Concept Of Saptha Dhatu in Ayurveda
We must’ve all come across the terms dosas in context to ayurveda, and some of us might have managed to scrape through a rough idea of what dosas are. Doshas form the fundamental elements on which our body is based, they are of three types namely vata pitta and kapha. Each dosha has been attributed to its distinct qualities and is assigned specific actions, and they functioning together brings out the proper physiology of our body! How is this achieved? What is the mechanism? You might have also come across the terms- dhatus, dhatu pushti etc. Rather than throwing these words around,let’s together try and have a deep understanding of what dhatus actually mean and how its optimal performance impacts the operation of our body!
The Sanskrit term saptha translates to 7 and dhatu, well we’ll find out. Ayurveda, a powerful time tested science that dates back to 5000 years ago follows a modus operandi based on the tridosas as well as dhatus.ayurveda beautifully categorises our body into 7 compartments, let’s call each of the said compartment dhatu! These dhatus are the primary concerns of our living body for growth, nourishment, and support of both the body and the psyche.
How Important are the Dhatu?
We find that these dhatus help in constructing our body by posing themselves as elementary units and are of grave importance. In modern terms these can be roughly correlated to a layer of stratum associated with the tissues of the body! Taking care of each dhatu is equivalent to taking care of a building block of our own body! A body devoid of dhatus will cease to function emphasising its importance!
1. RASA DHATU
The first dhatu out of the seven, rasa forms a component of the lymph, rasa is sustained from the nutrients of the food that has been digested, in other words, the first step of assimilation is said to be the nurturing of rasa dhatu. Rasa dhatu circulates the entirety of the body, this is made possible through each specific passage or channel known as srotas. Rasa dhatu’s role is to foster and cater to the nutritional needs of each nook and corner of the body. The dosha that is linked with the same is kapha dosha, their qualities, the factors that help in their optimisation are hence alike.
2. RAKTA DHATU
Next to rasa dhatu, rakta dhatu found in blood forms the core of life and affords to nurture the cells as well as tissues of the body, brought into being from the basic metabolic processes of the rasa dhatu,the rakta dhatu forms a reservoir of the red blood cells which are so called the pockets of prana (energy of life, maybe correlated to oxygen) and hence supplying the same to all parts of the body, thereby aiding in maintaining an effective working of the tissues. Rakta dhatu is cardinal in strengthening as well as offering colour to the blood. Rasa is to kapha as to rakta is to pitta!
3. MAMSA DHATU
Regarding its literal meaning in context, mamsa means meat or flesh, muscles in the case of a living being. Mamsa protects all of the underlying structures owing to its rather strong, flexible and bulky status. Its rigidity and the solidity helps in providing a shape, structure and framework to the body and is successively created from its rakta dhatu predecessor. Lets overlook mamsa as mere muscle and as a major propounder of fortitude, courage, self-confidence etc, in fact it is a medium through which we are capable of expression.
4. Medo Dhatu
Medodhatu is often referred to as the fatty tissue although the conceptual region throws light upon the concentrated fluids of the body, skin oil or perhaps the omentum. Medodhatu is said to be treasure trove of energy and plays an insulator for the body safeguarding the body heat. medo dhatu also aids in smooth lubrication and acts secondary to mamsa dhatu in maintain a neat framework. medo dhatu is maintained by kapha dosa.
5. Asthi Dhatu
As the name is suggestive of its skeletal meaning, asthi dhatu translates to that stratum present in our skeletal bones and cartilages, and blesses our body with its characteristic shape and also maintains the mamsa dhatu.
6. Majja Dhatu
Majja is perhaps translated as bone marrow. Bone marrow is that which houses the production of the blood cells and a good supply of the same is imperative for our body. Majja is also indirectly referred to as nerves and plugs all the empty spaces thus acting as a means of communication between bones, organs as well as cells. This dhatu, like the former ones, nurtures its successive dhatu that is shukra dhatu.
7. Shukra Dhatu
The seventh tissue from gross to subtle in our physical body is shukra, the reproductive fluid. it is the last one of the tissues and the one that allows for ojas, the prime energy reserve of our body.
Shukra is the byproduct of majja dhatu thereby suggesting that our nervous systems and ramifications have to be in a prime state for optimum reproductive tissues.
The function of shukra dhatu is reproduction as well as pleasure, with both reproductive as well as pleasurable components.
Ojas- The Life Force
Ojas is the ultimate product of nutrition and digestion and is the prime energy reserve for the entire body, and precedes the formation of the 7 tissues in body!
This means that we will have sufficient energy reserves if only the 7 tissues that precede its production are healthy, strong and balanced. Taking care of our foundation cannot be overlooked, without that ojas will always get depleted and hence we always feel fatigued!
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