Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Vasti or Basti means Urinary Bladder. Urinary Bladder is a big balloon shaped muscular bag which holds the urine before it is excreted from the body. It lays in the lower part or the abdomen, in the pelvic cavity. It is predominantly made up of Snayu (ligaments, fibrous and hard tissue) and is one of the delicate and vital points of the body.
अल्प मांस शोणितो अभ्यन्तरतः कट्यां मूत्राशयो वस्तिः नाम, तत्र अपि सध्यो मरणम् अश्मरी व्रणाद्दृते तत्र अपि उभयतो भिन्ने न जीवति, एकतो भिन्ने मूत्र स्रावी व्रणो भवति, स तु यत्नेन उपक्रान्तो रोहति।(सु.शा.६)
Vasti is located in the Madhya Shareera (trunk, abdomen).
It is present in the abhyantara Kati – within pelvic cavity. It is also called as Mutrashaya. (Mutra = urine, Ashaya = viscera, residence). Vasti is made up of Mamsa (flesh, muscles) and a small quantity of shonita (blood).
Categories in which the Vasti Marma is included
Vasti Marma is classified into various categories. They are as below mentioned –
- i) Madhya Shareera Gata Marma, Udara Gata Marma (Madhya Shareera = Middle portion of the body, trunk, Udara = abdomen)
- ii) Snayu Marma – Vasti marma is predominantly made up of Snayu i.e. ligaments and fibre tissue, which form the structural component of this Marma. The other elements namely Sira (blood vessels), Asthi (bone), Sandhi (joints) and Mamsa (muscles) are also present but in a lesser proportion.
iii) Sadhyo Praanahara Marma – (Sadhyo – Immediate, Pranahara – life taking) Vasti Marma possesses a threat to life immediately after getting injured. The impact of injury or damage is immediate and is said to take away the life with immediate effect. We can also consider the death of a local part (which gets injured) if not ‘death’ in the meaning of physical death, the Vasti in this instance. Based on the impact of injury, Vasti Marma is classified under Sadhyo Pranahara Marma.
Pramana (measurement of Vasti Marma) –
Basti Marma occupies a space of 4 angula dimension (approximately equal to the horizontal dimension or breadth of middle segment of one’s own middle finger).
Effect of Injury
तत्र अपि सध्यो मरणम् अश्मरी व्रणाद्दृते तत्र अपि उभयतो भिन्ने न जीवति, एकतो भिन्ने मूत्र स्रावी व्रणो भवति, स तु यत्नेन उपक्रान्तो रोहति।(सु.शा.६)
Injury of Vasti Marma causes immediate death.
Any injury to the marma except those caused by Ashmari (stones), Ashmari Vrana (wound caused by stones) and vrana (wounds of small proportion) would cause immediate death.
If due to severe injury, if the vasti breaks open on both sides, the person never survives. But if the Vasti splits open discharging urine through the opening on one side due to injury or wound, the person may survive if promptly treated with appropriate measures at the right time.
Immediate death following injury to Vasti Marma can occur due to one or the other below mentioned causes –
Mutra Sanga – Obstruction to the flow of urine
Mutrajanya Udavarta – Block of urine causing vitiation of Vata which in turn moves in reverse direction (retrograde) tilting the urinary bladder upside down, discharging the urine in upward direction, causing pressure symptoms over the organs of abdomen and heart, flooding of urine in the pelvic cavity and ultimately leading to death
Mutra Ati Pravritti – Excessive discharge of urine within the pelvic and abdominal cavity through the opening in the bladder caused due to injury. It can also cause bleeding leading to death.
Modern Perspective (Practical anatomy) of Vasti Marma
Structures falling in the area of Vasti Marma –
- Urinary bladder
- Renal blood vessels
- Nerves supplying the urinary bladder
- Structures of pelvic cavity
Though all the elements which comprise a marma i.e. sira (blood vessels), mamsa (muscles) asthi (bones) and sandhi (joints) are all present in the site of this Marma, it is predominant in the Snayu or ligaments, tendons and hard fibrous tissue making up the urinary bladder, therefore it is a Snayu Marma.
When Vasti marma gets damaged, the effect of injury will chiefly involve the ligaments making up the urinary bladder present in the area in comparison to the extent of damage caused to other tissues.
Just Before Finishing
Basti – urinary bladder and related structures are the important and vital parts of the body. They take part in flushing the body contaminants (mala), kleda (unwanted water or fluid component of the body) and toxins in the form of mutra or urine. Thus the Vasti helps in keeping our body clean, safe and healthy.
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