Vikalpa Samprapti – Understanding Pathogenesis On The Basis Of Fractional Components

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Vikalpa means fractional understanding, Differentiation or differential knowledge
Samprapti is Pathogenesis or the entire process of disease formation.

Samprapti is the story of formation of disease following exposure to etiological factors (Nidana). The Nidanas cause vitiation of Doshas. These vitiated doshas travel all through the body and get lodged in the weak and susceptible tissues and damage them. The reaction between morbid doshas and weak dhatus (tissues) will lead to the formation of disease. This disease is formed through the chronological events which include 6 stages of Kriya Kala (stages of manifestation of disease).

Related Reading – Kriya Kala
Vikalp Samprapti is one among the 5 types of Samprapti.


Vikalpa Samprapti

Understanding the fractional variations occurring in the dosha or doshas involved in the causation of a disease is called Vikalp Samprapti.

Doshas are inevitable factors in the pathogenesis of a disease. The dosha dushya sammurchana or amalgamation of vitiated dosha or doshas and weak and susceptible dhatus (tissues) should compulsorily occur if a disease is to be formed. This is called sthanasamshraya stage of pathogenesis.

Sthanasamshraya or lodgment of doshas in the tissues of the body triggers the initial reaction between the doshas and dhatus leading to the formation of early symptoms or premonitory symptoms of a disease i.e. Purvarupas.

Later in the process, the purvarupas mature into rupas (symptoms and signs) as the dosha dushya sammurchana further gains strength (in the absence of interventions in the form of treatment or medication) and thus the disease will be formed.

If not treated, the vyadhi or disease progress to the bheda stage or stage of complications.

Earlier to the sthanasamshraya or dosha dushya sammurchana, the doshas which have got excited and vitiated after consumption of etiological factors (nidana) will gain increase in their seats initially (sanchaya stage or stage of accumulation of doshas), followed by vitiation in their own seats (prakopa stage i.e. stage of vitiation) and spread of doshas all through the body (prasara stage or stage of spread of doshas in the body).

Fractional study of the doshas and their qualities participating in causation of a disease forms the basis of Vikalpa Samprapti 

It is very important for a physician to identify the main dosha or doshas participating in the samprapti of a disease and causing that disease. With experience it should not be a tough affair.

In any disease, the doshas will exhibit their typical signs and symptoms and those symptoms will be specified to those doshas only.

Example, the presence of excessive cold will reflect the involvement of kapha or vata in the causation of that disease but it is very important to know whether it is vata or kapha. Wetness or dampness or oiliness (unctuous) with cold will point towards kapha as the main dosha involved in the pathogenesis of the disease and presence of dryness and roughness along with coldness will reflect vata as the chief culprit dosha in the causation of that disease.

Similarly increase of heat and burning sensation will help in identifying pitta as the chief culprit dosha in the causation of a disease.

Such knowledge is gained by studying the pathogenesis of the disease in bits and fragments. It involves not only the identification and studying the main dosha or doshas involved in the causation of the disease but also involves a complex and complicated study of the portions of dosha involved in the causation of the disease. This fractional understanding of the predominant dosha or doshas in the causation of disease so as to which guna or quality of the dosha or doshas is primarily involved in the causation of the disease is called Amshamsha Kalpana.

Gaining the knowledge of fractional analysis of doshas and their qualities indulged in the causation of the disease is called Vikalp Samprapthi.

Importance of Vikalpa Samprapti

Benefits of having the knowledge of Vikalpa Samprapti
Vikalpa Samprapti helps in understanding the minuteness of pathogenesis of any disease.
Vikalpa Samprapti helps the physician in understanding and identifying not only the dosha or doshas involved in the causation of the disease but also to understand about the involvement of each and every quality of the dosha or doshas in the causation of the disease in question.
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