We will now expound the chapter called Dravyadi Vijnaniya -knowledge of substances etc. Thus said Atreya and other great sages (1). Dravya utpatti (origin of substances):
अथातो द्रव्यादिविज्ञानीयमध्यायं व्याख्यास्यामः । इति ह स्माहुराव्रेयादयो महर्षयः ॥ १॥
इह हि द्रव्यं पञ्चमहाभूतात्मकम् । तस्याधिष्ठानं पृथिवी, योनिरुदकं, खानिलानलसमवायानि र्वृत्तिविशेषौ । उत्कर्षेण तु व्यपदेशः । तस्माद्भूतसमवायसम्भवान्नैकरसं द्रव्यम् । ततश्च नैकदोषाव्याधयः॥ २॥
Here (in this science of Ayurveda) “every substance is made up of the Pancamahabhutas
(the gross elements)- only; prthvi is its substratum (bulk, mass), udaka (ap) its origin (that from which it grows), kha (akasa), anila (vayu) and anala (tejas) are its other parts; intimate/ inseparable) union of all these is the cause of its origin and also of its peculiarity (difference between one substance and the other); its name is derived from the (bhuta) predominant in it; being composed of intimate union of all the bhutas, every substance possesses more than one taste; hence, diseases also are caused by more than one dosha. (2)
Notes: – Ayurveda has adopted the Pancamahabhuta theory from the Sankhya system of Philosophy. According to this doctrine, all the substances in this universe are composed of the Pancamahabhutas only. The union of these five is intimate (inseparable) but their proportion varies from one substance to the other. Depending upon the bhuta which is predominant in it that substance is grouped in that category. For example, the substance which has predominance of Prthvibhuta is called ‘Parthiva’ substance, that which has predominance of Apbhuta as Apya substance and so on. Substances have some common features and some peculiar features also.
No two substances are exactly identical in all respects. They are differentiated from one another by their peculiar features. This will be described further.
Rasadigunas – Taste and other qualities
तत्र व्यक्लो रसः । अनुरसस्तु रसेनाभिभूतत्वादव्यक्लो, व्यक्तो वा किञ्चिदन्ते ।
रसस्य तु छेदनोपशमने द्वे कर्मणी । हिताहितौ प्रभावौ । तदाश्रयेषु च द्रव्यसंज्ञकेषु पृथिव्यादिषु गुणाः प्रकृतिविकृतिविचारदेशकालवशाद्गुर्वादयो रसेषु साहचर्यादुपचर्यन्ते ॥ ३॥
In a substance, the Rasa (primary or chief taste) is clearly perceptible; the Anurasa (secondary taste) is not perceptible as it is covered (over -powered, subjugated) by the rasa (primary taste) or becomes perceptible slightly at the end.
Chedana (expulsion of the doshas) and upasamana (alleviation or mitigation of the doshas) are the two functions of the tastes; becoming good or bad (for health) are their prabhava (special effects).
The qualities such as guru (heaviness) etc., found in substances, belonging to prthivi etc, by their very nature, transformation, processing, region and season but are attributed categorically to the Rasas (tastes) because of their coexistence. (3)
Notes:- Rasa is the first and chief taste that is understood immediately a substance is put into the mouth. Anurasa is not very distinctly perceptible or is understood slightly after some time. The rasa and anurasa may be one or more. They are described as having the qualities like guru (heaviness, hard to digest), laghu (light in weight, easy to digest) sita (cold in potency), usna (hot in potency) etc. but strictly speaking, these are the qualities of the bhutas (gross elements), which are present in the substance. It is only a categorical attribution and should not be taken as actual. It is the qualities of the substances and not of Rasas that are to be noted from different aspects as stated above;
Panchabhautika dravya – five kinds of substances
तत्र द्रव्यं गुरुकठिनविशदमन्दसान्द्रस्थूल स्थिरगन्धगुणबहुलं पार्थिवं उपचयगौरवसङ्घातस्थैर्यकरम् ॥ ४॥
Substances which are heavy, hard, non-sticky (non-slimy), slow, solid, massive, static and having predominance of smell are Parthiva.
