Module on “Physiology of Indriya” by Dr. Vandana Verma

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Physiology of Indriya

Dr. Vandana Verma, Assistant Profess, Department of Kriya Sharira,

Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi

Objectives

  • What is Indriya
  • Types of Indryia
  • Panchbhautika Constitution of PanchaGyanendriya
  • PanchaPanchak : Components of Indriya
  • Center of sense organs
  • Dhamani ( blood vessels) related to Indriya
  • Process of Perception of Stimulus
  • Regulation of functions of Indriya
  • Functional regulation of Indriya by Tridosha
  • Role of Indriya in Homeostasis and health

 

  • Indriya

इन्द्रशब्देन प्राण उच्यते, तस्यान्तगतस्य लिङ्गं रिष्टाख्यमिन्द्रियं; यदुक्तं व्याकरणे- “इन्द्रियमिन्द्रलिङ्गं” (पा.अ.५.२.१३) C. Indriya (1/1)

Indriya word is derived from word “Indra” means Prana. Indriya are organ in the  body  which exhibit the sign of life or vitality.

Type of Indriya – 11 types = 10 Indriya (5 Sense organs+ 5 Motor organs) + Mana (Ubhaendriya).

Type of Gyanendriya (Sense organs)

Eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin are the five sensory organs.  Among the sense organs, Eye, ear, nose, tongue are Special sense and skin is for general sensation. Mana is also called as atindryia as it’s perception is beyond the capacity of sensory organs and cannot by perceived. Mana can only be understood only by its functions.

तत्र चक्षुः श्रोत्रं घ्राणं रसनं स्पर्शनमिति पञ्चेन्द्रियाणि|| (C.Su.8/8)

अतीन्द्रियंपुनर्मनःसत्त्वसञ्ज्ञकं,‘चेतः’इत्याहुरेके,तदर्थात्मसम्पदायत्तचेष्टंचेष्टाप्रत्ययभूतमिन्द्रियाणाम्||४|| (C.Su.8/4)

Types of Karmendriya (organs of action):

हस्तौपादौगुदोपस्थंवागिन्द्रियमथापिच| कर्मेन्द्रियाणि   पञ्चैव पादौ गमनकर्मणि||(C.Sha1/25)

पायूपस्थंविसर्गार्थंहस्तौग्रहणधारणे| जिह्वा वागिन्द्रियं वाक् च सत्या ज्योतिस्तमोऽनृता|| (C.Sha1/26)

कर्मेन्द्रियाणां यथासङ्ख्यं वचनादानानन्दविसर्गविहरणानि ||(S.Sha.1/5)

Panchbhautika Constitution of Gyanendriya:

Indriya are Panchbhautika. Each Gyanendriya has dominance of one Mahabhut and the particular Indriya receives the guna of that dominant Mahabhut only in the form of stimulus. Thus by observing the function of indriya the dominant mahabhut in a particular indriya could be known by inference.

तत्रानुमानगम्यानांपञ्चमहाभूतविकारसमुदायात्मकानामपि सतामिन्द्रियाणां तेजश्चक्षुषि, खं श्रोत्रे, घ्राणे क्षितिः,आपोरसने,स्पर्शनेऽनिलोविशेषेणोपपद्यते|तत्रयद्यदात्मकमिन्द्रियंविशेषात्तत्तदात्मकमेवार्थमनुगृह्णाति, तत्स्वभावाद्विभुत्वाच्च|| (C.Su 8/14)

एकैकाधिकयुक्तानि खादीनामिन्द्रियाणि तु| पञ्च कर्मानुमेयानि येभ्यो बुद्धिः प्रवर्तते||(C.Sha.1/24)

Indriya PanchPanchak:

इह खलु पञ्चेन्द्रियाणि, पञ्चेन्द्रियद्रव्याणि, पञ्चेन्द्रियाधिष्ठानानि, पञ्चेन्द्रियार्थाः, पञ्चेन्द्रियबुद्धयो भवन्ति, इत्युक्तमिन्द्रियाधिकारे|| (C.Su.8/3)

1.तत्र चक्षुः श्रोत्रं घ्राणं रसनं स्पर्शनमिति पञ्चेन्द्रियाणि|| Eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin are the five Indriya.

