Classification of Vyadhi (diseases) according to Ayurveda

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa.
Classification of Vyadhi is done after taking many aspects into consideration, such as – similar characteristics, causative factors, numbers, Dosha involvement etc. 

1 type of disease

Ekavidha Vyadhi (One type of disease)
एको रोगो रुजा करण सामर्त्थ्यात् इति भार्गवः।(काश्यप.संहिता)
रोगत्वं एक विधं भवति रुक् सामान्यात्।(च.सू.२०/३)
एकम् एव रोगानीकं दुःख सामान्यात्।(च.वि.६/३)
Eko rogaa rujaa karana saamrthyaat iti bhaargavaha (Ref – Kashyapa Samhita)
Rogatvam eka vidham bhavati ruk saamnyaat (Ref – Charaka Sootra 20/3)
Ekam eva rogaaneekam dukha saamaanyaat (Ref – Charaka Vimana 6/3)

Tridosha

Pain or grief (physical or mental pain) is the predominant manifestation of almost diseases. If this is taken into consideration, the diseases can be said to be of only one type, with pain and or grief as predominant manifestation all diseases are alike and fall intot eh same category.
According to Harita all diseases are Karmaja. This means to tell that all the diseases have their origin in karma or deeds done in the previous birth or this birth. The nature and gradient of disease we suffer depends on the quality and quantity of karma we have done. Here karma and vyadhi have cause and effect relationship and one is said to acquire vyadhi or vyadhis on the basis of karma.

2 types of diseases

Dwi vidha Vyadhi (Two types of diseases)
Samanyaja and Nanatmaja Vyadhi –

Samanya Vyadhi:
Samanya Vyadhis are those diseases which are caused by the vitiated doshas (i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha) either individually or in combinations of two or three. Agantu Vyadhis (diseases caused due to external causes) like abhighatajanya (diseases caused due to injury or trauma) etc are also included in this category. Below mentioned are the Samanyaja Vadhis –

8 types of each of
Udara rogas (abdominal diseases),
Mutraghata (urinary obstruction),
Ksheera Doshas (disorders of breast milk),
Veerya Vikaras (disorders of semen or reproductive fluid)

7 types of each of
Kushta (skin diseases)
Prameha Pidakas (Diabetic carbuncles)
Visarpa (erysipelas or herpes)

6 types of each of
Atisara (diarrhoea)
Udavarta (upper movement of vayu)

5 types of each of
Gulma (abdominal tumours)
Pleeha (spleen enlargement)
Kasa (cough)
Shwasa (dyspnoea, breathing disorders)
Hikka (hiccough)
Trishna (thirst disorders)
Chardi (vomiting)
Aruchi (anorexia, tastelessness)
Shiroroga (headaches)
Hridroga (heart diseases)
Panduroga (anaemia)
Unmada (insanity)

4 types of each of
Apasmara (epilepsy)
Netra roga (eye diseases)
Karna roga (ear diseases)
Pratishyaya (cold congestion)
Mukha roga (oral diseases)
Grahani Roga (duodenal disorders, mal-absorption diseases)
Mada (intoxication)
Murcha (fainting, unconsciousness)
Shosha (emaciation)
Napunsakata (impotence)

3 types of each of
Shotha (swelling)
Kilasa (leucoderma)
Raktapitta (bleeding disorders)

2 types of each of
Jwara (fevers)
Vrana (ulcers, sores)
Ayama (positional disorders)
Gridhrasi (sciatica)
Kamala (jaundice)
Ama (immature essence of digestion)
Vatarakta (gout)
Arsha (piles, haemorrhoids)

1 type of
Urustambha (thigh stiffness disorder)
Sanyasa (syncope)
Mahagada (great disease)

20 types of each of
Krimi Rogas (helminthic diseases, worm infestations)
Prameha (urinary diseases, diabetes)
Yoni Vyapat (vaginal disorders)

Nanatmaja Vyadhi:
Nanatmaja diseases are those which are definitely caused by the vitiation of only one dosha (either vata or pitta or kapha). Nanatmaja vyadhis are nija vyadhis i.e. caused by specific dosha. They will not be caused without the involvement of vitiated dosha. Just like a bird and its shadow cannot be separated immaterial where the bird is flying, a nanatmaja vyadhi cannot be imagined without the involvement of a dosha. The understanding of nanatmaja vyadhis helps us to know the dosha involved and to plan appropriate dosha-specific treatment with precision.