They are the cause for growth, heaviness, compactness and stability of the body. (4)
द्रवस्निग्धशीतगुरुमन्दसान्द्रसरमृदुपिच्छिलरसगुणबहुलमौद्कं । उपक्लेदस्नेहबन्धविष्यन्दमार्दव प्रह्लादकरम् ॥५॥
Substances which are liquid, moist, cold, heavy, slow, thick, mobile, soft, slimy and having predominance of taste are Audaka (apya).
They produce moistness, unctuousness (lubrication), secretions in the tissues, softness and satisfaction (pleasantness) to the body. (5)
तीक्ष्णोष्णरूक्षसूक्ष्मलघुविशदरूपगुणबहुलमाग्नेयं । दाहपाकप्रकाशप्रभावर्णकरम् ॥ ६॥
Substances which are penetrating into the tissues, hot, dry, minute (capacity to enter into minute pores ), light in weight, non-sticky (non -slimy) and possessing the predominance of sight / vision are Agneya.
They are responsible for burning, cooking ( digestion ), expression of complexion and colour. (6)
रूक्षसूक्ष्मलघुविशदविकाषिव्यवायिशीतखरस्पर्शगुणबहुलं वायव्यं रौक्ष्यलाघववैशयग्लानिविचारकरम् ||७||
Substances, which are dry, minute, light in weight, non-sticky, causing looseness, spreading quickly all over, cold, rough and possessing the predominance of touch are Vayavya.
They produce dryness, lightness, absence of stickiness, weakness and looseness (separating tendency, division) in the body. (7)
सूक्ष्मलघुविशदश्लक्ष्णव्यवायिविविक्लशब्दगुणबहुलमाकाशात्मकं । सौषिर्यलाघवकरम् ॥ ८॥
Substances which are subtle ( minute ), light in weight, non-sticky, smooth, spreading quickly, having empty spaces and possessing the predominance of sound are Akasiya (Nabhasa). They cause rarefaction and lightness. (8)
इत्थं च नानौषधभूतं जगति किञ्चिद् द्रव्यमस्ति विविधार्थप्रयोगवशात् ॥ ९॥
Thus, there is no substance in the world which is not a medicine and every one is useful in many ways. (9)
तत्राग्निमारुतात्मकं प्रायेणोर्ध्वभागिकम् ।
तयोर्हि लाघवादूर्ध्वगतित्वाच्चाग्ने: प्लवनत्वाच्च मारुतस्य ॥१०॥
Those substances which are having the predominance of Agni (tejas) and Marut (vayu) are generally emetics (producing vomiting), because of the lightness and upward movement of Agni and floating movement of Vayu. (10)
भूम्यौदकात्मकं तु प्रायेणाधोभागिकम् ।
तयोर्हि गौरवान्निम्नगत्वाच्च तोयस्य ||११||
Those which have the predominance of Bhumi (prthvi) and Udaka (ap) are generally purgatives (producing elimination of feces) because of the heaviness (of prthvi) and downward movement of water. (11)
Those which have the combination (of all the four) have the property of acting in both directions. (12)
शमनं तु दोषविपरीतगुणमुक्तं प्राक् । तत्सङ्करे च यतो बाहुल्येन कार्यकर्तृत्वं भवति यदेवाधिकं तदेव तत्कार्यकरमिति व्यपदेशः ।
तथानिलात्मकं ग्राहि । अनलात्मकं दीपनपाचनम् । उभयात्मकं लेखनम् । भूम्युदकात्मकं बृंहणम् ||१३||
As stated earlier, Samana substances, (palliatives, alleviators, pacifiers) are those which have qualities opposite of those of the doshas. Depending upon their chief functions, the bhuta responsible for those functions are to be taken as predominant in such substances. For example, the substance which is grahi (having the property of absorbing water) will have predominance of Vayu bhuta, those which are deepanapacana (appetisers and digestives) are having predominance of Agni (tejas) bhuta, those which are having the property of lekhana (scarification) will have both (vayu and agni); substances which are brmhana (making the body stout) are having the predominance of Bhumi (prthvi) and Udaka (ap) bhutas (13).
