Sutra Sthana Chapter 12.The merits and demerits of Vata
|Section/Chapter||Sutra Sthana Chapter 12|
|Preceding Chapter||Tistraishaniya Adhyaya|
|Other Sections||Nidana Sthana, Vimana Sthana, Sharira Sthana, Indriya Sthana, Chikitsa Sthana, Kalpa Sthana, Siddhi Sthana|
|Translator and commentator||Khandel S.K., Rai S.|
|Reviewer||Panja A., Godatwar P.|
|Editors||Dixit U., Deole Y.S., Basisht G.|
|Year of publication||2020|
|Publisher||Charak Samhita Research, Training and Skill Development Centre|
Understanding of modern physiology has gone through several changes and through several stages of evolution, from the standpoint of health and its workings. At first, there used to be a static view of the individual and of specific functions of a body’s constituent organs and tissues. Gradually, it was realized that there was an integrative control mechanism through the nervous system and psychic influences could not be regarded as functioning separately from the body. A study of endocrine secretions led to discoveries of newer processes of physiologic and metabolic conditions having integrative chemical control on the body and subsequently, new light was thrown onto the cellular structure and function. And now it is known that the whole human physiology is an integrated process of interdependent components. The peculiar characteristic of the human body is its capability to modify its internal structure and function to cope up and adapt to changes in the external environment. This capability naturally involves a continuous maintenance of the body structure by means of periodic repair of an organ’s wear and tear and provision of a continuous supply of energy for maintaining the optimal temperature and keeping the various interdependent systems running, so as to help the organism react appropriately to environmental changes within and without the body. The following three systems are integral to every organism, big or small:
- The system of fluid-balance of the body (or, the water-balance system):- A specific fluid matrix is essential to fulfil the expression of life phenomena. This system maintains the specific consistency and structure of the fluid matrix under the stress of varying environmental factors.
- The system of agni:- Specific heat (agni) is necessary to digest and assimilate material from the environment, providing for the necessary energy to maintain body heat and the functioning of various organs and systems.
- The system (or concept) of vital force:- Vital force is essential for the purpose of evolution of organisms as well as their ability to do complex activities, which essentially characterize life and differentiate animate from inanimate entities.
This threefold system has been briefly described by Sushruta as shabda, archi, and jala santanavata meaning the “Organization of vital, thermal and fliud balance”. Within and outside the living body, we can classify all activities and functions grossly into three groups:
- Visarga (To nourish) - Nourishment is required for the birth, growth and development of living beings, as well as for the evolution of the universe and various objects. It is required for new creations as well as augmentation of existing structures and tissues, union, conjunction, synthesis, anabolism, impletion and various other phenomena that drive evolution.
- Adana (To consume)- Consumption implies depletion of existing structures and tissues, dissociation or disjunction, division, catabolism, desiccation, reduction, destruction and annihilation of existing structures. Finally, this also indicates death in case of living beings and dissolution of the universe.
- Vikshepa (To circulate or move)- For all the above functions, various movements are required which form the third group.
- Soma (The Moon - controls the activities of group i (Visarga) )
- Surya (The Sun or agni – controls the activities of group ii (Adana)) , and
- Anila (Wind or Air – controls the activities of group iii (Vikshepa)).
In the living body, these activities (nourishment, consumption, and circulation) are going on in a coordinated, systematic and controlled manner continuously. The body constituents that govern these activities are representatives of soma, surya, and anila respectively. These are also called doshas-
- kapha- represents moon in the body, and is responsible for the activities of Visarga.
- pitta - represents sun in the body, and is responsible for the activities of Adana, and
- vata - represents air in the body, and is responsible for the activities of group Vikshepa.
Collectively, these are called tridosha. Ayurveda studies and understands all the normal and abnormal activities in the human body in terms of the workings of the tridosha. This chapter mainly deals with the detailed account of vata, while it also mentions the nature of pitta and kapha.
In Ayurveda, the whole concept of integration of all the above governing factors (the threefold system/organization, etc) and the concept of physical constitution of a human being has been known for thousands of years. The tridosha form the general outline of that constitutional pattern or scheme, and all constructive, integrative, assimilative, recuperative and eliminative processes are studied in terms of the nature and working of the tridosha as an integrated whole. These concepts are all inclusive and form the basis of gaining a complete comprehension of the body-mind processes as a whole. Balanced tridosha leads to good health while its imbalance either quantitatively or qualitatively leads to a diseased state.
The tridosha, when vitiated, are considered as the intrinsic cause of the disease, and they either confer a predisposition to or actually cause morbidities.
Doshas are susceptible to imbalance and vitiation and in turn they vitiate other structural and functional elements of the body. They are also known as dhatus as they support the body in their state of equilibrium, which represents normalcy. The state of equilibrium of doshas i.e. samyata or arogata is a disease free state. On the contrary, a diseased state is due to a deviation from the state of equilibrium. The unbalanced doshas are also called malas when they start vitiating the body.
Further in this chapter, it becomes very evident that the functions of vata dosha correspond very much not only to the functions of nervous system but also to functions of any system concerned with regulation, signaling, conduction and control of any information or any system in our body.
If we observe the following processes of physiology:
- Transportation of the digested nutrients to all the tissues of the body for their renewal and replenishment, transportation of oxygen and waste products.
- Transport into the cell (either passive or active by some energy pumps or co transport etc.).
- Contraction of all muscles in the body (striated, non-striated and cardiac).
- Movement of joints.
- Retention of various products within the body and their timely removal or excretion.
- Division of cells.
- Occurrence of one event after another in synchronisation.
- Control and integration of occurrence of events only to the desired limit.
- Regulation of all events occurring in the body, including the regulation of hormone secretion (by negative or positive feedback) by various mechanisms either through electrical signals or through neuro-hormonal mechanisms within our body are all because of vata dosha as Ayurveda says that vata is the only dosha capable of causing movement (due to raja bāhulya) in our body.
Sanskrit text, Transliteration and English Translation
अथातो वातकलाकलीयमध्यायं व्याख्यास्यामः||१||
इति ह स्माह भगवानात्रेयः||२||
athātō vātakalākalīyamadhyāyaṁ vyākhyāsyāmaḥ||1||
iti ha smāha bhagavānātrēyaḥ||2||
athAto vAtakalAkalIyamadhyAyaM vyAkhyAsyAmaH||1||
iti ha smAha bhagavAnAtreyaH||2||
Now we shall expound the chapter "Vatakalakaliya" (Merits and demerits of vata dosha). Thus said Lord Atreya.
