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As mentioned in Ayurveda

Ativahikapurusha/ Sukshmasharira/ Rashipurusha/ Chikitsapurusha/ Karmapurusha/ Shaddhatvatmakapurusha

Introduction to Purusha

Purusha is also known as chetana. Charak Samhita states that Satva or mind, Atma or soul and Sharira or body are just like the legs of a tripod, on which the world rests. The world remains in stable equilibrium when that Satva (mind), Atma (soul) and Sharira (body) exist in a stable condition. The fusion of Satva (mind), Atma (soul) and Sharira (body) is known as Purusha, more precisely, man in Ayurvedic system of medicine. A Purusha with a balanced and healthy, satva or mind is always helpful to the mankind. Thus, healthy mind is must for the tripod.

Ayurvedic system of medicine accepts the view of the Saankhya school of thought as far as Srshti, Laya and Pramaanas. Purusha, along with Prakrti (nature) is largely responsible for the disposition of substances in the universe at the natural level. Prakrti usually is manifested in individuals in different fashions, and it depends upon the proportions of the Trigunas; Satva, Rajas and Tamas, which are nothing but the transformation of the prakrti.

According to the Saankhya school of thought, Purusha is a passive witness to creation, colourless and formless, beyond the attributes. Prakruti (nature) is primordial will, creative potential and matter. It has a form; a colour and its attributes are in the field of action. Prakruti is nothing but creative potential, Mother Nature and awareness with choice. Prakruti is simply the will of the nature just to manifest into the process of creation from acorn to tree or from seed to flower.

Purusha is ultimate truth, witness to all manifestations of Prakruti, Spirit and ultimate healing power. Prakruti is the origin of the entire universe. If we see the creative will of Prakruti and potential energy concept of the Purusha, we shall have a better understanding of the process of the evolution of the non-material energy into materialistic expression. Bijachatustaya includes four entities (purusha, bheshaja vyadhi, and kriyakala).

Purusha includes the originating material, five elements and organs including skin, blood, adipose-tissue, blood-vessels and ligaments. Vyadhi means diseases resulting from by the imbalance of three biological humours. By aushada we mean dravya (substance), rasa (taste), guna (physical property), virya (potency), and vipaka (bio-transfromation). Kriya includes all the procedures and functions. Kala stands for the time.

According to the Saankhya School of philosophy, Kapila describes 24 principles which are involved in the creation of the Universe.

  • Avyakta,
  • Mahat,
  • Ahankara,
  • Mind,
  • 5 Sense faculties,
  • 5 Motor faculties,
  • 5 Great elements
  • Tanmatras.

Avyakta means that cannot be manifested. The avyakta is the un-manifested form of the pure existence. The Universe originates from avyakta. Avyakta has two main components.

  • Prakruti
  • Purusha

Purusha is pure consciousness, absolute and a potential energy. Purusha is just an observer and does not take an active-part in the process of the creation of the universe. Rather, it can be said that Purusha is simply a witness to the process of the creation. Purusha exists as a colourless, formless and choice less non-materialistic entity.

Ativahikapurusha/ Sukshmasharira

Between the sthulasharira (material body) and the ultimate reality of the karanasharira (causal body), or parasharira (the higher body) are the layers of the sukshmasharira (subtle body).

Sharira means the human body. There are three sharira:-

  • Sthula sharira (the gross body),
  • Sukshma sharira (the subtle or astral body),
  • Karana sharira (causal body). The karana sharira is called the body of the seed of all seeds.
  • Ativahikapurusha refers to the superconductive body.


There are three type of Dhatuj Purush:-

  • Having 6 components (Shada dhatuj purusha)
  • Having 1 component (Ek dhatuj purusha)
  • Having 24 components (Chaturvinshati tatvatmak purusha)

Shada Dhatuj Purusha: Shada dhatuj purusha is made up of Akasha, Vayu, Agni, Jala and Prithavi or pancha mahabhuta and consciousness (Chetna).

Ek Dhatuj Purusha: Ek dhatuj purusha is considered as pure consciousness (chetana) which is omnipresent, causeless and Immortal. Ek dhatuj purusha is considered to be a part of Paramatma or ultimate consciousness. Ek dhatuj purusha has no origin and end, hence it is also known as, atma or the soul.

Chaturvinshati Tatvatmak Purusha: Chaturvinshati tatvatmak purusha is also known as rashi purusha and it has 24 components.

A. Pancha Gyanendriyan Including:-

  • Karna (Auditory sensory organ),
  • Twacha (Tactile sensory organ),
  • Netra (Visual sensory organ),
  • Jihva (Taste sensory organ),
  • Nasika (Olfactory sensory organ).

B. Pancha karmendriyan Including:-

  • Hasta (Hands),
  • Pada (Legs),
  • Vaka (Tongue),
  • Guda (Anal region),
  • Upastha (Penile or vaginal region).

C. Artha

  • Shabda (Sound)
  • Sparsha (Touch)
  • Rupa (Picture)
  • Rasa (Taste)
  • Gandha (Smell)

D. Asta Prakriti

  • Avyakta
  • Mahat
  • Ahankara
  • Akasha
  • Vayu
  • Agni
  • Jala
  • Prithvi.


Chikitsapurusha represents the treatable human entity.

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