The 29th chapter of Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana is called Dasha Praana Aayataneeya Adhyaya – 10 abodes of life. It explains about 10 vital places where life is situated in the body, qualities of good and bad physicians.
Table of Contents
Dasha Prana Ayatana
Dasha Prana Aayatana – places where Prana (vital life energy) resides:
daśaivāyatanānyāhuḥ prāṇā yeṣu pratiṣṭhitāḥ |
śaṅkhau marmatrayaṃ kaṇṭho raktaṃ śukraujasī gudam||3||
tānīndriyāṇi vijñānaṃ cetanāhetumāmayān|
jānīte yaḥ sa vai vidvān prāṇābhisara ucyate||4||
In the body, Prana – Vital life force resides in 10 places.
Shankhau – 2 Shankha places – temporal region
Marma Traya – Three Marmas – heart, urinary system and head
Kantha – Throat
Rakta – blood
Shukra – reproductive system
Ojas – immune system
Guda – rectum.
The wise physician who is well acquainted with these ten important abodes of life and knowledge about sense organs, intelligence, soul, causes of diseases, treatment and signs and symptoms of diseases is known as the saviour of life – Praanaabhisara. [3-4]
Types of Physicians
Two types of physicians – good and the bad:
Oh! Agnivesha, there are two types of physicians.
Pranabhisara – who saves lives and kills diseases.
Rogabhisara – who worsen diseases and kill life. 
Good Physician Qualities
Qualities of a good Ayurvedic physician:
Agnivesha inquired from Lord Atreya, “ How to recognize the two types of Physicians – the good and the bad.
Lord Atreya explained the qualities of a good physician.
Kuleena – Physicians who are born in Noble families,
Paryavadaata Shruta – who are well read,
Pari Drushta Karma – who have practical experience,
Daksha – disciplined, skillful
Shuchi – clean, hygienic
Jitahasta – with expert hands
Jitaatmana – who have a very good self- control over mind
Sarva Upakaranavanta – having all the equipments
Sarvendriya Upapanna – have healthy sense organs
Prakrutijna – who are acquainted with natural manifestations
Pratipattijna – who have presence of mind
The doctors with such qualities are Prana Abhisara Vaidya – saviours of life and destroyers of diseases.
Such physicians are well acquainted with the Anatomy and physiology of the entire body, manifestation and growth of the body and origin and aetiology, prodromal signs and symptoms, actual signs and symptoms as well as managements of diseases. They also can easily categorise patients as – easily curable, curable with difficulty palatable and incurable.
Such a physician will have sound knowledge of
- Trisutra – Three principles of Ayurveda :
- Hetu – aetiology
- Linga – symptomatology
- Prashamana – treatment
- Sound knowledge of acronyms, formulae
- Three sources of medicines: animal, mineral and plant
- 35 types of roots and fruits: 4 types of fat; 5 types of salt, 8 types of wine, eight types of milk and six plants whose latest and bark are useful.
- Various types of drugs used in Panchakarma therapies
- 28 types of gruel (Yavagu)
- 32 types of powders and ointments
- 600 types of purgatives
- 500 types of decoction.
- Knowledge of the factors responsible for the maintenance of positive health including diets, drug, regimen, residence, movement, sleep, rest, quantity, drugs, collieries, smoking, inhalation, unction, washing, non-suppression of body urges, suppression of mental urges. Physical exercise, wholesomeness for examining the sense organs.
- Knowledge of the four aspects of therapeutics having sixteen factors.
- Determination of nature of diseases
- Three pursuits of life.
- Various actions of Vata Dosha
- Four types of unctuous substances prepared according to twenty four methods with drugs of various tastes permutation and combination and which are of sixty four types
- Various methods of preparation of drugs and therapies for oleation (Snehana), sweating (Svedana), emesis (Vamana) and purgation(Virechana)
- Diseases of head etc.
- Summary of diseases caused by permutation and combination of various Doshas.