Questions and debate in conference
वातकलाकलाज्ञानमधिकृत्य परस्परमतानि जिज्ञासमानाः समुपविश्य महर्षयः पप्रच्छुरन्योऽन्यं- किङ्गुणो वायुः, किमस्यप्रकोपणम्, उपशमनानि वाऽस्य कानि, कथं चैनमसङ्घातवन्तमनवस्थितमनासाद्य प्रकोपणप्रशमनानि प्रकोपयन्तिप्रशमयन्ति वा, कानि चास्य कुपिताकुपितस्य शरीराशरीरचरस्य शरीरेषु चरतः कर्माणि बहिःशरीरेभ्योवेति||३||
vātakalākalājñānamadhikr̥tya parasparamatāni jijñāsamānāḥ samupaviśya maharṣayaḥpapracchuranyō'nyaṁ- kiṅguṇō vāyuḥ, kimasya prakōpaṇam, upaśamanāni vā'sya kāni, kathaṁcainamasaṅghātavantamanavasthitamanāsādya prakōpaṇapraśamanāni prakōpayanti praśamayanti vā,kāni cāsya kupitākupitasya śarīrāśarīracarasya śarīrēṣu carataḥ karmāṇi bahiḥśarīrēbhyōvēti||3||
vAtakalAkalAj~jAnamadhikRutya parasparamatAni jij~jAsamAnAH samupavishya maharShayaHpapracchuranyo~anyaM- ki~gguNo vAyuH, kimasya prakopaNam, upashamanAni vA~asya kAni, kathaMcainamasa~gghAtavantamanavasthitamanAsAdya prakopaNaprashamanAni prakopayanti prashamayantivA, kAni cAsya kupitAkupitasya sharIrAsharIracarasya sharIreShu carataH karmANibahiHsharIrebhyoveti||3||
The sages who were eager to know about the good and bad properties of vata dosha assembled at a place and framed the following questions for the purpose of discussion among themselves:
- What are the properties of vata ?
- What aggravates the vata dosha?
- What are its alleviating factors?
- How is the vata dosha ,which is unapproachable due to its ethereal and unsteady nature, aggravated and alleviated by its respective factors?
- What are the functions of aggravated and non aggravated vata dosha which is situated within the body and outside in the loka (universe)?
Properties of vata dosha
अत्रोवाच कुशः साङ्कृत्यायनः- रूक्षलघुशीतदारुणखरविशदाः षडिमे वातगुणा भवन्ति||४||
atrōvāca kuśaḥ sāṅkr̥tyāyanaḥ- rūkṣalaghuśītadāruṇakharaviśadāḥ ṣaḍimē vātaguṇā bhavanti||4||
atrovAca kushaH sA~gkRutyAyanaH- rUkShalaghushItadAruNakharavishadAH ShaDime vAtaguNAbhavanti||4||
Kusha, the descendent of Sankruti, then spoke “roughness, lightness, coldness, instability, coarseness and nonsliminess are the six properties of vata.”
Views of Kumarashira Bharadvaja
तच्छ्रुत्वा वाक्यं कुमारशिरा भरद्वाज उवाच- एवमेतद्यथा भगवानाह, एत एव वातगुणा भवन्ति, सत्वेवङ्गुणैरेवन्द्रव्यैरेवम्प्रभावैश्च कर्मभिरभ्यस्यमानैर्वायुः प्रकोपमापद्यते, समानगुणाभ्यासो हि धातूनां वृद्धिकारणमिति||५||
tacchrutvā vākyaṁ kumāraśirā bharadvāja uvāca- ēvamētadyathā bhagavānāha, ēta ēva vātaguṇābhavanti, sa tvēvaṅguṇairēvandravyairēvamprabhāvaiśca karmabhirabhyasyamānairvāyuḥprakōpamāpadyatē, samānaguṇābhyāsō hi dhātūnāṁ vr̥ddhikāraṇamiti||5||
tacchrutvA vAkyaM kumArashirA bharadvAja uvAca- evametadyathA bhagavAnAha, eta eva vAtaguNAbhavanti, sa tveva~gguNairevandravyairevamprabhAvaishca karmabhirabhyasyamAnairvAyuHprakopamApadyate, samAnaguNAbhyAso hi dhAtUnAM vRuddhikAraNamiti||5||
Listening to this, Kumarashira Bhardvaja spoke, “It is, as you have described Sir, these that are the gunas of vata. The habitual usage of substances with the above stated identical properties or indulging in activities bringing identical experiential effects brings about the aggravation of vata dosha as the dhatus are enhanced by the habitual usage of similar properties. 
