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Charak Samhita - Sutrasthana - Chapter 21 (Ashtauninditiya Adhyaya)


The tetrad on recommendations for disease management begins with this chapter. Depending on factors including body mass, complexion, hair presence, body height, and eight physically unattractive characteristics were listed. Unfavourable physical characteristics result from the severe absence or presence of these criteria. The most prevalent disorders in society, such as extreme emaciation and morbid obesity, are explained in depth along with their underlying causes, symptoms, and successful treatment options. Sleep is the most significant etio-pathogenesis factor for many illnesses, after nutrition. As a result, attention is placed particularly on the benefits of sleep, the attributes or traits that determine a good sleep and the drawbacks of problems associated with sleep. So today we will discuss the Charaka Samhita Sutra sthana chapter twenty one Ashtauninditiya adhyaya in detail.

Charak Samhita - Sutrasthana - Chapter 21 (Ashtauninditiya Adhyaya)


In respect to four opposing (And undesired) physical traits, including complexion (Too light, too dark), body hair (Hairless, too hairy), height (Too short, too tall), and body mass (Too lean, too obese), Charak has established the basis for genetic/hereditary and endocrine illnesses. The most hazardous of these is atisthula (morbid obesity), which is linked to a number of life-threatening conditions like hypertension, joint disorders, anorectal problems, diabetes, coronary artery disease, skin disorders, etc. This chapter addresses characteristics of a physically healthy individual, descriptions of sleep, and important terms related to the management of diseases including etiopathogenesis, prognosis, clinical presentation and atisthula management. Atisthula's main etiological factors also include genetic and inherited elements, as well as nutritional and lifestyle markers (Such as sedentary behaviour and a high-calorie diet). The pathogenesis of over obese (Atisthula) is also thoroughly discussed in this chapter, with the plasma (Rasa dhatu) and adipose tissue (Meda dhatu) serving as significant dushyas (Affected tissues).

Eight Despicables Physical Characteristics (Asta Nindita Purusha)

इह खलु शरीरमधिकृत्याष्टौ पुरुषा निन्दिता भवन्ति; तद्यथा- अतिदीर्घश्च, अतिह्रस्वश्च, अतिलोमा च,
अलोमा च, अतिकृष्णश्च, अतिगौरश्च, अतिस्थूलश्च, अतिकृशश्चेति ।। (3)

The following eight sorts of people are seen as despicable in terms of their body appearance and structure

  1. Too short
  2. Too tall
  3. Hairless
  4. Too hairy
  5. Too light
  6. Too dark
  7. Too slim
  8. Too obese

Obesity And Leanness

Eight Inherent Consequences Of Obesity

The most unfavourable of these physical characteristics are those that are excessively skinny or obese. The excessive fatty person has eight defects-hampered movement (Because of tender, loose and heavy fats), debility (Because of dhatu imbalance), shortening of lifespan, over sweating (Due to kapha and meda dhatu vitiation), difficulty in sexual activity (Because of small amount of semen produced and blockage of semen channel by meda dhatu), foul smell (Because of excessive sweating as well as inherent nature of fatty tissues) , excessive thirst and hunger (Because of increased vayu and digestive agni in the body). Excessive obesity is brought on by overeating, which results from eating a cold, heavy, sugary, and fatty food, as well as a lack of mental and physical activity, uninterrupted happiness, avoidance from sexual activity, sleeping throughout the day, and congenital or genetic problems. Excessive fat accumulation and dhatu depletion may be the result of these consequences.

Pathophysiology Of Obesity

The circulation of vata is specifically restricted to koshtha (Abdominal viscera) as a result of meda dhatu's blockage of bodily channels, which stimulates the digestive system and aids in food absorption. Because of this, they consume large amounts of food and become ravenous eaters. He is suffering with terrible ailments as a result of not adhering to the laws on eating meals at specified times throughout the day. From the perspective of obesity, vata and agni are both the most problematic elements. These problems afflict an obese individual in the same way as wildfires ruin a forest. Vitiated dosha causes quick, serious ailments as the body obtains excessive fat, which leads to a rapid decline in quality of life. When someone has an excessive buildup of fat and muscle in the areas of the abdomen, buttocks, and breasts regions that become pendulous and experience a poor metabolism and lack of energy as well as when these areas are combined, the person is deemed to be overly obese. Thus described the causes, symptoms, and physical manifestations of obesity.

