By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Sattva Pariksha means examination of mind. This includes examination of the mind status, mind strength, mental endurance and analysis of weak and strong minds in the patients. Mind and body form different sides of the same coin.
Satva = mind
Pariksha = examination
Read – Mind – Qualities, Functions, Doshas As Per Ayurveda
Table of Contents
Ayurveda opines that the physical diseases are first caused by the vitiated physical doshas i.e. vata, pitta, kapha either individually or in combinations of two or three doshas. In due course of time these diseases may impact on the mind and also cause mental disorders. The weaker the mind, the quicker the involvement of mind in the physical disorders and stronger the mind the lesser are the chances of the mind getting afflicted.
Similar is the impact of mental disorders on the body. First the mental disorders are caused by vitiated mind doshas i.e. rajas and tamas. Later the mind disorders will impact on the body and functions of the organs and organ systems.
Read – Manasika Doshas – Satva, Rajas, Tamas As Per Ayurveda
Therefore, the mind is involved in either cases, be it physical or mental disorders.
Many times, these physical and mental conditions are masked and it is difficult for the physician to identify whether it is a physical or mental condition, whether the body was afflicted first or the mind. The patient will be able to confess that it is his mental problems, be it stress, anxiety, depression or trauma which are causing physical symptoms only if he or she has kept a clean track of what is happening with them and if they have enough courage to accept that they have mental issues.
There is a strong stigma that people do not accept that they have mental disorders in spite of having been diagnosed with the same. One can readily accept with his doctor that he had physical diseases / symptoms on the backdrop of which he has developed mental issues or that he is worried or stressed following long standing physical ailments. But on the other hand it becomes very difficult for people to accept that they are severely upset with mental disorders which have been causal for physical symptoms in the long run.
Read – Cluttered Mind – Get Rid Of The Big Hurdle Between You And Success
Even from the treatment perspective it is important to consider seriously the involvement of the mind component. Mind can never be ignored if the diagnosis of any ailment needs to be made. Any physician cannot treat diseases comprehensively and might not find good success in clinical practice if he doesn’t consider the mind’s involvement in the diseases. Many times, the physical disorders or symptoms are nothing but disguised mental disorders and their identification is the key for comprehensive treatment of the patient in question.
Modern medicine emphasizes on considering the mind angle in physical ailments and physical symptoms in mind disorders, apart from strongly addressing the mind in pure mental disorders. Many research works have focused upon and many more works are going on and will keep going on to understand the mind entity and mental disorders.
Read – 16 Factors To Watch For A Healthy Mind And Body
Examination of Satva, Mind
The physician should examine the mind of the patient while examining the disease. Sattva means mind. Being associated with the soul / life element, the mind controls the entire body and its functions.
Types and examination of Sattva
Depending on the strength and endurance of the mind, satva is considered to be of 3 types. They are –
1. Pravara Sattva – strong minded
People having strong minds are called pravara sathva persons. Strong mindedness is also considered as ‘sathva sara’ i.e. ‘those having best essence of mind’.
Characteristic features – People having strong minds do not look diseased in spite of suffering from ailments because they have good tolerance power and they do not display pain or suffering of any order. They take their diseases easily, do not display or exaggerate them and handle them with ease. And the body built doesn’t define how strong the person is mentally.
Read – Foods That Increase Sattva, Rajas, Tamas: Srimad Bhagavat Geeta
2. Madhya Sattva – people having moderate mind strength
People having moderately strong minds are called madhyama sattva persons.
Characteristic features – These people will get courage and confidence after seeing strong minded people. When they see that the strong minded people are tolerating their hardships and pain better than them, they tap confidence from them. They are people who think – ‘If they can, why can’t I’. They will keep those strong minded people as their role-models and keep them in their minds always. Whenever they find themselves in difficult situations, they think of and remember those strong minded people and convince themselves that they can get on top of their problem and come out of it unscratched. These people are also convinced when they are counseled by strong minded people and especially when they are assured that ‘nothing is going to happen buddy, everything will be okay, things have started getting good, they will get better, you can do it!’.
Read – Manovaha Srotas Description, Vitiation Symptoms, Treatment
3. Avara / Hina Sattva – people having weak mind strength
People having weak minds are called hina sattva persons.
Characteristic features – Weak minded people are those who cannot convince themselves of anything. They are also those who cannot take care of themselves. When they find themselves amidst hardships of life they get scared and easily panic. This makes them susceptible to and victims of situations. These people cannot derive their courage and confidence from seeing strong minded people. They are people who think ‘they can do it, we can’t, and there is no way I can get out of this trouble’. They have complaints from everything and everyone. No one can convince them that the problems are temporary and they can easily get on top of them with better efforts in spite of putting all efforts to do so. No one can fill courage in them because they are not open to it. In spite of having a well-built body these people cannot tolerate hardships of life. They easily get scared and grieved. They are greedy, stupid, egoistic and are victims of false prestige. When they see or hear about something scary, incompatible, things they don’t like, things which disgust or things which are deformed and awkward or when they happen to see blood or meat / muscles of animals or people they get easily disturbed. In such conditions they can suffer from one or more of depression, syncope, fainting, loss of consciousness, insaneness or giddiness. Some people may also lose their life.
Patient Observation Points
Can she tolerate bitter and spicy medicines?
What was his reaction, when you explained about possible Vamana procedure to be done?
What was her reaction to needle?
Is his mind hyper-sensitive?
Does she have fearfulness and anxiety?
Is he feeling apprehensive towards your treatment / medicine options
Does she feel dizzy whenever a bad news is heard?