By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Ayurveda explains certain ominous signs that a doctor has to observe in and around patient. These signs indicate that the patient is going to die soon. Ayurveda recommends that the doctor should not take up such cases where death is imminent.
Table of Contents
Unpromising signs of senses
Ominous signs related to smell –
Gandha or smell is one of the subjects of sense organs, especially the nose. It is an important sense. Those who are blind identify many things around them through touch or smell. Body emits particular smell which is quite natural of it.
We smell different in different conditions, like stinky when we sweat, smell fresh when we have bathed etc. These are natural to the body.But what if body emits unnatural odor, be it good, pleasant or odd and bad!!Any abnormal smell emitted from body is considered to be arishta lakshana i.e. signs and symptoms of impending death.
Read – Importance Of Sweating, Remedies For Excess Sweating
Smell based bad prognosis
Reference – Charaka Samhita Indriya Sthanam, chapter 2, Pushpitam Indriyam AdhyayamCharaka beautifully explains significance of signs and symptoms of impending death in determining bad prognosis of a death or in being indicators of approaching death with the help of simily of transformation of flowers into fruits. Therefore the chapter has been named as Pushpita Indriya (Pushpita = flowering).
Flowers transform as fruits.Flowers are considered as pre-existing or prodromal stage of fruits.Likewise, bad signs are pre-existing or prodromal state of death.But there are some exemptions i.e. there are many such flowers which are not transformed into fruits and there are also many such fruits which do not have their pre-existing flowers.
Manifested bad signs in body exists until the death occurs. Similarly no death occurs without being preceded by arishta lakshanas. This means to tell that each and every form of death will be preceded by one or other form of bad signs.
Read related: Arishta Lakshanas – Ominous Signs And Symptoms Indicating Bad Prognosis
Definition of Pushpita Arishta –Anything which is flowered or anything in which flowers are manifested is called pushpita.Pushpa (flower) ? gandha (smell) ? phala (fruit)
Arishta (signs of bad prognosis ? gandha (smell) ? marana (death)With appearance of flowers, a typical fragrance is eliminated from trees and later the fruits appear. Similarly when a person becomes associated with signs of bad prognosis, some type of smell is eliminated from his body.As a result person will face death. This ultimate and inevitable death is compared to the appearance of fruits in tree.
Read – Anosmia: Ayurvedic Treatment And Home Remedies
Below mentioned are signs and symptoms of bad prognosis of smell and diseases when abnormal smell is emitted from the body. They are also signs which indicate that person would be facing death in short time.
Patient when present with below mentioned arishtas is said to die within a year time. Smell emitted from body of patient resembling fragrance of many types of flowers.This condition of body is called pushpita and is indicative of definitely approaching death in short time.- Good or bad odor resembling that of any individual flower being emitted from body of patient is an indicator of death ensuing in one year.- Manifestation of inauspicious and abnormal odors (good or bad) resembling that of an individual flower or many flowers from body of patient ensures death of patient within one year time.- Sensing of good and bad smells from body being anointed with fragrance or not is suggestive of death of patient within one year.
The odor resembling below mentioned things when emitted from body indicates bad prognosis –- Chandana – sandalwood- Kushta – Saussurea lappa- Tagara – Valeriana wallichii- Aguru – Aquilaria agallocha- Madhu – honey- Mala – garland- Mutra – urine- Pureesha – stools- Mrutani – dead cattle etc- Kunapa – dead body
Other odors good or bad, which have not been mentioned in this instance but resembling above mentioned odors and are emitted from body of person are also considered inauspicious and cause death within one year.
Sudden and unreal appearance of abnormal, auspicious and inauspicious odors which remains constant in body will surely take away life of patient within span of one year.
This knowledge will help the physician to differentiate the curable and incurable conditions.
Read – Nose Bleed: Ayurvedic Understanding, Treatment
Bad prognosis based on touch
Skin is not only an important organ but also an important sense organ. It not only contributes to our beauty, color and complexion, but also is responsible for all good and bad touch sensations. Apart from sensation of pain, heat, coldness, dryness, unctuousness, roughness etc qualities, the emotions like love, rejection etc are also perceived by skin.
