Manovaha srotas

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Mana means mind, or psyche. Srotas means channels of transport and transformation. The description and understanding of channels for activities of mind (manovaha srotas) is scattered in ayurveda classics and has not been completely elucidated. Manovaha srotas are considered as channels through which mind and body interact with each other. These channels pervade throughout the body. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Indriya Sthana 5/41-42] They are responsible for flow of thoughts, emotions, and other psychological functions. This article deals with various aspects of manovaha srotasa i.e. the channels of activities of mind and its development.

Section/Chapter/topic Concepts/Srotas/Manovaha Srotas
Authors Bhojani M. K.1 Varma Swati 1 Deole Y.S.2
Reviewer & Editor Basisht G.3,

1 Department of Sharir Kriya, All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, India 2 Department of Kayachikitsa, G. J. Patel Institute of Ayurvedic Studies and Research, New Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat, India

3 Rheumatologist, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
Correspondence emails,
Publisher Charak Samhita Research, Training and Development Centre, I.T.R.A., Jamnagar, India
Date of publication: October 12, 2023
DOI 10.47468/CSNE.2023.e01.s09.157

Etymology and derivation

Srotas originates from Sanskrit root ‘Sru’ that translates to oozing, flow or secretion. It has been defined as ‘sravanat strotamsi’ [Cha. Sa. Sutra Sthana 30/12] which indicates structures designated for conveyance of material inside body.

Grossly defining, thirteen major types of srotas have been mentioned that transport substances undergoing biotransformation (parinamam aapadyamanam) from the place of origin to their destination. [Cha. Sa. Vimana Sthana 5/3] Similarly in physiological state, manovaha srotas might be responsible for processing and transformation of ‘doshayukta’ (irrational under influence of rajas and tamas) emotions and thoughts into unbiased reasoning before reaching a conclusion by our intellect (buddhi).

Synonyms of manovaha srotas

Following terms are used for ‘manovaha srotas’ in different Ayurveda classics :

  1. Manovaha dhamani [Chakrapani on Cha. Sa. Indriya Sthana 12/42] and [Vijayarakshita in Ma.Ni.Purva Khanda 20/1]
  2. Chetanavaha srotas [Shivadas Sen on Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 9/5]
  3. Chetovaha marga [Bhel Samhita Nidana Sthana 7/2]
  4. Manobuddhivaha sira [ Cha.Sa.Chikitsa Sthana 10/58]
  5. Sanjnavaha srotas [Su.Sa.Uttar Tantra 61/8]
  6. Sanjnavaha nadi [Su.Sa. Uttar Tantra 46/7]

    Use of terms like sira, nadi and dhamani, refers to different channels and pathways concerned with maintenance of physiological flow of information. [Cha.Sa. Vimana Sthana 5/8]


Every srotas is localized within the hollow space in the body originating from a root (mula) and spreading throughout the body to reach a final structure. Srotas are said to be hollow structures in different shapes and sizes. The root (mula) is mainly responsible for regulation and control of functions of that srotas.

The channels carrying functions of mind (manovaha srotas) are not exclusively listed. It is however stated that the entire conscious body is abode of mind. Hence these channels are spread throughout the body. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Indriya Sthana 5/41]

However, hridaya (heart) has a universal acceptance as the site of origin (mula) of manovaha srotas. Hence a special mention has been made about ten arteries of heart, probably being the manovaha srotas (visheshen tu hrudya ashritvat manah tadashrita dasha dhamanyo manovaha abhidhiyante). [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Indriya Sthana 5/41-42] These get afflicted by vitiated dosha either all at once or individually. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Indriya Sthana 12/42]

Decoding hridaya (heart)

The interpretation of the term ‘hridaya’ has been of confusion among scholars since decades. The first interpretation of the term given by texts of Shatpada Brahmana which highlighted functional aspect of hridaya. The word being composed of three letters viz ‘hri’ (hra harane)- to acquire; ‘Da’ (da dane) – to give; ‘Ya’ (Ya gatau)- which transports. The hridaya thus displays three phases of cardiac cycle i.e., receives, gives, and transports body constituents through it. [1]

