Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Hridaya means Heart. All the life processes depend on the nutrition and oxygen which they receive through circulation of blood. The blood is pumped and circulated to every corner of the body through the heart, throughout the span of our life.
According to Ayurveda it is a site of Manas (mind) and thus is related with our though process and emotions.
Hrudaya marma is predominantly made up of siras or blood vessels. We know that the arteries carrying nutrition and oxygenated blood is pumped to all parts of the body. Likewise, the heart receives the de-oxygenated blood from the peripheral parts of the body through veins and pumps it to the lungs for oxygenation.
Hridaya is considered as a root of Rasavaha Srotas (channels carrying nutrition) and Pranavaha Srotas (channels carrying life element in the form of air, oxygen).
स्तनयोः मध्यं अधिष्ठाय उरस्य आमाशय द्वारं स तु सत्त्व रज तमसः अधिष्ठानं हृदयं। तत्र अपि सध्य एव मरणं।(सु.शा.६)
Heart is located in between the Stanas (breasts) in the chest cavity. It is located above the Amashaya Dwara (upper opening of the stomach, cardiac orifice). It is a site of mental faculties i.e. Satwa, Raja and Tamo gunas (qualities of mind). Injury to the Hridaya Marma leads to immediate death. Hridaya is a Madhya Shareeragata Marma.
Categories in which the Hridaya Marma is included
i) Madhya Shareera Gata Marma, Uro Gata Marma (Madhya Shareera = Middle portion of the body, trunk, Uro = chest)
ii) Siraa Marma – Hridaya marma is predominantly made up of Sira i.e. veins, which form the structural component of this Marma. The other elements namely Snayu (ligaments), Asthi (bone), Sandhi (joints) and Mamsa (muscles) are also present, around the heart.
iii) Sadhyo Praanahara Marma – (Sadhyo – Immediate, Pranahara – life taking) Hridaya Marma possesses a threat to life immediately after getting injured.
Pramana (measurement of Hridaya Marma) –
Hridaya 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।(सु.शा.६)
Injury of Hridaya Marma causes immediate death.
Cause for immediate death:
Prana Nasha – Loss of life and circulation of life sustaining elements like oxygen and nutrition
Rakta srava – excessive bleeding due to the injury
Karma Kshaya – Stoppage of all activities of life
Modern Perspective (Practical anatomy) of Hridaya Marma
Structures falling in the area of Hridaya Marma –
- Heart and its chambers
- Aorta and its branches
- Coronary arteries and veins
- Pericardium (covering of the heart)
- Mediastinum and its contents (space within which the heart is located in the chest cavity)
- Pulmonary arteries
- Pulmonary veins
- Superior Vena cava
- Inferior Vena Cava
Though all the elements which comprise a marma i.e. snayu (ligaments), mamsa (muscles) asthi (bones) and sandhi (joints) are all present in the site of this Marma, it is predominant in the Sira or blood vessels vis-à-vis veins making up the Hridaya i.e. Heart, therefore it is a Sira Marma.
When Hrudaya marma gets damaged, the effect of injury will chiefly involve the important veins located in the vicinity of Hridaya in comparison to the extent of damage caused to other tissues.
Just Before Finishing
Hrudaya or Heart is the engine which runs the life process in the body. The incidences and prevalence of heart disorders and consequent deaths now days clearly point out the contribution of erratic lifestyle and wrong food choices long with severe stress in modern day life. Hridaya being given the status of being one among the ‘Tri-Marmas’ i.e. 3 most important Marmas among the 107 Marmas speaks volumes. Healthy Hridaya is directly proportion to Healthy life and longevity. Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)