Charaka Srotasam Vimana: 5th Chapter – Body Channels

The 5th chapter of Charaka Samhitha Vimana Sthana is Srotasam Vimana or Sroto Vimana It explains in detail about different body channels of the body, called Srotas.
We shall now explore the chapter on “Srotasam Vimana Adhyaya.” Thus said Lord Atreya [1-2]

Srotas, varieties

Srotas: Channels of circulation and their varieties:
The specific varieties of channels of circulation in the human body are the same in number as the organs. All the organs in the body have their own channels. The flow of all mobile things between these structures happen through Srotas – channels. The Kshaya or depletion or disease of organs is reflected in srotas as well. The channels of circulation carry the Dhatus (tissue elements or their constituents) undergoing transformation to their destination. [3]

Srotas and Purusha

Another view:
How Srotas is different from Purusha:
Because srotas is present allover the body, because all the movements inside the body happen in Srotas only, and because increase or decrease of Dosha happen in Srotas only, some authors say that Srotas itself is the whole body – Purusha. But it is not true.
The elements which compose them, the elements they carry, the elements to which they provide nourishment and their abodes (muscles etc) they are different from these channels. Some scholars hold them to be innumerable. [4-5]

Important varieties of channels of circulation:
Of all these Srotas, important ones will be described here with reference to their controlling organs, symptoms manifested by their controlling organs and the symptoms manifested by their vitiation.
This description will be sufficient for an ignorant man to understand the characteristic features of these channels, while for a wise man this description will provide enough material to understand the characteristic features of other channels which are not described here.

Sites of organs and signs of vitiation of various channels of circulation:
These channels are those carrying:
Prana (Vital breath)
Udaka (water)
Anna (food)
Rasa (taste)(Plasma)
Rudhira (blood specifically the hemoglobin fraction of it)
Mamsa (muscle tissue)
Medas (fat or adipose tissue)
Asthi (bone or osseous tissue)
Majja (marrow)
Shukra (semen specifically the sperm)
Mutra (urine)
Purisha (feces) and
Sveda (sweat)
Vata, Pitta and Kapha move all their needs for movement; similarly factors which are beyond sensory perception (trans- sensory) like mind etc move and are located only in the circulation perform their normal functions, the body is free from diseases [6]
Read related: Srotas: Body Channels and Duct systems – Easy Explanation

Pranavaha Srotas vitiation features

Pranavaha Srotas – vital energy channels:
– Root (sites of origin) are Heart and the Mahasrotas (alimentary tract). It carries Prana – vital energy.
The characteristic features of the vitiation of Pranavaha channel are
Atisrushta shwasa – too long breaths
Atibaddha shwasa – too restricted breathing
Kupita – aggravated breathing
Alpa Alpa – shallow or
Abhikshna – frequent breaths
Sashabda, Sashula associated with sound and pain.

Udakavaha Srotas vitiation features

Udakavaha Srotas: channels of watery elements:
Talu (palate) and Kloma (pancreas) are the sites of origin / controlling organs of Udakavaha Srotas. Vitiation of these channels lead to
Jihva, Talu, Osha, Kanta, Kloma Shosha – dryness of tongue, palate, lips, throat and Kloma and Pipasa – excessive thirst.

Annavaha Srotas vitiation features

Annavaha srotas – channels that carry food elements:
Sites of origin: Amashaya – Stomach and Vamaparshva (left side). are the sites of origin of the channels carrying food and its products.
Vitiation characteristif features:
Ananna abhilasha – disinterest in food,
Arochaka – anorexia,
Vipaka – impaired digestion
Chardi – vomiting.
Read more about annavaha srotas

circulatory system
skeletal system
bone anatomy femur
urinary bladder

Dhatuvaha Srotas vitiation features

Dhatuvaha Srotas:- carrying tissue elements:
Site of origin of Rasavaha Srotas is Hrudaya (heart) and Dasha Dhamani (10 big arteries)
Raktavahasrotas moola – Yakrut – Liver and Pleeha – spleen