Hridaya is the site of rasa dhatu (plasma), sattva (psychic factor/mind), buddhi (intellect) and atma (soul) in conjugation with all sensory organs (jnanendriya).[Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 24/35] Sadhaka pitta situated in heart (hridaya) regulates proper functioning of intellect (buddhi) and ego (ahamkara). Hridaya is located in between breasts (stanayormadhya) of thoracic region. [A. H. Sutra Sthana 12/13-14] [Su. Sa. Sharira Sthana 6/25]

Vedic era was well versed with heart (hridaya) and brain (mastishka) being two distinct entities, with interdependent functional relationship. [Atharvaveda Book X. Hymn 2.26] Kashyap Samhita quotes that all sense and motor organs (indriya) together with mind (manas) emerge from heart (hridaya). [Ka.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 8/6] Primary site of action of mind (manas) is brain (shira).[2] It can be concluded that mind (manas) being seated in heart (hridaya) connects to brain (shiras) through manovaha srotas and controls all senses (indriya). Also, any damage pertaining to marma (vital points) of shiras (head) causes loss of consciousness (cheshtanasha). [Cha.Sa. Sidhhi Sthana 9/6] Hence, heart (hridaya) and brain (shiras or mastishka) are sites of manovaha srotas.

This approach of understanding hridaya goes well along with the contemporary view of understanding the triguna based psycho-functional principles of ayurveda within the neural framework. Various research has been conducted which demonstrate that heart continuously sends nervous signals to brain to coordinate higher centres responsible for cognition and emotions. [3] The neuro- psychological as well as circulatory functions of hridaya mentioned in the classics can thus be explained.

Relation between rasavaha and manovaha srotas

Heart is the abode of mind (manas) and consciousness (chetana) or soul (atma). [Cha. Sa. Siddhi Sthana 9/4] It is a site for physical, psychological, and spiritual components. Heart is origin for channels of transportation and transformation of rasa dhatu, too. Both heart and brain are considered under the umbrella term hridaya in terms of anatomical structure and higher-centre functions respectively.

Heart (residence of manas) and brain (workplace of manas) are functionally co-dependent upon each other. Manas regulates the cognitive and conative functions of brain in conjunction with soul (atma) under the influence of vata dosha. [Cha. Sa. Sharira Sthana 1/22-23]. Brain is a structural entity needing continuous supply of nourishment and oxygen. This is feasible by heart through circulation (rasa-rakta samvahana kriya) via the ten major vessels (rasavahi dhamani). [A. H. Sharira Sthana 3/18] Heart is a highly vascular organ being surrounded by ten major dhamani (blood vessels) like spokes of a wheel which are known as ‘rasavaha strotomula’ (site of origin of channels of nutrition). These channels are comparable to manovaha srotas. [Chakrapani on Cha. Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 9/4] Manas thus acts like a medium between heart and brain wherein brain is responsible for all sensory and motor functions while heart has been assigned emotional aspect of psyche (manas).

One of the factors for vitiation of rasavaha srotas is excessive thinking or worry (atichintan). [Cha. Sa. Vimana Sthana 5/13] Contemporary researchers have found evidence to support the interaction between circulatory system and psyche. The monograph of German professor Ludwig Braun is a pioneer in exploring the psychological and emotional aspect of cardiac diseases especially angina. He presented a correlation between cardiac diseases and ‘Angst’ (a constrictive, tightening and crushing sensation which manifests dread in the patient thereby changing his entire emotional outlook on life), analogous to anxiety. He explains that the cardiac tissue has a special apparatus receptive towards anxiety which manifests as an inner tactile sensation. That region is well supplied with nerve endings that gets irritated by anxiety. This phenomenon of emotional influence over cardiac tissues is termed as cardiac psyche. [4]