Aggravating and pacifying factors of vata dosha
तच्छ्रुत्वा वाक्यं काङ्कायनो बाह्लीकभिषगुवाच- एवमेतद्यथा भगवानाह, एतान्येव वातप्रकोपणानि भवन्ति; अतोविपरीतानि वातस्य प्रशमनानि भवन्ति, प्रकोपणविपर्ययो हि धातूनां प्रशमकारणमिति||६|| तच्छ्रुत्वा वाक्यं बडिशो धामार्गव उवाच-एवमेतद्यथा भगवानाह, एतान्येव वातप्रकोपप्रशमनानि भवन्ति|
यथा ह्येनमसङ्घातमनवस्थिप्रतमनासाद्य प्रकोपणप्रशमनानि प्रकोपयन्ति प्रशमयन्ति वा, तथाऽनुव्याख्यास्यामः-वातप्रकोपणानि खलु रूक्षलघुशीतदारुणखरविशदशुषिरकराणि शरीराणां, तथाविधेषु शरीरेषु वायुराश्रयं गत्वाऽऽप्यायमानःप्रकोपमापद्यते; वातप्रशमनानि पुनःस्निग्धगुरूष्णश्लक्ष्णमृदुपिच्छिलघनकराणि शरीराणां, तथाविधेषु शरीरेषुवायुरसज्यमानश्चरन् प्रशान्तिमापद्यते||७||
tacchrutvā vākyaṁ kāṅkāyanō bāhlīkabhiṣaguvāca- ēvamētadyathā bhagavānāha, ētānyēvavātaprakōpaṇāni bhavanti; atō viparītāni vātasya praśamanāni bhavanti, prakōpaṇaviparyayō hi dhātūnāṁpraśamakāraṇamiti||6|| tacchrutvā vākyaṁ baḍiśō dhāmārgava uvāca- ēvamētadyathā bhagavānāha, ētānyēvavātaprakōpapraśamanāni bhavanti|
yathā hyēnamasaṅghātamanavasthitamanāsādya prakōpaṇapraśamanāni prakōpayanti praśamayanti vā,tathā'nuvyākhyāsyāmaḥ- vātaprakōpaṇāni khalu rūkṣalaghuśītadāruṇakharaviśadaśuṣirakarāṇi śarīrāṇāṁ,tathāvidhēṣu śarīrēṣu vāyurāśrayaṁ gatvāpyāyamānaḥ prakōpamāpadyatē; vātapraśamanānipunaḥsnigdhagurūṣṇaślakṣṇamr̥dupicchilaghanakarāṇi śarīrāṇāṁ, tathāvidhēṣu śarīrēṣuvāyurasajyamānaścaran praśāntimāpadyatē||7||
tacchrutvA vAkyaM kA~gkAyano bAhlIkabhiShaguvAca- evametadyathA bhagavAnAha, etAnyevavAtaprakopaNAni bhavanti; ato viparItAni vAtasya prashamanAni bhavanti, prakopaNaviparyayo hidhAtUnAM prashamakAraNamiti||6|| tacchrutvA vAkyaM baDisho dhAmArgava uvAca- evametadyathA bhagavAnAha, etAnyevavAtaprakopaprashamanAni bhavanti|
yathA hyenamasa~gghAtamanavasthitamanAsAdya prakopaNaprashamanAni prakopayantiprashamayanti vA, tathA~anuvyAkhyAsyAmaH- vAtaprakopaNAni khalurUkShalaghushItadAruNakharavishadashuShirakarANi sharIrANAM, tathAvidheShu sharIreShuvAyurAshrayaM gatvA~a~apyAyamAnaH prakopamApadyate; vAtaprashamanAnipunaHsnigdhagurUShNashlakShNamRudupicchilaghanakarANi sharIrANAM, tathAvidheShu sharIreShuvAyurasajyamAnashcaran prashAntimApadyate||7||
Kankayana, a physician from Bahlika then spoke “what you have said is correct, Sir. These are truly the vata aggravating factors. Those opposite to it are its alleviating factors, as the alleviating factors are the opposites of the aggravating factors of the dhatus” Listening to it, Badisha Dhamargava said “It is as you have said, Sir. These are the aggravating and alleviating factors of vata. We will now discuss how the non-material and unstable, and thus, the inaccessible vata is aggravated and alleviated. Vata aggravators are those which bring roughness, lightness, coldness, instability, coarseness, non–sliminess and hollowness within the body. The vata dosha gets shelter in such state of the body or its part and gets augmented, resulting in aggravation state. The alleviating factors are again those which bring about unctuousness, heaviness, heat, smoothness, softness, sliminess and compactness in the body. Vata does not get accommodation in such a kind of body and thus gets alleviated.
Functions of vata dosha
तच्छ्रुत्वा बडिशवचनमवितथमृषिगणैरनुमतमुवाच वार्योविदो राजर्षिः- एवमेतत् सर्वमनपवादं यथा भगवानाह| यानि तु खलु वायोः कुपिताकुपितस्य शरीराशरीरचरस्य शरीरेषु चरतः कर्माणि बहिःशरीरेभ्यो वा भवन्ति, तेषामवयवान्प्रत्यक्षानुमानोपदेशैः साधयित्वा नमस्कृत्य वायवे यथाशक्ति प्रवक्ष्यामः- वायुस्तन्त्रयन्त्रधरः,प्राणोदानसमानव्यानापानात्मा, प्रवर्तकश्चेष्टानामुच्चावचानां, नियन्ता प्रणेता च मनसः, सर्वेन्द्रियाणामुद्योजकः,सर्वेन्द्रियार्थानामभिवोढा, सर्वशरीरधातुव्यूहकरः, सन्धानकरः शरीरस्य, प्रवर्तको वाचः, प्रकृतिः स्पर्शशब्दयोः,श्रोत्रस्पर्शनयोर्मूलं, हर्षोत्साहयोर्योनिः, समीरणोऽग्नेः, दोषसंशोषणः , क्षेप्ता बहिर्मलानां, स्थूलाणुस्रोतसां भेत्ता,कर्तागर्भाकृतीनाम्, आयुषोऽनुवृत्तिप्रत्ययभूतो भवत्यकुपितः|
कुपितस्तु खलु शरीरे शरीरं नानाविधैर्विकारैरुपतपति बलवर्णसुखायुषामुपघाताय , मनो व्याहर्षयति ,सर्वेन्द्रियाण्युपहन्ति, विनिहन्ति गर्भान् विकृतिमापादयत्यतिकालं वा धारयति, भयशोकमोहदैन्यातिप्रलापाञ्जनयति,प्राणांश्चोपरुणद्धि| प्रकृतिभूतस्य खल्वस्य लोके चरतः कर्माणीमानि भवन्ति; तद्यथा- धरणीधारणं, ज्वलनोज्ज्वालनम्,आदित्यचन्द्रनक्षत्रग्रहगणानां सन्तानगतिविधानं, सृष्टिश्च मेघानाम्, अपां विसर्गः, प्रवर्तनं स्रोतसां, पुष्पफलानांचाभिनिर्वर्तनम्, उद्भेदनं चौद्भिदानाम्, ऋतूनां प्रविभागः, विभागो धातूनां, धातुमानसंस्थानव्यक्तिः, बीजाभिसंस्कारः,शस्याभिवर्धनमविक्लेदोपशोषणे , अवैकारिकविकारश्चेति|
प्रकुपितस्य खल्वस्य लोकेषु चरतः कर्माणीमानि भवन्ति; तद्यथा- शिखरिशिखरावमथनम्, उन्मथनमनोकहानाम्, उत्पीडनंसागराणाम्, उद्वर्तनं सरसां, प्रतिसरणमापगानाम्, आकम्पनं च भूमेः, आधमनमम्बुदानां ,नीहारनिर्ह्रादपांशुसिकतामत्स्यभेकोरगक्षाररुधिराश्माशनिविसर्गः, व्यापादनं च षण्णामृतूनां, शस्यानामसङ्घातः, भूतानांचोपसर्गः, भावानां चाभावकरणं, चतुर्युगान्तकराणां मेघसूर्यानलानिलानां विसर्गः; स हि भगवान् प्रभवश्चाव्ययश्च, भूतानांभावाभावकरः, सुखासुखयोर्विधाता, मृत्युः, यमः, नियन्ता, प्रजापतिः, अदितिः, विश्वकर्मा, विश्वरूपः, सर्वगः, सर्वतन्त्राणांविधाता, भावानामणुः, विभुः, विष्णुः, क्रान्ता लोकानां, वायुरेव भगवानिति||८||