Mamsavaha srotas (muscle tissue) – Snayu – Ligaments and Twak – skin
Medovaha srotas Moola – (fat or adipose tissue) – Vrukka – Kidneys and Vapavahana – omentum
Asthivaha Srotomoola – (bone)- Meda (fat/Adipose tissue), Jaghana – buttock

Majjavaha srotomoola – (marrow) Asthi – bones and Sandhayaha – joints

Shukravaha srotomoola – (semen specially the sperms) – Vrushana – Testicles and Shepha – pudendum
Vitiation of Dhatuvaha srotas are already described in Charaka sutrasthana 28th chapter 9-19. Symptoms manifested by the vitiation of these Dhatus and their specific channels are the same.

Mutravaha Srotas vitiation features

Mutravaha Srotas: Urinary system:
Moola – root of origin – Basti (bladder) and vankshanas (kidneys).
Mutravaha Sroto Dushti Lakshana:
The characteristic manifestations of the vitiation of these channels are
Atisrushta mutra – voiding of too much of urine
Vibaddha mutra – the complete suppression of urine,
impairment of the composition of urine and occasionally or frequently passing of thick urine Sashoola – urination associated with pain.

Pureeshavaha Srotas vitiation features

Purishavaha Srotas:
Pureeshavaha srotomoola –
Pakvashaya – pakvashaya (large intestine) and the sthula guda (rectum)
Purisavaha srotodusti lakshana:
he characteristic manifestations of their vitiation are the
Kruchrena – difficulty in passing stools
Alpalpla – low quantity of stools
Sashabda – noiseful evacuation
Sashoola – painful evacuation
Atidrava – diarrhea, liquidy stools
Ati grathiata – granular
voiding of small quantity of feces with difficulty, voiding of large quantity of very water and every scybalous stool associated with sound and pain

Swedavaha Srotas vitiation features

Svedahavaha srotas:
Swedavaha srotomoola-
The site of origin of the channels carrying sweat are
Meda – adipose tissue and
Lomakoopa – hair follicles.
The characteristic manifestations of their vitiation are absence of perspiration, excessive perspiration, roughness and excessive smoothness of the body, general burning sensation and horrification. [7-8]

Effect of Srotas vitiation

Effect of vitiation of different srotas:
Srotas (channels), Sira (Vein), Dhamani (artery), Rasayani – anti aging, causes cell and tissue rejuvenation (Lymphatic channel), Rasavahini (capillary), Nadi (duct), Pantha (passage), Marga (track), Sharira cchidra (spaces inside the body), Samvrtasamrta (duct closed at one end and open at the other), Sthana (residence), Ashaya (container) and Niketa (Abode)- these are the names attributed to various visible and invisible spaces inside the tissue elements of the body.
Affliction of these channels leads to the vitiation of the tissue elements residing there or passing through them- vitiation of one leads to the vitiation of the other. They vitiate channels and Dhatus respectively. Because of their vitiating nature, Doshas, viz, Vata, and Kapha are responsible for the vitiation of all them (channels and tissue elements). [9]

Causes of vitiations of different channels of circulation:
Pranavaha srotodusti karana:

Pranavaha Srotodushti karana

Pranavaha srotodusti – vitiation occurs due to
Kshaya – depletion of body tissues, tuberculosis
Sandharana – suppressing natural urges
Raukshyat – excessive dryness
Vyayama Kshudhita – excessive exercise by a hungry person

Udakavaha Srotodushti karana

Ambuvaha Srotodushti Karana –
Ambuvaha srotas (channels carrying water) get vitiated,
Aushnyat – by exposure to heat, indigestion, alcoholic drinks, intake of excessively dry food and excessive thirst.

Annavaha Srotodushti karana

Annavahasrotodushti karana –
Annavahasrotamsi (channels carrying Rasa or Plasma) get vitiated due to the excessive intake of heavy, cold and excessively unctuous food, and over worry.

Rasavaha Srotodushti karana

Rasavaha srotodushti Karana – reasons:
Excessive intake of heavy, coold, excess unctuous foods, excess quantity of food, tension, stress and worries.