Factors vitiating manovaha srotas

Manovaha srotas are the prime site of abnormalities of channels in all psychological disorders. [Cha.Sa. Nidana Sthana 6/4] Alongside any of the eight factors that are either attributed to hridaya or manas viz. mana (mind), buddhi (intellect), sanjna-jnana (self-awareness), smriti (memory), bhakti (devotion), sheela (habits), cheshta (psychomotor activities) and achara (code of conduct). [Cha.Sa. Nidana Sthana 7/5]

These factors when deranged cause vitiation of manas dosha (rajas and tamas), deterioration of sattva guna of manas and gradual derangement of tridosha. Foods, activities and excessive expression of emotions like anger, grief, lust, fear etc and mental traumas are the fundamental etiological factors for the same. [Cha.Sa. Nidana Sthana 7/4] Vitiated tridosha further vitiate rasavaha srotas, which apparently has the same site of origin as of manovaha srotas i.e., hridaya and dasha dhamani (ten great vessels). [Cha. Sa. Vimana Sthana 5/10] Hridaya is seat of manas. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 30/4] Hence, all the factors vitiating rasa dhatu (nutritive fluid), rasavaha srotas (channels carrying nutritive fluid) and manas dosha viz. rajas and tamas will affect manas and eventually vitiating manovaha srotas. Even the structural derangements of heart (abode of mind) affect manovaha srotas due to their ashrayashrayibhava (state of interdependency). [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 9/5]

Pathologies of manovaha srotas

Manovaha srotas is important factor in understanding disorders like unmada (psychosis), apasmara (epilepsy) and extreme emotional reactions.

Unmada (psychosis)

When an individual experiences extreme emotions – lust (kama), anger (krodha), fear (bhaya), greed (lobha), happiness or pleasure (harsha), affection (moha), grief (shoka), excessive worry (chinta), they initially harm the intellect which aggravates manas dosha (rajas and tamas) and tridosha (vata, pitta and kapha). These vitiated dosha invade heart and obstruct manovaha srotas (channels transporting psychic impulses) thereby causing unmada. [Dalhan on Su. Sa. Uttar Tantra 62/3]

Apasmara (epilepsy)

Overindulging in sensory pleasures, incompatible diet, withholding natural urges and giving into immoral activities under emotional influences (kama, krodha, lobha among others), vitiates rajas and tamas. They poorly influence the manas (mind) and sanjnavaha srotas (manovaha srotas) causing apasmara. [Su.Sa. Uttar Tantra 61/6]

  • Mada (intoxication), murchha (syncope), sanyasa (coma) are caused by vitiation of channels of consciousness (chetanavaha srotas or manovaha srotas). [Shivadas Sen on Cha. Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 9/5]

Atattvabhinivesha (perverted state of mind)

Considered as mahagada (difficult to treat mental disorder), the person’s conscience gets afflicted by rajas and tamas, which cause complete derangement of intellect (buddhi vibhramsha) as the predominant symptom. The vitiated dosha get lodged in heart (hridaya) to afflict channels of mind and intellect (manobuddhivaha sira in manovaha srotas). [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 10/57-60]

Nightmares (swapna)

Nightmares are dreams occurring in REM phase of sleep which causes mental projections in the form of feelings of fear, despair, and anxiety. Ayurveda defines REM phase as ‘Natiprasupta’ - the state characterised to be midway between states of deep sleep and fully awake. During any ominous situation, tridosha in their highly aggravated state tend to fill-up the manovaha srotas. This results in terrifying dreams. [Cha.Sa. Indriya Sthana 5/41].