  1. पञ्चेन्द्रियद्रव्याणि- खं वायुर्ज्योतिरापो भूरिति|| The panchamahabhut i.e.  Akash, Vayu, Agni, Prithavi, Jala are the five Indriya dravya.
    3. पञ्चेन्द्रियाधिष्ठानानि- अक्षिणी कर्णौ नासिके जिह्वा त्वक् चेति|| Eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin are the five sensory organs called as indriya adhisthan which comprises the primary receptors to receive a particular stimulus.

4.पञ्चेन्द्रियार्थाःशब्दस्पर्शरूपरसगन्धाः|| इन्द्रियार्था इन्द्रियविषयाः  Sabda, Sparsha, rupa ,rasa, gandha are the five indriya vishaya or artha for ear, tvak, eye, tongue and nose respectively. Receptors in each indriya are stimulus specific for example eye receives only the light impulse for vision any other indriya cannot able to receive the light stimulus.

 

 

  1. पञ्चेन्द्रियबुद्धयः- चक्षुर्बुद्ध्यादिकाः;

Chakshu indriya buddhi, srota indriya buddhi, Ghran indriya buddhi, rasa indriya buddhi, tvak indriya buddhi are the five indriya buddhi specific for each indriya. All these indriya bhuddhi refer to respective areas of brain for special and general senasations and the sensory nerve or tract pathways in brain.

All the five constituents  of a indriya(indriya panchpanchaka) includes the different componant of a indriya including the indriya name. So when we say chakshu indriya it refers to all the componants of indriya i.e. chakshu(eye) as  adhistan of a chakshu indriya, Roopa i.e. light stimulus as indriya artha, roopa is special property of Agni mahabhut,Indriya buddhi refers to whole optic nerve tract including the visual ares in oocipital lobe of cerebral cortex.

ताःपुनरिन्द्रियेन्द्रियार्थसत्त्वात्मसन्निकर्षजाः, क्षणिका, निश्चयात्मिकाश्च, इत्येतत् पञ्चपञ्चकम्|| (C.Su.8/8,9,10,11,12)

  • Center of sense organs and their tracts:

Charak has given very scientific analogy of connection between sun and sunrays to understand the relation of indriya with the shir i.e. brian. Here the sensory and motor tracts and nerves connected with a particular indriya adhisthan i.e. eye, ear, tongue, nose and skin could be understood as sunrays and shir as brain.
शिरसि इन्द्रियाणि इन्द्रियप्राणवहानि च स्रोतांसि सूर्यमिव गभस्तयः संश्रितानि (C.Siddhi. 9/4)

  • Sparshendriya

 Coarsness, liquidity, movement, temperature and non-resistance are the characteristics of Prithavi, Jala, Vayu, Agni and Akasha mahabhuta respectively. All these characteristics of panchmahabhuta can be perceived by sparsh indriya(skin).This is the reason of saying that sparshindriya is in samvaya relation with the Mana. However other gyanendriya have capacity to perceive a particular mahabhut property only.

खरद्रवचलोष्णत्वं भूजलानिलतेजसाम्| आकाशस्याप्रतीघातो दृष्टं लिङ्गं यथाक्रमम्|| 29||
लक्षणं सर्वमेवैतत् स्पर्शनेन्द्रियगोचरम्| स्पर्शनेन्द्रियविज्ञेयः स्पर्शो हि सविपर्ययः||30|| (C.Sha.1/29,30)

 

  • Indriya Sparsha:

The meaning of sparsha is contact of stimulus with receptors present in sensory organ. Thus the contact of stimulus with the indryia is called as indriya sparsh.

Touch or sensation through skin is also called as sparsh. Among all the indriya sparshnendriya (skin) has samvaya means continuous relation with manas.