Virya – Potency
तत्र कट्वम्ललवणा वीर्येण यथोत्तरमुष्णाः । तिक्लकषायमधुराः शीताः ॥ १४॥
Pungent, sour and salt tastes are hot in potency with increasing degree in their succeeding orders: bitter, astringent and sweet tastes are cold in potency in the same manner. ( 14 )
Notes: Stated in clear terms pungent is hot of the first degree, sour of the second degree and salt of the third degree. Likewise bitter is cold of the first degree, astringent of the second and sweet of the third degree. Each succeeding one is more powerful than its preceding one. (14)
तिक्लकटुकषाया रूक्षा बद्धविण्मूत्रमारुताः ।
लवणाम्लमधुराः स्निग्धाः सृष्टविण्मूत्रमारुताः ।।१५॥
लवणकषायमधुरा गुरवः । तद्वदम्लकटुकतिक्ता लघवः ।
Bitter, pungent and astringent tastes are dry and cause obstruction to the movement of the feces, urine and flatus; salt, sour and sweet are unctuous and cause elimination of the feces, urine and flatus. Salt, astringent and sweet tastes are not easily digestible; sour, pungent and bitter tastes are easily digestible. (15-16a)
अन्ये पुनर्गुरुलघुस्त्रिग्धरूक्षसाधारणं लवणमिच्छन्ति ॥१६॥
Others opine that salt is moderate in respect of either hard or easy for digestion, unctuous or dry etc. (16b).
Notes : – In respect of the qualities such as dry or unctuous, hard or easy for digestion, obstruction or elimination of faeces, urine and flatus, the principle that “the succeeding one is of greater intensity than its preceding one” is also applicable.
वीर्यं तु केचिद् गुरुलघुस्निग्धरुक्षतीक्ष्णमन्दशीतोष्णभेदेनाष्टविधमाहुः ॥१७॥
According to some authorities Virya (potency) is of eight kinds, viz., guru, laghu, snigdha, ruksa, tiksna, manda, sita, and usna. (17)
Notes:- This is Known as Astavidha virya siddhanta- the doctrine of eight viryasput up by some authorities of Ayurveda.
अपरे पुनः पठन्तिं वीर्यं द्रव्यस्य तद्ज्ञेयं यद्योगात् क्रियते क्रिया । नावीर्यं कुरुते किश्चित् सर्वा वीर्यकृता हि सा ॥१८॥
तैरपि चैवमतिप्रकृष्टशक्तियुक्तानामशेषौषधगुणसारभूतानामष्टानामेव गुर्वादीनां वीर्यसंज्ञा विशिष्टाम्नायविहितापि
लौकिकीति समुद्भाव्यते । तथा हि । तया रसविपाकगुणान्तरविजयिनो भूयांसश्च वरिष्ठाश्च गुणाः सङ्ग्रहीताः ।
विशेषवृत्या च तत्र तत्र द्रव्यस्वरूपकथने व्यवहारः प्रवृत्तितो भवति । अत एव सर्वातिशायी द्रव्यस्वभावः प्रभाव इत्याम्नतः ।
सत्यपि च क्रियानिर्वर्त्तनसमान्ये तद्विपरीता रसादयो वीर्याख्यया प्रभावसंज्ञया वा न परामृश्यन्ते ॥ १९॥
Yet others say
“Virya is that property of a substance, which is the chief active principle; without Virya there is no function and all functions are done by Virya itself”. They argue that even though the above mentioned eight are powerful among the important functionaries (active principles) in a substance and even though these eight are accepted by the sciences (authorities and authoritative texts of Ayurveda) yet it is only a customary (usual, general) statement. Let it be so. They accept that among the rasa (taste), vipaka (end product of digestion) and gunas (qualities), these (eight qualities) are more powerful, so they should be considered as virya. During the description of substances even the texts make special mention of these factors. So also, it is accepted by the science, that the total effect of a substance is its prabhava (speciality, specific action). Even though the rasas are also the cause of different functions, still they are not called either as virya or prabhava (and accepted as . such). (18-19)
Notes: The above statement pertains to those scholars who put forth the ‘Bahuvidha virya or Ananta virya siddhanta-Doctrine of multiple potency’. According to them whichever is the powerful factor in a substance which does an important function, that is to be called as the virya (potency) of that substance. It may be any one of the six tastes, one of the twenty qualities like guru, laghu etc., the very mass of the substances, or even the colour, smell, touch or sound of the substance.