Vata Nanatmaja Vyadhis – Nanatmaja diseases caused by vitiated Vayu (alone), they are 80 in number. Below mentioned are the names of these 80 diseases.
Pitta Nanatmaja Vyadhis – Nanatmaja diseases caused by vitiated Pitta (alone), they are 40 in number. Below mentioned are the names of these 40 diseases.
Kapha Nanatmaja Vyadhis – Nanatmaja diseases caused by vitiated Kapha (alone), they are 20 in number. Below mentioned are the names of these 20 diseases.
Read in detail about these nanatmaja vyadhi here – Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 20th chapter

two types of diseases:
Prabhava Bheda (Based on the effect of the disease):
Saadhya Vyadhi (curable diseases) and Asaadhya Vyadhi (incurable diseases)
Bala Bheda (Based on the strength of the disease):
Mrudu Vyadhi (diseases of mild strength or weak diseases) and Daaruna Vyadhi (diseases of high strength or dreadful diseases)
Adhishtana Bheda (Based on the seat or site / location of the disease):
Mano Adhishtita Vyadhi (Diseases seated in the mind or mental disorders) and Shareera Adhishtita Vyadhi (diseases seated in the body or physical diseases)

Nimitta Bheda (based on the cause of the disease):
Swa-dhatu vaishamya nimitta vyadhi (vitiation of the supporting elements of the body) – diseases caused by vitiation of doshas, dhatus, upadhatus (sub-tissues).
The vitiation may be in the form of vriddhi (pathological increase) or kshaya (decrease). They are also called as Nija Rogas or Nija Vyadhis.
Aagantu nimitta vyadhi – diseases caused due to external factors like trauma etc

Aashaya Bheda (Based on the afflicted viscera):
Aamashaya samuttha vyadhi (diseases originating in the stomach and small intestine) and
Pakwashaya Samuttha vyadhi(diseases originating in the large intestine or colon)

Shalya Bheda (Based on surgical classification):
Shastra sadhya (diseases curable by surgical procedures) and
Swedadi kriya saadhya (diseases curable through treatments like sudation or steaming etc)

Prakruta-Vaikruta Bheda (Based on seasonal influence):
Prakruta Vyadhi (Natural diseases) – Each dosha has a season in which it aggravates and tends to cause a disease. For example,
Vata dosha gets aggravated in Varsha ritu or monsoon season and produces diseases in that season,
Pitta dosha gets vitiated in Sharad Ritu or autumn and tends to cause diseases and
Kapha dosha gets vitiated in Vasanta Ritu or spring season and causes diseases.
If the dosha which naturally gets vitiated in its season also produces the disease in the same season, that disease or Vyadhi is called Prakrutha Vyadhi because it is produced in the prakruta kala of a dosha (season in which the particular dosha gets vitiated naturally). For Example, Vata disease caused by Vata which gets vitiated in its ‘natural season of aggravation’ (i.e. Varsha Ritu or Monsoon season) is called Prakrita Vyadhi.

Vaikruta Vyadhi (unnatural disease) – This is a contrary condition of Prakruta Vyadhi.  In this, the dosha which naturally doesn’t get vitiated in a particular season, gives rise to a disease in that particular season, the disease will be called Vaikrutha Vyadhi. Example, Vata doesn’t aggravate in Sharad Ritu which is a season of aggravation of pitta. But if Vata produces a disease in Sharad Ritu, that disease will be called Vaikrutha Vyadhi.

Anubandhya – Anubandha (Based on association):
Anubandhya or Swatantra Vyadhi – That disease which gets manifested by its causative factors (factors mentioned in the Ayurveda texts), gets manifested by its classical signs and symptoms and gets pacified by the treatments and medicines specified for it is called Anubandhya or Swatandra Vyadhi. In short, a disease which gets manifested by self (independent), has its defined signs and symptoms and specific treatments mentioned for its remedy are called Anubandhya Vyadhi. These fall into the category of Primary diseases.

Example: Amlapitta (hyperacidity, acid peptic diseases) gets manifested on consumption and exposure to Pitta aggravating factors like foods which are hot, pungent, spicy, sour etc.
It gets manifested with its symptoms like indigestion (avipaka), vomiting sensation (utklesha), sour and bitter belchings (amla tikta udgaara), heaviness of the body (gourava) etc.
It gets pacified by pitta alleviating factors like foods rich in sweet, bitter and astringent tastes, sheeta ahara, vihara etc.
Thus Amlapitta is a Anubandhya or Swatantra Vyadhi.

