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Concepts of Ojas/Vyadhikshamatva/Bala/Sleshma in Ayurveda.

Updated: Apr 3, 2023



As we believe any subject that has to remain relevant to the end user is the subject must be demystified in the language the user can employ and it must be relevant, and practical for one who is looking for a solution.


As we surveyed literature we find the major issue with western thought is that they see the human body as a stand-alone and combination of parts like some machine conveniently ignoring the words like consciousness, the existence of energy force, and body in relationship to things around it. And since that is a philosophical debate we will avoid that. Only in the last 20-30 years, they have started working on the role of the human brain as a thoughtful intelligent thing –thus elevating it from a body organ to something higher but still a long way to go.


In the same way, they do understand the physical aspect of the flow of blood, air, etc. in the body they see it as an accidental machine process and have no understanding of the forces that play roles as a primary motivating force.

And possibly at the bottom pit, they have no protocol for healing ---they are trying but possibly till the basic philosophy remains we require physical, tangible things to understand, and everything beyond is nonscientific. Science is by default meant to deal with things that are physically visible and by that definition, everything else is nonscientific, and with a sort of aura attached to the word “scientific,” the universality approach is missed.

That is why as individuals who have only one body is not an abstract science artifice we must know about our body from as many sources as are relevant to our well-being. That is the reason we always say we don’t have the option to hand over my well-being to an outside agency. I have to be responsible for my well-being hence I must know what is my wellbeing.


In this note, we talk about the concept of Ojas in Ayurved.

Located in hrdaya(heart), ojas pervade all over the body and control the working of the body. By its loss or destruction, the destruction of the body (life) is sure to happen and by its presence, the body is sure to survive and different states (condition, activity, etc) concerned with the body are brought properly. The main function of Ojas is vyadhikshamatva(equivalent to word immunity as we know). The capacity or power of the body to fight against disease and to resist the production of disease is known as vyadhikshamatva.

The body is originally composed of dosas, dhatus and malas. As moola, i.e., root is the chief factor in the stage of origin, sustenance, and destruction of plants, in same way dosa, dhatu, and mala for the body [4]. Beyond this dosa, dhatu, and mala, there is one separate entity due to which every tissue of the body remains integrity in functions and structure for strength and vitality of human body is called as ojas. The physical, mental, and spiritual strength totally depends on ojas. Ojas get formed first in the body of living beings within the womb and end comes when its gone from body and between there is process of its growth ,stability , decline and deviations which were corrected by external interventions.

The oja provides vyadhikshamatva power in the body because function of Oja is to prevent the manifestation of disease in the body and oppose and defense from the disease which already exist. The ojas is strength. Actually, ojas is the cause and strength is the function of ojas. But being very important function of ojas and performing all other function of ojas, by strength ojas itself is known as strength. Oja which is situated all over the body is known as Aparaoja and its amount in the body is half anjali. Opposite to dhatu, ojas vruddi does not occur in the body, in spite its decrease in the body produces different symptoms and stages.

By using Ojavyasthapakdruvya in healthy stage of the body, it helps in maintaining normal amount of oja in the body and when oja is present in its normal amount, then all the function of Ojas occurs properly in the body and there is less.

To maintain health of a healthy person and to prevent infection in the body, one should use ojovyasthapakdruvya regularly so that all the physiological activities of the body should go on properly.

Decrease in the quantity of ojas leads to a pathological condition called as Ojakshaya, deficient oja not only produces ojakshayalakshana and different three stages. But also, ojakshaya occur in pathology of different disease. So, for a physician it is mandatory to have the knowledge of ojavyasthapan treatment. In this study, an attempt was made to understand the function of Ojas w.s.r. to vyadhikshamatva and its clinical significance. All the literatures are reviewed to understand the same.


Ojas present in the human body are of two types: (1) Apara Ojas, and (2) Para Ojas. The amount of Apara Ojas in the body is half Anjali. Apar Ojas circulates in the dhamnis and it is apradhan. Its decrease produces different ojaskshaya symptoms in the body. The amount of Para ojas is eight drops. It is situated in the heart and it is pradhan, and its decrease produces death.


Ojas maintains the life of living beings by its saturation. Without ojas, life in a living doing not exist. Ojas is the initial essence of the embryo and the essence of its nourishing material. Ojas enters the cardiac region before circulation. When Ojas is destroyed, it leads to the destruction of the body means Ojas is the sustainer of life, and is in the heart. Ojas is the cream of nutrient fluid in the body and where vital factors are established.

The normal functions of bala (Ojas) are as follows, firm and well-developed muscles, unobstructed movements, clarity of voice and complexion and normal functioning of external (motor) and internal (sensory) organs.