Assessment and diagnosis of disorders of manovaha srotas

Srotas are micro-channels transporting various metabolites across cells throughout the body. It can be deduced that manovaha srotas has different characteristics structurally and functionally from the major thirteen srotas, because it transports and transforms thoughts and feelings. This is evident from objects of mind (manas), viz. thought (chintyam), consideration (vicharyam), hypothesis (uhyam), aims (dhyeyam) and determination (sankalpam). [Cha.Sa. Sharira Sthana 1/20]. Assessment of manovaha srotas can be done via assessment of manas and the degree of derangement of its functions. Ayurveda considers manas as material entity (dravya) which is a super sense and not perceivable by ordinary senses (atindriya). [Cha. Sa. Sutra Sthana 8/4] Manas is under direct control of vata dosha. [Cha. Sa. Sutra Sthana 12/8] and is the mediator between atma (soul) and indriyartha (objects of senses).

The contemporary physiological aspects of mind, senses, brain, nervous system and consciousness can be considered for assessment of manovaha srotas.

A thorough neurological examination by means of interrogation (prashna pariksha), inspection (darshana pariksha) and assessment of mental strength (sattva bala pariksha) [Cha.Sa. Vimana Sthana 8/119] can be used for assessment and diagnosis of disorders of manovaha srotas.

a. Interrogation (prashna pariksha)

A formal interview of the patient can be conducted for overall and precise diagnosis. The questions related to chief complaints with duration, chronological development, nurturing of patient, family history, addiction, hobbies, interests, daily routine, major life events, achievements, mental traumas, emotional quotient and intellectual quotient is recorded from the patient. If the patient is not in state of giving correct answers, then the relatives or attendants who know patients history are interviewed.

b. Darshan pariksha (direct observation)

While interviewing the patient, a physician should pay attention to following attributes that can signify features mentioned for certain psychiatric ailments (manovaha srotodushti).

  1. Appearance : Unusual dressing preferences, use of cosmetics, perfumes or accessories or flamboyant appearance. e.g;- ‘Priye tanu rakta vastradhari’ (liking for adorning clothes made of thin red fabric) is seen in yakshagraha unmada (Su.Sa. Uttara tantra 60/11)
  2. Activity and co-ordination: Behaviour, Gait, gestures, patient’s facial expression and body language should be observed during probing them with questions. E.g.- 'Satatama akshano’ (rapid and constant eye movements) is one of the prodromal feature of apasmara (epilepsy) [ Cha.Sa. Nidana sthana 8/6]. Udhasta (patient keeps his hands raised) is a feature of pishacha grahavishta unmada [Su.Sa. Uttara Tantra 60/15]
  3. Conversation style : Coherence of speech, articulation, emphasise over certain issue, hesitation and duration of response. E.g. ‘Chitram sa jalpati’ (Patient does irrelevant absurd talks) is seen in patients of manas unmada [Su.Sa. Uttara Tantra 62/13].
  4. Emotional expression : Patients may express a wide range of emotions during interview with the physician. E.g. Asthana rodana (Sudden crying) is a feature in vataja unmada while amarsha (intolerance) is seen in patients of pittaja unmada. [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 9/11-12] Fleeting ideas, incoherent speech is an important sign for lacking proper emotions.
  5. Cognition : Orientation to person, place, time and circumstances, level of intellect, level of understanding, common sense and memory can be identified under the domain of cognition by observing patient’s behaviour as well as by asking questions to them using validated scientific questionnaires. Short term memory and long-term memory shall be assessed properly.

All observations gathered from every method of assessment should be simultaneously analysed to reach the diagnosis.

c. Sattva pariksha (assessment of quality of excellence of mind)

Sattva pariksha assesses the quality of excellence of mind imparted by extent of dominance of sattva guna. Mind (manas) is composed of three attributes (triguna) viz. sattva, rajas and tamas. These impart three types of mental constitutions – Shuddha (pure) (sattvika), rajasika and tamasika. [Cha.Sa. Sharira Sthana 4/36] Sattvika guna is full of auspiciousness and is considered the healthy (amala) state of mind. Rajas guna imparts momentum in terms of furious temperament. Whereas tamas guna promotes inertia and moral ignorance. Hence, rajas and tamas are considered inauspicious and called manas dosha. Triguna are present in dynamically varying proportions at any given time and influenced by body (i.e. tridosha) and vice versa. [Chakrapani on Cha.Sa. Vimana Sthana 4/8] Optimum levels of sattva guna are essential for promoting desired physical and mental strength irrespective of morphological features. [Cha.Sa. Vimana Sthana 8/119]