tacchrutvā baḍiśavacanamavitathamr̥ṣigaṇairanumatamuvāca vāryōvidō rājarṣiḥ- ēvamētatsarvamanapavādaṁ yathā bhagavānāha| yāni tu khalu vāyōḥ kupitākupitasya śarīrāśarīracarasya śarīrēṣu carataḥ karmāṇi bahiḥśarīrēbhyō vābhavanti, tēṣāmavayavān pratyakṣānumānōpadēśaiḥ sādhayitvā namaskr̥tya vāyavē yathāśaktipravakṣyāmaḥ- vāyustantrayantradharaḥ, prāṇōdānasamānavyānāpānātmā,pravartakaścēṣṭānāmuccāvacānāṁ, niyantā praṇētā ca manasaḥ, sarvēndriyāṇāmudyōjakaḥ,sarvēndriyārthānāmabhivōḍhā, sarvaśarīradhātuvyūhakaraḥ, sandhānakaraḥ śarīrasya, pravartakō vācaḥ,prakr̥tiḥ sparśaśabdayōḥ, śrōtrasparśanayōrmūlaṁ, harṣōtsāhayōryōniḥ, samīraṇō'gnēḥ, dōṣasaṁśōṣaṇaḥ , kṣēptā bahirmalānāṁ, sthūlāṇusrōtasāṁ bhēttā, kartāgarbhākr̥tīnām, āyuṣō'nuvr̥ttipratyayabhūtōbhavatyakupitaḥ|
kupitastu khalu śarīrē śarīraṁ nānāvidhairvikārairupatapati balavarṇasukhāyuṣāmupaghātāya , manōvyāharṣayati , sarvēndriyāṇyupahanti, vinihanti garbhān vikr̥timāpādayatyatikālaṁ vā dhārayati,bhayaśōkamōhadainyātipralāpāñjanayati, prāṇāṁścōparuṇaddhi|
prakr̥tibhūtasya khalvasya lōkē carataḥ karmāṇīmāni bhavanti; tadyathā- dharaṇīdhāraṇaṁ,jvalanōjjvālanam, ādityacandranakṣatragrahagaṇānāṁ santānagatividhānaṁ, sr̥ṣṭiśca mēghānām, apāṁvisargaḥ, pravartanaṁ srōtasāṁ, puṣpaphalānāṁ cābhinirvartanam, udbhēdanaṁ caudbhidānām, r̥tūnāṁpravibhāgaḥ, vibhāgō dhātūnāṁ, dhātumānasaṁsthānavyaktiḥ, bījābhisaṁskāraḥ,śasyābhivardhanamaviklēdōpaśōṣaṇē , avaikārikavikāraścēti|
prakupitasya khalvasya lōkēṣu carataḥ karmāṇīmāni bhavanti; tadyathā- śikhariśikharāvamathanam,unmathanamanōkahānām, utpīḍanaṁ sāgarāṇām, udvartanaṁ sarasāṁ, pratisaraṇamāpagānām,ākampanaṁ ca bhūmēḥ, ādhamanamambudānāṁ ,nīhāranirhrādapāṁśusikatāmatsyabhēkōragakṣārarudhirāśmāśanivisargaḥ, vyāpādanaṁ caṣaṇṇāmr̥tūnāṁ, śasyānāmasaṅghātaḥ, bhūtānāṁ cōpasargaḥ, bhāvānāṁ cābhāvakaraṇaṁ,caturyugāntakarāṇāṁ mēghasūryānalānilānāṁ visargaḥ; sa hi bhagavān prabhavaścāvyayaśca, bhūtānāṁbhāvābhāvakaraḥ, sukhāsukhayōrvidhātā, mr̥tyuḥ, yamaḥ, niyantā, prajāpatiḥ, aditiḥ, viśvakarmā,viśvarūpaḥ, sarvagaḥ, sarvatantrāṇāṁ vidhātā, bhāvānāmaṇuḥ, vibhuḥ, viṣṇuḥ, krāntā lōkānāṁ, vāyurēvabhagavāniti||8||
tacchrutvA baDishavacanamavitathamRuShigaNairanumatamuvAca vAryovido rAjarShiH- evametat sarvamanapavAdaM yathA bhagavAnAha| yAni tu khalu vAyoH kupitAkupitasya sharIrAsharIracarasya sharIreShu carataH karmANi bahiHsharIrebhyo vA bhavanti, teShAmavayavAnpratyakShAnumAnopadeshaiH sAdhayitvA namaskRutya vAyave yathAshakti pravakShyAmaH- vAyustantrayantradharaH, prANodAnasamAnavyAnApAnAtmA,pravartakashceShTAnAmuccAvacAnAM, niyantA praNetA ca manasaH, sarvendriyANAmudyojakaH, sarvendriyArthAnAmabhivoDhA, sarvasharIradhAtuvyUhakaraH,sandhAnakaraH sharIrasya, pravartako vAcaH, prakRutiH sparshashabdayoH, shrotrasparshanayormUlaM, harShotsAhayoryoniH, samIraNo~agneH,doShasaMshoShaNaH  , kSheptA bahirmalAnAM, sthUlANusrotasAM bhettA, kartAgarbhAkRutInAm, AyuSho~anuvRuttipratyayabhUto bhavatyakupitaH|
kupitastu khalu sharIre sharIraM nAnAvidhairvikArairupatapati balavarNasukhAyuShAmupaghAtAya  , mano vyAharShayati  , sarvendriyANyupahanti, vinihantigarbhAn vikRutimApAdayatyatikAlaM vA dhArayati, bhayashokamohadainyAtipralApA~jjanayati, prANAMshcoparuNaddhi|
prakRutibhUtasya khalvasya loke carataH karmANImAni bhavanti; tadyathA- dharaNIdhAraNaM, jvalanojjvAlanam, AdityacandranakShatragrahagaNAnAMsantAnagatividhAnaM, sRuShTishca meghAnAm, apAM visargaH, pravartanaM srotasAM, puShpaphalAnAM cAbhinirvartanam, udbhedanaM caudbhidAnAm,RutUnAM pravibhAgaH, vibhAgo dhAtUnAM, dhAtumAnasaMsthAnavyaktiH, bIjAbhisaMskAraH, shasyAbhivardhanamavikledopashoShaNe  ,avaikArikavikArashceti|
prakupitasya khalvasya lokeShu carataH karmANImAni bhavanti; tadyathA- shikharishikharAvamathanam, unmathanamanokahAnAm, utpIDanaM sAgarANAm,udvartanaM sarasAM, pratisaraNamApagAnAm, AkampanaM ca bhUmeH, AdhamanamambudAnAM  ,nIhAranirhrAdapAMshusikatAmatsyabhekoragakShArarudhirAshmAshanivisargaH, vyApAdanaM ca ShaNNAmRutUnAM, shasyAnAmasa~gghAtaH, bhUtAnAMcopasargaH, bhAvAnAM cAbhAvakaraNaM, caturyugAntakarANAM meghasUryAnalAnilAnAM visargaH; sa hi bhagavAn prabhavashcAvyayashca, bhUtAnAMbhAvAbhAvakaraH, sukhAsukhayorvidhAtA, mRutyuH, yamaH, niyantA, prajApatiH, aditiH, vishvakarmA, vishvarUpaH, sarvagaH, sarvatantrANAM vidhAtA,bhAvAnAmaNuH, vibhuH, viShNuH, krAntA lokAnAM, vAyureva bhagavAniti||8||
