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  Prakriti and Vikruti concept  
  Concepts (Fire, Earth, wind, water, space)  

Prakriti denotes natural form and in this context, it refers to the natural constitution of a person. Prakriti of a person is determined at the time of conception depending upon the dominance of Dosha in sperm (Shukra) and ovum (Shonita). In addition, the environment of the uterus (Kala-Garbhashaya), diet and activities of the mother during the pregnancy (Matru-Ahara-Vihara and Mahabhuta Vikara) also influence the Prakriti of a person.
Prakriti is mainly of two types, Deha (psychosomatic) Prakriti and Manasa (Psychic) Prakriti. Manasa (Psychic) Prakriti depends upon the dominance of Sattva, Raja and Tama, out of which last two are considered as Manas (psychological) Dosha. In Ayurveda seven Sattvika Prakriti, six Rajasika Prakriti and three Tamasika Prakriti have been described. Common psychic components of a personality are also included in the Deha Prakriti, so they are not mentioned here separately.

Deha Prakriti (Psychosomatic Constitution)

The nature of the body is formed at the time of conception depending upon the dominance of Dosha in the sperm and the ovum and this nature is unchangeable throughout life. This nature formed at the time of conception is known as Prakriti. Depending upon the dominance of Dosha, the following seven Prakriti are described:

Vata Prakriti
Pitta Prakriti
Kapha Prakriti
Vata-Pitta Prakriti
Vata-Kapha Prakriti
Pitta-Kapha Prakriti
Sama Prakriti

In the context of dominance of Dosha in Prakriti, it is to be noted that increase in Dosha is of two types, Prakritika (normal) and Vaikritika (abnormal). Prakritika increase is within the normal range whereas a Vaikritika increase is above the natural or normal limit. In Prakriti the particular Dosha may remain in the increased form but generally it does not cross the normal limit. But slight Indulgence in a diet and regimen which increases the Dosha of that particular Prakriti may lead to diseases belonging to the class of that Dosha. Conversely, indulging the dietary habits or life-style which is opposite in qualities to that Dosha, may help to prevent these diseases. Hence, the knowledge of Prakriti is very helpful in the maintenance of health and prevention of disease.

Generally, dominance of a Dosha in the Prakriti does not harm a person in the same way as poison of poisonous animals does not harm them, provided one does not take the diet and regimen provoking that Dosha Prakriti formed at the time of conception is influenced to some extent by the intrauterine environment, diet of mother and season, but does not change after birth. However, its effects can be slightly modified or compensated by adhering to the strict regimens prescribed for it. Prakriti always denotes the healthy state with a given predisposition to some diseases and resistance to others. Each Prakriti has some positive and some negative qualities.
Sama Prakriti persons having the equilibrium of the three Dosha are considered ideal, as they are little prone to disorders but this type of Prakriti is rare. Vata Prakriti persons are said to be particularly prone to disease, because they fall easily victim to Vata types of disorders and need to follow a prescribed regimen to prevent these disorders.
Vata Prakriti

The person of Vata Prakriti is lean and thin, has dry skin, sparse and dry hair and a wavering mind. The person of Vata Prakriti has unstable memory and intellect. He grasps easily but forget quickly. They have unstable friendship and quarrelling nature. He is talkative and in his dreams tends to fly in space. His friendships are also unstable; his nature is irritable and changeable.

Vata, which is dominant in Vata Prakriti person, is rough, light, mobile, abundant, rapid, cold, coarse and clear in nature. Vata Prakriti person due to roughness has a rough skin and under developed and short body, a low and hoarse voice and less sleep. Due to lightness of Vata, the person tends to take light and irregular diet, is mobile and active and due to his increased mobility has unstable joints and body parts. Due to he abundance of Vata, he is talkative, has a lot of visible tendons and venous network. Due to the swiftness of Vata, he is hasty to initiate actions and easily becomes irritable, fearful, attached and detached with others. Due to the coldness of Vata, the person is intolerant to cold and tends to suffer from cold, stiffness and shivering. Due to the qualities of coarseness and clarity, the person has coarse, cracked hairs, nails, teeth, face, hand and feet and cracking joints on movement.
The presence of all these qualities renders a Vata Prakriti person lacking in strength with short life span, fewer progeny, less means and wealth. The person of Vata Prakriti suffers from Vata disorders, even by slight indulgence in the etiological factors and may suffer less from the Kapha and Pitta disorders. As Vata, the dominant Dosha of this Prakriti is responsible for many disorders, some scholars mention that the persons of Vata Prakriti are more prone to ill health.