Anubandha Vyadhi or Paratantra Vyadhi – Disease which is caused by other disease, manifests with signs and symptoms of other disease and gets pacified with treatment or medicines administered for other disease is called Paratantra or Anubandha Vyadhi. In modern day terms it can be called as a secondary or associated disease. This disease doesn’t manifest independently but develops on the backdrop of some other disease (primary disease).

Poorvaja Vyadhi and Paschat Jaata Vyadhi (Premonitory and Complication):
These 2 are the types of Anubandha or Paratantra Vyadhi (explained in 9).
Poorvaja Vyadhi – it is the disease which is present before its (anubandha vyadhi) manifestation. Here the secondary disease is manifested from the primary disease. Primary disease is the cause of secondary disease. Here the primary (anubandhya or swatantra vyadhi) disease is called Poorvaja Vyadhi (disease which exists in the backdrop). The Poorvaja Vyadhi is also a Purvarupa (premonitory stage) of the anubandha vyadhi.

Paschat Jaata Vyadhi – This is a disease which gets manifested as a consequence of Anubandha Vyadhi (secondary disease). Thus, the Anubandha vyadhi forms the Cause and Purvarupa (premonitory stage) of Paschat Jaata Vyadhi. Paschat Jaata Vyadhi is also called as Upadrava or complication of a disease.

Based on karma or deeds –
Pratyutpanna Karmaja – Diseases occurring due to the deeds or sins committed in this birth
Poorvakarmaja Vyadhi – Disease occurring due to the deeds or sins commited in the previous birth

Sukha Sadhya and Krichchra Sadhya (Based on prognosis) –
Sukha Sadhya Vyadhi (easily curable diseases)
Krichchra Sadhya Vyadhi (diseases curable with difficulty)

Yapya and Anupakrama:
Yapya Vyadhi – The diseases which can be manageable or maintainable are said to be Yapya Vyadhis. Basically these diseases are asadhya or incurable but the patient stays alive on the virtue of practicing wholesome dietetic and lifestyle regimens.

Anupakrama (Pratyakhyeya) – The diseases which cannot be cured or out of reach of treatment is called Anupakrama. The diseases which cannot be cured by any treatment or medicines, in which the sense organs have lost their power of perceiving and have gone weak, the patient has become weak and debilitated and in which the arishta lakshanas (signs of impending death) have manifested are considered to be Anupakrama or Pratyakhyeya (incurable)
Read related: How To Make Prognosis Of Disease According To Ayurveda?

3 types of diseases

Aadhyatmika, Aadidaivika and Adibhoutika Vyadhis

Aadhyatmika Vyadhis:
Atma in this context means the body along with mind. The diseases manifesting in the body and mind levels are called Aadhyatmika Vyadhis. Psychosomatic diseases fall into this category. The diseases occurring due to vitiated – Doshas (Both physical and mental) are all considered as Adhyatmika Vyadhis.

Aadhyatmika Vyadhis are of 3 types:
Adibala-pravritta vyadhis – two sub types – Matruja and Pitruja
Janmabala-pravritta vyadhis – two sub types – Rasakrita, Dauhruda Apacharaja
Doshabala-pravritta vyadhis – three sub types – Kalabala Pravrutta, Daiva Bala pravrutta, Svabhava Bala Pravrutta

Adibala-pravritta vyadhis –
The diseases which are caused due to the morbidity of sperm and or ovum are called Adibala pravritta vyadhis. The hereditary diseases fall under this category and are inherited from the parents. They are also called by other names i.e. Sanchari vyadhi (by Yagnavalkya), Kulaja Vyadhi (by Charaka), Sahaja Vyadhi (by Vagbhata) and Prakritibhava Vyadhi (by Bhela).

Adibala Pravritta Vyadhis are again of 2 sub-types. They are a) Matruja Vyadhis – diseases coming from the morbidity in the ovum, inherited by mother (maternal disorders) and b) Pitruja Vyadhis – diseases coming from morbidity in the sperm, inherited by father (paternal diseases).

Examples of Aadibala pravritta diseases are – Arsha (piles), Kushta (skin diseases), Rajayakshma (tuberculosis), Madhumeha (diabetes), Shwitra (leucoderma) and Apasmara (disorders of memory, epilepsy).