Hearing the scientific explanation of Badisha which was approved by the sages, Varyovida, the royal sage said “Sir, all that you have told is very true and free from any exception and misleading notion. The functions of both the bodily and the external vata, either normal or aggravated, moving within or outside the body will now be described after paying obeisance to lord Vayu, as has been perceived by us through our direct observation, inference and textual knowledge.
Vata in its normalcy maintains the whole body and its systems, working as prāna, udāna, samāna, and apāna. It is the initiator of all kinds of activities within the body, the controller and impellor of all mental functions, and the employer of all sensory faculties (helping in the enjoyment of their subjects). It joins the body tissues and brings compactness to the body, prompts speech, is the origin of touch and sound, is the root cause of auditory and tactile sense faculties, is the causative factor of joy and courage, stimulates the digestive fire, and helps in the absorption of the dosha and ejection of the excretory products. Vata traverses all gross and subtle channels, moulds the embryo shape and is the indicator of continuity of life.
The bodily vata, when aggravated, afflicts the body with various kinds of diseases and deteriorates or diminishes the strength, complexion, happiness, and the life span of an individual. It perturbs the mind, disturbs the sense faculties, destroys, deforms or retains the embryo for longer periods, gives rise to fear, grief, attachment, humility, excessive delirium, and takes away life. The natural vayu moving in the universe conducts the following functions: it sustains the earth, kindles the fire, brings about compactness and the movement of the sun, moon, stars and planets, creates the clouds, brings the rain, flows the rivers, brings about the sprouting of plants and the maturity of flowers, plants and fruits, divides the seasons, defines and manifests the shape and size of the products of the panchamahabhuta, brings the growth and maturity of the grains, dries them, and brings about transformation everywhere. The aggravated vata moving in the outside world performs the following functions: it breaks the peak of the mountains, uproots the trees, disturbs the oceans, generates earthquakes, causes thunderstorm in the clouds, generates dew, thunder, dust, sand, fish, frog, serpents, alkaline water, blood, stones, perturbs the properties of the six seasons, blights the plants (or renders them non- productive), spreads epidemics, can remove the substances in existence, and can destroy all the four yugās by altering the cloud, sun, fire and wind.
Vata is indivisible and is like an eternal god with no origin. The existence and destruction of all the creatures and their happiness and grief depends on vata. It is the God of death, is the controller, regulator, and the lord of all creatures, Aditi (the first one), Vishvakarma (creator of the universe), is vishvarupa (omniform, or with innumerable forms), sarvaga (omni-pervading), the regulator of all actions and thoughts in the universe, is subtle, and is omnipresent. It is lord Vishnu and permeates the whole universe. Lord Vayu alone is God. 
Views of Marichi
तच्छ्रुत्वा वार्योविदवचो मरीचिरुवाच- यद्यप्येवमेतत्, किमर्थस्यास्य वचने विज्ञाने वा सामर्थ्यमस्ति भिषग्विद्यायां;भिषग्विद्यामधिकृत्येयं कथा प्रवृत्तेति ||९||
वार्योविद उवाच- भिषक् पवनमतिबलमतिपरुषमतिशीघ्रकारिणमात्ययिकं चेन्नानुनिशम्येत्, सहसा प्रकुपितमतिप्रयतःकथमग्रेऽभिरक्षितुमभिधास्यति प्रागेवैनमत्ययभयात्; वायोर्यथार्था स्तुतिरपि भवत्यारोग्याय बलवर्णविवृद्धयेवर्चस्वित्वायोपचयाय ज्ञानोपपत्तये परमायुःप्रकर्षाय चेति||१०||
tacchrutvā vāryōvidavacō marīciruvāca- yadyapyēvamētat, kimarthasyāsya vacanē vijñānē vāsāmarthyamasti bhiṣagvidyāyāṁ; bhiṣagvidyāmadhikr̥tyēyaṁ kathā pravr̥ttēti ||9||
vāryōvida uvāca- bhiṣak pavanamatibalamatiparuṣamatiśīghrakāriṇamātyayikaṁ cēnnānuniśamyēt,sahasā prakupitamatiprayataḥ kathamagrē'bhirakṣitumabhidhāsyati prāgēvainamatyayabhayāt;vāyōryathārthā stutirapi bhavatyārōgyāya balavarṇavivr̥ddhayē varcasvitvāyōpacayāya jñānōpapattayēparamāyuḥprakarṣāya cēti||10||
tacchrutvA vAryovidavaco marIciruvAca- yadyapyevametat, kimarthasyAsya vacane vij~jAne vAsAmarthyamasti bhiShagvidyAyAM; bhiShagvidyAmadhikRutyeyaM kathA pravRutteti ||9||
vAryovida uvAca- bhiShak pavanamatibalamatiparuShamatishIghrakAriNamAtyayikaM cennAnunishamyet,sahasA prakupitamatiprayataH kathamagre~abhirakShitumabhidhAsyati prAgevainamatyayabhayAt;vAyoryathArthA stutirapi bhavatyArogyAya balavarNavivRuddhaye varcasvitvAyopacayAyaj~jAnopapattaye paramAyuHprakarShAya ceti||10||
Listening to sage Varyovida, Marichi said- “Though what you have said is true, how is the above description about the qualities of vata applicable to the science of medicine, in the understanding and practical approach to medicine, since this symposium is related to the science of medicine?”.
