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Ojas(SanskritSanskrit languageTemplate:उब्ज् + असुन ब् लोपः गुणश्च = ओजस) is the essential part formed collectively after every metabolism occurring at each tissue level inside the human body. It is the essence and nectar part of body derived from tissue metabolism and is responsible mainly for the strength, vigor and vitality of a human being. Many of the ancient scholars from Ayurveda have recognized Ojas as the active and potent principle of body manifesting the overall strength of an individual. In other words, the Ojas and Strength (Bala) are associated as a cause and effect relationship, where the Ojas stands to be the cause and the Bala is the ultimate effect of the same.[1] Even though the concept Ojas in Ayurveda is explored with specific properties, appearance, quantity; then too the exact physical component to which can be termed as Ojas is still cornered since ancient vedic period. Many of the Ayurvedic compendia have mentioned classical description about this Ojas.


Bala (Strength); Sneha (Unctuous part); Prasad (Pure form); Sara (Supreme, excellent state); Rasa (Lymphatics); Mahat (Prime); Dhari (Which sustains the integrity of life); Sarva dhatu sneha (Collective nectar of all Dhatu-Tissues); Paramteja (Active principle); Jivashonita (Vital principle); Shukra (Reproductive tissue); Shukra sara (Excellent part of Reproductive tissue); Shukra Mala (Output of metabolism at Reproductive tissue)


Stalwarts from Ayurveda have defined Ojas in different ways. Few of them are mentioned below -

  1. तत्र रसादिनां शुक्रान्तानां परम् धातुनां यत् परं तेजः । सु.सू.१५/१९ Dalhana the commentator of Sushruta Samhita, has opined that as the Ghee(Clarified Butter) is assimilated within the milk itself, similarly the component Ojas is assimilated within the unctuous part of seven Dhatus (Tissues) present throughout the body. That is why the Ojas is also said to be the purest, finest and excellent part just as nectar derived collectively from the seven Dhatus.
  2. केचित्त्तु शुक्र विशेषमोजः प्राहुः, तच्च न मनः प्रीणाति। शुक्रस्य सारम् ओजः। अत्यन्त शुध्दतया अस्य मलाभावः।। अ.सं.शा.६ Ojas is the supreme, excellent part of Shukra Dhatu (Reproductive tissue). It is responsible for feeding desires, emotions at psychological level. At the same time, it is also stated hereby that it is in its purest form which is completely devoid of any adulteration or impurities.
  3. प्राणायतनमुत्तमम्। सु.सू.१५ A very important component present inside the body which holds the Prana - Vitality or Life.
  4. Ojas is referred directly as the normal Kapha dosha which ultimately is responsible for the strength, vigor where its deviated or vitiated form represents as Mala- biological wastes.


Scholars from Ayurveda have expressed different opinions about the formation of Ojas. Different views of different scholars are highlighted here -

  1. A pure form of Ojas termed Sara[2] is present from the intra-uterine period in the fetal stage within Shukra (Sperm)and Artava (Egg cell).
  2. The Ojas is also said to be present after the union of Shukra and Artava in the form of Garbha sara in Kalala(Morula) stage. The Ojas thus is present before actual birth of an individual is carried throughout the Gestation period. Due to instability of Ojas during 8th month of gestation, which is more prone towards Preterm birth.
  3. After birth the Ojas is always formed at each Dhatu level in very pure form as Sara by the virtue of metabolism occurring at that level. Hence it is stated that, Ojas is the essence part of every Dhatu and is collective Sara viz. Nectar of all the Dhatu from Rasa to Shukra. Hereafter the Ojas then continuously persist throughout the lifetime.
  4. The Ojas is also said to be formed by filtration from the Shukra Dhatu achieving its pure and excellent state of Sara. Thus Ojas is also named as - Sara part of Shukra Dhatu.

Types & Quantity

There are two types of Oja as mentioned in Ayurvedic contexts - Para and Apara

  1. Para Ojas - It is the main principle type out of the two. It is said to be originated at the very first time in the intra-uterine life of an individual. It remains constant and is not so easily deviated from its normalcy. Quantitatively the Para Ojas is of 8 drops (bindu). The Para Ojas is situated in Heart and performs the allocated functions so as to sustain the integrity of life.
  2. Apara Ojas - It is secondary to the former one Para Ojas. It is originated due to the metabolism occurring at each tissue (Dhatu) level. It is collectively developed at each Dhatu level from Rasa to Shukra dhatu and thus attaining the quality of Dhatu Sara. At any pathological or abnormal stage this Apara Ojas gets easily affected thus hampering the immunity of that individual.