अन्ये तु गुर्वादीनामग्नीषोमात्मकत्वादादानविसर्गविभागेन कालस्य चोष्णशीतात्मकत्वाद् द्विविधमेवामनन्ति । एवं चाहुः ||२०||
नानात्मकमपि द्रव्यमग्नीषोमौ महाबलौ । व्यक्लाव्यक्तं जगदिव नातिक्रामतिजातुचित् ॥ २१ ॥ Still others argue that the qualities such as guru, laghu etc., and seasons (such as sisira, vasanta etc.) are having the predominance of only two elements agni (fire, heat) and soma (cold). So virya also is only of two kinds, hot and cold. Even though the substances are having many qualities in them, heat and cold are more powerful than all others and the rest are within the scope of these two only, just as all the things of the world are of only two kinds- the manifest and the unmanifest. (20-21).
तत्रोष्णं दहनपचनस्वेदनविलयनानिलकफशमनानि करोति ||२२||
Among these two, the Usna virya (hot potency) attends to functions such as burning, cooking (digesting), perspiration, liquification and mitigation of vata and kapha. (22)
शीतं ह्लादनस्तम्भनजीवनरक्लपित्तप्रसादनादीनि ||२३||
The Sita virya (cold potency) produces contentment (satisfaction), obstruction (withholding, stopping, preventing), supporting life (maintenance, sustenance, protection of essential functions of life), mitigating the blood, pitta and others. (23)
Thus virya (potency) has been described so far.
Notes: This is the Dwividha virya siddhanta- the doctrine of two potencies. The proposers of this doctrine accept the predominance of heat and cold in all the factors of creation and maintain that it should be the same in respect of the actions of the substances as well. This theory has received wider support and all Ayurvedic authorities have finally accepted it, being simple and comprehensive.
Vipaka – taste after digestion
इति वीर्यमुक्तं विपाकस्तूच्यते । विपाकस्तु प्राय: स्वादु: स्वादुलवणयोरम्लोऽम्लस्य कटुरितरेषाम् । रसैरसौ तुल्यफलः ||२४|| Further on Vipaka will be described :
Vipaka (taste at the end of digestion) is generally sweet for sweet and salt tastes; sour for sour taste and pungent for the others (tastes). Thus (vipaka) is similar to the taste, in its effect (actions). (24)
द्रव्यगुणविशेषेण चास्याल्पमध्यभूयस्त्वमुपलक्षयेत् ॥ २५ ॥
Its mild, moderate or great effects are dependent upon the peculiarities of the substance and its qualities. (25)
Notes: Vipaka is the taste of the substance after its digestion in the alimentary tract. The original taste of some substances continues to be the same even after digestion. Whereas, the original taste of some others, undergoes change into another after digestion. The effect of both the original taste and that after the digestion, though the same, there will be variation in the degree of their action; depending upon other factors.
पराशरस्तु पठति । पाकास्त्रयो रसानामम्लोऽम्लं पच्यते कटुः कटुकम् । चत्वारोऽन्ये मधुरं सङ्कीर्णरसास्तु सङ्कीर्णम् ॥२६॥ Parasara says:
Vipaka of tastes (change at the end of digestion) is of three kinds-sour to sour, pungent to pungent, the other four to sweet, mixture of tastes to the mixed (vipaka) (26).
कटुतिक्लकषायाणां कटुको येषां विपाक इति पक्षः ।
तेषां पित्तविघाते तिक्लकषायौ कथं भवतः ||२७||
Those who say that the vipaka of pungent, bitter and astrigent tastes is pungent only, will not be able to justify that bitter and astringents. (vipakas) mitigate pitta.(27)
Notes:- Parashara opines that the vipakas are three but in a different manner, viz. sour and pungent tastes remain the same even after digestion, while sweet, salt, bitter and astringent will be transformed into sweet. He finds difficulty to accept pungency at the end of digestion to bitter and astringent tastes, because pungent taste or vipaka can only increase pitta but cannot mitigate it as has been described in the texts. The solution to his objection is given by Vagbhata himself in the next paragraph.
