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Discovering Dinacharya: The Ancient Art of Daily Routine in Ayurveda

Abstract

Dinacharya means the daily routine which is described by our acharyas to stay healthy and perform a normal functioning of the body. It is made up of a combination of two words that is Dina and Charya which means the day and activity simultaneously. It helps to improve the overall health of a person and includes the balance in the physical, mental, and emotional status of a person. According to WHO a healthy person means it is a state of complete physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of disease, it helps to keep a person healthy and maintain a normal lifestyle.

Dinacharya, Ayurveda Routine, Ayurvedic Practices

Introduction

Dinacharya is our day-to-day life activities that help to maintain a normal healthy lifestyle of a person. The three doshas are present in our body namely vata, pitta, and Kapha which dominate in a day as dinacharya helps to maintain these dosha.

Dinacharya Includes The Following Points

  1. Wake up early in the morning
  2. Achamana with water
  3. Dantdhavan (Brushing of the teeth)
  4. Jihwa nirlekhan (Cleaning of the tongue)
  5. Gandusa (Gargling)
  6. Kavala (Mouthwash)
  7. Anjana (Collyrium)
  8. Doomphan (Smoking)
  9. Nasya (Nasal drops)
  10. Vyayam (Exercise)
  11. Abhyanga (Massage)
  12. Padabhyanga (Foot massage)
  13. Udvartana
  14. Samvahan
  15. Papmopashmanam (cutting of hair, nails, etc)
  16. Snana (Bath)
  17. Anulepanam (Annointments)
  18. Rakshoghan (Protective measures)
  19. Padha prakshaalan (Washing of feet)
  20. Vastradharana (Wearing cloth)
  21. Padhadharana (Wearing of footwear)
  22. Dandhdharana (Holding stick)
  23. Kavach dharana (Wearing of protective covering)
  24. Wearing of Head turban and umbrella

Let's study it in detail!

1. Wake Up Early In The Morning

The person who wants to live longer walks up in the Brahma muhurata. Brahma muhurta is the ideal time for study. As the environment is free from dust, and pollutants, clean air helps to keep the body healthy. After walking up the sattva guna is active which helps the mind to stay active, and alert.

2. Achamana With Water (Sipping of water)

After waking up, drink the water in the north or east direction that helps in cleaning the mamas of dhatus. As per अ.ह.सं.३।९-१२, it should be done after taking a bath, after sleeping, after eating, after worship, after sneezing, and after travelling. The procedure should be done with full concentration in a lonely place with an erect posture. The hands are clean and the water is free from bad odour, and alkalinity.

3. Dant Dhawan (Brushing of the teeth)

To get proper teeth brushing should be done two times a day in the morning or at night after taking food. The length of the brush stick should be twelve angula and the thickness will be the same as the little finger of the hand. Chew the stick (koorchaka) from the side so it does not injure the gums. Brush should be done in a verticle direction from bottom to top. The toothbrush should be made by chewing the stick of Catechu (Khadira), and Banyan (Nyagrodha). The stick should be free from any type of insect, dust, or knots. There are so many benefits of brushing which include the removal of bad odor and breath from the mouth, cleaning the oral cavity, and removing plaques from teeth. In the absence of these twigs of trees, use the powders of Triphala (Amla, Bahera, and Harad), Trikatu (Adrak, Kali marich, pippali), and Trijataka (Twak, Patra, Ela).

Brushing of teeth is contraindicated by indigestion, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, fever, excessive thirst, facial paralysis, disease of the eye, heart, ear, and head, and mouth ulceration.

4. Jihwa Nirlekhan (Cleaning of the tongue)

In सु.चि. २४।१३-१४ After brushing the tongue cleaning is necessary and made up of gold, silver, and copper dhatus (material). The length will be ten angula. It helps to reduce the bad taste or odor in the mouth.

5 - 6. Gandusa (Gargling) And Kavala (Mouthwash)

Gandusha is a semi-solid dravya which is kept in a mouth so the person is unable to move inside the mouth. Gargling with medicated oil helps to strengthen the teeth. Kavala is a solid dravya which is kept in the mouth so the person is able to move inside the mouth. There are four types of Gandusha and kavala according to the dosha.