Extremes of above said sensations may be available in some skin disorders as symptoms or complications of some long standing illnesses.Other than this, abnormal skin sensations occurring at wrong times, without reasons, suddenly, staying and bothering for long durations may not just be symptoms of a disease, but also may be signs of bad prognosis of a disease or indicating fast approaching death.This means to tell that abnormal skin sensations may manifest in the form of arishta lakshanas.
Read – Psoriasis – Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Herbs, Remedies
Charaka Samhita Indriya Sthana, chapter 3, Parimarshaneeyam indriya adhyayam says lifespan of an individual on basis of touch sensations shall be known by physician by examining the skin in all parts of patient’s body by touching with his hands.
While touching the body of patient, physician should examine below mentioned factors in different parts of body.
Examination of abnormal touch sensations in body and deciding the prognosis–
Lack of sensation in places of body wherein sensations are otherwise available in normal conditions, like pulsations in arteries would be absent on touch.- Decrease in temperature in those places of body which always remain warm or hot- Places which are normally soft to touch would become harsh, hard- Places of body which always remain smooth will become rough on touch- Parts of body or signs like heartbeat etc are not present in original places where they are meant to be in normal conditions- Dropping or prolapse of joints- Decrease of muscle bulk and blood vessels around joints- Joints become hard, losing flexibility- There is excessive sweating and increased stiffness in joints
Above said symptoms and other symptoms and signs which resemble above said, when manifested are considered as signs and symptoms of bad prognosis of a disease.
Read – Roga, Rogi Pareeksha: Examination Of Disease And Patient
Other signs of touch related bad prognosis– Legs, thighs, buttocks, abdomen, flanks, spine, hands, neck, palate, lips and forehead, if they are found to be severely sweating, too cold to touch, stiff, hard and devoid of blood and flesh around them, then all these indicate that person is going to die shortly.
– If following parts i.e. ankle, knee, hip joint and regions, scrotum, genitals, navel region, scapular region, shoulders, breasts, wrists, ribs, mandible, nose, ears, eyes, eyebrows, temples etc are found to have loss of integrity on touch and if they have been displaced from their original places, then they indicate that person is going to face death very quickly.
– Bad prognosis related to breath – person will have deep and shortened breathing in presence of arishta symptoms.- Related to side of neck i.e. manya – there will be no sensations or arterial pulsations in that area on touch.- Teeth – appear dirty, too white and excessive deposition of gravel like substances on teeth.- Eyelashes – there will be sudden interlocking and matting of eyelashes without any reasons.
Eyes – following features of eye indicates bad prognosis –- Loss of normal appearance- Abnormalities- Protruded eyeballs- Deep located eyeballs- Oblique eyeballs (squint)- Inappropriate or disproportionate eyeballs (vishama)- Excessive lacrimation- Excessive dilatation of eyes due to laxity of eyelid joints- Eyes being always closed or open- Eyes opening very fast and quickly closing- Fluctuant eyes (vibhranta)- Hallucinations of vision- Cannot see power of objects i.e. drishti heena- Seeing somewhere when object is somewhere else i.e. vyasta drishti- Eyes appearing like burning coal- Manifestation of one or more of abnormal colors in eye i.e. black, blue, yellow, grey, coppery, green, turmeric color etc
Read – How To Make Prognosis Of Disease According To Ayurveda?
– Bad prognosis related to body hair and hairs – when we pull body or scalp hairs they come off easily without causing pain.- Abdomen – appearance of veins of different colors over abdomen such as grey, coppery, reddish, blue, turmeric, yellowish, white etc.- Nails – nails devoid of flesh and blood, having blue color, resembling ripened jamun fruits.- Fingers – when fingers are pulled we do not obtain click sounds from the interphalangeal joints of hands.
Bad prognosis based on taste
Food is the source of our life. In fact food itself is life. It is one of the supporting pillars of our life. We all eat foods which we love, which taste good. Most of us are habituated to certain tastes and we follow tastes to love foods and make them part of our lives. Most of our favorite foods are determined on their tastes. We also accept and reject foods on basis of taste of foods we eat.
Feeling of bad tastes and non-likable in spite of those foods being prepared well as per our desires and being our favorites may be due to some gut related health problems like anorexia, indigestion etc.On contrary the foods which taste bad or taste abnormal i.e. a particular taste is perceived as some other taste may be an arishta lakshana i.e. signs of bad prognosis of certain long standing diseases or may indicate the approaching death.