The sage Varyovida replied, “If a physician doesn’t understand and realize the qualities of vata - which is so very powerful, rough, quick and possessing so much destructive power - how will he be able to forewarn a patient well in advance about its disastrous effects and how would he advise about the qualities of the normal vata which are beneficial for good health, improvement of strength and complexion, lustre, growth, attainment of knowledge and longevity? 
Views of Marichi about functions of agni and pitta
मरीचिरुवाच- अग्निरेव शरीरे पित्तान्तर्गतः कुपिताकुपितः शुभाशुभानि करोति; तद्यथा- पक्तिमपक्तिं दर्शनमदर्शनंमात्रामात्रत्वमूष्मणः प्रकृतिविकृतिवर्णौ शौर्यं भयं क्रोधं हर्षं मोहं प्रसादमित्येवमादीनि चापराणि द्वन्द्वानीति||११||
marīciruvāca- agnirēva śarīrē pittāntargataḥ kupitākupitaḥ śubhāśubhāni karōti; tadyathā- paktimapaktiṁdarśanamadarśanaṁ mātrāmātratvamūṣmaṇaḥ prakr̥tivikr̥tivarṇau śauryaṁ bhayaṁ krōdhaṁ harṣaṁmōhaṁ prasādamityēvamādīni cāparāṇi dvandvānīti||11||
marIciruvAca- agnireva sharIre pittAntargataH kupitAkupitaH shubhAshubhAni karoti; tadyathA- paktimapaktiM darshanamadarshanaM mAtrAmAtratvamUShmaNaHprakRutivikRutivarNau shauryaM bhayaM krodhaM harShaM mohaM prasAdamityevamAdIni cAparANi dvandvAnIti||11||
Marichi spoke, "Agni of our body is represented by pitta, which in its non-aggravated and aggravated form performs various good and bad functions including digestion or indigestion, vision or loss of vision, normality or abnormality of body heat and complexion, valour, fear, anger, joy, attachment, happiness and other such pairs of opposing qualities."
Views of Kapya about kapha and its functions
तच्छ्रुत्वा मरीचिवचः काप्य उवाच- सोम एव शरीरे श्लेष्मान्तर्गतः कुपिताकुपितः शुभाशुभानि करोति; तद्यथा- दार्ढ्यंशैथिल्यमुपचयं कार्श्यमुत्साहमालस्यं वृषतां क्लीबतां ज्ञानमज्ञानं बुद्धिं मोहमेवमादीनि चापराणि द्वन्द्वानीति||१२||
tacchrutvā marīcivacaḥ kāpya uvāca- sōma ēva śarīrē ślēṣmāntargataḥ kupitākupitaḥ śubhāśubhāni karōti;tadyathā- dārḍhyaṁ śaithilyamupacayaṁ kārśyamutsāhamālasyaṁ vr̥ṣatāṁ klībatāṁ jñānamajñānaṁbuddhiṁ mōhamēvamādīni cāparāṇi dvandvānīti||12|| tacchrutvA marIcivacaH kApya uvAca- soma eva sharIre shleShmAntargataH kupitAkupitaH shubhAshubhAni karoti; tadyathA- dArDhyaM shaithilyamupacayaMkArshyamutsAhamAlasyaM vRuShatAM klIbatAM j~jAnamaj~jAnaM buddhiM mohamevamAdIni cAparANi dvandvAnIti||12||
After listening to Marichi, Kapya spoke, “Soma, the moon or the god of water, is represented by kapha in our body which in its normal and abnormal state performs good or bad activities or functions in our body, such as firmness or sturdiness of the body and looseness of the body, nourishment and leanness, enthusiasm and laziness, potency and impotency, wisdom and ignorance and similar other pair of qualities. 
