Gridrasi: Word Derivation, Definition, Etymology

Word derivation

Gridhrasi is derived from ‘Gridhu’ Dhatu that means to covet, to desire, to strive after greedily, to be eager for.
By adding ‘Karan’ Pratyaya
Gridha + Kran  (by rule of Susudhanjgiri Dhibhyah Karma). 

By lopa of K and N word
Gridha + RA = Gridhra (bird) that means vulture1
Gridhra + Sho (Anlakarmani Divadi Parasamani pada)
Anti Dhatu by using it in the form of noun, adding ‘K’ Pratyaya by rule of Atoanupasarga Kah.

Gridhra + Sho + Ka
Gridhra + Sh + A

Replaced Sh. by Sa. (rule of Dhatvadehshahsah) and Lopa of “O” and “K” occur to give the word Gridhraus.
Finally for this word Gridhraus which is in female gender by adding ‘Dis’ Pratyaya the word ‘Gridhrasi’ is derived. Gridhra refers to the bird vulture.

It is opined that, in this disease the patients gait becomes altered as his legs becomes tense and slightly curved due to pain resembling walk of the vulture, hence the name Gridhrasi.


Nirukti (definition) of Gridhrasi
Gridhrasi is an illness predominantly affecting the ambulatory function of the patient and the same is stressed in the derivation of the word Gridhrasi. Following derivations taken from the different text books in Sanskrit literature substantiates the same.

  • Gridhramapisyati”, ‘Syati’-as-‘Kshepana’.
  • Urusandhau Vatarogah2
  • Gridhraamiva Syaati Gachhati”.

The disease Gridhrasi is said to cause an abnormal throwing action in the affected leg. The Sanskrit word Syaati in Gridhrasi means throwing action. By this abnormality the gait of the patients is said to resemble the gait of bird vulture and hence the name Gridhrasi to this unique illness. Further the author of Amarasudha opines that this disease is characterized by morbidity of Vata Dosha affecting the hip joint.
Read related: References of The Disease Gridhrasi In Ayurvedic Text Books

Shabdakalpadruma states that, the word Gridh refers to a person who is crazy of eating meat. The word Syaati in Sanskrit means to cause suffering. Thus the word Gridhrasi applies to an illness that mostly attacks the persons who are greedy of consuming meat.

Gridhra is bird called as vulture in English. This bird is fond of meat and he
eats flesh of an animal in such a fashion that he deeply pierce his beak in the flesh then draws it out forcefully, exactly such type of pain occurs in Gridhrasi and hence the name.

In Monnier Williams, Sanskrit – English dictionary it is said that, Gridhrasi is Rheumatism affecting the loins.
Similar reference is also found in “Vaidyakashabda sindhu”.


Paribhaasha of Gridhrasi
Charaka :
Gridrasi is a Vatavyadhi characterized by Stambha (stiffness), Ruk (pain), Toda (pricking pain) and Spandana (frequents tingling). These symptoms initially affect Sphik (buttock) as well as posterior aspect of Kati (waist) and then gradually radiates to posterior aspects of Uru (thigh), Janu (knee), Jangha (calf) and Pada (foot)3.

Sushruta & Vaghbata:
Acharya Sushruta opines that there are two Kandara in the leg that gets afflicted. The two Kandara include the one extending distally from the Parshni to the toes, and other extending above from the Parshni to the Vitapa. These two Kandara when gets afflicted with the Vata Dosha limits the extension of the leg. This disease is known as Gridhrasi.

Gridrasi is a condition originates due to vitiation of Vyana Vayu which is responsible for all the types of voluntary movements i.e. expansion, contraction, upward, downward, and oblique.


Paryaaya of Gridrasi:
Following are the synonyms of Gridrasi.
Ringhinee – by Vachaspatimishra

The word Ringhinee means the disease that cause to creep or crawling or that makes a person to go slowly.
More over according to the Shabdakalpadruma this term refers to Skhalana meaning displacement.

Randhrinee – by Dalhana This term is used by Dalhana while commenting on Sushruta, indicates weak point or rupture.
Radhina – by Aadhamalla & Kaashirama

This term is used by Aadhamalla and Kaashirama in their Deepika and Goodhartha Deepika commentary on Sharanagadhara Samhita. It indicates pressing, compressing or destroying.

It may be a mere coincidental observation that displacement of the soft annulus is the prime pathology of sciatica as referred by the word Ringhinee. Disc is the weakest point in the lumbar spine and tends to rupture causing sciatica as indicated by the word Randhrinee. Compression of the nerve roots is the primary pathology of radicular pain in sciatica as referred by the word Radhina.

The word Gridhrasi was the only one name used to indicate this condition in almost all the treatises and subsequent Sangraha Grantha and occasionally with a suffix Vata make it Gridhrasivata. The other terms mentioned above are used only by commentators.
Excerpts for this article are taken from dissertation work – “A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON THE EFFECT OF KATI BASTI AND SHORT WAVE DIATHERMY ON GRIDHRASI W.S.R TO SCIATICA” By DR.Mohammed Sadique

1 thought on “Gridrasi: Word Derivation, Definition, Etymology”

  1. The Reference book is good i got some important things from it which i needed thanks for sharing it. (The Gridhrasi Ayurvedic Text Book)


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