Read – Loss of appetite: Anorexia: Ayurvedic Understanding And Treatment
Charaka Samhita Indriya Sthanam, chapter 2, Pushpitam Idriyam AdhyayamTaste which is normally present in body of person in state of health and equilibrium undergoes abnormal change at time of death.This means to tell that abnormal tastes manifested in some conditions of diseases are indicators of bad prognosis and premature death which is fast approaching, i.e. arishta lakshanas.
Knowing these changes through examination of patient in terms of changes occurring in taste is very important from prognosis point of view.Read – Diabetes: Ayurvedic Treatment, Remedies, Prevention Tips
Rasa Pareeksha – Examination of abnormal taste and deciding the prognosis.
Atyanta Virasa or Anishta Rasa –Taste of body becomes atyanta virasa or anishta rasa i.e. perverted, inauspicious, total loss of taste. Example, for virasatva, when virasa is manifested in body of person who is about to die, mosquitoes, insects, leeches, bees etc show aversion towards the body, i.e. these creatures will not come near the body of patient.
Atyanta Madhura Rasa –Taste of the body of patient becomes too sweet.Example, When sweet taste is manifested in person who is about to die, flies are attracted towards the body though he has been anointed with fragrant materials like chandana i.e. sandalwood, kesara i.e. saffron etc after taking bath.
What if our natural color changes suddenly?What if a fair looking person gets dark complexion within a few days?What if a dark complexion person starts looking fair suddenly?What if different parts of body start showing different colors? Is it a point of worry or a pride of feeling multi-colored?
Below mentioned body colors or any other colors which approximate or resemble these colors are considered as normal colors of body- Krishna – bluish-black or dark color- Shyama – grey, light brown to brownish-orange, tawny color- Shyaamaavadaata – blackish white or dazzling black color- Avadaata / Goura – white color
Vikruta Varna or Abnormal body color –- Neela – blue color- Shyava – brown or dark brown color- Taamra – coppery color- Hareeta – green color- Shukla – bright white color
Other unsaid colors and combinations like bluish brown, coppery blue, bluish green etc are also abnormal colors of body.Read – Ayurvedic Remedies, Medicines for Skin Glow, Complexion
Colours by birth: If such abnormal colors or mixed colors of body exist since birth and if color undergoes changes in further stages of life suddenly, it is considered as abnormal color. This is called Prag Vikriti i.e. abnormality existing from the beginning.
Sudden change in colours: In some cases colors which were absent previously would suddenly appear in further stages of life. This type of abnormal appearance of colors is called Abhutvotpanna Vikriti i.e. abnormality which did not exist from the beginning but appeared later.
Varna Pareeksha -Examination of abnormal colors in body and deciding the prognosis–
Charaka Samhita Indriya Sthana, chapter 1, Varna swareeya indriya adhyayam
– Appearance of different colors in opposite sides of the body separated by margins is arishta- If normal or abnormal color appear in half portion of body i.e. if on one half of body we find normal color and in another half of body if there is abnormal color it is considered to be signs of bad prognosis.
This means to tell that if there are different colors on two halves of the body clearly demarcated by a margin, then it indicates bad prognosis.Half of body indicates right and left halves of body or anterior and posterior or upper and lower halves of body or internally and externally.Thus, marginalized combinations of normal and abnormal colors are considered as signs of bad prognosis related to the color of body.
– Appearance of different colors in face and limbsSimilarly if there is marginalization of normal and abnormal colors in face or limbs, it is considered as sign of bad prognosis.- Appearance of different qualities or features on opposite sides of bodySimilarly depression and enthusiasm on opposite sides of body separated by margin, oiliness and dryness on opposite sides of body separated by margin indicate approaching death.