The function of Ojas can be summarized as:


• Maintain the life of a living being.

• Without it life does not exist.

• Initial essence of the embryo.

• Vital factors are established here.

• Homeostasis, i.e., maintaining the equilibrium of the body.

• Controls the working of the body.

• Different states concerned with the body are brought properly.

• Destroy vitiated dosa.

• Produce firm and well-developed muscles.

• Unobstructed movements.

• Clarity of voice.

• Clarity of complexion.

• Normal functioning of external (motor) organs.

• Normal functioning of internal (sensory) organs.

• By its presence, the body is sure to survive.

. Destruction of Ojas leads to the destruction of the body.

The strengths of body(Bala) are of 3 types:

1. Sahaj, i.e., congenital.

2. Kalaj, i.e., time affected.

3. Yuktikrut, i.e., acquired.

Sahaj Bala, i.e., Congenital Physical, and psychological strength which is present naturally is known as sahaj or congenital strength. Congenital strength is present since birth. Congenital strength is of the following three types:


Kalaj Bala, i.e., Time Affected Strength Kalaj bala depends on seasonal variation and age of person.

Yukti Krutaj Bala Yukti krutaj bala : is the bala that is acquired or obtained by following proper dietary habit, diet and other rules and regimens. A diet with six tastes increases the strength of body and with single taste decrease the strength of body.


Depending on diet, yuktija bala is of the following three types:

1. Uttam: Consumer of all six tastes, follower of Astaaharavidhiviseshyatan.

2. Madhyam: Consumer of two or three tastes.

3. Heena: Consumer of a single taste, excess food intake. Not at all intake of food, opposite food intake.


Ojakshaya (decrease or loss of Ojas )

Ojas undergoes a decrease in anger, hunger, worry, grief, and exertion. With such decrease, the person becomes fretful, debilitated, worries much again, feels discomfort in the sense organ and develops a bad complexion, bad mention, and dryness of the skin.

According to Sushruta there are three stages of abnormal of Oajas are:


Oajovisransa : symptoms of Oajovisransa are looseness of joints, body aches, displacement of Doshas from their seat, tiredness, and impairment in the performance of action.

Oajovyapada : symptoms of Oajovyapada are heaviness in the body, stiffness in joints, depression, discoloration, body ache, drowsiness, excess sleep, and constipation

Oajokshaya : symptoms of Oajokshaya are unconsciousness, depletion of flesh ie wasting, semi-consciousness, coma, and death.

Vyadhikshamatva brief explanation in two divisions.


1) Vyadhi-balavirodhitvam : It is the capacity to put away or resist the power (severity) of the diseases ie the power to resist the development of disease.

2) Vyadhi-utpadakapratibandhakatva : The counterattacking strength of the body to inhibit the occurrence and re-occurrence of the disease.



FACTORS AFFECTING VYADHIKSHAMATVA

There are around nine types of factors responsible for reducing immunity. - Ashtanindittiya Purush .

आतिदिर्घ्ष्च आतिह्रस्वश्च आतिलोमाच आलोम च , आतिक्रिष्ण्ष्च , आतिगौरवश्च , आतिश्थूलश्च , अतिकृष्ष्च. 9TripathiB, editor (1st) Charaka -Samhita of Agnivesa , SootraSthana Chapter 21, Verse 3 VaranasiChaukhambaSurbharatiPrakashan ( 2008);398 )

Desha, Kala, Samyoga , Virya , Pramana , Oja , Bala , Jatakarma , Lehana karma, Suvarna karma, Dhoopana karma, Niyamita vyayama .


Desha means both the direction and place ---like a lot of issues get compounded in winter in the north.


Kala: Kala is one of the basic structures that has been described in Ayurveda. Kala is a thin membrane, which lines the internal cavity of the Ashayas (the organs that hold the vital elements), organs, blood vessels, fibrous capsules of the joints, and so on. The Kala separates the Dhatu (vital elements) and Ashaya.

Samyoga: sex.

Virya: Semen

Pramana: (Sanskrit: “measure”) in Indian philosophy, is the means by which one obtains accurate and valid knowledge (prama, pramiti) about the world.

Oja : Decline in its quality

Bala: Reduced strengths


All else is what all need to be done in life and are not part of this note.


Ojas are non-visible energy forces in the body but are still relevant and to better understand them one has to go back to the philosophy of Ayurved and the philosophical school from which they emerged. The human body can not be understood in a rootless fashion ----its not a stand-alone robot but part of a lot bigger system called the universe.
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