तत्र यन्मधुरं रसविपाकयोः शीतवीर्यं च द्रव्यं यच्चाम्लं तयोरुष्णवीर्यं च यद्वा कटुकं
तेषां यथास्वं रसेभ्यः प्रायो गुणान् दोषकोपशमनत्वं च विद्यात् । तद्यथा क्षीरमदिरामरिचादीनाम् ||२८||
Substances which are sweet both in taste and at the end of digestion possess cold potency; substances which are sour both in taste and at the end of digestion possess hot potency; substances which are pungent in taste and also at the end of digestion possess hot potency. The actions of such substances like increasing or mitigation of doshas, are generally, due to the tastes present in such substances. As for example (the actions of) milk, wine and pepper. (28)
Notes Indu the commentator explains the examples as follows- Milk is sweet in taste and also at the end of digestion and possesses cold potency, it tends to increase kapha and mitigate vaata and pitta just as sweet taste does these actions; wine is sour in taste and also at the end of digestion and possesses hot potency, it tends to mitigate vata and increase pitta and kapha just as sour taste does; pepper is pungent both in taste and at the end of digestion and possesses hot potency, it tends to mitigate kapha and increase vata and pitta just as pungent taste does. Hence it is the taste that is the deciding factor.
रसादिसङ्करेण त्वन्यथात्वम् । यथा मधु मधुरं श्लेष्माणं शमयति कटुविपाकतया । सकषायत्वाद्रौक्ष्याच्च वातं जनयति शीतवीर्यत्वाच्च । तथा यवोऽपि । आनूपौदकपिशितं शीतमपि पित्तं करोत्युष्णवीर्यत्वात् । तथा तैलं कटुविपाकतया च विपाकत एव बद्धविण्मूत्रम् । अम्लं काञ्जिकं कफं जयति रूक्षोष्णत्वात्, कपित्यंतु रौक्ष्यात् पित्तं तु शीतवीर्यत्वात् । आमलकं पित्तं शीतवीर्यत्वात् स्वादुपाकतया च कर्फ रौक्ष्याल्लाघवाच्च, शेत्यरौक्ष्यलाघवैस्तु न वातम् । लवणं सैन्धवं स्वादुपाकतया पित्तं जयति लाघवात् कफं जयति । कटुकाऽपि शुण्ठी स्नेहौष्ण्यस्वादुपाकैर्वातं क्षपयति पिप्पली च । लशुनोऽपि स्नेहौप्ण्यगौरवैः । पलाण्डुश्च । स तु स्रेहगौरवाभ्यां जनयति श्लेष्माणम् । वृद्धं च मूलकं स्वादुपाकतया । स्निग्धानि तिक्लानि व्याघ्री विशल्यार्कागरूण्युष्णवीर्यत्वात् पित्तं जनयन्ति । कषायतिक्तं महत् पञ्चमूलं वातं जयतिन तु पित्तं उष्णुवीर्यत्वात् । कषायश्च कुलत्थोऽम्लपाकतया चेत्येतन्निदर्शनमा मुक्तम् ।।२९ ।।
If there is a mixture of tastes, then it ( the actions ) is quite different, For example; honey though sweet mitigates kapha by its katuvipaka (by becoming pungent after digestion), increases vata by its possessing astringent taste, dryness and cold potency. So also, barley.
Meat of animals of marshy places and those which live in water though cold, increases pitta by its hot potency; sesamum oil causes obstruction of faeces and urine mainly by being pungent at the end of digestion; kanjika (sour gruel) mitigates kapha by its dryness and hot potency; kapittha mitigates pitta by being dry and cold in potency; amalaka (mitigates) pitta by its cold potency and sweet vipaka, kapha by its dryness and lightness, but it does not mitigate vata because of its cold potency, dryness and lightness; saindhava salt mitigates pitta by its sweet vipaka and also kapha by its lightness; sunthi and pippali though pungent mitigate vata by their unctuousness, hot potency and sweet vipaka, so also lasuna by its unctuousness, hot potency and heaviness; palandu by its unctuousness and heavyness increases kapha; so also the mulaka which is fully ripe, by its sweet vipaka; vyaghri, visalya, arka and aguru which are unctuous and bitter increase pitta by their being hot in potency; mahatpancamula which is astringent and bitter in taste mitigates vata but not pitta because of its hot potency; similarly kulattha which is astringent by its sour vipaka (mitigates vata not pitta); all the above are just a few examples only. (29).