Concluding remarks by Atreya
तच्छ्रुत्वा काप्यवचो भगवान् पुनर्वसुरात्रेय उवाच- सर्व एव भवन्तः सम्यगाहुरन्यत्रैकान्तिकवचनात्; सर्व एव खलुवातपित्तश्लेष्माणः प्रकृतिभूताः पुरुषमव्यापन्नेन्द्रियं बलवर्णसुखोपपन्नमायुषा महतोपपादयन्ति सम्यगेवाचरिताधर्मार्थकामा इव निःश्रेयसेन महता पुरुषमिह चामुष्मिंश्च लोके; विकृतास्त्वेनं महता विपर्ययेणोपपादयन्ति ऋतवस्त्रय इवविकृतिमापन्ना लोकमशुभेनोपघातकाल इति||१३||
तदृषयः सर्व एवानुमेनिरे वचनमात्रेयस्य भगवतोऽभिननन्दुश्चेति||१४||
भवति चात्र- तदात्रेयवचः श्रुत्वा सर्व एवानुमेनिरे| ऋषयोऽभिननन्दुश्च यथेन्द्रवचनं सुराः||१५||
tacchrutvā kāpyavacō bhagavān punarvasurātrēya uvāca- sarva ēva bhavantaḥsamyagāhuranyatraikāntikavacanāt; sarva ēva khalu vātapittaślēṣmāṇaḥ prakr̥tibhūtāḥpuruṣamavyāpannēndriyaṁ balavarṇasukhōpapannamāyuṣā mahatōpapādayanti samyagēvācaritādharmārthakāmā iva niḥśrēyasēna mahatā puruṣamiha cāmuṣmiṁśca lōkē; vikr̥tāstvēnaṁ mahatāviparyayēṇōpapādayanti r̥tavastraya iva vikr̥timāpannā lōkamaśubhēnōpaghātakāla iti||13||
tadr̥ṣayaḥ sarva ēvānumēnirē vacanamātrēyasya bhagavatō'bhinananduścēti||14||
bhavati cātra- tadātrēyavacaḥ śrutvā sarva ēvānumēnirē| r̥ṣayō'bhinananduśca yathēndravacanaṁ surāḥ||15||
tacchrutvA kApyavaco bhagavAn punarvasurAtreya uvAca- sarva eva bhavantaH samyagAhuranyatraikAntikavacanAt; sarva eva khalu vAtapittashleShmANaHprakRutibhUtAH puruShamavyApannendriyaM balavarNasukhopapannamAyuShA mahatopapAdayanti samyagevAcaritA dharmArthakAmA iva niHshreyasenamahatA puruShamiha cAmuShmiMshca loke; vikRutAstvenaM mahatA viparyayeNopapAdayanti Rutavastraya iva vikRutimApannA lokamashubhenopaghAtakAlaiti||13||
tadRuShayaH sarva evAnumenire vacanamAtreyasya bhagavato~abhinanandushceti||14||
bhavati cAtra- tadAtreyavacaH shrutvA sarva evAnumenire| RuShayo~abhinanandushca yathendravacanaM surAH||15||
After listening to Kapya, lord Punarvasu Atreya spoke, “All of you have dealt with the various aspects of the subject very well, only with the exception that any generalized statement on the topic has not been made. Actually, all the three doshas (i.e. vata, pitta and kapha) in their natural states help in keeping the individual’s sensory faculties normal while enhancing the strength, complexion, happiness and life span of an individual. Just as the proper accomplishment of virtuous deeds (dharma), wealth (artha) and desires (kāma) lead to freedom from the cycle of birth and death (mokśha), similarly the proper regulation of all these three leads to immense happiness in this world and beyond. On the other hand their vitiation or aggravation leads to undesirable and disastrous effects in the lives of creatures just like the three vitiated seasons. ”
All the sages agreed to and welcomed the explanation of lord Atreya.
Thus it is said – listening to the exposition of lord Ātreya, all the sages agreed to and lauded lord Atreya, just as the gods did on hearing lord Indra. [13-15]
तत्र श्लोकौ- गुणाः षड् द्विविधो हेतुर्विविधं कर्म यत् पुनः| वायोश्चतुर्विधं कर्म पृथक् च कफपित्तयोः||१६||
महर्षीणां मतिर्या या पुनर्वसुमतिश्च या| कलाकलीये वातस्य तत् सर्वं सम्प्रकाशितम्||१७||
tatra ślōkau- guṇāḥ ṣaḍ dvividhō hēturvividhaṁ karma yat punaḥ| vāyōścaturvidhaṁ karma pr̥thak ca kaphapittayōḥ||16||
maharṣīṇāṁ matiryā yā punarvasumatiśca yā| kalākalīyē vātasya tat sarvaṁ samprakāśitam||17||
tatra shlokau- guNAH ShaD dvividho heturvividhaM karma yat punaH| vAyoshcaturvidhaM karma pRuthak ca kaphapittayoH||16||
maharShINAM matiryA yA punarvasumatishca yA| kalAkalIye vAtasya tat sarvaM samprakAshitam||17||
The six qualities of vata, two types of causes (aggravating and relieving factors), several functions, and four aspects (related to normalcy and aggravation within the body and outside), as well as the functions of kapha and pitta, views of the sages and conclusion by lord Atreya – all of these has been explained in this chapter on the merits and demerits of vata. [16-17]
इत्यग्निवेशकृते तन्त्रे चरकप्रतिसंस्कृते श्लोकस्थाने वातकलाकलीयो नाम द्वादशोऽध्यायः समाप्तः||१२|| इति निर्देशचतुष्कः||३||
ityagnivēśakr̥tē tantrē carakapratisaṁskr̥tē ślōkasthānē vātakalākalīyō nāma dvādaśō'dhyāyaḥsamāptaḥ||12|| iti nirdēśacatuṣkaḥ||3||
Tattva Vimarsha (Fundamental Principles)
- Three doshas, vata, pitta and kapha in their natural state help in keeping the individual’s sensory faculties normal, nourish the strength, complexion, happiness and a long life span.
- Out of the three doshas, vata dosha is considered supreme because it regulates all functions in the body including movement of the other two doshas, such as the functions of any system concerned with regulation, signalling, conduction and control of any information or any system in our body.
- Qualities of vata guna of vata is classified into three types, viz. naisargika guna, prakrtika guna and bhautika guna:
- Cardinal features (Naisargika guna or pratyatma niyata guna) of vata dosha is sparsha (touch sensation). Along with this quality, vata possesses the qualities of ether (or the akasha mahabhuta) e.g, shabda (sound). Therefore vata possesses sparsha as well as shabda gunas as the process of combination, interrelationship (anyonyanu pravesha).
- The prakritika guna (constitutional property) of vata is raja guna , as it is told to be rajo bahulya.
- Bhautika means the quality derived from the mahabhutas. The bhautika gunas of vata dosha are ruksha (dryness), sheeta (coldness), laghu (lightness), sukshma (minuteness), chala (movement), vishada (clearness) and khara (roughness).
- Vata is non-material (avayavasamghatarahita) in nature which can also be termed as rarefied in nature and is anavasthita (unstable) too. These two properties are due to its bhautik muhushchari (constantly mobile) composition. Vata is composed of akasha and vayu predominantly.
- Agni is represented by pitta, which in its non-aggravated and aggravated form performs various good and bad functions including digestion or indigestion, vision or loss of vision, normality or abnormality of body heat and complexion, valour, fear, anger, joy, attachment, happiness and other such pairs of opposing qualities.
- Soma, the moon or the god of water, is represented by kapha in the body which in its normal and abnormal state performs good or bad activities or functions in our body, such as firmness or sturdiness of the body and looseness of the body, nourishment and leanness, enthusiasm and laziness, potency and impotency, wisdom and ignorance and similar other pair of qualities.
Vidhi Vimarsha (Applied Inferences)
Functions of normal vata
Vata possesses movement (gati) due to dominance of Vayu mahabhuta and Rajas guna in its basic composition. It caused division of body components due to its dividing function(vibhajati). Vata possesses the following 16 kala (functional properties) as described below.