Types of Gandusha And Kavala

  1. Snigdha (Oleating) helps to pacify the vata dosha
  2. Samana (Palliative) helps to pacify the pitta dosha
  3. Ropana (Healing) helps to pacify the Vrana
  4. Sodhana (Purification) helps to pacify the kapha dosha

Dravyas Used For Gandusha And Kavala

  1. Snigdha - sweet, sour, salt tastedravya
  2. Samana - sweet, bitter taste with cold potency dravya
  3. Sodhana - Hot and dry herbs
  4. Ropana - Bitter, astringent, and sweet taste

Benefits Of Gandusha And Kavala

  1. Treat the sore throats
  2. Strengthen the mandible
  3. Cracking of lips
  4. Nourish the face
  5. Prevent Gingivitis
  6. Remove bad odour and breath
  7. Improve oral hygiene
  8. Relieve toothache
  9. Clear mucus from the mouth

In सु.चि. ४०।६४ Samyak yoga of Gandusha and Kaval (features of proper gargling and mouthwash)

  • Remove bad odor and breath
  • Maintain oral hygiene
  • Lightness in sense organs

In सु.चि. ४०।६५ Ayoga of Gandusha and Kavala (features of improper gargling and Mouthwash)

  • Increase in mucus
  • Improper perception of taste
  • Heaviness in the sense of organs

In सु.चि. ४०।६५ Atiyoga of Gandusha and Kavala (features of excess gargling and Mouthwash)

  • Excessive thirst
  • Dryness in mouth
  • Kalam (Tastelessness)
  • Mouth ulceration

7. Anjana (Collyrium)

The eye is very important in all senses. So Anjana helps to protect the eye so apply it on a daily basis as it has a positive impact on health as it expels the kapha dosha from the eye. Applying the Anjana from the inner canthus to the outer canthus of an eye helps to cure eye disease. Applying the Anjana on the eye helps the eye to shine like a bright moon in the clear sky. It helps to improve the functioning of the eye and protect from eye disease, provides clear vision, no excessive lacrimation, and gives lightness in the eyes.

Types Of Anjana

  • According to the mode of action - Lekhana, Snehana, Prasadana, and Ropana
  • According to the dravyas use - Rasanjana, Churnanjana, and Gutika
  • According to Strength - Sauviranjana, and Rasanjana

In च.सू. ५।१५ Time for the administration of Anjana

As Sauviranjana is light it should be applied on a daily basis whereas the Rasnjana is applied five or eight days in the time. As the eye is pitta dominant when applied at night time it expels the kapha dosha from the eye.

In सु. उ. १८ Contraindications for applying Anjana

  • Shram (tiredness)
  • Udavarta
  • Anger, fear
  • Fever, after intake of alcohol
  • Suppression of natural urges
  • Redness, pain in the eye
  • Timir (blindness)
  • Swelling in the eyes
  • Excessive lacrimation

8. Doomphan (Smoking)

After applying the anjan the doomphan is described as vitiated kapha dosha situated in the head so eliminating the kapha dosha doompan is given. Inhalation and exhalation of doom (smoke) is known as doomphan. In Ayurveda, five types of doomphan are described: Prayogika, Vairecanika, Snaihika, Kasagana, and Vamaniya.

Method Of Administration

  • Firstly take smoke through the nostril then from the mouth
  • A person sits in a comfortable posture with a pleasant mind
  • Take Dhuma Varti which is dipped in the ghee and placed in the dhoomnetra
  • Smoke should be taken through the mouth as it is taken from the nostril it is harmful to our eyes

Kala (time) od Doompan

In च.सू. ५।३३-३५ the acharya charak described the eight times for Doompan.

  1. After bathing
  2. After tongue scraping
  3. After nasya
  4. After Anjana
  5. After eating
  6. After sneezing
  7. After sleep
  8. After brushing teeth

In च.सू. ५।२७-३२ Advantages of Doomphan

  • Reduce the heaviness of the head
  • Improve headache
  • Pain in eyes
  • Hiccough
  • Bad odour from nose and mouth
  • Excessive salivation
  • Baldness
  • Hair fall
  • Greying of hair
  • Sneezing
  • Anorexia
  • Lockjaw
  • Stiffness of neck
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Strengthen the hair, sense organs, and skull bone
  • Excessive sleep

