Charaka Indriya Sthana 5th Chapter Poorvaroopiyam Indriyam

5th chapter of Charaka Indriya sthana deals about signs and symptoms of imminent death as indicated by the premonitory symptoms of diseases. The chapter name is Poorvaroopiyamindriyam.
Read – Arishta Lakshanas – Ominous Signs And Symptoms Indicating Bad Prognosis

Now, we shall expound the chapter on the signs and symptoms of imminent death as indicated by the premonitory symptoms of diseases. Thus said Lord Atreya [1-2]
Read – Bad Prognosis Based On Premonitory Symptoms Of Disease – Purvarupiya Arishta

Premonitory symptoms indicative of imminent death

We shall now separately explain the premonitory symptoms general as well as specific –relating to the incurable diseases as a means to promote the knowledge of the physician.

If in a patient of fever all the premonitory symptoms of fever manifest themselves excessively it shall be considered as sure signs of death.
Similarly, all the premonitory symptoms of other diseases manifesting themselves excessively are sure signs of imminent death of the patient. [3-5]

We shall explain some other premonitory symptoms of the most fatal type which follow the various diseases and are in turn followed by death

Read – How To Make Prognosis Of Disease According To Ayurveda?

  • If a patient of consumption indulging in sex suffers from diminution of strength and aggravation of Pratishyaya (Coryza) he is sure to die.
  • If a person travels towards the south riding dog, camel or ass in his dreams, he gets afflicted with tuberculosis which consequentially leads to his death.
  • If a person drinks wine in the company of ghosts or gets dragged by dogs in dream, he gets afflicted with serious type of fever leading to his death.
  • Such of the diseases as follow the premonitory symptoms described above must result in death. Riding dog, camel, pig and ass in a dream is already described in Nidana 6:13 as premonitory symptoms of Rajayakshma (Tuberculosis). The same dream is regarded as premonitory symptom of death if the travel is towards the south. [6-9]
  • If the sky appears to be red like a cloth smeared with lac from a nearby distance, the patient falls a victim to raktapitta (a disease characterized by bleeding from different parts of the body) leading to his death.
  • If a person in his dreams wears red garlands and apparel with his entire body looking red (smeared with red color), laughs frequently and is dragged by a woman, he falls a victim to Raktapitta leading to his death. [10-11]
  • Colic pain, meteorism (swelling of the abdomen caused by gas in the intestines or peritoneal cavity), gurgling sound in the intestine and excessive weakness, discoloration of nails etc. results in Gulma (a disease characterized by a growth in the abdomen) leading to death of the patient.
  • If in a dream one has the growth of spiky creeper on his chest, he falls a victim to fatal type of Gulma, [12-13]
  • If even the slightest injury give rise to excessive wound in the body and the wounds do not heal up, the patient dies of skin disease / leprosy.
  • If in a dream, a person naked, anointed with ghee, offering oblations to the fire without flame has growth of lotus flower on his chest, he would die of leprosy. [14-15]
  • If the flies get attracted towards an individual even after he has taken bath and used unguents, he falls a victim to Prameha (obstinate urinary disorders including diabetes). This prameha would eventually prove fatal for him. [16]

Read – Bad Prognosis Of Diseases Based On Dreams and Shadows


If a person in his dreams drinks various types of unctuous substance in accompaniment with the Chandalas (a person born from a Shudra father and a Brahmin mother MW), he also falls a victim to Prameha which will be fatal to him. [17]

Premonitory symptoms of Psychic diseases

  • The symptoms which are indicative of imminent death preceded by insanity are mental wandering, exertion, bewilderment, illusion in inopportune situations, indifference and loss of strength.
  • The person will definitely die quick due to a strong attack of insanity if he is found to have aversion to food, if he has diversion of mind / absentmindedness, and suffers from udarda i.e. urticaria.
  • Extreme irritation, frightfulness, continued smile on his face after its onset, excess of fainting and thirst are indicative of imminent death due to insanity.
  • If one gets drowned in water while dancing with the demons in his dream, he succumbs to an acute attack of insanity.
  • A person who in his wakeful state sees darkness wherein there is no darkness and listens to all types of sounds even though there are no such sounds, will soon succumb to Apasmara (epilepsy).
  • One is sure to succumb to an attack of apasmara if he while dancing in an intoxicated state is caught by Preta (soul of a dead person) with his face downwards. [18-23]