किञ्चिद्रसेन कुरुते कर्म पाकेन चापरम् ।
द्रव्यं गुणेन वीर्येण प्रभावेणैव किञ्चन ||३०||
Hence, (it should be understood that) some substances act by their rasa (tastes), some others by their vipaka (taste at the end of digestion) some by their guna (qualities), some by their virya (potency) and still others by their prabhava (special effect). (30)
यद्यद् द्रव्ये रसादीनां बलवत्त्वेन वर्तते । अभिभूयेतरांस्तत्तत् कारणत्त्वं प्रपद्यते ॥ ३१ ॥
Among the different factors (causes of actions) such as rasa etc., whichever is more powerful, that overrules others (makes the actions of others insignificant), that comes to be called as “the cause” (chief cause). (31)
विरुद्धगुणसंयोगे भूयसाल्पं हि जीयते ॥३२॥
In case of coexistence of opposing factors, the weaker one is vanquished by the stronger. (32)
Notes Stated in simple terms, there are many factors which are the causes of actions, such as, the substance in toto, the six tastes, the twenty qualities, the two potencies, the three tastes after digestion and some special effects. Each one, though capable of action, will not be equally powerful. Any one factor will be more powerful and that factor subjugates the actions of all the rest. Such powerful cause is given umportance and described as the real cause or chief cause; all the others become insignificant.
रसं विपाकस्तौ वीर्यं प्रभावस्तान्यपोहति । बलसाम्ये रसादीनामिति नैसर्गिकं बलम् ||३३||
When the rasa and others (vipaka, virya and prabhava) are of equal strength, vipaka defeats the rasa, vipaka and rasa together defeat the virya; prabhava defeats all of them. This is the natural order of strength. (33)
विरुद्धा अपि चान्योन्यं रसाद्याः कार्यसाधने ।
नावश्यं स्युर्विघाताय गुणदोषा मिथो यथा ||३४||
Even though rasa and others are opposed to one another in their actions, one is not necessarily destroyed by the other, similar to that of the gunas and the doshas.(34)
Notes: The guna indicated here refers to gatva, rajas and tamas; Each one of these is opposite to the other and exist together in the human body without destroying one another. Similarly also the Tri doshas – though of opposite qualities, they co-exist without mutual destruction. This example is given to justify that even in substances, many opposing factors though existing together do not destroy one another.
रसवीर्य प्रभृतयो भूतोत्कर्षापकर्षतः ।
एकरूपा विरूपा वा द्रव्यं समधिशेरते ॥ ३५॥
The differences in the factors such as rasa (taste), virya (potency) etc., are due to greater or lesser proportion of the bhutas, combining in similar or dissimilar manner in the substance. (35)
सह वृत्त्या स्थिताः क्षीरे नत्वानूपौदकामिषे ॥ ३६॥
Sweetness, coldness, slimyness, unctuousness, heaviness and slowness are all present in milk in a certain manner but not so (exactly in the same manner) in the meat of animals of marshy places and of those living in water. (36)
Notes: The proportion of the bhutas varies from one substance to the other. Because of this reason, no two substances are exactly similar. There is a definite difference between honey and sugar in their sweetness. Similarly, the example of milk and meat of aquatic animals is to show that there will be variation in their qualities – however subtle it might be though both are described as possessing identical qualities.
गुणा द्रव्येषु ये चोक्तास्त एव तनुदोषयोः । स्थितिवृद्धिक्षयास्तस्मात्तेषां हि द्रव्यहेतुकाः ||३७||
The qualities, described as present in the substances are the causes for the normalcy, increase and decrease of the doshaas and the human body. Hence, the substances are the causes for changes in the doshas and also the body. (37) .
Notes:- In other words the normal and abnormal conditions of the three doshas of the human body are brought about by the substances which are used either as food or drug.
The use of substances which have qualities similar to those of the doshas causes increase of the doshas while the use of substances of opposite qualities cause their decrease.
