By Dr. Regina Antony
Ayurveda considers the human body as a reflection of the universe. The human body is a miniature representation of the external world. All functions within the human body is a reflection of activities taking place in the universe. Acharyas of Ayurveda used this similarity between the human body and the universe to explain human anatomy and physiology.
This theory is called Loka Purusha Samya Vada.
Loka = world
Purusha = human being
Samya = similarity
Vada = theory
Acharya Sushruta explains the similarity between the Sun, Moon and Wind in the atmosphere and the human body – Gaining of strength (visarga), decrease of strength (adana) and initiation of actions (vikshepa) in the universe is carried out by moon, sun and the wind respectively. Similarly, in the human body, Kapha, Pitta and Anila (vata) govern all functions.
Acharya Charaka, in Charaka Samhita, Shareera Sthana explains that the human body is a miniature version of the external world. Individual is a miniature representation of the universe. All materials and phenomena of the universe can be correlated to entities and events in the human being.
Read related – Balanced Doshas And Their Contribution To Comprehensive Health
Examples by Charaka
Acharya Charaka enlists factors in the universe, which are parallel to the living body –
(Reference – Charaka Samhita Shareerasthana 5/5)
|Entities in the universe||Related entities in the |
|Prithvi (Earth element)||Morphology, shape, |
|Ap (Water element)||Fluids, moisture|
|Tejas (Fire element)||Heat, burning sensation|
|Vayu (Air element)||Liveliness, vital breath|
|Viyata / Akasha (Ether |
|Inter-cellular or unoccupied |
spaces within the body
|Brahma (Creator of the |
|Antaratma – Soul|
|God Indra (King of Gods)||Ahamkara – individuality|
|Aditya (Sun God)||Lessening of strength gained by water |
|Rudra (An angry form of God |
|Soma (God of water)||Euphoria|
|Sarvendriyani (All sense |
|All sense organs|
|Sarva indriyartha (objects |
of sense organs)
|Perception by sense |
|Jyothi (light as the divine |
principle of life)
|Krita yuga (first of the four |
ages of the world)
|Treta yuga (second world |
|Dwapara yuga (third of |
|Kali yuga (fourth of world |
age, the present age)
|Yuga anta (end of |
Similar to how the universe originates, grows, sustains, becomes old and gets destroyed, the human body also takes birth, grows, sustains, becomes old and then dies.
Read related – Shareera: Formation Of Human Body, Ayurvedic Concept
Functioning of the universe and the human body are similar. Origin and destruction of universe and the human body also occur in a similar manner.
This similarity provides a guideline for a physician. When there is difficulty in curing a patient, the physician should observe the universe for similar examples and arrive at a solution.