The other diseases which could be included under Adibala Pravritta diseases are cancer, lipoma, haemophilia, hemicrania or migraine, eczema, asthma, deaf-autism, gout, fragilitas ossium, hay fever, huntingtons chorea, hysteria, short-sightedness, colour blindness, cataract, high blood pressure, obesity, hormonal disorders, peptic ulcers, cleft palate, cleft lips etc.

Janmabala Pravritta Vyadhis –
The diseases which occur in the child due to the improper dietetic and lifestyle practices followed by mother during the conception and developmental stages of the foetus are called Janmabala Pravritta Vyadhis.
Example of Janmabala pravritta diseases are lameness, blindness, deafness, dumbness, stammering speech, dwarfism etc.
These diseases manifest in 2 ways.
a) Improperly developed or abnormally developed children – these kids may have more organs, more or less fingers, obese, improperly or inadequately developed organs, cleft lips and or palate, absence of anal orifice, deformities in terms of shape and structure of body parts and organs, location of heart more towards right, location of liver towards left etc.
b) Diseases manifesting due to infections occurring in the mother, example, syphilis, typhoid etc

The diseases occurring in the infant during birth like birth traumas, infections etc can also be clubbed under this category of vyadhis.

Sushruta has classified Janmabala Pravritta Vyadhis into 2 subtypes. They are:

a) Rasa krita – When the mother to be takes food of any particular taste or food in excess, they tend to produce some diseases in the child. These diseases are called Rasa krita vyadhis. Example, excessive consumption of only sweet taste foods will causes diseases like prameha (diabetes), mookata (dumbness) or sthoolata (obesity), Excessive consumption of salt taste causes vali (wrinkling of skin), palita (premature greying), khalitya (premature baldness) etc conditions. Similarly excessive consumption of foods rich in sour taste will cause raktapitta (bleeding disorders), netra roga (eye disorders), twak rogas (skin diseases) etc. excessive consumption of pungent taste foods will cause shukralpata (less semen), snatana haani (miscarriage, death of foetus in the womb etc) etc conditions, More consumption of bitter taste leads to conditions like shosha (wasting diseases, dryness of the body), nirbalata (loss of strength, weakness) etc and excess intake of astringent taste will cause karshya (blackish discolouration of body), aanaaha (flatulence) and udavarta (upward movement of vata) etc conditions. Excessive consumption of Madhya (alcoholic drinks) will cause trishna (thirst), smriti nasha (loss of memory), unmada (insanity, lunacy) etc diseases.

b) Dauhrida Apachara krita – The mother with child in her womb is called Dauhrida or ‘the one with 2 hearts’. When the heart of the child manifests and gets functional within the womb of the mother, the childs wishes are manifested through the mother. Ayurveda insists to fulfil all the demands put forth by the mother in Dauhridaya stage. If not, the unfulfilled wishes will manifest in the form of physical or mental disorders in the child. These diseases caused in the child due to the non-fulfilment of the wishes of the mother during pregnancy are called Dauhrida Apachara Krita Vyadhis.

Adhi Daivika Vyadhis:
These are again of 3 sub-types. They are as explained below –
Kala bala pravritta –
Diseases which get manifested due to abnormal variations in the coldness, heat and rains occurring in the 6 seasons is called kala bala pravritta vyadhis (diseases caused due to the strength of the seasons). This again is of 2 types:

  1. a) Vyapanna ritu kruta – due to abnormal seasonal variations. These are of 18 types. Basically the seasons are 6 in number. They are Shishira (late winter), Vasanta (spring), Grishma (summer), Varsha (monsoon), Sharad (autumn) and Hemanta (early winter).

In each season, abnormal variations take place in 3 forms i.e.
Ayoga or heena yoga (deficit manifestation) – Example less heat or lack of heat in Grishma or summer season
Atiyoga (excessive manifestation) – Example, severe and abnormal heat in Grishma or summer season
Mithya yoga (perverted or inconsistent manifestation) – Example, absence of heat and heavy rains during Grishma or summer season or heat altering with rains and cold in summer season
These 3 i.e. ayoga, atiyoga and mithya yoga are applicable to all the 6 seasons. Thus 18 types of seasonal variations are formed

b) Avyapanna ritu kruta – the diseases caused due to disturbance of doshas naturally occurring in the normal seasons. There will be no seasonal variations but the normal season will itself influence on the doshas causing either their increase or decrease, which when not balanced by administration of suitable diet and lifestyle, treatments and medicines will lead to manifestation of diseases.