Sattva bala (strength of psyche) is of three types as per strength – pravara (superior), madhyama (moderate) and avara (poor). Pravara sattva persons possess great courage. Despite poor morphological features they seem to be unmoved in the face of adversities. Madhyama sattva persons need some additional moral support to sustain themselves in times of distress. While avara sattva displays catastrophic reactions even during little inconveniences and can neither be sustained by themselves nor by others despite having good quality morphological features. Avara sattva is constantly plagued by inferior emotions like grief, fear, greed, conceit and confusion. When confronted with fierce, ugly, disgusting narratives or flesh and blood, they are prone to become depressed, pale, unconscious or semiconscious, giddy, anxious and can even succumb to death in worst case scenarios. [Cha. Sa. Vimana Sthana 8/119]

Manovaha srotas associated with avara sattva bala is most likely to be vitiated by manas dosha leading to various psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders. [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 9/5] It has been observed that avara sattva individuals are more likely to commit prajnaparadha (intellectual defects).[5] Thereby voluntarily indulging in various etiological factors for respective psychological as well as somatic disorders. Thus, assessment of sattva bala can help rule out the predisposition towards manovaha srotodushti and subsequent development of symptoms of psychiatric ailments.

d. Anumana pariksha (knowledge by inference)

To determine normalcy of faculties of manas (mind), anumana pariksha is applied. [Cha.Sa. Vimana Sthana 4/8] Since manas is atindriya (supersence or imperceivable by ordinary senses), so are it’s faculties which can serve as potential markers for assessment of its functions. The proper functioning of manas itself is inferred by altered or inappropriate mental perceptions even in presence of appropriately functioning indriya (senses) and their respective sense objects whereas the mental faculties can be inferred as follows:-

Faculty object for inference
Vijnanam (expertise/skills ) Vyavsayena (occupation )
Dhairyam (fortitude) Avishadena (courage in face of adversity)
Viryam (bravery) Uthhanena (initiating difficult tasks and enduring them)
Avasthanama (stability) Avibhramana (absence of confusion)
Shradhha (faith) Abhiprayena (purposiveness)
Medha (intellect) Grahanena (grasping power)
Sanjna (recognition or consciousness level) Namagrahanena (ability to recognise or name things)
Smriti (memory) Smaranena (ability to recollect things)
Dhriti (self restraint) Alaulyama (not being carried away by own greed)
Amala sattva (purity of mind) Avikara (free of delusions or illusionary attachments)

This inferential knowledge can help an individual become self-aware of his own psyche (sattva). A self-aware individual has an upper hand at avoiding mental illness because these often go unnoticed until they develop some organic manifestations.

Thus, by means of above discussed assessment methodologies, a physician can assess the degree of derangement in mental faculties and hence the manovaha srotas, irrespective of development of specific signs and symptoms of any psychiatric disorder (vyadhi lakshana).

Treatment Guidelines

Manovaha srotas disorders follow the line of treatment same as described for disorders of manas (mind). Following are therapeutic and preventive practices beneficial for both vitiated manovaha srotas (channels of psyche) and manas obscured by rajas - tamas dosha.

Five fold regimen

Manas dosha can be alleviated through a comprehensive five-fold psychotherapeutic regimen - jnana (spiritual knowledge or self-awareness), vijnana (scriptural or scientific knowledge), dhairya (mental fortitude), smriti (recollection of past successes to regain faith in own abilities) and samadhi (spiritual healing practices to focus mind inwards away from negative external stimuli). [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 1/58] Restoration of dhi (intellect), dhairya (mental fortitude) and atmadi vijnana (knowledge of self-consciousness) has therapeutic effect in alleviating disorders of manovaha srotas obstructed by manas dosha.