रसं विद्यानिपातेन तेनाधिवसनेन च ।
वीर्यं विपाकं द्रव्याणां कर्मणः परिनिष्ठया ॥ ३८॥
understood either immediately or a little later, after
Rasa (taste) is putting a substance on the tongue, Virya (potency) and Vipaka (taste after digestion ) are understood after their functions. ( 38 )
मधुरस्कन्धनिर्दिष्टघृततैलगुडादिषु । गुणास्वादादीभेदेन रसषट्कं न युज्यते ॥३९॥
अस्तु भेदादसङ्ख्यत्वमैक्यं वास्वादलक्षणात् । भूतोत्कर्षापकर्षेण भेदो योऽल्पेन कल्प्यते ॥४०॥
सङ्कीर्णत्वात् फले चासौ तुल्यत्वान्न विवक्ष्यते । गुर्वादीनां विशेषेsपि स्वजातेरनतिक्रमात् ।।४१।।
सङ्ख्याभेदो यथा नास्ति रसानामपि स क्रमः । दृष्टं मुखोपलेपादि यत्सर्वेषु घृतादिषु ||४२ ||
न च तद्दाडिमाद्येषु षडेवातो रसाः स्मृताः । आनन्त्यैकत्वयोश्च स्यान्न विचित्रार्थतन्त्रणम् ॥४३॥
Some might say “accepting tastes as only six may not be tenable because differences are seen in sweetness etc., in substances such as ghee, oil, jaggery (molasses ) etc. enumerated under madhura skandha (group of sweet substances )”. Let such differences be innumerable or be one and the same by non-recognition (of such differences), these small differences are attributed to the greater or lesser proportion of the bhutas, existing together in the substance which is not so much differentiated and described in detail. So also the differences in qualities such as heaviness etc., though innumerable are not counted separately because they all form one single category only. Likewise is the case with rasas (tastes) also.
The property of adhering to the mouth is seen in ghee and others but not found in dadima fruit and others. Hence, the tastes are only six, even though there are innumerable variations under each one of them. Not being of any practical utility no treatise has described them (the variations in tastes. (39-43)
Notes: As stated earlier, the variation in the proportion of the bhuta elements is the cause for difference between one substance and the other. The same is the cause for the variations in the qualities of substances also. Even among substances of any one taste there are differences between one another in the nature and degree of that taste. Substances grouped together taking into consideration the main taste but not its minute variations. It is not also possible to differentiate every variation as there are myriads of substances in this world. Hence, nowhere we find the description of minute variations. Hence the objection on the theory of the six tastes is overruled.
गुर्बाद्या वीर्यमुच्यन्ते शक्तिमन्तोऽन्यथागुणाः । परसामर्थ्यहीनत्वात् गुणा एवेतरे गुणाः ॥४४॥
Guru and other powerful qualities are designated as viryas whereas those which are weak are simply known as gunas ( qualities) only. (44)
यथारसं जगुः पाकान् षट् केचित्तदसाम्प्रतम् । यत्स्वादुहिरम्लत्वं न चाम्लमपि दाडिमम् ॥ ४५ ॥
याति तैलं च कटुतां कटुकापि न पिप्पली । यथारसत्वे पाकानां न स्यादेवं विपर्ययः ॥ ४६॥
यस्माद्दृष्टो यवः स्वादुर्गुरुरप्यनिलप्रदः । दीपनं शीतमप्याज्यं वसोष्णाप्यग्निसादिनी ॥४७॥
कटुपाकोsपि पित्तघ्नो मुद्रो माषस्तु पित्तलः । स्वादुपाकोऽपि चलकृत् स्निग्धोष्णं गुरु फाणितम् ॥४८॥
रसः स्वादुर्यथा चैतत्तथान्येष्वपि दृश्यते । वातलं कफपित्तघ्नमम्लमप्याक्षकीफलम् ।।४९॥
कुरुते दधि गुर्वेव वह्निं पारावतं न तु । कपित्थं दाडिमं साम्लं ग्राहि नामलकीफलम् ॥ ५० ॥
कषाया ग्राहिणीशीता धातकी न हरीतकी । अप्रधानाः पृथक् तस्माद्रसाद्याः संश्रितास्तुते ॥५१॥
प्रभावश्च यतो द्रव्ये द्रव्यं श्रेष्ठमतो मतम् ।
The view of some ‘that vipaka is six, one for each taste’ is not feasible; the vipaka of vrihi (rice) which is sweet in taste, is going to be sour, whereas that of dadima is not sour even though it is of sour taste; sesamum oil becomes pungent but not pippali which is pungent by taste; hence vipaka is not the same as that of the rasa; for it is seen that yava though sweet and heavy is going to cause increase of vata, ghrta (butter-fat) even though cold in potency kindles hunger; vasa (muscle-fat) though hot in potency weakens the digestive power, mudga though becomes pungent after digestion is going to mitigate pitta whereas masa causes increase of pitta; phanita (half-cooked molasses) though becoming sweet after digestion and possessing qualities like unctuousness, hot and heavy, is going to increase vata.
