Vega Dharana: Suppression of urges, types, symptoms, and management

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay)
All of us have expressions; we display different emotions using these expressions. We convey lot of information and whatever we want to tell with the help of expressions, even without having spoken them.

The body too has some expressions. They are silent signals given to us conveying something. They are generated by the intelligent system of our body. Our mind transmitter should be alert and ready to catch, understand and respond to those expressions. These expressions come in the form of natural body reflexes or urges. Ayurveda calls them as Vegas. 

Important things to remember about the vegas –

  • When the body wants to throw away certain things from the body, it produces these vegas.
  • This is body’s method of keeping itself healthy.
  • This is also a natural detoxification process by which the body is trying to protect itself.
  • When we get these signals called vegas, our job is to attend and address them immediately.
  • Vegas, when addressed in proper time will not only keep the body but also the mind in a healthy status.
  • The things which are impending to go out have to be flushed out. When held up forcibly, or artificially obstructed they cause serious damage to the body and mind in a long run. Therefore the vegas should neither be suppressed nor forcibly controlled. They should be helped out.
  • On repeated obstruction of impending doshas, the body learns to hold back the things. The held back wastes and toxins damage the cells, channels and organs of the body leading to wide array of diseases.
  • Likewise, the vegas shall not be artificially created when they are not impending. We have to allow their natural manifestation.

These vegas are called as Adharaneeya Vegas or Natural impending reflexes which should not be controlled.
Read related: The greatest Ayurvedic health secret – revealed!

Adharaneeya vega

Which are the vegas that should not be forcibly obstructed or suppressed?
The body produces 13 types of vegas, which should not be suppressed at any cost. They are as below mentioned –
Reference: Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra 4/1

Udgara – Belching
Vata (adho vata) – urge to fart
vit (pureesha) – urge for defecation
Mutra – urge for urination
Kshavathu – urge to sneeze
Trut – urge to drink water
Kshudha – urge to take food
Nidra – urge to sleep
Kasa – urge to cough
Shrama shwasa – urge of breathing on exertion
Jrumbha – urge to yawn
Ashru – urge to weep, tears
Chardi – urge to vomit
Retas – urge for ejaculation of semen

Adhovata vega dharana

Adhovata veg dharan – urge to fart, effects of suppression
The gases tend to move in 2 directions. If the wind moves downwards, it probably has its origin from colon. If it moves upwards it has its origin from stomach or upper gut. The wind moving downwards is called adhovata (fart). The wind moving upwards is called urdhwavata (dry belching).

The symptoms of forcible suppression of the ‘urge to fart’ are as mentioned below –

  • Gulma – abdominal tumour, abdominal distension, bloating
  • Udavarta – upward movement of vayu (retrograde movement), bloat or distension of abdomen
  • Ruk – pain in the abdomen
  • Klama – tiredness, exhaustion with minimum work
  • Vata sanga – obstruction (blockage) to the smooth passage of flatus
  • Mutra sanga – obstruction (blockage) to the smooth passage of urine
  • Shakrut sanga – obstruction (blockage) to the smooth passage of stools
  • Drushti vadha – blurring of vision
  • Agni vadha – loss of digestive power, low metabolism
  • Hrud gadaaha – diseases of heart or upward pressure over the heart leading to its physiological disturbances

The symptoms of suppression of udgara or ‘urge to belch’ have not been included in the list of vegas mentioned in classic references, but the symptoms have been enumerated in this context. Belching or upward movement of vayu (urdhwa vayu) can be considered as sub-type of vata vega. In the list of vegas, vata has been mentioned. Vata vega can be subdivided into – urdhwavata vega (belch) and adhovata vega (fart). Symptoms of urdhwavata or udgara avarodha are as below mentioned –

The symptoms of forcible suppression of ‘urge for belching’ are as below mentioned –

  • Aruchi – loss of taste sensation, anorexia, aversion towards food
  • Kampa – tremors
  • Vibandha – constipation
  • Vibandha hrudaya – feeling of stiffness (tightness) or compression in the heart
  • Urasoho vibandha – feeling of stiffness (tightness) or compression in the chest region
  • Aadhmaana – distension of abdomen due to collection of gases, bloating
  • Kasa – cough
  • Hidhma – hiccup