Sattvavajaya chikitsa (treatment to regulate mind)

Sattvavajaya chikitsa is a non-invasive therapeutic module for psychological derangements and psychosomatic ailments, analogous to contemporary psychotherapy. ‘Sattva’ stands for mind and ‘avajaya’ translates to win over. Hence, it emphasizes withdrawing the mind from unwholesome objects of senses (factors vitiating rajas and tamas) and diverting it to positive sensory and emotional stimuli. Thereby consciously negating disturbed emotions and behavioural patterns. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 11/54]

Ashtanga yoga (eight steps of yoga)

Ashtanga yoga can be considered as one of the dimensions of satvavajaya chikitsa. It integrates eight steps of yoga to tame mind from traversing paths in life which are spiritually and mentally harmful for that individual. Of the eight steps, first four viz. yama (principles for moral code), niyama (observances for personal discipline), asana (yogic postures) and pranayama (regulating breath) are termed as bahiranga yoga (external path). These practices gradually alleviate aggravated manas dosha, making the mind less reactive towards external stimuli. The last three limbs viz. dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (enlightenment or complete realisation) are termed as antaranga yoga (internal paths). These practices transform the mind, eliminating the fluctuations of mind, thereby strengthening positive habits and outlook on life as well as inner self. Ashtanga yoga maintains a harmonious balance between inner environment (mind and soul) and external environment (objects of sensory perception). Mind thus gets liberated from worldly pursuits and all psychological sufferings in a stepwise manner.

Achara rasayana (rejuvenating codes of behavioural conduct)

Achara rasayana is an adravyabhuta (non-pharmacological) rasayana (practices rejuvenating physical and mental health). It includes behavioural conducts which aim to enhance health and longevity by teaching practical methods to potentiate sattva guna of mind. [Cha.Sa. Chikitsa Sthana 1, 4th pada, shloka 30-35] An individual can imbibe easy lifestyle modifications to develop a positive and strong character of mind, thereby avoiding potential etiological factors (for dosha aggravation) and negative psychosocial patterns. Achara rasayana can be divided into five domains of good mental, social, personal, moral and religious conduct. [6]

Sadvritta (good codes of conduct)

Sadvritta refers to good code of conduct. These are a set of practices, which serve as lifestyle guidelines to prevent mind from falling prey to temporary material pleasures and impulsive thoughts and actions that cause impairment of manas dosha and manovaha srotas. It encompasses guidelines over personal hygiene, personality development as well as for social hygiene and peaceful social interactions. [Cha.Sa. Sutra Sthana 8/18]

Both achara rasayana and sadvritta help to maintain control over sense organs. They majorly add to the preventive and promotive aspect of mental health.

Medhya dravya (medicines enhancing intellectual functions)

Medhya dravyas are the plant based pharmacological agents that promote prajna i.e., dhi (intellect), dhriti (perseverance) and smriti (memory). Researches conducted prove their efficacy in minimizing the cognitive decline among individuals with neural abnormalities. For example, ushna (hot potency) and tikshna nature drugs like jyotishmati and vacha are said to remove blockages caused by kapha, ama or tamas dosha in the manovaha srotas. Once purified, manas can regain unvitiated connect with indriya via manovaha srotas. [7]

Ayurveda thus provides a bird’s eye view over different aspects of manovaha srotas through interconnected references in the classics highlighting its physiological importance like the other thirteen major srotas systems in the human body.

Contemporary view

Mind as per contemporary literature is debatable concept because in some contexts it is identified as conscience, while in others it is seen as the function of conscience. The philosophical dimension of mind was conceived by Plato who considered mind as an inner (soul’s) experience. [8]

The western system of medicine addresses brain at the core of majority of psychological distresses, whereas western philosophy involves the concept of psyche (which denotes mind). ‘Psyche’ is a Greek word meaning ‘soul in a living man’.

