Charaka Indriya Sthana 11th Chapter Anu Jyotiyam Indriyam

11th chapter of Charaka Indriya sthana deals about imminent death as indicated by signs like the diminution of bodily heat. The chapter name is Anujyotiya Indriyam.

We shall now explore the chapter on “Imminent Death as indicated by Signs like the Diminution of Bodily Heat”. Thus said Lord Atreya [1-2]
Read – Arishta Lakshanas – Ominous Signs And Symptoms Indicating Bad Prognosis

Signs of imminent death

  • The below mentioned indicate that the person is going to die within one year time –diminution of the bodily heat, absence of the power of concentration of mind, loss of complexion, weakness of mind and absence of attachment for life [3]
  • The birds (crow) refusing to eat bali i.e. offering of a part of the daily meal to all creatures offered by an individual would indicate that he would die within one year time and also that he would partake the manes offered by his relatives (offering given for the dead persons) being in the world beyond death within a year thereafter.
  • If a person is not able to see the “Arundhati” star situated adjacent to the saptarshi constellation (the Great Bear), he is said to succumb to death after one year thereafter. Sudden gain or loss of luster, plumpness or wealth without any appreciable reason indicates the death of the person one year thereafter. [4-6]
  • Cessation of desire, conduct and memory, sense of sacrifice, intellect and strength without any appreciable reason indicates the death of the person within six months. [7]
    Read – Bad Prognosis Based On Smell, Touch, Taste, Colour And Voice
  • Appearance of exceedingly shining network of blood vessels which were not there before, on the forehead of the individual indicates that that he will not survive beyond six months. 
  • If there is increase in the plumpness of the forehead of the individual because of the development of crescent shaped furrows, his life span is bound to come to an end within six months. [8-9]
  • If there are tremors in the body and fainting (losing consciousness), if the movements of the body parts (gait disorders) and speech (delirium) are abnormally disturbed just like in an intoxicated person, he will not live for even one month.
  • If in a person who hates (developed aversion) his own relatives and friends the semen, urine and feces sinks when placed on water, he succumbs to death within one month. [10-11]
  • If there is emaciation of the hands, feet and face of the individual, with the body without undergoing any such change, or if there is swelling of hands, feet and face and absence of swelling in the middle part of the body, he does not survive for one month.
  • Appearance of crescent shaped blue lines on the forehead, head and pelvic region indicates that the person will not survive.
  • If eruptions of Masurika (pox) / eruptions resembling masura (lentil) having the appearance of coral beads (reddish in color) manifest in an individual and immediately disappear, he will die immediately.
  • A person having acute squeezing-pain in the neck, swelling of the tongue, inguinal lymphadenitis and inflammation (sores) of mouth and throat should be considered as ripe for death i.e. that person will die soon.
  • Excessive giddiness, extreme delirium and severe acute breaking pain in bones – these three symptoms will lead the patient to the noose of death i.e. he will not survive for long.
  • A weak person, who pulls out his hair in a state of unconsciousness and in spite of having less strength – eats food in excessive quantity just like a healthy person, is as good as dead. [12-17]
    Read – Bad Prognosis Of Diseases Based On Dreams and Shadows
  • A person whose vision is fixed and directed upwards as he gazes in shock / bewilderment, who searches for his hands and fingers which are placed in front of his eyes (is not sure if he has hands and fingers) and smiles while doing so, succumbs to death immediately.
  • If because of hallucination, a person tries to search for something which does not exist in the beds, seats, limbs of the body, wooden blocks or walls, he is as good as dead. [18-19]
  •  A person who out of delusion laughs in circumstances where there is no cause for laughter, who licks his own lips and whose feet, hands and breathe are cold does not survive.
  • A person who keeps calling out for his relatives and other people who are in his vicinity (in the range of his visual field) and with his mind surrounded and clouded by immense delusion (indicative of immediate death) does not see people or things though his eyes who are closer to him should be considered to be nearer to death. [20-21]
  • Persons who are unable to perceive objects of senses which are existent and simultaneously perceives the objects of senses which are non-existent, should not be treated [22]
  • Excessive aggravation of the disease and diminution of strength of mind (will power) results in the soul departing from its physical body i.e. will die. When the span of life comes to an end there is diminution of complexion, voice and the power of digestion, speech, senses and the mind and the person either sleeps always or does not get sleep at all. [23-24]
    Read – Bad Prognosis Based On Premonitory Symptoms Of Disease – Purvarupiya Arishta
  • A person having aversion for physicians, medicine, drinks, foods, preceptors and friends should be considered as already under the grip of the “God of Death”.
  • Diseases of these persons will continue existing and medicines do not produce any beneficial effect on them. One should never take anything from them, neither the food nor water from their home (offered by them). [25-26]
  • The four factors essential for the treatment, i.e., the physician, the drug, the attendant and the patient along with their excellent attributes are of no avail in the cases where the span of life has come to an end. When there is no balance of life span where will the effects (attributes) of the medicines manifest i.e. how does the disease get cured? This is because without Dravya (or cause) i.e. life span there is no possibility of the manifestation of the Guna (effect) i.e. ‘cure from the disease’. [27]
  • The physician should examine the span of life of healthy person as well as patients because the entire treatment is dependent upon this knowledge. [28]
    Read – Prognosis Signs Based On The Messenger – Doota Adhishtita Arishta

To sum up:-Signs produced by the vitiated Doshas which have transcended the sphere of treatment and pervaded all over the body, are known as Aristas (signs of imminent death).  [29]
Thus ends the eleventh chapter on the “Imminent Death as Indicated by Signs like Diminution of Bodily Heat” of Indriya Section of Agnivesa’s work as redacted by Caraka.

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