Read – Prognosis Signs Based On The Messenger – Doota Adhishtita Arishta

  • A person definitely succumbs to bahirayama (a condition characterized by opisthotonos of the body) if his jaw bone (lower), manya (nape of the neck / the region of carotid artery) and the two eyes become stiff while awake.
  • If one takes saskuli (a large round cake prepared of ground rice, sugar and sesame, and cooked in oil MW) and Apupa (cake of flour MW) in his dreams and vomits similar substance while being awake cannot live long. [24-25]
  • If one is conversant with these premonitory symptoms, he can very well comprehend the consequential developments and final results thereof. [26]
    Read – Purvaroopa Definition, Types, Benefits Of Its Knowledge, Features

Dreams indicative of imminent death

The following are the other dreams of the most dangerous types which indicate either the death of the patient or affliction of individuals with serious types of diseases-

  • Growth of Bamboo, shrubs, creepers etc., in the head
  • Birds make nest in one’s hairs
  • Loss of hairs of the scalp
  • The person is surrounded (and attacked by) by vultures, owls, dogs, crows etc
  • The person is surrounded by Rakshas (demons), Preta (soul of dead persons), Pisaca (evil spririts), women, Candala (a person born of Sudra father and Brahmin mother M.W), Dravidas and Andhras;
  • The person gets trapped in the forests of bamboos, Vetra (Salix caprea Linn), creeper, snare, grass and thorny trees
  • Falling down while walking in the above mentioned types of forests
  • Falling down on the ground with dust, ant-hill or ashes or cemetery or ditch while walking; Drowning in dirty water, mud or the well covered with darkness
  • Being carried away by the rapidly flowing stream of water, rivers etc
  • Intake of fatty substance, anointment, emesis or purgation of fats
  • Receipt of gold
  • Quarrelling with someone, getting arrested and getting defeated
  • Losing or forgetting both the shoes, peeling of the skin out of feet
  • Exhilaration
  • Getting yelled at and insulted by angry forefathers
  • Fall or extinction / destruction of teeth, moon, sun, stars, the gods, lamp and eyes
  • Hills crack / break down into pieces and keep falling;
  • Entering into a forest full of red flowers, the earth wherein red flowers are grown, the places of sinful acts, funeral pyre or a cave dense with darkness or filled with shrubs and creepers
  • Moving southwards by wearing red garlands, laughing out loudly and being naked
  • Going into frightful forests along with monkeys / on a chariot yoked by monkeys;
  • Seeing people who are dark in complexion having red eyes, wearing ochre coloured cloth, of terrific appearance, naked, with a stick in hand
  • Seeing a sinful woman of black colour devoid of conduct with long hair, nails and breasts, wearing garlands and apparel of awkward colours / devoid of colour
  • These are the dangerous types of dream which indicate the death of patients. If an individual not afflicted with any disease sees such dreams, he is also likely to succumb to diseases. Instances of such persons surviving after such dream are very rare. [27-40]

Process of manifestation of dreams

When the Manovaha srotas (vessels attached to the heart, channels of mind) are filled with the exceedingly aggravated three Doshas, one sees terrific dreams in ominous situations. It is only in a half awakened state that a person is enabled by his mind which controls the sense organs, to have the diverse types of dreams meaningful or meaningless. [41-42]
Read – Bad Prognosis Based On Smell, Touch, Taste, Colour And Voice

Types of dream

The dream relates to the following seven factors in wakeful state
Visual perception
Auditory perception
Experiences though other means
One’s own desire;
Imaginary as premonitions;
Caused by the aggravations of Doshas [43]

Results of various types of dream

The first five types of dreams listed in the previous paragraph, dreams experienced during the day time, those which are either too short or too long are not meaningful for a physician (that is such dreams cannot be regarded as having any premonitory value).
Dreams experienced in the first part of the night are less meaningful. If one does not get sleep after experiencing a dream, then that dream is highly meaningful.
Even if one experiences an inauspicious dream but thereafter again if he experiences an auspicious one, this is indicative of auspicious results. [44-46]

To sum up: -The physician who is acquainted with these premonitory symptoms and dreams indicative of imminent death will not be trapped in ignorance and will also not initiate the treatment of these patients who are incurable. [47]
Thus ends the fifth chapter on the “Signs and symptoms of imminent death as indicated by the premonitory symptoms of diseases” of Indriya section of Agnivesha’s work as redacted by Charaka.

Leave a Comment

error: Alert: Content is protected !!