Prakriti in Ayurveda
Prakriti is defined as the natural characteristics of individuals. It is responsible for the development of the three gunas in the individuals. These gunas include Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Ayurveda defines prakriti as the mental and physical composition of the individuals. Whenever the balanced state among the three gunas occurs, the body deviates from the healthy state. Instead, the individuals face a lot of difficulties, illness and sickness. Due to the deviation from the prakriti of the individuals, diseases take place in individuals. This concept of Prakriti is derived from the Ayurvedic view of Saankhya.
Ayurveda says that the temperament and prakriti of an individual is hereditary. It is transferred to the offspring from their parents right during the period of union if ovum and the sperm in the mother's womb. This prakriti portrays the physical traits and mental characteristics. The various individuals have various combinations of the doshas, gunas. And, thus, the individuals have distinguishing prakriti, which is unique in nature. This prakriti cannot be changed frequently. It, most of the times, remains constant all throughout the life of the individuals. Various physical disorders, diseases etc. depend on the prakriti of the individuals. Thus, it becomes highly important to maintain a balance of the various attributes of the individual's life.
Different Classifications of Prakriti
Prakriti is distinguished into two major categories.
- Mental or Maanaseeka
- Physical or Saareerika
On the basis of the three doshas, the physical prakriti or Saareerika is distinguished in 7 categories.
These are the following:
- Sannipata or tridosha
On the basis of the three gunas, the behavioral, mental, emotional and cognitive qualities, the mental prakriti or Maanaseeka is distinguished in 3 categories.
They are the following:
To understand an individual, it is essential to get knowledge about the prakriti of the individual. Using it as a basis, the various diseases can be diagnosed and various defects can be interpreted.
The Prime features, which help to determine Prakriti
- Body medium built
- Delicate red skin
- Too much appetite
- Warm sensation
- Too much perspiration and thirst
- Cold climate preferable
- Soft hair, baldness and premature graying
- Sharp memory, intelligent, jealous, brave, full of dominance and aggression
- Having a tendancy of loose motion
- Body frame thin and doesnot have the tendancy to gain weight
- Dry, cracked, rouch skin of dark complexion
- Dry hair
- Poor appetite
- Capacity to do physical work is very less
- Perspiration level low
- Anxiety, depression and worry
- Having a tendancy of constipation
- Body frame large and has tendancy to gain weight
- Thick skin, smooth, glossy and fair complexion
- Pleasant voice
- High level of stamina and endurance
- Moderate appetite
- Large deep eyes
- Thick oily hair, dark and wavy
- Sound sleep
- Medium level of perspiration
- Polite, cool and calm individuality
These prakritis show different characteristics of the predominant Dosha in the various physical, psychological and physiological natures. For example, the individual with pitta prakriti is prone to ulceration, skin disorders and hypertension, vata prakriti is prone to pains and aches while that of kapha prakriti is more prone to weight related disorders, atherosclerosis and diabetes.
Thus, Prakriti is defined as the mental and physical composition of the human beings, which is determined by heredity. It is an important part of the health care procedure, which exhibits unique and special natures. It also helps to have a knowledge about the various disorders, which provides an idea on the basic health, diseases and the prevention to a huge extent.