Pureesha vega dharana

Pureesha vega – urge to defecate – effects of suppression
Pindikodweshtana – calf muscles cramp (twitching pain in the muscles of the calf region)

  • Pratishyaya – running nose, cold congestion
  • Shiroruja – headache
  • Urdhwavayu – upward movement of vayu
  • Parikarta – cutting or splitting pain in the anal region
  • Hrudayasya uparodhana – feeling of tightness or compression in the chest
  • Mukhen vit pravritti – vomiting of faeces or feeling as if the faeces is regurgitating into the throat and mouth, foul and faecal breath

Philosophical aspects of suppressible and non suppressible Body Signals

Mutra vega dharana

Mutra vega – urge to void urine, effects of suppression
The symptoms of forcible suppression of urination –

  • Anga bhanga – breaking pain in all the parts of the body
  • Ashmari – urinary stones (calculi)
  • Basti vedana – pain in the region of the urinary bladder
  • Medhra vedana – pain in the penis
  • Vankshana vedana – pain in the groin
  • Poorve cha prayo rogaaha – diseases mentioned in the ‘adhovata vega avarodha’ and ‘pureesha vega avarodha’ also get manifest by suppression of urine

Common principles of management of disorders due to forcible suppression of flatus, feces and urine urges
The above said conditions should be managed by administration of –

  • Varti – rectal and or urethral suppositories
  • Abhyanga – herbal oil massage (general body massage and local massage around the pubic area, abdomen, pelvic region and around the genitals can also be done)
  • Avagaha – sitz bath in herbal liquids like decoctions, oil, milk etc
  • Swedana – sweating therapy, fomentation, sudation,
  • Vasti karma – therapeutic enemas with medicated (herbal) decoctions, oils, ghee and or milk
  • Vid bhedi annapana – foods which help in easy passage of stools

Kshavathu vega dharana

Kshavathu Vega – urge to sneeze, sneeze reflex, effects of suppression
Symptoms of forcible suppression of ‘urge to sneeze’ are –
Shiro arti – headache
Indriya dourbalya – feeling of weakness in the sense organs, weak perception by sense organs
Manya stambha – stiffness of the nape of neck
Ardita – Facial paralysis or facial palsy

Management of disorders arising due to forcible suppression of sneezing (kshavathu vega) –

  • Teekshna dhuma – strong fumigation, herbal smoking which are very strong and intensive
  • Anjana – herbal collyrium
  • Navana – nasal medication, drops, snuffs
  • Arka vilokana – seeing the sun directly
  • Sneha – oleation
  • Swedana – sudation, fomentation, sweating therapy, steaming

Trishna vega dharana

Trishna Vega – urge to drink water, thirst reflex, effects of suppression
Symptoms of forcible suppression of thirst or ‘urge to drink water’ are as below mentioned –

  • Shosha – emaciation, feeling of dryness in the body
  • Angasada – weakness, unexplained debility
  • Badhirya – deafness
  • Sammoha – loss of consciousness
  • Bhrama – giddiness
  • Hrud gada – diseases pertaining to heart

Management of disorders arising due to forcible suppression of thirst (trishna vega) –
Sarva Sheeta vidhi – all measures which are cooling in nature (coolant) shall be planned which includes cold foods, drinks (water), bath and other comforts

Kshudha vega dharana

Kshudha vega – urge to have food, hunger reflex, effects of suppression
Symptoms of forcible suppression:

  • Angabhanga – non-specific body pains
  • Aruchi – anorexia, aversion to food, loss of taste
  • Glani – debility
  • Karshya – emaciation, loss of weight
  • Shoola – colic, pain abdomen
  • Bhrama – giddiness, delusion

Management of such disorders:
Laghu bhojana – foods which are easy to digest
Snigdham bhojanam – foods with unctuous substances like oil, ghee etc
Ushna bhojanam – hot and fresh foods
Alpam bhojanam – less quantity of food

Nidra vega dharana

Nidra vega – urge to sleep, effects of suppression
Symptoms of forcible suppression of sleep –

  • Moha – delusion
  • Murdha gourava – heaviness of head
  • Akshi gouravam – heaviness of the eyes
  • Alasya – laziness, lassitude
  • Jrumbha – yawning
  • Angabhanga – body pains