In च.सू. ५।३८ Due to improper Doompan

  • Blindness
  • Dumbness
  • Deafness
  • Giddiness
  • Raktapitta

In च.सू. ५।४१-४५ Contraindication for Doomphan

  • Pregnancy
  • Tiredness
  • Pitta dosha disorders
  • Unconsciousness
  • Night awakening
  • Emaciation
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Excessive thirst
  • After enema

In च.सू. ५।५२ Samyak yoga of Doomphan (features of proper smoking)

  • Lightness in chest and throat
  • Lightness in head
  • Expels kapha dosha

In च.सू. ५।५३ Ayoga of Doompan (features of improper smoking)

  • Decrease in clarity of voice
  • Heaviness in the head
  • The presence of kapha dosha in the throat

In च.सू. ५।५४-५५ Atiyoga of Doompan (features of excessive smoking)

  • Excessive thirst
  • Dryness of palate, head, and throat
  • Excessive discharge
  • Fainting
  • Giddiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Reduce the functioning of sense organs

9. Nasya (Nasal Drops)

The nose plays a very important role in curing head disease as the nose is the way to send dravyas in the head and is used in the form of nasal instillation.

In सु.चि.४०।२१०, the Nasya is defined as when the medicated dravyas are installed through the nostril.

Types Of Nasya

  1. Navana - Installing the medicated ghrit in the nostril
  2. Avapidana - Administering the kalk (paste) in the nose
  3. Dhmapana - Administering the churna in the nose
  4. Dhuma - Administering the smoke in the nose
  5. Pratimarsha - Installing the oil in the nostril

Pratimarsha Nasya

The nasya in which oil is administered through the nostril. It can be given at any time or daily basis. Put a finger in the oil and two drops are installed in the nostril. It has no complications so can be given in daily or every season.

Kala (time) For Pratimarsa Nasya

There are 14 kala described by Acharya that is after sleep, in the evening, after teeth brushing, after day sleep, while going out, after emesis, after exercise, after food, after sexual intercourse, after Anjana, when tired due to walking, after Kavala, after evacuation of bowels, and after evacuation of bladder.

In च.सू.५।५७-६२ Advantages of nasal drops

  • No hair fall
  • No greying of hair
  • Prevent disease of eyes, nose, and ears
  • Cures stiffness of the neck
  • Prevent headache
  • Facial paralysis
  • Clearness in sense organs
  • Stiffness of jaws
  • Tremors of head
  • Rhinitis

In सु.चि.४०।३३ Samyak yoga of Nasya (features of proper Nasya)

  • Proper sleep
  • Proper awakening
  • Lightness of head
  • Clarity in organs
  • Calm mind

In सु.चि.४०।३५ Ayoga of Nasya (features of improper Nasya)

  • Vata dosha gets vitiated
  • Imbalance in sense organs
  • Not cure the disease

In सु.चि.४०।३४ Atiyoga of Nasya (features of excessive Nasya)

  • Kapha dosha increase
  • Excessive salivation
  • Heaviness in the sense of organs
  • Heaviness in head
  • Giddiness

10. Vyayam (Exercise)

When physical action produces tiredness in the body as a result gives strength to the body and when it is performed in a required amount it is called Vyayama. The amount will be told by Acharya as Ardh Shakti.

In च.सू.७।३२ Benefits of Vyayam

  • Lightness in the body
  • Increase the digestive power
  • Nourishes the body
  • Provides strength
  • Gives good complexion
  • Reduces laziness
  • Purifies the body

In च.सू.७।३४ Samyak yoga of Vyayam (features of proper Vyayam)

  • Sweating
  • Lightness in body
  • Increase heartbeat
  • Increase digestive power
  • Increase respiration rate

In अ.ह.२।१०-१४ Atiyoga of Vyayam (features of excessive Vyayam)

  • Excessive thirst
  • Difficulty to breathe
  • Tiredness
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Emaciation
  • Fever

11. Abhyanga (Massage)

With the help of oil or churna, massage is provided to the body which helps to nourish the dhatu. With the help of lukewarm oil, the massage will be done in the direction of the hair. Oil can be used according to dosha, condition, and season. The massage will be done in seven ways. The seven ways are Sitting position, Supine position, Left lateral position, Prone position, Right lateral position, Supine position, and sitting with legs extended to the front.

