Indriya sthana deals with study of specific signs related to Prana (vital life force) perceived by sense organs.
Preamble of Indriya Sthana (Section on assessment of lifespan of patients)
Indriya Sthana deals with the observation of signs predicting lifespan and signs indicative of reduced duration of remaining life (also called arishta lakshana). The word Indriya literally means organ, sense, force, vigor.. In the present context, it means Prana or vital life force.. The seat of prana in the body is Sneha or Ojus. Indriya (sense organs) are said to be the linga (organs) of prana. An important concept discussed in this section is termed Indriyadushti (damage to the sensory system). A state of perfect health is Anirvedovarta Lakshanam (i.e., life without any indication or perception of being alive).[Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 25/40]
Logical sequencing of chapters
Life begins with the association of consciousness, or the atma, with the five fundamental elements (panchamahabhuta) and ends in the dissolution of this association. Since this union (that results in a living being) is by no means permanent and since there is always a possibility of dissolution or death anytime, Ayurvedic texts emphasize on identifying certain signs and symptoms that could forebear, with some level of certainty, imminent death. This section is dedicated to such determinants and is structured in the form of 12 chapters.
Glimpses of Chapters
- Signs and symptoms (arishtas) of imminent death can be perceived by specific changes in sensory system (e.g., varna (color), swara (voices/sounds), gandha (smell), rasa (taste), sparsha(touch),along with chhaya (complexion) and prabha (radiance)) are addressed in chapters Varnasvariyam Indriyam Adhyaya, Pushpitakam Indriyam Adhyaya, Parimarshaneeyam Indriyam Adhyaya, Indriyaneekam Indriyam Adhyaya, Pannarupiyam Indriyam Adhyaya and Yasyashyavanimittiyam Indriyam Adhyaya.
- Clinically useful early warning signs have been mentioned in Purvarupeeya.
- Gomayachurniyam Indriyam Adhyaya, Anujyotiyam Indriyam Adhyaya, Katamanasharireeyam Indriyam Adhyaya, Avakshiraseeyam Indriyam Adhyaya and Sadyomaraneeyam Indriyam Adhyaya are chapters that give examples of arishta that could be perceived on the physical level (or, are Bahyakarana) as well as on the mental, intellectual, and emotional levels (or, afflicting the Antahkarana ), with references to shakun( good / bad consequential happening)), doota( messenger), swapna ( dreams) and miscellaneous occult sciences. The evidences laid down in these chapters may establish an Ayurveda-based clinical diagnostic methodology.
Scope and Importance
Even though all of the determinants (i.e., signs and symptoms) cannot be explained by rational scientific parameters (as evident by the references above to paranormal and occult sciences), some of these signs and symptoms have been documented and reported as having been experienced by people in various parts of the world. Within the treatise Charak Samhita, physicians are instructed to thoroughly examine the patient for certain signs that indicate terminal illness and investigate using biomarkers. The treatise then advises physicians to stop any therapeutic treatment being given to such terminal patients and provide them palliative care instead. In the present era, with advancements in medical sciences, many arishta lakshanas are well treatable and cannot be considered as "predictors" of death as they used to even a few centuries back. However, these signs and symptoms could serve as important indicators of prognosis of disease and therefore, would be helpful in prompt management to save life of patients.
- Sharma V.K.Charakokta Indriya Sthana Ka Pratisanskara Swarupatmaka Vishleshna.Ph. D.Thesis.Rajasthan Ayurved University,Jodhpur.2011
- Radhika.S .A Study On Indriya Sthana Of Charaka Samhita.Siddhanta And Darshan.Alva`s Ayurvedic Medical College, Moodbidri .2015
- Anurag Vats.A Critical Study Of Indriya Sthana From Charak Samita . Samhita . Bharti Vidyapeeth’s University, College of Ayurved, Pune, Maharashtra.2006.
- Sanskrit-English Dictionary available from http://spokensanskrit.org/index.php?mode=3&script=hk&tran_input=Indriya&direct=au retrieved on April 19, 2019
- Commentary by Chakrapani on Cha. Indriya 1/1-2 available on http://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ecaraka/?mod=adhi retrieved on April 19, 2019
- Available from https://researches-in-ayurveda.co.in/