Management of such disorders:
Ishta swapna – compensatory sleep
Samvahana – soothing massages

Kasa vega dharana

Kasa vega – urge to cough, cough reflex, effects of suppression
Symptoms arising due to constant suppression:

  • Shwasa – shortness of breath, dyspnoea, difficulty to breath
  • Aruchi – tastelessness, anorexia, aversion to food
  • Hrudamaya – cardiac disorders
  • Shosha – emaciation, depletion of tissues, feeling of dryness in the body
  • Hidhma – hiccup

Management of such disorders:
Kasaha sutaraam vidhihi – these conditions should be managed on the lines of management of kasa, all the principles and treatments effective in treatment of kasa roga or cough (disease) are recommended in these conditions

Shrama shwasa vega dharana

Shrama Shwasa vega – urge for breathing on exertion, effects of suppression
Symptoms –
Gulma – abdominal tumours, distension of abdomen or bloating
Hrud roga – cardiac disorders
Sammoha – loss of consciousness, fainting, delusion

Management of such disorders:
Vishrama – rest
Vataghna kriya krama – treatments, medicines and diet to control and combat vata

Jrimbha vega dharana

Jrimbha vega – urge for yawning, yawn reflex, effects of suppression
Symptoms of forcible suppression of yawning are similar to those of sneeze suppression.
Management – Sarvaha cha anila jit vidhihi – all remedies, treatments, diet, lifestyle modulations which balance vata are recommended

Ashru vega dharana

Ashru vega – urge to weep, effects of suppression
Symptoms of forcible suppression of tears:
Aruchi – tastelessness, anorexia, aversion to food
Bhrama – giddiness, delusion
Gulma – abdominal tumours, bloating of abdomen, fullness of abdomen

Management of such disorders:
Swapna – sleep
Madhya – medicated alcohol
Priya katha – pleasant stories, hearty discussions and interactions with near and dear ones

Chardi vega dharana

Chardi vega – urge to vomit, vomiting reflex, effects of suppression

  • Visarpa – Herpes, Erysipelas,
  • Kotha – skin eruptions or rashes
  • Kushta – skin diseases
  • Akshi roga – eye disorders
  • Kandu – itching, pruritus
  • Pandu – anaemia, liver disorders
  • Jwara – fever
  • Kasa – cough
  • Shwasa – shortness of breath, dyspnoea
  • Hrullasa – nausea, sense of vomiting
  • Vyanga – pigmentations on face, freckles
  • Shwayathu – inflammation, swelling, oedema

Management of such disorders:

  • Gandusha – gargling with medicinal liquids like kashayam (decoction), taila (oils) etc
  • Dhumapana – herbal smoking
  • Anahara – fasting
  • Ruksha ahara – dry foods
  • Vamathu – inducing vomiting
  • Vyayama – exercise
  • Asra sruti or rakta mokshana – bloodletting
  • Virechana – purgation or purging medicines

Shukra vega dharana

Shukra vega – urge for ejaculating semen, ejaculatory reflex, effects of suppression

  • Sravanam – discharge or oozing of semen (dribbling)
  • Guhya vedana – pain in groin, testes
  • Shwayathu – swelling (in genital region, perineum, testes)
  • Jwara – fever
  • Hrid vyatha – uncomfortable feeling in the region of heart, cardiac distress
  • Mutra sanga – obstruction to the flow of urine
  • Anga bhanga – body pains
  • Vruddhi – hernia
  • Ashma – formation of stones in urinary passages and seminal passages
  • Shandata – impotence

Management of such disorders: 

  • Tamrachuda – meat of cock, chicken
  • Sura – medicated fermented drinks
  • Shali – preparations of rice
  • Vasti – medicated enemas
  • Abhyanga – massage with herbal oils
  • Avagaha – tub bath or immersion in medicated fluids mainly oil
  • Vasti shuddhi – medicines and treatments to bring about cleansing of urinary bladder
  • Priya striyaha – intercourse / coitus with beloved woman

Dharaneeya vega

Dhaaraneeya Vegas (urges which need to be controlled, not to be expressed) –
Below mentioned urges should be controlled and should not be expressed –

