Independent And Dependent Dosha Imbalance – Explanation, Example

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Swatantra Dosha Dushti and Paratantra Dosha Dushti are types of dosha imbalance.
Related Reading – Role of Dosha in the causation of a disease 

Swatantra Dosha Dushti

Swatantra Dosha Dushti or independent dosha vitiation
Other names –

  • Anubandhya Dosha Dushti (independent)
  • Pradhana Dosha Dushti (primary, major, most important)

Swatantra means independent – when dosha gets independently imbalanced without the help of any other Doshas.

In this, Dosha which has undergone vitiation would be vitiated majorly, in large proportions, qualitatively and or quantitatively.
This also means that there should be another dosha or other doshas which are less proportionally (quantitatively) aggravated than the main dosha or pradhana dosha. Such doshas which are vitiated in feeble quantity or having less strength in comparison to the pradhana dosha will be called Apradhana Dosha.

Here, Dosha –
gets vitiated by its own etiological factors,
presents its own symptoms and
responds to the treatment provided to balance and pacify that dosha.

In Swatantra Dosha Dusti the dosha gets vitiated due to its own etiological factors – Every dosha will have its own set of nidanas or etiological factors which when consumed or exposed to will cause vitiation of that particular dosha.
Example, excessive consumption of ushna ahara vihara (hot foods and comforts), it will certainly lead to vitiation of pitta. Likewise excessive consumption of sheeta (cold) and ruksha (dry) foods will cause vitiation of vata.

The dosha which has undergone swatantra dosha dushti will have its own set of symptoms – When specific doshas are vitiated, the pathology manifests with clear cut signs and symptoms specific and particular of that dosha.
Example, when Vata is vitiated, it causes manifestation of specific symptoms like shaitya (feel of coldness), rukshatva (dryness) etc which are specific to Vata.

These symptoms are manifested due to the disturbance in qualities of that particular dosha. Similarly ushnatva (feel of excessive heat in the body or body parts) and snigdhatva (excessive oiliness of the body) may be manifested when pitta and kapha gets vitiated respectively. These symptoms of vitiation of a particular dosha are specific indicators of that particular dosha alone. This means to tell that the presence of these symptoms help in identifying and diagnosing the main dosha involved in the manifestation of the pathology of a particular disease.

The dosha which has undergone swatantra dushti will have a specific treatment with which it gets pacified – Likewise, most often a vitiated dosha gets pacified when a treatment or medicine or diet antagonistic to the vitiated dosha and its qualities is administered.

Example, when ushna veerya aushadhas and ahara (medicines and food which are having hot potency) are administered, they (aushadhas and ahara) being antagonistic to the nature and qualities of vitiated vata and or kapha will pacify those doshas.

In Swatantra  dusti of Doshas, the etiological factors are specific for that particular dosha. The pathology manifests with the clear cut symptoms of that particular dosha and the vitiation subsides by the specific treatment of the dosha. In these types of dosha  dusti, the dosha which undergoes vitiation in major proportions is also called as Anubandhya Dosha or Pradhana Dosha (which means major dosha) and the vitiation caused by vitiation of such dosha is called Anubandhya Dosha  dusti or Pradhana Dosha  dusti. All these terms means the same, i.e. ‘independent dosha vitiation’.

Thus, the dosha which gets vitiated by its specific etiological factors causes its symptoms of vitiation and gets pacified by specific treatment strategies meant to pacify it is said to have undergone swatantra  dusti.

Alternative understanding – ‘Swatantra dosha  dusti or independent dosha vitiation is a condition in which the dosha which has undergone vitiation gets vitiated by its own etiological factors (causative factors which particularly vitiate that dosha), causes symptoms specific to its vitiation and gets pacified by interventions which are meant to pacify that particular dosha’

Paratantra Dosha Dushti

Paratantra Dosha  dusti or dependent dosha vitiation
Other Names –

  • Anubandha Dosha dusti (dependent)
  • Apradhana Dosha Dushti (not important)

The vitiation of this dosha will be dependent on the Swatantra (anubandhya or pradhana) dosha.

What is meant by paratantra dosha  dusti or dependent vitiation of dosha?
When a dosha
gets vitiated secondary to the independent Dosha,
with etiologies of independent Dosha,
presents symptoms in a feeble or unclear way, and responds to the treatment given to the independent dosha imbalance, it is said to have dependently vitiated.