Characteristics Of An Overly Thin Person

In the sections that follow, the causes, symptoms, signs, and faults of an overly lean individual will be described. Excessive indulgence in consuming of dry (non-unctuous) drinks and diets, fasting, excessive application of therapeutic cleansing techniques, consume of diet in inappropriate quantity, inadequate sleep, heredity, suppression of urges, grief, massage of dry powder, indulgence in bath, old age, ongoing illness and anger leads a person excessive lean. A person who is too thin is unable to tolerate physical activity, a heavy diet, thirst, hunger, illnesses, or medications. Additionally, they are sensitive to extremes of heat, cold, and sexual activity. Such an individual is frequently characterised by wasting, splenic illnesses, cough, abdominal tumour, dyspnea, piles, grahani problems and abdominal disorders. The buttocks, neck and abdomen of the individual who is too thin have dried out, and the major vascular network is primarily bones and skin with enlarged nodes. Both of these undesired body types (too fat and too slim) are always afflicted with some sort of illness and require ongoing management through reducing and nourishing measures, respectively. A slim person is less dangerous than fat, because an obese person suffers from considerably more mental and physical problems than someone who is thin.

The Significance Of Perfect Body Composition

A person who has an appropriate muscle proportion, body compactness, and firmness in their sensory organs is less susceptible to the influx of illnesses. These people are capable of dealing with thirst, hunger, the cold, the sun's heat, and physical activity. Their metabolism of the muscles, food assimilation, and digestion are all in a balanced state.

The Ideal Diet For Lean And Obese Person

For those who are too fat, a non-nourishing (Diet) and heavy therapy is recommended, whereas for those who are too thin, a nourishing and light therapy is recommended to promote the bulk.

Management Of Obesity

Foods and beverages that balance the vata dosha while reducing the kapha dosha and fat (Meda dhatu), enema treatments with hot, ununctuous, and sharp medications, therapeutic powders massage, Usage of haritaki (Terminalia chebula), guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica), amalaki (Emblica officinalis), musta (Cyperus rotundus), honey and takrarishta (Fermented preparation of buttermilk) are suggested for the control of obesity. A combination made from nagara (Zingiber officinale), vidanga (Embelia ribes), yavakshara (Alkali preparation made from barley), black iron ash powder mixed with yava powder (Hordeum vulgare), amalaka (Emblica officinalis) and honey is an excellent drug for weight loss. Likewise, bilvadi panchamula (Five major roots) combined with shilajatu (Asphaltum punjabianum) and honey as well as the agnimantha juice (Clerodendrum phlomidis) are also extremely beneficial weight-loss preparations.

A diet that includes priyangu (Aglaia roxburghiana), yavaka (A small variety of Hordeum vulgare), prashatika (Setaria italica), shyamaka (Echinochloa frumentacea), jurnahva (Sorghum vulgare), yava (Hordeum vulgare), kulattha (Dolichos biflorus), adhaki (Cajanus cajan), kodrava (paspalum scrobiculatum), chakramudgaka (Phaseolus aconitifolius), mudga (Phaseolus mungo), as well as amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and patola (Trichosanthes cucumerina) is excellent for controlling weight and preserving health. Alcoholic combinations and honey water may be consumed after meals can reduce excessive muscle and fat tissue while also pacifying kapha dosha. If one wants to lose weight, they should engage in more sexual activity, vigilance, along with mental and physical exercise.

Management Of Lean Person

Relaxed mind, cheerfulness, sleep, comfortable bed, keeping away from physical exercise, sexual act and anxiety, exhilaration, calmness, fresh wine, newly harvested grains, animal meat soup live in marshy, aquatic and domestic areas, properly cooked meat, ghee, curd, milk, shali rice (Oryza sativa), sugarcane, masha (Phaseolus radiatus), wheat, jaggery, daily oil massage, enema of sweet and unctuous drugs, use of garlands and fragrance, unctuous bath, wearing of white clothes, doshas must be eliminated in due course and daily use of bulk promoting and aphrodisiac formulas must be regularly used to prevent excessive slimness and nourishing the body. Additionally, healthy food, proper sleep, and the absence of stress related to any employment cause the guy to become obese such as a pig.

Concept Of Sleep (Nidra)

Causes of sleep

यदा तु मनसि क्लान्ते कर्मात्मानः क्लमान्विताः।
विषयेभ्यो निवर्तन्ते तदा स्वपिति मानवः।। (35)

When a person's mind, including the motor and sensory organs, become exhausted and become dissociated from their surroundings, they fall asleep.

Results Of Proper And Improper Sleep

Proper or poor sleep affects a person's pleasure or suffering, nutrition or malnutrition, weakness or strength, infertility or fertility, ignorance or knowledge, and lifespan or mortality. A person's longevity and happiness are both diminished by irregular, excessive, and lack of sleep. Similar to how genuine knowledge gives yogis spiritual strength, good sleep promotes happiness and long life in people.