Physical and Chemical Properties of Ojas

The Para Ojas while residing in Heart is pure white whereas the Apara Ojas is located throughout the body having some slightly red and yellowish tinge in it.

Table 1:Properties of Ojas

Table showing the different properties of Ojas as per different Ayurvedic contexts classified as per the objects of perceptions.

Guna Charak Samhita[3] Sushrut Samhita[4] Ashtang Hridaya[5]
Sparsha (Touch) Shita (Cold), Snigdha (Unctuous), Mrudu (Soft), Shlakshna (Smooth), Mrutsna (Slimy), Picchila (Sticky) Shita (Cold), Snigdha (Unctuous), Mrudu (Soft), Mrutsna (Slimy) Snigdha (Unctuous)
Rupa (Visibility) Shudha Shukla (Pure white), Ishat Rakta-pita (Slight red yellowish), Sarpi varna (Looks like Ghee-clarified butter) Shukla (White) Shudha (Pure white), Ishat Lohita-pitakam (Slight blood or yellow colored)
Rasa (Taste) Madhur (Sweet), Madhu rasa (like Honey) - -
Gandha (Smell) Laja gandha (Parched cereal) - -
Others Guru (Heavy), Prasanna (Cherishable), Bahal (Bulky), Sthira (Stable) Somatmaka (Cool), Pranayatana Uttamam (Superior among all dwelling sites of Prana-Vitality), Sthira (Stable), Sara (Movable in nature), Vivikta[6] (Clear or Distinctive) Somatmaka (Cool)

Nutrition of Ojas

पुष्यन्ति त्वाहाररसाद्रसरूधिरमांसमेदोऽस्थिमज्जशुक्रौजांसि । च.सु.२८/४[7] The food once ingested is acted upon by the Jatharagni and is converted to Ahara rasa (partially digested food). The pure form of Ahara rasa is then brought into circulation which is then after called as - Rasa dhatu. This Rasa dhatu contains all the essential nutrients necessary for optimum growth and development of the body. The same Rasa dhatu provides nutrition to the next coming all dhatu in the chain and simultaneously provides nutrition Ojas which is the pure form and excellent part coming out after tissue metabolism occuring at each dhatu level.


Ojas basically resides throughout the body as stated above in the Apara Oja and also in Heart as Para Oja. Besides this one of the ancient scholar Bhela has mentioned the location of Oja in total twelve sites throughout the body. This are - Rasa (Lymphatics), Rakta (Blood with formed elements), Mamsa (Muscle tissue), Meda (Adipose tissue), Asthi (Osseous tissue), Majja (Bone marrow), Shukra (Reproductive tissue), Sveda (Sweat), Pitta (Chemical secretions involved in biotransformations), Shleshma (Mucoid secretions), Mutra (Urine) and Purish (Feces).[8]


तत्र बलेन स्थिरोपचितमांसता सर्वचेष्टास्वप्रतिघातः स्वरवर्णप्रसादो बाह्यानामाभ्यन्तराणाञ्च करणानामात्मकार्यप्रतिपत्तिर्भवति । सु.सू १५/२०[9]

  1. The prime and most important function of Ojas is to keep the body alive by sustaining integrity of life. Any deviation or depreciation in normal quantity of Ojas may also prove fatal.
  2. It is also responsible for providing nutrition and enhancing the immune strength of the body.
  3. It is also responsible for the providing immunity which also helps to retard the ageing process.
  4. It also helps to bring stability in Mamsa dhatu (Muscle tissue) along with proper growth of it to manifest significant strength and stamina by the body.
  5. All the actions carried out by the body at every level without any hindrance are undoubtedly supported by adequate and normal Ojas component of the body.
  6. Ojas is also said to support proper speech orientation and skin complexion.
  7. All the senses and perception of knowledge is also one of the function attributed to Ojas[10]

In a nutshell functions of Ojas is to provide Strength, to sustain the integrity of life by maintaining vital force - Prana, also claimed to be one of the Pranayatana (where Prana dwells).