  • Lobha – greed
  • Irshya – enviousness
  • Dwesha – hatred
  • Matsarya – jealousy
  • Raga – attachment

Effects of Veg Dharan

All the diseases are manifested by either of the below mentioned –

Vega udeerana – initiating the urges forcibly when they are not impending or when the body is not producing these reflexes

Vega dharana – forcibly withholding the urges which are initiated by the body

All these vegas, when forcibly suppressed lead to vitiation of Vata. This vitiated Vayu moves haphazardly in undesired directions, mainly upward direction. This condition is called Udavarta. Though individual treatments (specific to particular vega dharana) have been discussed in earlier passages, the main criteria will be to control Vata, regularize its normal movements and bring about its balance. Thus, ‘controlling vayu’ is the key remedy for udavarta caused by vega dharana.

After reading this verse, the title of the chapter in which Vagbhata has explained the vegas i.e. ‘Roganutpadaneeya’ can be split as ‘Rogan’ + ‘Utpaadaneeya’ i.e. those which causes diseases. This means to tell that, the vega dharana or udeerana is responsible for causation of all the diseases.

If not controlled in time, the vitiated vayu which has taken abnormal routes will tend to disturb the other doshas and damage the tissues and organs of the body. This leads to wide array of psycho-somatic disorders, which might become stubborn with passage of time. With chronicity, the body will be trained to consider ‘holding urges’ and ‘udavarta’ as normal phenomenon. The small issues would have shaped into disasters and the diseases will be technically under ‘impossible to cure’ category.

Just before Finishing –
Vega dharana is not all about just withholding the urges or letting them go. It is about respecting the body dynamics and expressions. We respect them and get respect in turn in the form of ‘balanced mind-body health’. The chapter in which the adharaneeya vegas have been explained is named as ‘Rogaan anutpaadaneeya’ i.e. ‘those which do not allow the diseases to manifest’. This means to tell that if the vegas are not suppressed, we can keep away a wide array of disorders. This also means that we can hire or prevent many diseases by ignoring or addressing small expressions of the body respectively.
Read related: Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthana 4th Chapter

When the body wants to throw something out of the system and protective itself on a long run, just cooperate and allow the body to express itself naturally. You can lose a lot by meddling with body activities.

The remote control of our health lay in your own hands. All you need to do is to use it skilfully. Just admire and address the body expressions, at proper time and find yourself at the best of your health!!
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

11 comments on “Vega Dharana: Suppression of urges, types, symptoms, and management

  • Ravi

    08/12/2016 - 9:34 pm

    Excellent article . Thank you.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr.Himabindu

    27/06/2017 - 9:26 am

    Very nicely explained sir. Please explain about anutta vegadharana

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      27/06/2017 - 10:01 am

      Anutta means?

      Reply to comment
      • Dr.Himabindu

        27/06/2017 - 10:51 am

        Sorry sir it’s typo error, it is anuktha Vega, and chikitsa for anuktha Vega dharana ?

        Reply to comment
        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

          27/06/2017 - 12:14 pm

          Hi, you are probably referring to forceful expression of urges, when the urge is not there. This leads to Vata imbalance and upset of biological rhythm.
          Example, eating when there is no hunger, leads to production of ama and low digestion.
          drinking when there is no thirst, leads to weak digestion.
          Defecation without urge leads to Apana Vata dushti and so on.

          Reply to comment
  • hariprasad

    21/08/2018 - 11:34 am

    Sir even udhgaara is mentioned under adhaaraneeya Vega…but as mentioned in a. hr(4/1) it is not question is weather udhgaara is adhaaraneeya Vega or not….

    Reply to comment
  • hariprasad

    21/08/2018 - 11:37 am

    Is udhgaara a adhaaraneeya Vega or not? ?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      21/08/2018 - 5:44 pm

      It is not considered as Vega as per Vagbhata. But Charaka has conisdered it as a Vega. Hence it should not be suppressed.

      Reply to comment
  • hariprasad

    21/08/2018 - 6:04 pm

    Thank you sir

    Reply to comment
  • Nadibail

    21/05/2021 - 6:19 pm

    A detailed and scientific view of basic concepts of ayurveda is provided here. Thank you Dr Hebbar for wonderful contribution

    Reply to comment

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