Pitta Prakriti

The person of Pitta Prakriti suffers from premature gray hairs, tends to sweat profusely, is easily angered but is intelligent. In dreams he sees objects of light. The psychological attributes of this Prakriti include pride, good character, cleanliness, intelligence and easily becoming angry.

This Prakriti is due to the dominance of Pitta, which has hot (Ushna), sharp (Tikshna) and liquid (Drava) properties, fleshy smell (Vishra) and sour and pungent taste. Pitta Prakriti person due to hotness of Pitta is intolerant to heat and has delicate and fair organs, excessive hunger and thirst; soft, sparse and brown hairs, beard and moustaches, premature wrinkles, graying and falling of hairs and plenty of pimples, moles, black moles and freckles.
Due to the sharpness of Pitta they have strong valor, sharp digestion, appetite and thirst and an intolerant nature. Such persons due to the liquidity of Pitta have lax and soft joints and muscles, excessive perspiration, urine and feces. Due to the fleshy smell of Pitta, the persons have excessive fetid smell in axilla, mouth, head and body; and due to the pungent and sour taste of Pitta they have little semen, sexual power and few progeny.
All these properties render a Pitta Prakriti person moderate in strength with moderate life span, knowledge, understanding wealth and means. A Pitta Prakriti person is likely to suffer more from Pitta disorders and less from Kapha or Vata disorders.

Kapha Prakriti

The persons of Kapha Prakriti have well nourished organs and strong body, glossy hair and deep intelligence. They are intelligent, dependable, truthful. soft-spoken and not envious, and have good memory and sleep. They do not anger easily but once angered do not give up revenge easily. They often see water in dreams.
Kapha has unctuous (Snigdha), smooth (Shlakshana), soft (Mridu), sweet (Madhura), essence (Sara), solid (Sandra), dull (Manda), rigid (Stimita), heavy (Guru), cold (Shita), slimy (Vijjala) and clear (Accha) properties.
Kapha Prakriti person due to the unctuous property of Kapha has unctuous organs; due to smoothness has smooth organs; due to softness has pleasing, delicate and fair organs; due to sweetness abundant semen, sex and progeny; due to the excellence property of Kapha has a compact and stable body, and due to solidity has well developed and perfect organs.

Due to dullness of Kapha he is slow in activities, eating and speech; due to rigidity he takes time in initiation, and is slow to irritate and disorders developing. Due to heavy properties of Kapha he has purposeful, slow and stable movements; due to coldness he has little hunger, thirst, pyrexia and perspiration; due to sliminess he has well-united and strong joints and ligaments; and due to clarity, he has clear eyes, face, complexion and affectionate voice.
All these qualities make a Kapha Prakriti person strong, wealthy, learned, brave and calm with long span of life Kapha Prakriti is considered comparatively more favorable than Vata and Pitta Prakriti, particularly due to its tolerant nature. The person of Kapha is likely to suffer from Kapha disorders by indulging in Kapha provoking diets and habits.

Dual Prakriti: Vata-Kapha, Vata-Pitta and Pitta-Kapha Prakriti are three dual Prakriti. where the persons has combined symptoms of both the involved Dosha.

Sama (Balanced) Prakriti

In the person of Sama Prakriti all three Dosha are present in an equivalent state. This Prakriti is considered best as it is the most balanced but it is rare to find.

Importance of Prakriti

As mentioned earlier Prakriti denotes natural psychosomatic constitution of a person and does not harm a person in the same way as the poison of poisonous. So in general terms Prakriti is a normal state of health However dominance of a particular Dosha, particularly in single and dual Dosha types of Prakriti, predisposes the person to the certain disorders belonging to that class of Dosha. For instance, the person of Vata Prakriti is likely to suffer more from Vata disorders and that of Pita Prakriti from Pitta disorders and so on. In this way by knowing Prakriti, one knows the class of disorders from which he is likely to suffer. Hence, by avoiding the etiological factors aggravating to that Dosha, One may be able to prevent those disorders associated with that Dosha. Similarly, by knowing positive and negative aspects pertaining to his physical and mental personality, one can plan his life in a better way for greater success. For example, a person of Vata is easily irritated and then easily forgets the cause of his irritation, so by not taking immediate action and acting only when he cools down, he can avoid many awkward situations. Hence, except Sama Prakriti, no Prakriti is good or bad, as each Prakriti has its own merits and demerits. So the only precaution to be taken is to avoid such diet and habits, which may provoke the dominant Dosha of one's Prakriti.

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