Pathological Variation of Ojas

Immunology as seen from Ayurveda perspective broadly deals with two aspects - Vyadhi bala virodhitwa and Vyadhyutpada pratibandhakatwa. Certainly this Ojas varies as per individual which depends majorly on the nutritional status of that individual. The nutritional status enhances the stability, strength, vigor element inside body represented by - Kapha dosha. Thus the normal strength of body is nothing other than Kapha dosha which is further dealt as Ojas whereas the deviated state is in waste (Mala)form. Pathology in Immunological stream as per Ayurveda involves three basic classifications as - Oja Vistramsa, Oja Vyapat and Oja Kshaya. Here these abnormalities of Ojas can be understood as - Oja Vistramsa – Immunity compromised disorders;Oja Vyapat– Immunity suppressed symptoms and Oja Kshaya– Immune deficiency related symptoms[11]

  1. Oja Vistramsa - It is raised due to suitable etiological factors causing dislodging or displacement of Ojathe unctuous part collected at each dhatu level.
  2. Oja Vyapat - The vitiated Ojas as mentioned in Oja Vistramsawhen lodged in a particular place while roaming throughout body may lead to this condition called - Oja Vyapat.
  3. Oja Kshaya - Quantitative loss of Ojas in the body is said to be Oja Kshaya

Table 1:Pathological features of deviation in Ojas

Table showing features of pathology in Ojas as - Oja Vistramsa, Oja Vyapat and Oja Kshaya[12]

Oja Vistramsa Oja Vyapat Oja Kshaya
Sandhi vishlesh– Lethargic, looseness and displacement of joints Stabdha guru gatrata – Feeling of stiffness and rigidity in body Murcha – Fainting or unconsciousness
Gatra sadanam – Fatigue and weakness in body Vata shofa – Edematous swelling due to vitiation of Vata dosha Mamsa kshaya – Emaciation and muscle tissue wasting
Dosha chyavanam – Vitiated Dosha migrates from their own locations and are capable to create disease where they gets lodged in body (Kha-vaigunya) Varna bheda – Change in normal complexion Moha – Giddiness, lack of decisive power
Kriya sannirodha – Impairment in the functions and activities of body at physical and psychological level. Glani – Fatigue of all senses Pralapa – Irrelevant talk
- Tandra – Drowsiness; Nidra – Sleepiness or Somnolence; Marana – Death

Acharya Charak have mentioned a very detailed features with respect to loss of Oja viz. Oja Kshaya.

बिभेति दुर्बलोऽभीક્ષ્णं ध्यायति व्यथितेन्द्रियः । दुश्छायो दुर्मना रूક્ષઃ ક્ષાमश्चैवोजसः ક્ષये ॥ च.सु.१७[13]

Individual with depleted Ojas may always have a feeling of fearfulness, weak, fatigue specially at its senses, altered skin complexion, lack of self confidence, dry and rough skin with remarkable emaciation of body.

Following are the etiological factors for depletion of Ojas (Oja Kshaya) as mentioned in - Sushruta Samhita -

अभिघातात् ક્ષयात् कोपात् शोकात् ध्यानात् श्रमात् ક્ષુधः । ओजः संક્ષીयते ह्येभ्यो धातुग्रहणनिःसृतम् ॥ सु.सू.१५/२८[14]

Any injury, undernourishment due to impaired metabolism, anger, excessive thinking or grief, vigorous physical work and voracious hunger may cause depletion of Ojas in body. Further with the help of Vata dosha this Ojas is then easily displaced from its prime seat - Hridaya (Heart) which is then responsible for causing any of the three above mentioned abnormalities of Ojas.


The importance of Ojas can be very well understood by the fact that it is developed very first prior to the physiological entitiesdosha. Description of ojas The functions of the normal Dosha is regulated after stabilization of the Ojas component inside the body. It is by the virtue of the Dosha that every Dhatu is developed in a healthy and normal way. Ojas is responsible for providing the excellent state and bestowing all good qualities to the generating Dhatu. Ojas is replenished by the excellent nectar part with good qualities from the dhatu as like the bee which collects pure honey and cream part from the flowers and fruits.

Importance of Ojas lies in the very fact that even after performing major role in sustaining the integrity of life it is not at all included in the category of - Dosha, Dhatu or Mala. Ojas does not satisfy the criteria of Dosha of formation of Prakriti, thus it is not a Dosha. Dhatu are having specific property of providing nourishment and producing the next Dhatu in the series which is not accomplished by Ojas. This might be the reason why Ojas is not called as the eight dhatu in the cascade of seven dhatus mentioned in Ayurveda. Lastly, the Ojas is claimed to be the purest and excellent part and thus it is not included under the Mala category. However, this part is having an exception where Acharya Vagbhata the author of Ashtang Hridaya claims Ojas as the Mala part of Shukra dhatu.