Other signs of prognosis in face– Appearance of any one or more of moles, freckles, eruptions etc on face right from the birth suggests bad prognosis or impending death.Read – Safe, Easy And Effective Home Remedies For Fairness Of Skin
Signs of bad prognosis on nails and other structures– Appearance of any abnormal colors on nails, in eyes, face, urine, feces, limbs, lips etc due to decrease in strength of strength, color and sense organs is considered as death indicating symptoms.- Appearance of new colors which were not presentApart from normal and abnormal colors, the appearance of any other color which was not present previously is considered sign of bad prognosis.If these colors suddenly appear due to decrease of strength, muscles etc of the patient, they indicate impending death.Read – Paronychia: Ayurvedic treatment and Home remedies
Other features suggestive of approaching death related to colors– Appearance of flower like symbols on nails of the ailing person- Appearance of dirt or moisture or white calcium like deposits on teeth which doesn’t go away- Swelling of both lips getting shape and color (blue) of ripe jamun fruit
Ominous voice changes
Ref – Charaka Samhita Indriya Sthana, chapter 1, Varna swareeya indriya adhyayam
Prakrita Swara or normal voicesVoices resembling sounds of below mentioned or any other voices similar to the quality of these voices are considered to be normal.- Hamsa – swan- Krauncha pakshi – crane- Nemi – wheel- Dundubhi – drum- Kalavinka – Indian cuckoo, sparrow- Kaka – crow- Kapota – dove- Jharjara – split, broken tornRead – Kanthya Gana: Voice Improving Herbs: Review, Benefits, Formulations
Vaikrutika Swara or abnormal voicesVoice produced as mentioned below or any other sound resembling these sounds or combinations of these sounds are considered to be abnormal voices.- Edaka – ewe, sheep, wild goat- Kala – feeble- Grasta – obstructed- Avyakta – not audible- Gadgada – stammer- Kshaama – weak- Deena – grieved- Anukeerna – unobstructed i.e. person doesn’t stop after one sentence, he keeps speaking one after other
Sudden appearance of voice which was not present earlier is also considered indicator of quickly approaching death.Read – Hoarse Voice Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies
Swara Pareeksha – Examination of abnormal voice and deciding prognosisFollowing conditions are said to be signs and symptoms of bad prognosis of voice and diseases.They are also the signs which indicate that person would be facing death in short time.- Appearance of abnormal voices as mentioned above in a person who had a normal voice.- Sudden transformation of normal voice into abnormal voice or abnormal voice into normal voice – Similarly, appearance of voices which were never there also is an indicator of bad prognosis.- Sudden change of normal or abnormal voice into a different voice of different quality and quantity, which was not at all present previously, is a pointer of fast approaching death.- Appearance of normal and abnormal voices together.- Appearance of a single type of voice in multiple forms suggests worst prognosis.- Appearance of one or more of abnormal voices in a debilitated person suggests that patient is going to die in short span of time.- Abnormalities related to one or other color or voice appearing suddenly or otherwise in persons who have less strength or muscle tissue depletion is an indicator of sure death.
Examination of ominous changes
Like other diseases and morbid doshas, arishtas too can be known by examining the normal and pathological features and also by differentiating them.
Arishta lakshanas could be understood by thoroughly examining some aspects and factors in the body.Among these aspects some may be existing in the body i.e. aashrita bhavas and some may be not be existing i.e. anashrita bhavas.
Those factors which do not exist in the body shall be examined through the help of references and scriptures and those which do exist in the body should be examined with the help of prakriti i.e. normal and constitutional factors and vikriti i.e. pathological factors.
Read – Personalities of Ayurveda Body Types
Examination of non-existing aspects –The factors which do not exist in the body are called anashrita bhavas. They should be examined with the help of scriptures and thinking skills and inferential knowledge because there will be no other source of understanding these aspects.
Examples of the non-existing factors are –– The knowledge of arishta based on the messenger i.e. the way the messenger comes, the time at which he comes, the way he conveys the message, the way he looks etc- Inauspicious views seen on the way while going to the patient or patient’s home- Seeing that the cot has been placed in an erect way in the patient’s home- The fire being brought out of the patient’s home etc
These are the arishta signs which indicate that the patient is approaching death or that the disease cannot be cured at any cost or by any measures.