Just as in the case of sweet taste, even the other tastes also (show variations); the fruits of aksa though sour in taste increases vata and mitigates kapha and pitta; dadhi though heavy (hard to digest) kindles digestion while the meat of peigon does not; kapittha and dadima though sour in taste, are grahi (water absorbant) but the fruits of amalaki is not so; dhataki which is astringent (in taste) and cold in potency acts as grahi (water absorbant) but not so the haritaki.
So also, rasa (taste) and other factors taken individually (separately) are insignificant (unimportant, not powerful) because all these are residing in the substance (as its parts) and it is the substance which has prabhava (special effects); hence the view that the substance is the most important (45-52)
Notes: The above examples are meant to discard some views which are not tenable and to justify the theories of the six rasas, three vipakas, eight or two viryas, and importance of Dravya and not of its individual qualities.
Prabhava – special effects
रसादिसाम्ये यत् कर्म विशिष्टं तत् प्रभावजम् ।।५२।।
दन्ती रसायैस्तुल्यापि चित्रकस्य विरेचनी । मधुकस्य च मृद्धीका घृतं क्षीरस्य दीपनम् ॥ ५३॥
कटुपाकरसस्निग्धगुरुत्वैः कफवातजित् । लशुनो वातकफकृन्नतु तैरेव यद्गुणैः ॥ ५४॥
मिथो विरुद्धान् वातादीन् लोहिताया जयन्ति यत् । कुर्वन्ति यवकाद्याश्च तत्प्रभावविजृम्भितम् ॥५५॥
शिरीषादिर्विषं हन्ति स्वप्नाद्यं तद्विवृद्धये । मणिमन्त्रौषधीनां च यत् कर्मविविधात्मकम् ॥५६॥
शल्याहरणपुञ्जन्मरक्षायुर्द्धवशादिकम् । दर्शनाद्यैरपि विषं यन्नियच्छति चागदः ||५७॥
विरेचयति यद् वृष्यमाशु शुक्रं करोति वा । ऊर्ध्वाधोभागिकं यच्च द्रव्यं यच्छमनादि च ।। ५८।।
मात्रादि प्राप्य तत्तच्च यत् प्रपञ्चेन वर्णितम् । तच्च प्रभावजं सर्वमतोऽचिन्त्यः स उच्यते ॥ ५९॥
Special (or peculiar) action of a particular
substance, seen even when its rasa (taste) and other factors are similar with those of another substance such actions are said to be caused by the Prabhava of that particular substance.
Danti though similar to citraka in taste and other qualilties, produces purgations; madhuka and mrdwika though similar, mrdwika acts as a purgative but not so madhuka; ghee and milk though similar, ghee kindles digestion whereas milk does not; lasuna by its pungent taste and also vipaka, unctuousness and heaviness mitigates kapha and vata but does not cause increase of vata and kapha by the same qualities; lohitasali (red variety of rice) and others mitigate the three doshas, though each is of different qualities whereas yavaka (small sized barley) and others cause the increase of the doshas prompted by Prabhava; sirisa and others decrease the effect of poison whereas sleep etc, cause its increase;
Removal of foreign bodies, birth of male children, protection against evil, life span, increase of intellegence, attraction of other persons and such other different actions of precious stones, holy chants and potent herbs are all (due to prbhava itself).
The effects of poison being brought under control by the mere sight of the antipoisonous recipes; some aphrodisiac substances causing quick elimination of semen while some others cause its quick increase in quantity; purgatives and emetics producing large bouts even with small doses; the actions of palliative drugs described in detail earlier are all due to Prabhava itself. Hence it (prabhava) is un-understandable (unpredictable, inconceivable). (52-59)
रसेन वीर्येण गुणैश्च कर्म द्रव्यं विपाकेन च यद्विदध्यात् ।
सद्योऽन्यथा तत् कुरुते प्रभावाद्धेतोरतस्तत्र न गोचरोऽस्ति ||६०||
The actions of a substance which are different from the actions of its rasa (taste), virya (potency) gunas (qualities) and vipaka (taste after digestion), are caused by the Prabhava, which is inconceivable (not understandble). (60)
Thus ends the seventeenth chapter.