By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa B.A.M.S
Sara Guna means ‘mobility’ quality. It is present in some substances and those substances are said to be unstable in nature.
Mobility is one of the 20 gurvadi qualities. It is opposite to sthira guna i.e. immobility quality. While mobility causes instability, immobility causes stability. These two qualities also balance each other. Mobility is defined on the basis of the capability of foods and medicines having the quality mobilising the components of the body, especially vata and excreta. Therefore, foods and medicines which cause instability in components of the body and bring about mobility are considered as having mobility quality.
Components of the body which are supposed to be eliminated from body to keep the body healthy are held up within due to excessive consumption of foods, medicines and activities which causes immobility. Example – excreta i.e. faeces, urine and sweat, cell toxins, and morbid doshas. If these things are not eliminated promptly, they get stagnated in body.
Over a period of time they cause damage and blocks in body which form an ideal environment for formation of many disorders. In order to combat excessive stagnation of the components medicines, foods and activities which induce mobility and enable expulsion of the stagnated components from the body should be administered in the form of interventions.
Immobility is caused due to excessive increase of kapha in the body. Mobility is caused by increased vata. Mobility also causes increase in vata. Vata is antagonistic to kapha. Mobility caused by vata is antagonistic and balancing for the immobility caused by kapha.
When kapha is under control the mobility decreases, the stability breaks and things are mobilized due to the action of vata which has subsequently increased. Thus, mobility quality antagonizes the activity of immobility and contributes towards expulsion of components out of the body.
Salient features of mobility quality
Mobility in terms of substances medicinal herbs and food substances –
Mobility quality can be known by the virtue of its action.
Sara guna i.e. mobility quality is unstable and mobile. It produces the same functions when administered.
यस्य प्रेरणे शक्तिः स सरः।हेमाद्रि।
‘That which has capacity and strength to put things in motion, to mobilize and expel things is called sara guna . That, on entering the body mobilizes and expels fart, vata and excreta out of the body, mainly the feces, is called sara guna’
Mobility quality may be introduced in the body by administering medicines, food or activities having mobility quality predominantly.
Mobility or instability quality is related to water and air element. It is a quality of water element. Water element has mobilizing quality. But on the virtue of its actions it seems that this quality is rich in vata i.e. air element.
Thus, mobility quality either acts through the predominant element it contains i.e. water element or through the ‘air like impact’ and quality of air element it possesses.
When things are stagnant and when they are flushed with adequate water, they are drained and the congestion clears. Rains and floods mobilize property and materials, displace things. Similarly we have seen that a hard breeze too mobilizes things. Thus, both water and air elements are involved in mobilizing things. It depends on which element was predominant when the things were mobilized.
Medicines and foods rich in water or air element will naturally tend to bring about mobility to greater extent.
Effect on doshas
Mobility quality increases vata in the body. Since it increases vata, vata which is basically responsible for mobilization and expulsion of excreta of the body. Mobility quality of vata when in a state of balance is also responsible for menstruation and ejaculation.
Therefore when immobility increases in body due to increased sthira guna, apart from stagnation of excreta and doshas, obstruction to menstruation and ejaculation occurs. This leads to blocks in the reproductive system causing disorders like disturbed menstrual cycles, dysmenorrhea, problems related to ejaculation etc.
Medicinal purgatives and laxatives have sara guna. Therefore they bring about easy expulsion of excreta and morbid doshas. Even with practical experience I can tell that purgatives administered to cure any diseases also resolve the menstrual and sexual problems. Mobility quality also removes the blocks caused by increased kapha. Mobility increases vata and vata is antagonistic to kapha.
Effect on Tissues
Mobility quality is basically lekhana in action i.e. it is scraping in nature. It scrapes off tissues of the body and destroys them. When tissues get destroyed, vata further increases and expels even the life supporting components of the body. This leads to loss of strength and stability of the body. Make body susceptible for manifestation of diseases.
When vata increases due to excessive mobility, kapha decreases. Kapha is antagonist dosha for vata. When kapha decreases, stability of the body reduces. Kapha is the dosha which provides support and stability to the body, which keeps the cells and tissues bound to each other.
Effect on Excreta
सरो अनुलोमनः प्रोक्तः।सुश्रुत।
Mobility quality enables easy excretion of waste materials of the body. When this is in a state of balance, the body will be healthy since its impurities are expelled regularly and effortlessly. But when mobility quality increases beyond permissible limits in the body, it causes excessive expulsion of excreta, watery components and all the life-supporting and sustaining components of the body.
This causes instability in the body. Loss of important tissues and components will deplete the body of its strength and endurance.
Effect on systemic functions
This quality can be used to create mobility, to expel anything which has been obstructed. It is used to treat conditions wherein certain components of body are obstructed like constipation, obstruction of urination, menstruation and ejaculation. Mobility expels unwanted things and establishes stability and health.
Effect of excessive consumption
If mobility quality foods are consumed in excess, it leads to excessive elimination of stools, doshas and urine. It is said that the excreta too support the body and provides stability when they are expelled in desired proportions, neither less nor in excess.
Example – uncontrolled diarrhea leading to life threatening dehydration and severe hemorrhage leading to death. Similarly excessive elimination of urine and sweat too has harmful effect on the body.
In such conditions, treatment is administered to check excessive discharge of the body components by using medicines and foods which have stability quality.
Examples of foods and medicines having mobility quality
Swarnapatri – Cassia angustifolia
Vamsha – Bamboo tree
Palasha – Butea monosperma
Kadamba – Anthocephalus cadamba