Main Cause For Diseases As Per Ayurveda

We have learnt that imbalance in Tridosha leads to disease. The cause for Tridosha imbalance can be divided into three categories. This explains the general cause for any disease.

Tridosha means Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Action of increased Dosha

When there is a flood, the water gushes into the cities very fast, but the reversal process of correction is very slow. Similarly, the increased Doshas spread throughout body from foot to head to produce diseases but the decrease of Dosha and restoration of normalcy takes a very long time. (Reference: Ashtanga Hrudayam)


Dosha is the main cause for disease

Like a bird flying high in the sky cannot escape from its shadow, the root cause for disease lies in Tridosha. Even the mental qualities such as Satva, Raja and Tama are influenced by Tridosha. Dosha get vitiated, then cause vitiation of body tissues (Dhatu) and waste products (Mala) to cause disease.

Tridosha imbalance causes

Causes for Dosha imbalance can be categorized as

  • Less involvement (Heena yoga),
  • Over involvement (Atiyoga)
  • Wrong involvement (Mithya yoga)


  • Artha – sense organs
  • Kala – season
  • Karma – action

So, less, wrongful or more involvement of sense organs / seasons / action leads to Tridosha imbalance and this leads to disease.

Roga Arogya Karana – Cause of Disease and Health:

As per Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana 1st chapter,

कालार्थकर्मणां योगो हीनमिथ्यातिमात्रकः ।
सम्यग्योगश्च विज्ञेयो रोगारोग्यैककारणम्॥१९॥
kālārthakarmaṇāṃ yogo hīnamithyātimātrakaḥ |
samyagyogaśca vijñeyo rogārogyaikakāraṇam||19||

Hina (less), ati (more) or mitya (wrong) unison of Kala (time), Artha (senses) and Karma (functions) is the reason for diseases and the right unison of these three factors is the reason for health.  

Artha – Senses and their wrong associations

Heena Yoga – Poor association of sense organs – insufficient, inadequate, contact or non- contact with the objects of senses- sound, touch, sight, taste and smell with their respective sense organs.
For example, not at all hearing sounds, or living in a low lit area for a long period of time, taking very less food etc

Atiyoga is over indulgence of sense organs. Seeing objects which are very minute, bright etc, gazing for a very long time, lastening to loud music, staring at computer screens for long hours, excessive eating etc.

Mithya Yoga – wrong indulgence of sense organs – seeing / hearing frightening, very close, very far, disliked and abnormal objects etc. Eating junk food, walking under intense heat of Sun etc.

Kala – seasons

Kala is of three kinds, cold, hot and rainy.
Hinayoga of the Kala is – less cold in winter, less temperature in summer and less rain in rainy season.
Atiyoga is – Floods in rainy season, scorching heat of Sun in summer etc.
Mithyayoga is manifestation of qualities opposite to those of the natural ones of the season. Example – rain during summer, cold weather during summer etc.

Karma – Activities

Three types of actions pertaining to mind, body and speech lead to Dosha imbalance.
Heenayoga – very less speaking, very little physical activity, very less thinking, very less walking etc.
Atiyoga – excessive speaking, excess physical activity and excessive thinking.
Mithyayoga – wrong speaking, wrong physical activities and wrong, evil thinking, suppression of natural urges, improper postures, abrupt jumping and falling, speaking too much immediately after meals , harboring of desires- attachment, passion, hatred, fear etc.

These are the causes for increase of Doshas, thus increased they produce many kinds of diseases, involving the mind, tissues, organs, bones, joints etc.

Excess Indulgence Atiyoga

Out of the causes mentioned here, excessive indulgence stands out in today’s world and age. Excessive smartphones, excessively being offended, excess of eating are the causes for most of the modern day lifestyle disorders.

Master Vagbhata, in Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana 2nd chapter adds a few more excesses that causes diseases.

Ill effects of excessive indulgence:

व्यायामजागराध्व स्त्रीहास्य भाष्यादिसाहसम् ।
गजं सिंह इवाकर्षन् भजन्नति विनश्यति ॥ १४ ॥
vyāyāmajāgarādhva strīhāsya bhāṣyādisāhasam |
gajaṃ siṃha ivākarṣan bhajannati vinaśyati || 14 ||

The below activities should not be done excessively.
Vyayama – exercise – Exercise should always be done in moderation and upto our half strength as per Ayurveda. Read related: Side effects of over exercise
Jagara – keeping awake at night – Ayurveda recommends that one should not stay awake for a long period of time. It leads to Vata increase, and imbalance in the body’s natural rhythm. Read related: Tips for night shift workers
Adhva – walking – Walking, though looks a milder form of exercise, should not be done excessively.
Stri – sexual activities – While healthy relationships are enjoyable, exercise indulgence, especially with multiple partners causes relationship problems, stress, anxiety, and Vata aggravation.
Hasya – laughter – smile and laughs at the right time and for the right amounts is healthy. But excessive laughter not only makes the Vata to go up, it also causes public embarrassment.
Bhashya – talk – More you talk, more confusions it may create. Read related: Control your tongue to control your mind
Master Vagbhata concludes, if one indulgence in the above-mentioned excesses, these activities would destroy an individual like a lion perishing while attacking an elephant.

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