Charaka Indriya Sthana 4th Chapter Indriyaanikam indriyam

4th chapter of Charaka Indriya sthana deals about signs and symptoms of imminent death as indicated by the characteristic features of sense organs. The chapter name is Parimarshaniyamindriyam.

We shall expound the chapter on the signs and symptoms of imminent death as indicated by the characteristic features of sense organs. Thus said Lord Atreya [1-2]
Read – Arishta Lakshanas – Ominous Signs And Symptoms Indicating Bad Prognosis

Role of inference in the examination

We shall now explain as to how an expert physician desirous of ascertaining the span of life of patients should examine the sense organs of a patient.
The knowledge of sense organs is always beyond the purview of perception; this is the ultimate truth. Therefore the examination of sense organs shall be done with inference. [3-4]

Specific features of signs of imminent death

If any morbidity develops in the healthy sense organs without any visible cause this is indicative of imminent death. The signs and symptoms of imminent death pertaining to sense organs are explained in general in this context. They will be further elaborated in subsequent paragraphs. [5-6]
Read – Bad Prognosis Based On Smell, Touch, Taste, Colour And Voice

Characteristic features of vision indicative of imminent death

If a patient views the sky as something solid or like the earth and the earth as something void or like the sky, he is sure to die soon as these symptoms are inauspicious. [7]

One who views the wind blowing in the sky in a corporeal form but does not see the flame of kindled fire, should be considered as a moribund person. [8]
If a person happens to see (hallucination) a net being spread out in clean water, stagnant or moving in spite of no net being present there, then this constitutes the premonitory symptoms of imminent death. [9]
Read – Bad Prognosis Based On Premonitory Symptoms Of Disease – Purvarupiya Arishta

If one, even while awake, perceives Pretas (ghosts) and various types of Raksasas (demons) or any other supernatural elements, he will not live long [10]
When the fire is viewed as blue, lusterless, black or white in spite of it being in its natural colour i.e. yellowish or reddish, this is indicative of the death of the patient after seventh night. [11]
If one sees Marichi (cloud- light), or cloud or lightening when there is no cloud in the sky, this is indicative of imminent death. [12]

Symptoms relating to the visual sense indicate imminent death of the person

  • clear sun or the moon (unobstructed by the cloud) appear like an earthen plate covered with a black cloth
  • seeing lunar or solar eclipse when there is no full moon of new moon respectively (seen by both normal and abnormal persons)
  • seeing sun in the night, the moon in the day, the smoke when there is no fire or fire without flame in the night;
  • appearance of bright things as devoid of lustre, the ones having no lustre as bright – i.e. view things devoid of their real characteristics;
  • to have visual perception in a distorted from i.e. to view things appearing as having multiple forms, devoid of complexion and inaccurate numbers without any reason
  • to visualize the invisible ones and not to visualize the visible ones [13-18]
    Read – Bad Prognosis Of Diseases Based On Dreams and Shadows


The following symptoms relating to the auditory sense organ indicate imminent death of the person:
Hearing inaudible sounds and not hearing audible ones;
Inability to hear the internal (astral) sound after closing ears with fingers; [19-20]


If the olfactory sense of a person fails to distinguish between good and bad smells or is not responsive to any smell at all, he is considered as a moribund person. [21]


If a person free from Mukhapaka (stomatitis and glossitis) does not perceive taste (does not have the gustatory sensation) at all nor can identify the exact tastes, he is also ripe for death. [22]


If one has the tactile sensation of coldness in heat, smoothness in coarseness, softness in hardness and vice versa, he is to be considered as a moribund one. [23]
Read – How To Make Prognosis Of Disease According To Ayurveda?

Supra-sensory perception

Supra-sensory perception not preceded by austere, penances or due yogic practices is indicative of imminent death.
If one perceives things in an infallible manner in spite of the impairment of the respective sensory faculties, this is also indicative of imminent death [24-25]

Wrong perception

If a healthy person perceives things wrongly in contravention of the normal relationship between the sense organs and their objects as a result of mental pervasion, he is sure to die soon. [26]
Read – Prognosis Signs Based On The Messenger – Doota Adhishtita Arishta

To sum up:-
A physician who knows the science of premonition of death as indicated by the characteristic features of the sense organs can readily distinguish between life and death. [27]

Thus ends the fourth chapter on the signs and symptoms of imminent death as indicated by the characteristic features of sense organs of Indriya Section of Agnivesha’s work as redacted by Charaka.

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