Understanding of Science of Ayurved will be incomplete without having a complete understanding of Dravya (द्रव्य). Though Dravya (द्रव्य) in simple English can be called as Matter; it has much more depth than that. Broadly Dravya (द्रव्य) can be divided as

I) Karan Dravya  कारण द्रव्य - (Causal factors) which consists of the elements which are the building blocks for the formation of Karya Dravya कार्य द्रव्य. They are total nine in number including Panchamahabhoota पंचमहाभूत, Dik दिक् (Direction), Kaal काल (Time), Aatma आत्मा (Soul) and Mana मन (Mind)

II) Karya Dravyas  कार्य द्रव्य - (Effectual factors) are the Dravyas formed from Karan Dravyas which include all living, non living elements in the universe. For example, whole plant and animal kingdom as well as things which are of mineral origin come under karya Dravya

Karya Dravyas are further divided into three types depending on their action on most important body factors responsible for Health-The Dosha Vata, Pitta and Kapha for Practical use namely

  1. Shaman (शमन)- Dravyas that pacify the Doshas
  2. Kopan (कोपन) - Dravyas that aggravate the Doshas
  3. Swasthahita (स्वस्थहित) - Dravyas that keep the Doshas or other associated elements in equilibrium and maintain the health. 

Concept of Dik or Disha (दिशा)- Direction

Disha denotes the sense of direction. That is; East, West, North, South, etc. Disha is one of the indirect causal factors (Karan Dravya) in the formation of effectual factors (Karya Dravya). 

Concept of Kaal (काल) or Time

Word kaal has been used in many contexts in Ayurved. Mainly it has been used in relation with

  • Time of the day
  • Season
  • Disease state (Acute /Chronic)

It’s important as the diktats in the Ayurvedic texts gave the daily routine conduct as per the time of the day eg. exercise done at particular time of the day can deliver the desired effects but when done at wrong time can give rise to health problems.

Different doshas get vitiated in different seasons therefore guidelines for seasonal conduct help us to understand the difference we need to bring in as far as daily regime and diet are concerned.

Treatment in acute stage of the disease is different from that of chronic stage

Concept of Mana (मन) or Mind

The living body is composed not only of Physical substances but as per Ayurved it has certain other very important factors like Mana and Aatma. Let’s discuss Mana first which is a Unique concept of Ayurved.

Mana can be co-related with mind though concept of Mana is much broader than that of mind. Ayurvedic scholars always had very clear concept of mind. They say derivation of any knowledge in the world is the result of perfect coordination between senses i.e Indriya and mind i.e Mana.

It can be explained by a simple example. When we sit in a meeting, our sense of hearing and mind work in co-ordination. Sound waves which fall on our ear are grasped by our sense of hearing but derivation of knowledge comes only when mind act as coordinator between sense of hearing and brain. If our mind wonders here and there sounds or words are received but without understanding. The thinking process is controlled by mind with the help of intellect.

Ayurved scholars have categorized the Mana or Mind as follows

i) Satvik  ii) Rajasik and iii) Tamasik

Satwik (सात्विक)

Satvik is the adjective derived from the word ‘Satva’ which denotes all good qualities like Intellect, knowledge, gratitude, humbleness, obedience etc. Hence Person with satwik mind is faithful, honest, kind, generous, unselfish, calm, intelligent, cheerful and humble. He or she is mentally stable. They have lot of patience and do the things after careful thinking in systematic way.

Rajasik (राजसिक)

Rajasik is the adjective derived from the word ‘Raja’ which denotes qualities like anger, jealousy, hypocrisy, ungratefulness hence Person with Rajasik mind is very active, aggressive, short tempered, liar, anxious, egoistic, deceiving and Cruel. They have no patience and try to finish the things in rush. They have haphazard way of working.

Tamasik (तामसिक)

Tamasik is the adjective derived from the word ‘Tama’ which denotes qualities like laziness, lassitude, dejection, frightfulness, ignorance hence Person with Tamsik mind is atheist, lazy, ignorant, atrocious, wicked and always depressed. They tend to delay the work and have no sense of responsibility.

Basically every individual have characteristics of all three, temperament of an individual is labeled depending on the dominance of one of them.

Concept of Aatma (आत्मा ) (Soul)

It is again one of the unique concepts of Ayurved. Aatma can not be seen, felt or heard but its existence in the body means living and it’s exit defines the death of a living being.

Aatma or soul is the essence of life and the source of supreme knowledge. It is of two types namely.

Jivatma (जीवात्मा)  - It is the soul of an individual which differs from individual to individual.

Paramatma (परमात्मा)- It is the sole divine power in the universe and the source of absolute knowledge in the world.

At the time of death Jivatma liberates from the body without been seen or felt to get submerge in Paramatma.

Actually derivation of knowledge is the result of coordination between Aatma, Mana and Indriya which is explained in the following Shloka.

आत्मा मनस: संयुज्यते मन: इन्द्रियेण इन्द्रियार्थेण प्रत्यक्षं ज्ञानं प्रवर्तते |

For the perception of anything, Aatma (soul) should coordinate with Mana (Mind) which then should have proper connection with Indriya or sense (for example sense of hearing) and finally Indriya have to connect with its Artha or sensation (for example hearing sensation).