Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Doshas are the chief and mandatory contributory factors for the causation of disease. No systemic disease manifests without the involvement of doshas in the pathogenesis.
Doshas get involved in the beginning of Nija Rogas (diseases caused by the vitiation of doshas) and also cause these diseases but in Agantuja Rogas (diseases caused by external factors like trauma, effect of poisons, burns etc) and Manaskika Rogas (mental diseases), they get involved in later stages.
Related Reading – Role of Doshas in causation of diseases
Atma Rupa of Doshas
Atma Rupas of Doshas – Disease specific symptoms in a manifested disease
When these doshas are involved in the pathogenesis (samprapti) of a disease, they leave their foot marks in the form of certain symptoms which indicate their involvement in the manufacture of that particular disease. These symptoms are called as Atma Rupas.
Atma = own, self
Rupas = symptoms
Thus Atma Rupas are the symptoms of a dosha, vitiated dosha to be precise, which are present in a disease caused by that particular dosha. These symptoms will indicate the involvement of that particular dosha in the causation of that particular disease. In short, the atma rupas are the markers of a dosha in the causation of a disease.
Atma rupas are separate for each dosha. In a disease caused by predominantly vitiated vata, the symptoms of vata will be predominantly present and these symptoms are the atma rupas of that disease. Similarly in a disease caused by vitiated pitta the atma rupas of pitta will be present indicating the involvement of pitta in the causation of that disease. Likewise, in a disease caused by vitiated kapha, the atma rupas indicative of involvement of vitiated kapha in the pathogenesis of that particular disease will be present.
Any disease is caused by pathological admixture of vitiated doshas and dhatus, which is called dosha dushya sammurchana. In any such disease, the signs and symptoms of that particular disease will be present. These symptoms help a physician in identification of that disease (because those symptoms are particular only to that disease). These symptoms particular for a given disease caused due to the effect of dosha-dushya sammurchana are called Rupas.
Rupas are different from Atma Rupas. While Rupas depict the symptoms of a manifested disease, the atma rupas of the doshas are symptoms which are indicative of involvement of a particular dosha in the causation of the disease.
Thus, Rupas are moreover vyadhi pratyaneeka lakshanas (disease specific symptoms) and Atma Rupas of doshas are dosha pratyaneeka lakshanas (dosha specific symptoms) of a given disease.
Rupas depend on the nature of dosha dushya sammurchana and involves the tissues of the body. Atma Rupas of doshas are only limited to the doshas and do not involve the dushyas of the body for them to be manifested.
Read related: Roopa – Symptoms: Definition, Types, Benefits of its knowledge
Atma Rupa of Vata
Atma Rupas of Vata (specific symptoms of vitiated vata in a disease)
When Vata participates in the pathogenesis of a disease and predominantly participates in the samprapti of that disease, it exhibits its atma rupas. In these diseases, Vata produces symptomatic effects according to its qualities like ruksha (dry), sheeta (cold), laghu (light) etc.
The atma rupas – specific symptoms of vitiated Vata are –
- Roukshyam – manifestation of excessive dryness in the body parts
- Sheetatva – excessive coldness in the body / part
- Laaghava – excessive lightness in the body
- Vaishadhyam – disintegration, looseness of the body components including tissues and organs
- Gatitvam – speedy activities or excessive movements, fluctuant nature
- Amurtatvam – having no shape and structure (i.e. provides no defined shape and structure to the afflicted components) or disappearance (disintegration, degeneration) of the body components leaving behind empty space
- Anavasthitatvam – instability of the body or the body parts which have been afflicted by vitiated vata
Atma Rupa of Pitta
Atma Rupas of Pitta (specific symptoms of vitiated Pitta in a disease)
When Pitta causes pathogenesis of any disease and predominantly participates in the samprapti of that disease, it exhibits its atma rupas. In these diseases, Pitta produces symptomatic effects according to its qualities like ushna (hot), teekshna (intense, deep penetrating), sneha (unctuous), drava (liquid, fluid) etc.
The atma rupas – specific symptoms of (vitiated) pitta are –
- Oushnyam (Ushnatvam) – generation (production) of excessive heat in the body / part afflicted by pitta
- Taikshnyam (Teekshnatvam) – tends to cause irritation and deep penetration in the body
- Dravatvam – causes liquefaction of body elements
- Anati Snehatvam – produces unctuousness of the body but not too much unctuousness (some opine that pitta would cause reduction of unctuousness in terms of proportions, in comparison to its natural unctuousness)
- Shukla Aruna Varjya Varna – discoloration other than shukla (whitish) and aruna (golden yellow) colors in the body
- Visra gandha – manifestation of foul smell from the body
- Katuka Amla Rasau – manifestation of bitter (pungent) and sour tastes in the mouth
- Saratvam – produces easy mobility of body elements (leading to abnormal elimination of those elements much needed for the body)
Atma Rupa of Kapha
Atma Rupas of Kapha (specific symptoms of vitiated Kapha in a disease)
When in the pathogenesis or samprapti of any disease Kapha dosha takes an active part and predominantly causes the disease, it exhibits its atma rupas in that particular disease. In these diseases, Kapha produces symptomatic effects according to its qualities like snigda (unctuous), sheeta (cold), guru (heavy) etc.
The atma rupas – specific symptoms of (vitiated) kapha are –
स्नेह शैत्य शौक्ल्य गौरव माधुर्य स्थैर्य पैच्छिल्यम् मार्त्स्न्यानि श्लेष्मण आत्म रूपाणि॥च.सू.२०/१८॥
- Sneha – excessive unctuousness is produced in the body
- Shaityam – manifestation of excessive coldness in the body
- Shouklyam – whitish discoloration or pallor
- Gauravam – manifestation of excessive heaviness
- Maadhuryam – manifestation of sweet taste in the mouth
- Sthairyam – stability
- Paichchilyam – excessive stickiness
- Mrutsnam – excessive smoothness
Note – The above said specific symptoms of the doshas are naturally present even in the absence of the disease, but within permissible limits. But in the pathological conditions (presence of diseases), the same symptoms are manifested in severe form and are very much highlighted in the disease indicating the involvement of that particular dosha in the pathogenesis of that particular disease.
Importance of knowing Atma Rupa
Benefits of knowing the Atma Rupas of Doshas
Knowledge of Atma Rupas of doshas helps a physician to identify and diagnose the involvement of doshas in the initiation, causation, progression and manifestation of a disease.
Knowledge of these specific symptoms of the doshas helps a physician in treating the vitiated doshas by adopting dosha pratyaneeka chikitsa (dosha specific treatment) against specific vitiated doshas even without a detailed knowledge of the other factors of pathogenesis (samprapti). The initial treatment of a disease can be started based on the knowledge of atma rupas even before the entire disease and its samprapti has been understood thoroughly.
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