- Ailments like Oja khsaya, carbuncle and abscess
- Three types of oedema and other diseases having swelling in one or the other part of the body
- Forty eight types of diseases
- One hundred forty types of diseases of Nanatmaja variety (diseases caused specifically by one Dosha)
- Aetiology , signs, symptoms and management of despicable individuals who are either very crapulent or emaciated
- Useful and harmful nature of sleep, sleeplessness and excessive sleep along with their aetiology and management
- Six therapeutic measures like Langhana, Brumhana etc.,
- Signs, symptoms and treatment of diseases due to over nourishment
- Under-nourishment diseases caused by vitiation of blood. Viz. intoxication, fainting and syncope along with their aetiology, signs and symptoms and treatment by medicines and regimen
- Rules of dietetics, food preparations which are wholesome and unwholesome by nature
- The diets and regimen which are foremost in nature amongst their class
- Forty types of alcoholic preparation
- Determination of Dravya ( matter) Guna (Quality), Karma(action) primary and secondary tastes.
- Ingredients of food and drinks classified into twelve groups along with their properties
- Properties of post prandial drink
- Nine factors are required to be examined for determining the properties of food.
- Digestive and metabolic processes
- Various types of incompatible food ingredients
- Good and ill effects of wholesome and unwholesome food
- Diseases caused by the vitiation of various tissue elements along with their treatment in brief
- Ten resorts of life and other things which will be explained in the 30th chapter.
They understand the eight sections of Ayurveda (science of life) in their entirety along with the scope of the science. They have the power of grasping, retention and understanding of the text. They apply their knowledge so acquired for the treatment of diseases with a view to bringing the Dhatus to their normal state after determining the stage of the diseases, their own ability and the properties of the drugs employed. They are gifted with memory, intelligence, theoretical and practical knowledge. They have cordial feelings towards other creatures. Doctors with such qualities give life to patients and cure their diseases. [6-7]
A bad physician
Opposite to this, are the pseudo- physicians who, instead of taking away the diseases, take away life itself. Like throans and move around the world due to the lack of vigilance on the part of the rulers.
Identification of a bad physician :
- Too much of self- praise.
- They move about from one street to another in search of livelihood in the garb of physicians.
- Once they hear about somebody’s sickness, they would surround him and start listing their own qualities loudly so that the patient could listen to them.
- In case a physician is already attending to him they try to find fault again and again with the attending physician.
- They win over the friends of the patients by pleasing them, back-biting and flattering.
- They propagate that they are interested in a nominal remuneration only.
- After they succeed in winning over the patient, they look at him again and again skillfully trying to cover their ignorance.
- If they are unable to alleviate the disease, they blame that the patient lacked proper equipment, attendance and self control.
- As soon as the patient dies, they fly away to some other place in some other garb.
- In the congregation of ordinary men they proclaim their ability in self- contradicting tones.
- Like an impatient person they speak ill of the patience of courageous individuals.
- In the event of their coming across a seminar of the wise, they immediately leave the place from the very distance as the travellers keep themselves away from the frightful forests.
- In case they happen to have knowledge of some therapeutic formula, they will never hesitate in quoting them without caring for the relevance to the topic.
- They do not relish any questions from others nor do they like to put any queries to others.
- They get perturbed by the question as if attacked by death. Nobody would know anything about their preceptor, disciple, classmate or even their opponents 
Pseudo- physicians in the guise of doctors try to catch the patients as the bird-catchers catch their prey in the net. They are far away from the textual and practical experience, knowledge about the time of administering the therapy and its dosage. They are like the messengers of death on the earth, hence they should be boycotted.
A wise patient should avoid such egoistic dummy doctors, the worst among idiots who have taken to this profession only to earn livelihood. They are as dangerous as snakes satiated with the wind.
On the other hand, the real physicians well-versed in the science of medical knowledge and surgical operations and self-control deserve respect and honor. [10-13]
Thus ends 29th chapter – Dasha Prana Ayataneeya Adhyaya, of Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana of Agnivesha’s work as redacted by Charaka