Examination of existing aspects –The aspects which exist are called aashrita bhavas. To understand the existing aspects in terms of arishta symptoms in the body shall be examined with the help of normal and abnormal features of one’s constitution
Examples of the existing factors are –– Color- Complexion- Appearance- Voice- Touch etc
Normalcy (prakruti), abnormalcy (vikruti)
Prakriti : Is of 6 types.They are –- Jati prasaktataa – dependent on racial factors- Kula prasaktata – dependent on familial tendency- Desha anupatini – dependent on land- Kala anupatini – dependent on seasonal factors- Vaya anupatini – dependent on age factor- Pratyaatma niyata – dependent on personal habitsIndividual variations of voice, color, complexion etc aspects of different individuals depend on the above said type of prakritis. The manifestation of arishtas also depends on sudden changes occurring in the above said aspects of prakriti.
Read – 11 Tips To A Junior Ayurvedic Doctor
Vikriti : Is of three types.They are the types of arishta lakshanas. This means to tell that the three types of Vikriti are the sources of understanding arishta lakshanas or arishta lakshanas themselves.
Factors influencing vikruti
They are –1. Lakshana Nimitta : That in which the arishta lakshanas are manifested in the body depending on the deeds done in previous birth or incarnation.Some symptoms are related and localized in the body. When time of manifestation occurs, they get located in different places of the body and produce diseases accordingly.
The diseases in this type of manifestation will be decided only on the basis of the manifested symptoms (lakshanas). Therefore they are called lakshana nimitta vikruti.Thus, the symptoms which get manifested are the sources for understanding this vikriti.
The appearance of lines and images resembling lotus flowers on the nails is an indication that one would lose the kingdom, wealth, etc and would suffer from disorders of locomotion, would face arrest or death sentence etc. these symptoms occur due to the fate or destiny.
Similarly the arishtas are also known by the symptoms they exhibit.Even in the manifestation of these symptoms, the fate or destiny plays a major role. Once these symptoms are manifested in the body we would know the arishta related to them.
Example – appearance of innumerable dividing lines or circular whirls on the eyebrows or scalp, which were never seen before that are indicative of impending death. The patient presenting these symptoms will die within 3 days time. Similarly if these symptoms appear in a healthy person, he or she will die in 6 days time.Read – Ayurveda Vata Diet – What To Take And What To Avoid For Vata
2. Lakshya Nimitta: Those diseases for which causes are available, similar to those explained in section of treatises which discusses about the etiological factors for the diseases. Example, dryness, roughness, coldness, instability, lightness are the qualities of vata. If the food and life activities which have similar qualities are consumed in the form of etiological factors or causes, the vata will get aggravated.
3. Nimitta Anurupa :Some things in spite of not being nimittas (causes), act like causative factor towards the causation of an effect. Such causes are called nimitta anurupa vikritis.
Example – Those things having dryness etc qualities should cause vitiation of vata.On the contrary in some instances if the same dryness, coldness etc qualities instead of vitiating vata, if they pacify vata, these qualities (nimittas) are called nimitta anurupa vikriti.
In some person if vata is vitiated and do not get pacified with vata pacifying medicines but get pacified by medicines or things which vitiate vata, those causes (which pacify vata instead of vitiating it) are called nimitta anurupa vikritis.
Here we should note that the ruksha etc qualities are not the causes for vata pacification but they are working as ‘causes for vata pacification’.Hence the vikriti or deformity occurs in the form of vata pacification. Though vata pacification contributes to health, in this case since it is pacified by its vitiating agents, it would be considered as deformity of vata or vata vikriti.
This type of vikriti will help in knowing about the residue life span and are indicators of development of arishtas.
Misjudged senses causing bad prognosis
Ref – Charaka Samhita Indriya Sthana, chapter 4, Indriyaaneekam indriyam adhyayam At times, knowledge gained by sense organs is ominous. Knowledge is opposite in comparison to the normal knowledge obtained by healthy sense organs. Such abnormal knowledge perceived by sense organs is markers of impending death or indicators of in curability of the diseases. This is not object specific but condition specific.
Arishta Lakshanas are the signs and symptoms which indicate impending death and also suggest bad prognosis of diseases. Read – Arishta Lakshanas – Ominous Signs And Symptoms Indicating Bad Prognosis
In this case, the kind of abnormal,opposite or perverted knowledge perceived by sense organs which indicate bad prognosis or impending death are called indriya sambandhi arishta lakshanas.