Every dosha aggravates in particular season meant for its vitiation. Vata accumulates in Grishma (summer) and vitiates in Varsha Ritu (monsoon season). Pitta accumulates in Varsha (monsoon) ritu and vitiates in Sharad ritu (autumn season). Kapha accumulates in Shishira (late winter) and vitiates in Vasanta ritu (spring season). These seasons of accumulation and vitiation of doshas are responsible for vitiation of doshas.
This is quite natural in everyone, as a rule. If the seasonal regimen is strictly followed and discipline followed with respect to diet and lifestyle, these doshas do not progress to cause disease and gets pacified naturally in their next season. On the contrary, if the dosha vitiation is neglected and not managed in these seasons they tend to cause diseases.

Daivabala pravritta –
The diseases caused due to the below mentioned causes is called Daivabala Pravritta vyadhis:

  • Anger and aggravation of devadi grahas (gods etc supernatural powers and energies)
  • Curse given by deva (gods), guru (teachers), vipra (Brahmins), siddha (divine people), rishi (sages and saits) etc (when we ignore, insult or reject them)
  • Administration or implementation of Abhicharaka mantras or maraka mantras (hymns effecting destruction of others) explained in Atharva veda over others
  • Upasarga – infections and contamination
  • Sankramaka roga – contagious diseases

Daivabala Pravritta vyadhis are of 2 types –

  1. a) Vidhyut Ashanee krita – diseases and or destruction caused by natural disasters like lightening, thunder storms, falling of asteroids and comets etc
  2. b) Pishaachaadi krita – Diseases caused by pishacha (ominous super-powers like ghosts, spirits) etc

These diseases are also classified into these 2 types:

  1. a) Samsargaja – Diseases caused due to the presence of people who impart curse on us (example deva etc as explained in the above context) in our proximity or by direct contact with the people who are suffering from infected and or contagious diseases
  2. b) Aakasmika – The diseases whose causes are not known and which manifest suddenly are called Aakasmika vyadhis

Swabhaava bala pravritta –
They are natural manifestations of the body which are seen on daily basis. But since they too trouble us for a short duration until they are warded off, they may be called as Vyadhis or short time vyadhis. Death also occurs naturally (when it occurs naturally) and is also swabhava pravritta, manifested due to its nature. Swabhava bala pravritta means the diseases which get naturally manifested. Example, hunger, thirst, sleep, death etc occur due to the nature of the body and are called Swabhava bala Pravritta. This again is of 2 types:

  1. a) Kaala Krita – The Swabhava bala pravritta vyadhis which occure in proper time are called Kaala Krita Vyadhis. Example, feeling of hunger when it is time to have food, getting sleep when it is time to sleep, getting old when we cross 70 years of age, death when the time of death comes (when we have crossed 100 years of our living) etc occur due to the effect and influence of time factor. All these diseases occur when they need to occur, in proper time scheduled for them to occur. They are also called Parirakshana Krita Vyadhis. These diseases occur due to proper maintenance of selves by properly following the rules and regulations of a systematic way of life and diet.
  2. b) Akaala Krita – The Swabhava bala pravritta vyadhis which occur in improper time i.e. untimely occurence, are called Akaala Krita Vyadhis. They occur due to our negligence and improper maintenance of selves, when we follow erratic lifestyle and food practices. Since these diseases occur due to failed protection of our selves, they are called Aparirakshana krita vyadhis.

Aadhi bhoutika Vyadhis:
This is only of one type. It is called Sanghaata Bala Pravritta Vyadhi.
These diseases occur due to elements of nature. Generally they are Aagantu rogas (diseases occurring due to injuries etc).
Causes: Weak person fighting or wrestling with a strong person, injury, attack, physical torture etc

Sanghata Bala Pravritta Vyadhis are of 2 types:

  1. a) Shastra krita vyadhis – diseases caused by weapons or instruments are called shastra krita vyadhis. Example injury or attack with stick, wood, arrow, sword, stones, weapons etc
  2. b) Vyala krita vyadhis – diseases caused by attack of animals are called vyala krita vyadhis. The injuries caused by the bite (tooth), scratches (nails), stab (horns), poisoning (poison) affected by the animals are called vyala krita vyadhis. (Vyala means wild animals)

Nija, Aagantuja and Maanasa Vyadhis:
Nija Vyadhi – These diseases are caused by vitiated Shaareerika doshas (physical Doshas – vata, pitta and kapha). Example, Vataja Jwara (fever caused by vitiated vata), Pittaja Jwara (fever caused by vitiated pitta), Kaphaja Jwara (fever caused by vitiated kapha) etc.