Indications Of Sleep During Daytime

Sleeping during daytime is advised for those people who are tiredness from reading, sexual intercourse, singing, alcohol drinking, elimination therapy, heavy weight lifting, travelling on foot, wasted, injured, having indigestion, children, women and old, suffering from diarrhoea, thirst, dyspnea, colic pain, and hiccup, fallen, are lean, insane and wounded, exhausted by vigils and journey and also by fear, grief and anger and are habitual to day sleep should observe it in all times. By doing this, strength and dhatu are kept in balance, and kapha dosha nourishes the bodily parts and promotes lifespan. During the season of summer, because of roughness due to adana kala (Like summer and rain in which body strength is low), aggravation of vayu and night becomes shorter, day sleep is recommended.

Effects Of Improper Sleep During Daytime

By day time sleep in other seasons except summer, pitta and kapha are vitiated, hence day time sleep is not indicated in those seasons. The obese, those having a regular fatty diet, a lot of kapha, kaphaja disorders and suffering from latent poisons shouldn't ever take a sleep throughout the day. One would be subjected to consequence if they disobeyed the advise to sleep throughout the day such as headache, heaviness in body parts, halimaka (Advance stage of jaundice), cold, loss of digestion and appetite, bodyache, hridyopalepa (Sensation like phlegm surrounds to the heart), nausea, edema, rhinitis, anorexia, urticarial patches, hemicranias, boils, drowsiness, pustules, itching, impairment of intelligence and memory, throat disorders, coughing, fever, obstruction in body channels, increased toxic effects of poison and incapability of motor and sensory systems. In order to be cheerful and live a long time, one should consider the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping in various circumstances and seasons.

Characteristics Of Daytime And Nighttime Sleep

रात्रौ जागरणं रूक्षं स्निग्धं प्रस्वपनं दिवा।
अरूक्षमनभिष्यन्दि त्वासीनप्रचलायितम्।। (50)

The body becomes rough from insomnia, and the body becomes unctuous from sleeping throughout the day. But sleeping when sitting neither leads to unctuousness nor roughness.

The Significance Of Sleep And Diet In Lean And Fat People

देहवृत्तौ यथाऽऽहारस्तथा स्वप्नः सुखो मतः।
स्वप्नाहारसमुत्थे च स्थौल्यकार्श्ये विशेषतः।। (51)

Sleep is necessary for happiness, just as a healthy diet is for maintaining the body. So poor sleep and a poor diet are the particular causes of leanness and obesity.

Sleep-Promoting Techniques

Anointing, massage, bath, soup of meat of marshy, aquatic and domestic animals, curd with rice, fat, milk, wine, pleasant sound and smell, mental ease, saturating paste and drops on face, head and eyes, gentle rubbing, well covered bed, comfortable room and proper time- these bring shortly the sleep which is disturbed by some factor.

Causes Of Insomnia

Anxiety, emesis, purgation, head evacuation, fear, anger, exercise, smoking, fasting, bloodletting, uncomfortable bed, subduing tamas and predominance of satwa, excessive sleep and an unwholesome diet. These are the factors which can be taken as causes of insomnia, as well as old age, overwork, vata disorder and constitution and vitiation of vata itself.

Sleep Origin And Types

तमोभवा श्लेष्मसमुद्भवा च मनःशरीरश्रमसम्भवा च।
आगन्तुकी व्याध्यनुवर्तिनी च रात्रिस्वभावप्रभवा च निद्रा।। (58)

There are the seven forms of sleep that can occur- Tamas, mental exertion, vitiated kapha, physical exertion, exogenous factors, disease and normally occurring at night.

रात्रिस्वभावप्रभवा मता या तां भूतधात्रीं प्रवदन्ति तज्ज्ञाः।
तमोभवामाहुरघस्य मूलं शेषाः पुनर्व्याधिषु निर्दिशन्ति।। (59)

The ideal type of sleep is natural sleep, which occurs at night. Another name for this is Bhutadhatri, which means that which nourishes all the living creatures. All evil behaviours are the result of the tamas-caused type of sleep, but the other forms are seen in certain circumstances and diseases.


In this chapter we read about despicable persons, the two particularly despicable amongst them, the cause of despicability, treatment and defects, sleep indications and contraindications, the aetiology and treatment of excessive sleep and insomnia, sleep effects and types-all this has been explained by Punarvasu, the son of Atri, in the chapter on Ashtauninditiya adhyaya.

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Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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