In contrast to Swatantra dosha dushti –
Paratantra dosha  dusti develops secondarily to the Swatantra Dosha Dushti – Paratantra Dosha Dushti occurs on the backdrop of Swatantra Dosha  dusti. Therefore it is a secondary vitiation.

Paratantra Dosha Dushti will not have its own etiological factors, they get vitiated from the same causes of independent Dosha.
Etiological factors are not specific for the dependent doshas.
The dosha in this vitiation is considered as minor one or insignificant one (apradhana, anubandha) because of the vitiation of dosha occurs in minor proportions.

The symptoms of the dosha which has undergone minor vitiation will be feeble – Since it is dependent on primary Doshas, the symptoms manifested by the dosha which has undergone minor vitiation will also be feeble or masked. The symptoms caused by primary Dosha, will be more predominantly exhibited.

Paratantra Dosha Dushti will not need separate treatment – Paratantra Dosha Dushti doesn’t need a separate line of treatment since it would settle down when the major dosha or independently vitiated dosha (in swatantra dushti) is comprehensively treated. Thus, the treatment for swatantra dosha dushti is by itself a treatment for paratantra dosha dushti also.


An example to make understanding swatantra and paratantra dushti easy

Excessive consumption of Madhura (sweet), Amla (sour) and Lavana (salt) Rasas (tastes) leads to vitiation of Kapha. Similarly excessive consumption of Amla, Lavana and Katu (pungent) tastes leads to vitiation of Pitta. We could note in this instance that Amla and Lavana Rasa’s commonly vitiate Kapha and Pitta.

Kapha can get vitiated due to excessive consumption of only Madhura or only Amla or only Lavana rasas. But when it is vitiated by excessive consumption of all the three mentioned tastes, some amount of pitta will also be vitiated (due to amla and lavana tastes). In this instance Kapha will be majorly vitiated. It will be the first to be vitiated and would have undergone independent vitiation. Thus, the vitiation of kapha in this instance will be a Swatantra (pradhana, anubandhya) dushti or independent and major vitiation. The pitta on the other hand gets vitiated due to the same factors (etiological factors) which have vitiated kapha (minus madhura). The sweet taste or madhura rasa being a taste which is antagonistic to pitta, would not allow pitta vitiation of go to high levels, while being a kapha vitiating taste it would majorly increase kapha along with amla and lavana tastes. Though amla and lavana also cause vitiation of pitta, the vitiation would be a minor one or of smaller proportions due to the contradicting or pitta pacifying action of madhura rasa. Therefore the vitiation of pitta on the backdrop of kapha vitiation will be considered as paratantra dosha dushti (anubandha, apradhana).
Read related: Normal And Abnormal Dosha Imbalance – Prakrita, Vaikrita Dosha Dushti

The kapha which is primarily, majorly and independently vitiated will be called as Pradhana or Anubandhya or Swatantra Dosha and its vitiation will be called Swatantra dosha dushti. On the other hand, the pitta which has secondarily, lesser proportionally (minor) and dependently vitiated on the backdrop of kapha vitiation, due to the same etiological factors vitiating kapha will be considered as Apradhana, Anubandha or Paratantra dosha and its vitiation will be called Paratantra Dosha Dushti.

Coming to the treatment part, the pitta being a paratantra dosha or dependent dosha doesn’t need a separate treatment. The treatment given to the pradhana dosha and pradhana dushti i.e. kapha will also take care of pacifying pitta.
Read related: Natural Dosha Increase During Day And Night


Benefits of knowing Swatantra and Paratantra Dosha Dushti

It is very important for a physician to have a comprehensive knowledge of the independent and dependent dosha vitiations because it would help in proper diagnosis so as to which dosha is playing maximum mischief in terms of causing pathology in the body and which is the lesser culprit. This will give a clear cut idea for a physician to draft a treatment protocol for the majorly and independently vitiated dosha without any confusion, while ignoring the paratantra dosha which would certainly get suppressed on treating the swatantra dosha or swatantra dosha dushti.
Read related: Abnormal Vitiation Of Doshas – Vaikruta Dosha Dushti

The knowledge would certainly help a physician to implement dosha pratyaneeka chikitsa or dosha specific treatment comprehensively.
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