Aagantuja Vyadhi – These diseases are caused by micro-organisms, poisonous air, polluted water, fire, trauma etc external causes.

Maanasa Vyadhi – These diseases are caused by vitiated manasika doshas (doshas operating at mental level i.e. raja and tama). This happens when one doesn’t get what they like, when someone gets what they don’t want etc.

Shaakaa gata, Marma-asthi-sandhi gata, Koshta gata:
This classification is basically done on the basis of the location (marga or route of disease) of the disease. All the diseases can be classified to be located in 3 places of the body. They are Shakha, Marma-asthi-sandhi and Koshta.

Shakha gata vyadhi –
Shakha means tissues. They include:
Twak (represents Rasa dhatu or plasma)
Rakta – Blood
Mamsa – Muscle
Meda – Fat
Asthi – Bone
Majja – Bone Marrow
Shukra – Semen or reproductive tissue
The diseases occurring in these tissues of the body are called Shakha gata vyadhis. It is also called as Bahya Roga Marga or external route or location of the diseases.

Marma-asthi-sandhigata –
Marma means vital and most important points, areas, tissues and organs of the body. Vasti (urinary bladder), Hridaya (Heart) and Shira (head / brain) are said to be the 3 most important Marmas of the body. Apart from these, Sushruta has explained 107 marmas and have classified them under 5 main categories (depending on the effect of damage to the marma). They are –

  • Sadhyo Pranahara Marmas – marmas which when injured will cause immediate death or permanent damage of the particular tissue or organ in question
  • Kalantara Pranahara Marmas – marmas which when injured will cause death at a slow rate (delayed death or delayed functional loss)
  • Vishalyaghna Marmas – marmas which cause death when the foreign body is removed from them, example, when a bullet or arrow is stuck in this marma, the person lives as long as the foreign body is intact, but once the bullet or arrow is removed, the person dies.
  • Rujakara Marmas – Marmas which cause severe pain are called Rujakara Marmas.
  • Vaikalyakara Marmas – Marmas which cause temporary or permanent deformity are called Vaikalyakara Marmas.

Marmas are the meeting places of Mamsa (muscle), Sira (blood vessels), Snayu (ligaments, tendons and nerves), Asthi (bones) and Sandhi (joints). Name of the marma is also given on the basis of the predominant tissue present in the congruence. On the basis of the predominance of tissue, the marma is classified into 5 varieties. They are:

Mamsa marma – marma predominantly having muscle tissue, example guda or anus and rectum
Sira marma – marma predominantly having blood vessels example, hridaya or heart
Snayu marma – marma predominantly having ligaments and tendons, example, vasti or urinary bladder
Asthi marma – marma predominantly having the bones, example,
Sandhi marma – marma predominantly having joints, example, Janu sandhi marma (knee joint)
Injury to these organs and tissues or diseases which damage these marmas, asthi, sandhis and the structures around the anatomical joints are called marma-asthi-sandhi gata vyadhis.

Koshta gata Vyadhis –
Koshta means the organs / viscera located in the thorax (chest cavity), abdomen (tummy cavity) and pelvic cavity. The diseases occurring in the organs of the gastro-intestinal system including aamashaya (stomach), pakwashaya (large intestine), agnyashaya (pancreas), mutrashaya (urinary bladder), raktashraya (liver and spleen), hridaya (heart), phuphusa (lungs) etc are called Koshta gata vyadhis.

Pratytupanna karmaja, Daiva karmaja and Parakruta karmaja –
Based on the karma (our deeds and activities), the vyadhis are classified into 3 types i.e. Prati utpanna karmaja, Daiva karmaja and Parakruta karmaja vyadhis.

Pratyutpanna Karmaja vyadhis – the diseases manifested as an effect of bad deeds done by our present body (this life or incarnation) are called Prati utpanna karmaja vyadhis.

Daiva karmaja vyadhis or Poorva karmaja vyadhis – The diseases manifested as an effect of bad deeds done by our previous body (previous life, birth or incarnation) are called Daiva or poorva karmaja vyadhis.

Parakruta karmaja vyadhis – If someone else does wrong deeds against us, we suffer from pain. As a result of pain and grief we develop hatred and revenge against the other person. This results in many types of physical and mental pains. These diseases are called parakruta karmaja vyadhis (diseases occurring due to someone else’s mistakes).