Dosha the very physiological entity of the body regulating every action, process of the body, being different from the Ojas are unable to perform their allocated functions without support and assistance of Ojas.[15]

Existence of Ojas is the reason due to which life exists while the absence of or major loss of Ojas is responsible for death.[16]

Concise table for Oja[17]

Author Appearance Odor Taste Touch Special features
Charak Red, Yellowish Parched cereal Sweet Shita (Cool), Mrudu (Soft), Snigdha (Unctuous), Mrutsna (Slimy), Prasanna (Fresh), Guru (Heavy) Located in Heart, excellent part of all Dhatu, provides strength to body and mind
Chakradatta White - - - Shukra vishesh, necessary for all Dhatu, Para Apara Ojas
Sushruta White, Yellowish - Sweet Somatmaka (Cool), Mrudu (Soft), Snigdha (Unctuous), Mrutsna (Slimy), Prasanna (Fresh), Guru (Heavy), Pure Pranayatana, unctuous part of Dhatu, provides strength to body, Para Oja- 8 drops and Apara Oja - Half Anjali
Dalhana White, Oily - - - Ushma, Jivashonita
Vagbhatta Yellowish Red - - Snigdha (Unctuous), Sara (Fluidy and movable) Located in Heart, Teja nourishing factor, Shukra mala
Arundatta - - - - Quantity 6 drops
Sharangdhara - - - - Updhatu of Shukra


  1. http://ijapc.com/volume5-first-issue/V5-I1-7-P-53-64.pdf
  2. Tripathi Bramhanand, Charak Samhita with Hindi Commentary, Sutra Sthana 30, Choukhamba Surbharti Prakashan Varanasi, reprint 2004
  3. Tripathi Bramhanand, Charak Samhita with Hindi Commentary, Sutra Sthana 24/31, Choukhamba Surbharti Prakashan Varanasi, reprint 2004.
  4. Vaidya Yadavji Trikamji Acharya, Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta, Sutra Sthana 15/26, Choukhamba Orientalia, Varanasi, 2007.
  5. Gupta Kaviraj Atrideva, Ashtanga Hridayam with Hindi Commentary, Sutra Sthana 11, Choukhamba Prakashan, reprint, 2007.
  6. Chandrakant bhattacharya (editor),commentary of Haranchandra, sushruta samhita, New Delhi; reprint 2008
  7. Tripathi Bramhanand, Charak Samhita with Hindi Commentary, Sutra Sthana 28/4, Choukhamba Surbharti Prakashan Varanasi, reprint 2004.
  8. Krishnadutta swami, Bhela Samhita, Sutra Sthana 12, Chaukhamba Prakashan, 1957
  9. Jadavaji trikamji acharya (editor), Sushruta samhita, Varanasi; chaukhambha orientalia, 8th edition, 2005
  10. Shilwant Aniket.Immunology: An Ayurvedic Aspect with reference to Oja and Vyadhiskamatva.Interrnational Journal of Ayurved and Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Available on http://ijapc.com/volume5-first-issue/V5-I1-7-P-53-64.pdf
  11. http://ijapc.com/volume10-third-issue/MNAPC-V10-I3-42-p-295-306.pdf
  12. Vaidya Yadavji Trikamji Acharya, Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta with Nibhandhasamgraha Commentary, Sutra Sthana 15, Choukhamba Orientalia, Varanasi, 2007
  13. Tripathi Bramhanand, Charak Samhita with Hindi Commentary, Choukhamba Surbharti Prakashan Varanasi, reprint 2004,Sutra Sthana 17
  14. Vaidya Yadavji Trikamji Acharya, Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta with Hindi Commentary, Choukhamba Orientalia,Varanasi, 2007, Sutra Sthana 15/28
  15. Gupta Kaviraj Atrideva, Ashtanga Samgraha with Shashilekha Hindi Commentary of Indu, Sutra Sthana 19/36, Choukhamba Krushnadas Academy, Varanasi reprint, 2005
  16. Gupta Kaviraj Atrideva, Ashtanga Hridayam with Hindi Commentary, Sutra Sthana 11/38, Choukhamba Prakashan, Varanasi reprint, 2012
  17. Dr. Nandini Dilip Dharagalkar, Sharir Kriya Vidynan, Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi, First Edition, 2008, Pg. No. 568