William James, referred to as the father of American Psychology, laid the foundations of physiological aspect of mind. To him mind was a function of brain which conducts mental life in the form of a constant stream of consciousness.[9] At some places he too admitted mind to bear consciousness and tried to assign attributes to consciousness as a separate psychological function thus formulating the Theory of Functionalism which established causal relationship between internal states (perception) and external reactions or behaviour (sensation). He concluded that repeated actions cause adaptive changes in nervous system. This is the fundamental ideology behind the concept of Neuroplasticity – i.e. adaptive structural and functional changes in brain by development of new neuronal pathways due to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli. [10]

James’ counterpart Titchener, an English Psychologist, proposed that consciousness is mind’s awareness of its own functions. Consciousness is something superior to mind itself. He formulated the Theory of Structuralism which aimed at analysing the interrelationship between mental experiences, feelings, and sensations. He used introspection as a tool to break down these complex phenomena of consciousness down to their basic elements without breaking their original structure.

Mind is hence regarded as the cumulative effect of all mental processes that have occurred in the lifetime while the consciousness can be understood as the cumulative effect of all mental processes occurring in present moment. Eventually brain was somehow regarded to control the neural activity responsible for accumulating all this sensory data.

Many theories were formulated and overruled by their successors with time. Today the concept of mind and consciousness remains yet to be clearly defined. It is observed that mind is often identified as consciousness and they both are accepted as individual closely linked entities. Mind bears synonymity towards consciousness, spirit, and psyche. Some theories view both mind and consciousness as spirit. But mind is invariably understood as the interaction between psychological personality and the external environment, i.e., a subject – object relationship.

The neurophysiological basis of minds and the channels of transport of its constituents is yet a challenge in field of neuroscience. In order to bridge this gap, contemporary scientists hypothesise that mental representations and their contents are represented by neural network and their supporting cells thus hinting towards Central Nervous System and it’s peripheral nerves as the channels of mind. [11]

Research works on manovaha srotas

Various review articles have been published and researches been carried out in the domain of Ayurveda to understand the conceptual as well as pathophysiological aspect of manovaha srotas. Few of them are as follows :

1.Critical Review of Concept of manovaha Srotas with special reference to Brain

This review article conceptualizes the contemporary understanding of manovaha srotas in context to CNS due to functional similarity between manas and brain obtained after an extensive research and analysis throughout ayurveda treatises. Further brain was considered as synonymous to hridya ie. mulasthana (site of origin) of manovaha srotas and ‘dasha dhamani’ as the cranial nerves exiting from the 10 major foramen at base of skull. Sanskrit literature considers hridaya as regarded as a central organ similar to brain.[12]

2. Circumstantial view on clinical knowing of manovaha srotasa & its physiology

The review article reconstructs a comprehensive picture of manovaha srotas from the scattered references available in Ayurveda texts, supplementing it with additional information from contemporary science as follows-

  • A detailed description of neuroanatomy and physiology has been drawn parallel to ayurveda point of view about manas rachana and kriyasharira.
  • Effect of triguna and tridosha (especially vata) in context of physiological functions and disorders of manas and manovaha srotas have been discussed.
  • Correlations between functions of five subtypes of vata and both CNS and ANS has been attempted
  • Pariksha krama (examination of nervous system) has been exemplified taking into consideration both Ayurveda and modern methodologies that can be employed for manovaha srotas (nervous system) examination.

3.Concept of stress factor assessment concerning ‘perseverance test’ in light of ayurveda” – a review

This article highlights the importance of understanding the etiological factors of vitiation of manovaha srotas and manas in all kinds of psychiatric as well as psychosomatic disorders. Imbalance of manas dosha can be treated by means of yoga, meditation and pranayama. Often emotional disturbances remain unattended in diagnosed cases of psychiatric illness which can be managed at home by incorporating wholesome diet (pathya ahara) and moral code of conduct (sadvrutta) in daily routine. Lack of peace and chronic stressors have been observed as major causes of vitiation of channels of mind.[13]

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