Oupasargika, Prak kevala and Anya lakshana vyadhis –
Oupasargika vyadhi – The disease which gets manifested as a result of pre-existing disease or illness, by the same aetiological (causative) factors which have caused the pre-existing disease and gets relieved by the treatment administered to cure the pre-existing disease is called Oupasargika vyadhi or upadrava (complication).

Prak-Kevala Vyadhi – The disease which exists from the beginning and is not a purvarupa (premonitory symptom) or upadrava (complication) of some other disease is called Prak-kevala vyadhi.

Anya Lakshana – The disease which gets manifested as a symptom of a yet to be manifested disease (future disease) is called Anya Lakshana or Purvarupa.

Doshaja, Karmaja and Dosha-Karmaja Vyadhis –
Doshaja Vyadhis – The diseases which get manifested due to the consumption of incompatible food, lifestyle and deeds (which in turn contaminate the doshas) are called Doshaja Vyadhis. They are also called Drushta apacharaja or Drushta karmaja vyadhis.

Karmaja Vyadhis – The diseases which occur due to the sins and bad deeds done in the previous birth (papa karma) are called Karmaja or Poorva apacharaja or Adrushta karmaja vyadhis.

Dosha Karmaja Vyadhis – The diseases which occur due to both the above said factors is called Dosha karmaja vyadhis.

Agneya, Soumya and Vaayavya vyadhis –
Agneya Vyadhis – The diseases caused by Pitta which has agneya guna (fiery nature)
Soumya Vyadhis – The diseases caused by Kapha which has soumya guna (coolant property)
Vayavya Vyadhis – The diseases caused by Vayu which has vaayaveeya guna (windy nature or airy nature)

4 types of diseases

Chaturvidha Vyadhi (4 types of diseases)

Agantuja, Shaareerika, Maanasa, Svabhaavika –
Agantuja Vyadhi – These diseases are caused due to the external factors as mentioned below:

  • Bhuta – supernatural forces like deva (god), raakshasa (demons), yaksha, pishacha etc and all the micro-organisms (bacteria, virus etc)
  • Visha – varieties of poisons, poison may enter the body through oral consumption, touch (contact), bite and sting of poisonous insects and animals etc
  • Vaayu – polluted air, hot and humid air etc
  • Fire – accidents and burns caused by fire
  • Vidhyut – electricity, lightening etc
  • Samprahara – being attacked by weapons etc
  • Nakha aghata – scratch by nails of human beings or animals
  • Danta aghata – animal bite
  • Abhichaara – witchcraft
  • Abhishaapa – curse
  • Abhishanga – contamination (contagious diseases), infections
  • Surya – sun burns
  • Bandhana – tying with rope etc

Shaareerika Vyadhi – The diseases caused by the Shareerika doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and or Kapha vitiated in various proportions and getting mixed in various combinations are called Shaaririka Vyadhis or Nija Vyadhis. These diseases are also caused by the consumption of food in excess or deficit or improperly balanced (in terms of quality and or quantity). They are also caused by the below said factors –

Heena yoga (deficit influence or contact), Mithya yoga (perverted influence or contact) and Ati yoga (excessive influence or contact) of Kala (seasons)

Heena yoga (deficit perception or contact), Mithya yoga (perverted perception or contact) and Ati yoga (excessive perception or contact) of Indriya arthas or subjects of sense organs (Subjects of sense organs are: perception of sight or vision by the eyes, sound by the ears, touch by the skin, smell by the nose and taste by the tongue)

Heena yoga (deficit influence or performance), Mithya yoga (perverted influence or performance) and Ati yoga (excessive influence or performance) of Karma or activities (deeds)

Maanasika Vyadhis – The diseases manifested due to the vitiation of Rajas and Tamas, the doshas (morbidity or contaminants) of mind are called Manasika Vyadhis (mind or mental disorders). The most important Manasika Vyadhis are kama (lust), krodha (anger, lobha (greed), moha (confusion), eershya (jealousy), maana (egoism, stubborn), mada (intoxication), shoka (grief), chinta (worry) etc.

Swabhavika Vyadhis – The diseases which occur naturally due to the nature of the body are called Swabhavika Vyadhis. Example, kshudha (hunger), trishna (thirst), nidraa (sleep), jaraa (old age, ageing), mrityu (death), marma bhedi (severe pains and griefs) etc.