Operational head of body systems and mechanisms (Vayustantrayantradhara)
Tantra (System) implies sharira here, meaning the whole of the body system. Yantra (organs) refer to parts of the tantra, such as joints. Vata is the basis of this tantra and yantra as it is the initiator and the regulator of the overall system as well as its constituent parts.
Vata is the one which monitors homeostasis between:
- Apparatus and operator,
- Cell and its constituents,
- Cell and tissue,
- Tissue and organ, and
- Organ and the system,
It maintains common homeostasis and regulation within the body.
Five functional types of vata (Prana-udana-samana-vyana-apan atma)
With the help of the five lieutenants of vata:
- Prana (predominance of akasha)– propensity to assimilate
- Apana (predominance of prithvi)- propensity to eliminate, aversion and ejection
- Samana (predominance of agni)- analyzing the ability to assimilate and get eliminated i.e. sara (nourishing part) and kitta (waste products)
- Vyana (predominance of vayu)- circulation in body
- Udana (predominance of water) -functional utilization
Ayurvedic scholars study each of these types of vata in depth. In the aforementioned section, we have given a few examples for ease of understanding.
Initiation of all movements (pravartaka cheshtanam)
Or, the initiator of different types of (higher and lower, visible and invisible, motor and sensory) functions of vata. Some aspects of modern medical science may be utilized for the purposes of developing an understanding of the above stated functions of vata dosha and also other functions, which have been described in further parts of the verses stated below.
Control and initiation of functions of mind, sense and locomotor organs
The function "Niyanta Praneta cha manasa Sarvendriayanamudyojaka Sarvendriyarthanam abhivodha" can be observed as below:
- Employs the sense organs
- Carries the extrinsic object from the nature
- For conversion to the intrinsic subjects
- Then to the knowledge
- Controller and conductor of the manas (mind) with the help of Indriyartha – indriya – indriyaadhishthana – indriyadravya – indriyabuddhi
- Conversion of indriyartha into manoartha and then into the knowledge.
Vata is regarded as the carrier of objects to their sense faculties and is the direct cause of skin and tactile sensation, without which no other sense faculty can enjoy their recipients perception. [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 11/38]
All the sensory faculties are felt and respond only when they are conducted from the sensory point to the brain and are interpreted there. This whole process needs stimulation of one point after another which can occur through some connections which may be occurring through various mechanisms.
- Receiving the sensory information
- Integration of the information to determine the needed response
- Transmitting the motor impulses
Compactness of body by bringing them together (sandhanakara sharirasya)
Sandhana means bringing together. Similar to the alingan karma of kapha, (For example, laying bricks one after another) but vayu performs it differently through carrying the useful ingredients for building the structure of the body. Moving the particles closer or farther is the function of vata. It caused compactness in body components.
Creating and maintaining proper structure of body components (sarvasharira dhatu vyuhakara)
- Cyclic circulation of nourishing constituents of the body - where exactly they are required and carried constantly through their respective channels .
- Vyuhan is described as transportation of nutrients to the respective body constituents and specific arrangements of particles or molecules in that tissue.
Thus is creates and maintains proper structure of all body components.
Initiation of speech (pravartaka vachah)
Vata is the impeller of the speech. Speech has been considered as the distinctive feature of akasha mahabhuta but is included under the next mahabhuta of vayu [Cha.Sa.Sutra Sthana 1/28] and hence speech has also been considered due to vata dosha.
Presence of vayu is essential for the production of sound. Sound waves result from the alternate compression and decompression of air molecules. They originate from a vibrating object, much the same way as water waves travel over the surface of water.
Fundamental role in sound and touch perception(prakriti shabda sparshayoh-shrotra sparshanyormulam)
Vata being seated at twak (skin), originates and possesses all the senses simultaneously, specifically through touch and hearing (which can be attributed to akasha and vayu). Similarly vata has been held especially responsible for the formation of the structure of the ears, and hence vata has been held responsible as the root cause of auditory faculty. This could be so because sound always needs a medium to be conducted. The sound produced in our surroundings takes the help of air present in the atmosphere to get conducted.
Initiation of enthusiasm and exhilaration (Harsha-utsahayo yoni)
- Vayu is the origin of excitement and enthusiasm. Effortless performance is utsaha
- Attainment of the goal or objective is harsha or enthusiasm
Stimulation of digestion and metabolism (samirano agne)
- Vayu stimulates the conversion of metabolites in different parts of the body in the ductless or ductus glands delivered to digestive workshops when and where needed
- It controls various secretions required for digestion (pitta) and also makes available necessary amount of energy required for a conversion (ushma), pittoshma is described as the nature of agni in the living body.
Absorption of harmful products (Dosha samshoshanah)
Vayu dries up the excessive discharges and other watery compounds to formulate an integral organ, atom by atom and tissue by tissue.
Excretion (Kshepta bahirmalanam)
- The integral formation of needful atoms and organs require timely ejection of waste materials.
- This is also performed by vata at various places in the form of ahara mala, doshamala, indriya malaand dhatumala.
Division of gross and subtle channels of transportation and transformation (sthulanu strotasam bhetta)
Srotas are micro and macro channels in the body. Vayu carries and disintegrates the entrants according to the size of cell with requisite pressure through its property of sanghatabhedha (disintegration)
Normal shape and size in embryo-genesis (karta garbhakrutinam)
Initially unicellular microorganism called beeja grows into a full-grown multi-cellular organism by mitotic division of cells, attributed to vata dosha - vayur vibhajati means vata controls formation of various body parts and organs. Therefore deranged functions of vata can lead to congenital abnormalities.
Representing vitality and liveliness (ayusho anuvrutti pratyayabhuto)
By all the above sixteen listed and detailed kala or properties, vata maintains and supports life when in non - aggravated state, i.e. balanced state.
- Rapid and Prompt nature of vata dosha and thus early initiation of treatment –
The nature of vata dosha is rapid, transient and prompt in its consequences in causing and maintaining the health (or disease) in individuals. Its swift nature and power should thus be very well known to the physician so that he may educate the patient well in advance for the diagnosis of vatika disorders and their treatment. Failure to do so may result in the disorders converting into untreatable form.
- Vagbhata. Sutra Sthana, Cha.1 Ayushkamiya Adhyaya verse 20. In: Harishastri Paradkar Vaidya, Editors. Ashtanga Hridayam. 1st ed. Varanasi: Krishnadas Academy;2000.