Raktavaha Srotodushti karana

Raktavaha srotodushti karana:
Channels carrying blood get vitiated due to the intake of food and drinks which are irritant, unctuous, hot and liquid, and exposure to sun and fire.

Mamsavaha Srotodushti karana

Mamsavaha srotodushti Karana –
Mamsavahasrotamsi (channels carrying muscle tissue) get vitiated by intake of
Abhishyandhi bhojana – semisold, semi-cooked foods
food with bulkiness and heavy qualities and sleeping soon after taking food.

Medovaha Srotodushti karana

Medovaha srotodushti Karana:
Fat channels are vitiated due to
lack of exercise, sleeping during day time, excess consumption of Varuni (fermented drink prepared by palm dates and date fruits)

Asthivaha Srotodushti karana

Asthivaha srotodushti Karana:
Bone tissue channels get vitiated by excessive exercise, not consuming food, excessive friction and intake of Vata increasing food and drinks.

Majjavaha Srotodushti karana

Majjavaha srotodushti Karana:
Crushing of bones (due to accident, fall etc), intake of abhishyandi food, injury, and intake of bad food combinations (Viruddha Ahara)

Shukravaha Srotodushti karana

Shukravahasroto dushti karana:
Causes for vitiation of reproductive channels – untimely sexual intercourse, withholding ejaculation during orgasm, excess use of kshara, surgical procedure and agnikarma.

Mutravaha Srotodushti karana

Mutravaha srotodushti karana:
Causes for vitiation of urinary system are –
consuming liquids during an urge to urinate, excess sexual intercourse, suppressing urge to urinate, Kshaya – depletion of body tissues and due to external injury to it.

Varchovaha Srotodushti karana

Varchovaha srotodushti karana:
Channels carrying feces get vitiated by the suppression of the urge for defecation, intake of food in large quantity, intake of food before the digestion of the previous meal specially in those who are emaciated and having weak power of digestion.

Swedovaha Srotodushti karana

Svedovaha srotodushti karana:
Channels carrying sweat get vitiated due to excess of exercise, exposure to excess of heat, indulgence, in cold and hot things without following the prescribed order, anger, grief and fear. [10-22]

Causative factors for vitiation of channels of circulation:
Food and regimens that promote the morbidity of (aggravate) Doshas and go contrary to the well- being of Dhatus (tissue elements) vitiate the channels. [23]

Signs of the vision of channels of circulation:
Increase or obstruction of the flow of the contents of the channels, appearance of nodules in the channels and diversion of the flow of the contents to improper channels- these are, in general, the signs (results) of the vitiation of the channels [24]

Characteristic features of channels of circulation:
These channels have the color similar to that of the Dhatu they carry; they are tubular, either large or small in size and either straight or reticulated in shape. [25]

Line of treatment

Therapies for the treatment of the vitiation of Prana, Udaka and Annavaha Srotamsi (channels carrying vital breath, water and food) are the same as those described for the treatment of respiratory disorders (viz, bronchial asthma), morbid thirst and Amasosha (vitiation of the undigested food product) respectively.
Therapies prescribed in Charaka Sutrasthana 28/25- 30 for the treatment of condition caused by the vitiation of tissue elements viz, Rasa etc. is adopted here for the treatment of the condition caused by vitiation of the respective channels. Therapies prescribed by difficulty in passing urine), diarrhoea and fever is adopted for the treatment of the diseases caused by the vitiation of Mutra, Purisha and Sveda Vahasrotamsi (channels carrying urine, feces and sweet) respectively. [26-28]


Determination of the characteristic features of channels, sites of origin and the general symptoms manifested by the vitiation of the 13 channels of circulation in the body, names and symptoms of these channels, vitiation of one by the other, causes of vitiation of each channels separately and the treatment in brief all these topics are described in this chapter of Srotovimana adhyaya”.
A physician who is well acquainted with all aspects of the entire body and all the diseases manifested there in well seldom commit mistake in treatment. [29-31]
Thus ends the 5th chapter on “Srotovimana”, of Vimana section of Agnivesha’s work as redacted by Charaka. [5]

Write Your Comment Below

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.