  1. Aagantuka, Vataja, Pittaja and Kaphaja –

Aagantuka or Agantuja Vyadhis – diseases occurring due to external causes (as explained above)
Vataja Vyadhis – Diseases caused by vitiated Vata
Pittaja Vyadhis – Diseases caused by vitiated Pitta
Kaphaja Vyadhis – Diseases caused by vitiated Kapha

5 types of diseases

Panchavidha Vyadhi (5 types of diseases)
Agantuja, Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja and Sannipataja –
Aagantuka or Agantuja Vyadhis – diseases occurring due to external causes (as explained above)
Vataja Vyadhis – Diseases caused by vitiated Vata
Pittaja Vyadhis – Diseases caused by vitiated Pitta
Kaphaja Vyadhis – Diseases caused by vitiated Kapha
Sannipataja Vyadhis – Diseases caused by all the 3 vitiated doshas (vata, pitta and kapha)

6 types of diseases

Shadvidha Vyadhi (6 types of diseases)
Madhura rasa janya – Diseases caused due to excessive consumption of foods rich in sweet taste
Amla rasa janya – Diseases caused due to excessive consumption of foods rich in sour taste
Lavana rasa janya – Diseases caused due to excessive consumption of foods rich in salt taste
Katu rasa janya – Diseases caused due to excessive consumption of foods rich in pungent taste
Tikta rasa janya – Diseases caused due to excessive consumption of foods rich in bitter taste
Madhura rasa janya – Diseases caused due to excessive consumption of foods rich in astringent taste

7 types of diseases

Saptavidha Vyadhi (7 types of diseases)

  1. Based on permutations and combinations of doshas – Vataja, Pittaja,  kaphaja, Vataja Pittaja, Vata Kaphaja, Pitta Kaphaja and Tridoshaja / Sannipataja.
  2. Aadibala Pravruttadi Sushrutokta Saptavidha Vyadhis –

Already in the Trividha Vyadhis (3 types of diseases) category, we have seen the diseases being classified as – Aadhyatmika, Adhidaivika and Adhibhoutika which were once again sub-classified into 3, 3 and 1 types respectively. Taking these subtypes together we get 7 types of Vyadhis as said below –

Aadibala Pravrutta Vyadhis
Janmabala Pravrutta Vyadhis
Doshabala Pravrutta Vyadhis
Kalabala Pravrutta Vyadhis
Daivabala Pravrutta Vyadhis
Swabhavabala Pravrutta Vyadhis
Sanghatabala Pravrutta Vyadhis

  1. Sahajadi Vagbhatokta Saptavidha Vyadhis –

Vaghbhata has explained 7 types of diseases which almost resemble the Aadibala Pravrutta etc vyadhis as explained by Sushruta. They are as mentioned below –
Sahaja Vyadhis (Resembles with Sushruta’s Aadibala Pravrutta Vyadhis)
Garbhaja Vyadhis (Resembles with Sushruta’s Janmabala Pravrutta Vyadhis)
Jaataja Vyadhis (Resembles with Sushruta’s Doshabala Pravrutta Vyadhis)
Kaalaja Vyadhis (Resembles with Sushruta’s Kalabala Pravrutta Vyadhis)
Prabhavaja Vyadhis (Resembles with Sushruta’s Daivabala Pravrutta Vyadhis)
Swabhavaja Vyadhis (Resembles with Sushruta’s Swabhavabala Pravrutta Vyadhis)
Peedaajanya Vyadhis (Resembles with Sushruta’s Sanghatabala Pravrutta Vyadhis)

Just before finish –
It is very important to know the classification of the diseases (vyadhis or rogas) since it forms the basis of effective treatment. The classification of the disease will let the doctor to decide the prognosis of the disease and estimate the result of the treatment. The above explained classification of disease as per Ayurveda basics depicts the earliest classification of diseases, based on which the current day diseases have been classified. This also shows the skill and intelligence of the Ayurveda teachers of the ancient day, who have given such an elaborate classification in a beautiful way when there were no modern tools of identification and classification of a disease. This classification holds good even today, based on which we the Ayurveda doctors identify the diseases and the category in which it falls into. This is the basis of comprehensive healing of mankind. Salutes to all the great sages and teachers of Ayurveda for giving us this unparalleled knowledge!!
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

2 thoughts on “Classification of Vyadhi (diseases) according to Ayurveda”

  1. On which basis u r corelating samanya vyadhi with Agantuja roga and Nanatmaja vyadhi with nija roga ?? Please elaborate….

    Reply

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