness (sa pumam cetanam) and that (tat ca) and is understood (smrtam) as the subject/locative matter (adhikaranam) of this knowledge (vedasyasya) for that sake only (tad artham) knowledge this (ayam veda) fully revealed (samprakasita).

The world stands in the union of the three legs of mind, atma and body. There in this union everything is situated with observing personality and that is understood as the subject matter of this knowledge, for which sake this knowledge is revealed.

Atman or soul is an observer or witness only of the entire Universe. This observer manifests in this Universe as five different kinds of puruSa. puruSa are observer or witness of different stages of evolution. Prakrti is the one that evolves due to the observation of puruSa in each stage. When this puruSa manifests in the consciousness of human beings, as observer,  it is called 'puman' or 'manas'.

All human beings are established as union of this observer of the consciousness (puman or manas) inside them, which is the manifestation of Atman and their physical body (sariram) and their logical mind (sattvam).

khādīnyātmā manaḥ kālō diśaśca dravyasaṅgrahaḥ| 
sēndriyaṁ cētanaṁ dravyaṁ, nirindriyamacētanam|

Thus Atman is decorated (khadini) by manas (observer or puman), time (kAla), spatial directions (diSa) and materials (dravya) their collection (samgrahah). Materials (dravyam_with indriya (sa indriyam) have consciousness (cetanam) without senses (nir indriya) unconscious (acetanam).

Thus in human beings, Atman 'wears' the collection of manas, time, space and material manifestations. 

Manas is the 'observer' the manifestation of Atman's observing characteristics. But Atman manifests also as  space, time and materials.  When 'dravya', the materials sense this space, time, they are said to have consciousness. When dravya cannot sense this space and time, they don't have consciousness.

So consciousness is all about sensing space and time through the 'indriyas' or sense organs.

sārthā gurvādayō buddhiḥ prayatnāntāḥ parādayaḥ|
guṇāḥ prōktāḥ prayatnādi karma cēṣṭitamucyatē|

In the material manifestations/artha (sa artha) beginning with guru (guru adaya), buddhi till prayatna (prayatna antah) are given out (paradayah) gunas declaration/expression (proktah) prayatna etc (prayatna Adi) action (karma) set in motion (cestitam) is said to be (ucyate)

In the matter forms, from guru, buddhi till prayatna are given out or expressed. By the expression of gunas, beginning with effort, action is said to be set in motion.

Guru is Heaviness which is Tamas. Buddhi is Sattva. Prayatna is Rajas, the energy for effort. By the expression of Sattva, Rajas, Tamas, all actions of the matter forms are set in motion.

samavāyō' pr̥thag bhāvō bhūmyādīnāṁ guṇair mataḥ|
sa nityō yatra hi dravyaṁ na tatrāniyatō guṇaḥ

In the process of conglomeration (samavaya) separation (prthak) nature (bhava) gunas of bhumi etc (bhumya adinam) is considered (matah).  This is eternal/fixed (sa nitya) where (yatra) hi dravyam (there is materials) not (na) there (tatra) suppression (niyata) of guna

In the process of union and separation of these three gunas, bhumi etc manifest. This is applicable to all materials. If there is a dravya then there is some guna expression there. There is no dravya which does not express any gunas.

yatrāśritāḥ karma guṇāḥ kāraṇaṁ samavāyi yat| tad dravyaṁ
samavāyī tu niścēṣṭaḥ kāraṇaṁ guṇaḥ|

Where (yatra) the shelter/abode (Asrita) of actions (karma), due to association of gunas (guna Karanam samavayi) that is dravyam.  association (samavayi) inactive reason (nizcestah Karanam) guna

dravyam by definition is the abode of all actions due to the association of gunas with it. Thus the association of the gunas is the inactive reason for any dravya.

saṁyōgē ca vibhāgē ca kāraṇaṁ dravyam āśritam|
kartavyasya kriyā karma karma nānyadapēkṣatē|

The cause (karanam) of union and division (samyoga ca vibhaga ca) (of gunas) resides in the materials (dravyam asritam). Karma is creation (kriyA) of these mandatory activities (kartavya). Karma does not rely (na apeksate) on any others (anya).

The cause of union and division of gunas resides in the dravya. This action of union and division of gunas that resides on the dravya is called 'Karma'. Karma does not depend on anything else except the union and division of gunas that reside in the dravya

ityuktaṁ kāraṇaṁ kāryaṁ dhātusāmyam ihō ucyatē|
dhātusāmya kriyā ca uktā tantrasyāsya prayōjanam

thus (iti) expressed (uktam) cause (karanam) action/effect (karyam) the equilibrium of the holding layer/stratum (dhatu sAmyam) in this (iha) it is said (ucyate).  The creation (kriya) and expression (uktam) on the equilibrium of the holding layer (dhAtusamya)are the necessary (prayojanam) processes (tantra)

Thus it is said that equivalent dhAtus (elements/ingredients) express the Cause-Effect action-reaction sequences. Equivalent dhAtus (that can chemically react with each other) are needed for processes of creation and expression of dravya.