Tridosha Theory

Tridosha Theory – Introduction

Tridoshas are biological derivatives of the five basic elements present in the Universe. The term Doshas means the factors which are capable of vitiating the body tissues if they are increased, decreased or vitiated alone or all together. The three doshas are the basic constituents responsible for the structure and proper functioning of the body or its existence as a whole.

Tri means three and doshas being the basic energies when in balance. Derived from the Panchamahabhuta, each Dosha – which like the elements cannot be detected with our senses but their qualities can be. Every physical attribute, mental faculty and the emotional make up of a human being can therefore be explained in terms of theTridoshas.

At the time of conception, permutations and combinations of Vata, pitta and kapha determine the constitution of the new individual.These three metabolic forces govern all biological, psychological and physiological functions of the body, mind and consciousness and have subtle properties. They determine personality traits as well..

The unique individual constitution produces natural tendencies and individual preferences in food, flavor and temperature.

Significance of Tridoshas

The foundation of “Ayurveda and treatment in Ayurveda” is Tridoshas and Dushyas (Dhatu and mala).

Dosha balance is mandatory for optimal health. Therefore in balanced state they are also known as Dhatu as they are responsible for health. Each Dosha has its own specific properties. Diet, life style, drugs etc. if have similar properties as that of Dosha will increase the Dosha and if diet, drugs etc. have opposite properties will decrease the Doshas. e.g. Vata is dry, light, cold. Any diet or drugs that have similar properties will increase Vata and any diet or drug that have properties like heavy, oily and hot will decrease Vata.

The combination of the three life forces viz. Tridoshas remains unaltered throughout an individual’s lifetime and can indicate a person’s inherent strengths and susceptibilities. This inherent combination or constitution, however, responds to environmental changes such as diet and lifestyle thereby providing an opportunity to the individual  to maintain and restore health.

The physiological activity going on in the body could be classified into three categories :

  • Movement
  • Transformation
  • Lubrication

Vata Dosha is responsible for movement,  Pitta Dosha is responsiblefor transformation and lubrication is provided by Kapha Dosha. Kapha Dosha also binds two things together.

The nervous system functioning by modern physiology for example, can be identified with Vata. The chemical process being carried out in the human body can be attributed to Pitta, including enzymes, hormones and the complete nutritional functioning and the activities of the skeletal and the anabolic system, actually the whole physical volume of an organism and all body fluids, can be identified with Kapha.

Vata, Pitta & Kapha are considered in Ayurveda to be the representative of Air, Sun and Moon respectively in the body. Their function is similar to that of Air, Sun and Moon in nature. Soma means (Moon) and its representative Kapha performs the function of Visarga (to nurture) or greasing in the universe and body respectively. Surya means (sun) and its representative Pitta performs the function of Aadan (to absorb and transform) in the universe and the body respectively. Anil means Air and its representative Vataperforms the function of Vikshepa (to move or motiVatae) in the universe and body respectively.

Function Performed in Universe by Performed in Body by
Visarga Moon Kapha
Aadan Sun Pitta
Vikshepa Air Vata