“If the perception of knowledge by sense organs is opposite or perverted against normal perception, in spite of the sense organs being healthy, they indicate that the person is going to face death in quick time. These are indriya arishtas”. Read – How To Make Prognosis Of Disease According To Ayurveda?
1. Ominous signs related to opposite and perverted knowledge perceived by eye
Patient can see sky as dense andsolid objects which usually aren’t. On the contrary, he sees earth (solidsubstances) as a vacant space while the earth is a solid substance. All theseoccur due to perverted knowledge of eye.
Air doesn’t have shape. But patient sees the air moving in space / sky to have a perfect shape like a solid material.
Read – Bad Prognosis Based On Smell, Touch, Taste, Colour And Voice
Normally we all see light emitted by a fire source. Here the patient cannot see or appreciate light emitted by fire.
Patient can see the net beings cattered over the water which is clear, stable or flowing when no net is spread over it.
In spite of being conscious and totally alert, patient can see many supernatural beings like preta, rakshasa and many other magnificent things in front of him.
Some people will see the normal fire to be devoid of luster, and having bluish, blackish or whitish color. Such people will die within a span of 7 days.
Patient can see the sky covered by clouds when the sky clear. At the same time, he can see lightening in the sky in the absence of clouds.
Person sees sun or moon lack-luster.Sun and moon will appear like a vessel of mud being wrapped up by a backcloth.
Patient sees the sun to be luster-less just like a mud vessel wrapped by a dark / black cloth and the moon to be very clear and bright.
Patient can see solar and lunar eclipse on a day other than new moon and full moon days.
Patient will see sun at night time. Similarly he can see moon in the day time.
Patient can see smoke without fire and lusterless fire at night.
He can see luster in those objects which are devoid of luster and vice-versa. He gains knowledge of anything in opposite manner.
Patient will see the shape, color and number of objects in an exactly opposite way and deformed manner and he will have no reasons to explain for doing so.
One cannot see the existing objects and can see the non-existing objects. Read – Ayurveda Eye Treatment Types, Methods – Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutrasthana 23
2. Ominous signs related to the opposite and perverted knowledge perceived by the ear
Patient hears sounds which are not present and he doesn’t hear the sounds which are clearly audible to everyone.
It is said that when we close both our ears with our fingers we hear a particular hissing sound. That is the sound of our jatharagni i.e. digestive fire in an active state. If the patient closing both his ear orifices with his fingers cannot hear the sounds of his digestive fire (heart?) then he is considered to be short of his lifespan i.e. he is going to die in short time. Read – Relation Between Doshas, Sense Organs And Perception
3. Ominous signs related to the opposite and perverted knowledge perceived by the nose
Patient perceives contrasting smells. He perceives good smell as bad smell and bad smell as good smell. Many times, even in presence of smell, the patient cannot perceive any smell, neither good or bad.
Read – Anosmia: Ayurvedic Treatment And Home Remedies
4. Ominous signs related to the opposite and perverted knowledge perceived by the taste
Patient does not get ulcers in mouth which usually everyone experiences.
Cannot identify taste perfectly.
He cannot differentiate the tastes.
Sometimes he cannot perceive any type of tastes.
Read – Loss of appetite: Anorexia: Ayurvedic Understanding And Treatment
5. Ominous signs related to the opposite and perverted knowledge perceived by the skin
Person feels opposite touch sensations. He feels hot substances to be cold and cold substances to be hot.He finds hard things to be smooth and smooth ones to be hard etc.
Perverted tactile sensations – when person touches a particular object, instead of feeling it as it is, he feels it in a different manner.
Read – Reasons Why Curable Diseases Become Incurable
Other points regarding indriya arista
In case, the person starts getting extraordinary knowledge suddenly with the help of his sensual powers i.e. extraordinary perception power of his sense organs, without he indulging in either form of yogic activities or severe penance which brings him supernatural power of obtaining extraordinary knowledge, then such knowledge, though in abundance or good quantity, is considered to be arishta i.e. ominous. Such sudden perception of extraordinary sensory knowledge without the help of yogic or meditative powers is indicative of sure impending death in short time. Read – Health Benefits Of Yoga: Mind And Body
Even a person who identifies many types of errors and faults in the knowledge perceived by sensory perception,due to his sins committed in consciousness, will surely face death in short time
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