In अ.ह.सू. २।७ Advantages of Abhyanga

  • Cures tiredness
  • Reduces the vata disorder
  • Delay in ageing
  • Improves vision
  • Provides complexion and nourishment to the body
  • Good skin
  • Better sleep
  • Provides strength to the body

In अ.ह.सू. २।९ Contraindications for Abhyanga

  • After purification therapy
  • Indigestion
  • Beginning condition of fever
  • After virechana
  • After Vamana
  • After niruha basti

12. Padabhyanga (Foot massage)

With the help of oil, the massage will be done on foot as it relaxes the mind, balances the body, and pacifies vata dosha.

In च.सू.५।९०-९१ Benefits of Padabhyanga

  • Make the skin smooth
  • Provide stability to feet and limbs
  • Improve diseases like sciatica, cracking of the foot
  • Improve the vision
  • Remove roughness and tiredness
  • Remove stiffness of ligaments
  • Pacify the vata dosha

13. Shiro Abhyanga (Head massage)

With the help of oil, the massage will be done in order to relieve the symptoms of the head.

In च.सू.५।८१-८३ Advantages of Shiro Abhyanga

  • Prevent balding and greying of hair
  • Provide strength to the skull
  • Makes the hair long and black
  • Nourishes the sense organ
  • Strengthen the hair roots
  • Improve skin softening
  • Provide good sleep

14. Udvartana

After the massage with oil, the Udvartana is done. Massage with different powders or herbs decreases the fat and kapha dosha which helps to make the body strong and gives a good and clear complexion to the skin, gives pleasure, lightness in the body, and clearness in the body. It helps blood vessels to get dilated and increases the Bhrajaka pitta in the skin.

15. Samvahan

Samvahan is a gentle touch to the body that starts from the foot to the waist which produces pleasure. A gentle massage improves sleep quality, enhances affection, reduces tiredness, and reduces kapha dosha

16. Papmopashmanam (cutting of hair, nails, etc.)

In सु.चि.२९।७३, acharya explained the cutting of hair, body hair, and nails in every paksha (15 days). It helps to improve enthusiasm and enhance pleasure.

17. Snana (Bath)

Snana is a daily life activity that helps to increase ojas, enhance virility, and strength, and cure the sweat, impurities, and tiredness of the body. The cold water bath helps to cure Raktapitta as the hot water bath is done in the lower body excluding the head it enhances strength and destroys the vata and kapha dosha.

In च.सू.५।९३ Advantages of Snana

  • Remove impurities from the body
  • Remove bad odor
  • Reduce the heaviness of the body
  • Reduce itching
  • Improve blood flow and enhance skin complexion

In सु.चि.२४।६२ Contraindication for snana

  • Diarrhoea
  • Ear aches
  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Fever
  • Immediately after taking the food
  • Vata type disorders

18. Anulepanam (Annointments)

The lepa improves the skin complexion and enhances the ojas and strength of the body.

In सु.चि.२४।६३ Benefits of Anulepana

  • Enhance Ojas and strength
  • Remove sweat from the body
  • Reduces the bad odour
  • Remove tiredness and bad smell

19. Rakshoghan (Protective measures)

Wearing beautiful and clean clothes, flowers and different types of gems increases the oja and look of the body.

20. Padha Prakshalan (Washing of feet)

Washing the feet with clean water helps to improve eyesight, remove the germs from the feet, and remove tiredness.

21. Vastra Dharana (Wearing cloth)

Wearing clean clothes enhances longevity, success, and beauty.

22. Padhadharana (Wearing of footwear)

It is good for the skin, and eyes and reduces the chances of foot disease. It enhances strength and courage.

23. Dandhdharana (Holding stick)

Keeping the stick in hand helps or protects against animals such as dogs, and reptiles. Also, used for tiredness and old age people to help with walking. It provides support and destroys the fear of people.

24. Kavach dharana (Wearing of protective covering)

It improves the complexion, strength, lustre, and clearness.

25. Wearing of Head turban and umbrella

It helps to keep hair clean and free from dust particles. Umbrellas protect from sun rays, rain, dust, and mist. It is good for the eyes and improves ojas, also improves complexion.

Conclusion

As we see in this article the daily regimen is very important for our day-to-day life. It helps to calm the mind, improve strength, and reduce tiredness. With the help of daily practising this routine improves the healthy functioning of the body and improves the quality of life. It maintains the physical, mental, and spiritual state of mind. It maintains the discipline and structural integrity of the body and reduces stress as a result improves mental health, improve concentration level.

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

MD (ALT. MEDICINE)

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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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