पञ्चेन्द्रियार्थाःशब्दस्पर्शरूपरसगन्धाः|| (C.Su.8/11) इन्द्रियार्था इन्द्रियविषयाः,  अत्र च स्पर्शग्रहणेन स्पर्शस्य स्पर्शाश्रयस्य च द्रव्यस्य स्पर्शैकार्थसमवेतस्य च परिमाणादेः स्पर्शग्राह्यस्य ग्रहणम्| एवं रूपादिष्वपि वाच्यम्||  Chakrapani commentary on (C.Su.8/11)

तत्रैकं स्पर्शनमिन्द्रियाणामिन्द्रियव्यापकं , चेतः- समवायि I ( C.Su11/38)

स्पर्शनेन्द्रियसंस्पर्शः स्पर्शो मानस एव द्विविधः सुखदुःखानां वेदनानां प्रवर्तकः||(C.Sha 1/133)

Sparsh (contact) is of two kinds: 1. Indriya Sparsh – Contact of stimulus with Indriya.Indriya can receive the stimulus which is near to the indriya only as the receptors in each indriya have their definite capacity to receive acertain strength of stimulus only. For example ears have audition capacity to the range of 20 to 20,000 Hz sound.

  1. Manas Sparsh – Involvement of mind with the previously perceived stimulus by thinking without its contact with indriya. The mana and its vishya i.e. chintya, vichar, Uhya, dhyeya, sankalp are very subtle, so it gets connected with them even in absence of any external stimulus.

Chakrapani has mentioned that Indriya Sparsh and Manas Sparsh both may be the cause of pain or pleasure.

इदानीं सकलकारणव्यापकं योगं व्युत्पादयितुमैन्द्रियकं मानसं स्पर्शं दर्शयितुमाह स्पर्शनेत्यादि| स्पर्शनेन्द्रियसंस्पर्श इत्यनेनेन्द्रियाणामर्थेन सम्बन्धं स्पर्शनेन्द्रियकृतं दर्शयति; || chakrapani commentary

  • Dhamani (blood vessels) related to Indriya : Urdhvag Dhamni – related to perception of five sensory stimulus i.e. Sabda, Sparsh, Roopa, Rasa, Gandha of special senses.

ऊर्ध्वगाःशब्दस्पर्शरूपरसगन्धप्रश्वासोच्छ्वासजृम्भितक्षुद्धसितकथितरुदितादीन् विशेषानभिवहन्त्यः शरीरं धारयन्ति | (S.Sha9/5)

The function of Triyag Dhamni is to help in perception of various stimulus through skin i.e. perception of all the general sensations. As skin is the extensive organ which covers the whole body and touch receptors and other receptors of general sensations are also distributed all over the body. Since sparshindriya and Mana have samvaya relation so mana also travels in all the srotas.

स्पर्शग्रहणं पुनरत्रैवाध्याये तिर्यग्गाणां कर्म वक्ष्यति| Dalhana commentary on (S.Sha9/5)

तैरेव च स्पर्शं सुखमसुखं वा गृह्णीते I (S.Sha9/8)  तैरेव मनोनुगतैः सुखासुखरूपं स्पर्शं कर्मात्मा गृह्णीते| ताः सर्वाङ्गगताः स्पर्शग्रहणायाधिकृतत्वात्, तद्गतं मनोऽपि सर्वाङ्गस्रोतोगतमेव| Dalhana commentary on (S.Sha9/8)

 

  • Process of Perception of Stimulus

When Stimulus (artha) , Indriya (sense organ) , Mana (mind)  and  Atma(conciouness)  are in alignment i.e. in connection with each other then only there is perception of stimulus and generation of  generation of knowledge (buddhi) about perceived object that is also called as pratayksha.

आत्मेन्द्रियमनोर्थानांसन्निकर्षात्प्रवर्तते| व्यक्ता तदात्वे या बुद्धिः प्रत्यक्षं स निरुच्यते|| (C.Su11/2)

  • Regulation of functions of Indriya

Mana and Vata Dosha are involved in the regulation of function of indriya.

Although Mana is regulator of all kind of Indriya but Mana itself is regulated by Vata dosha.

इन्द्रियाभिग्रहःकर्ममनसःस्वस्यनिग्रहः| ऊहो विचारश्च, ततः परं बुद्धिः प्रवर्तते|| (C.Sha. 1/21)

Indriya are able to perform their actions only in the connection with the Mana otherwise there will not be conscious generation of knowledge about the perceived object.

मनःपुरःसराणीन्द्रियाण्यर्थग्रहणसमर्थानि भवन्ति|| (C.Su.8/7)

 

Vata is regulator of all bodily parts including Mana.

It is initiator and regulator of all kind of chesta means actions either physical or mental.

Vata dosha is the cause for contact of stimulus with the indriya i.e. sparsh and it carries to the received stimulus towards the different part of brain and motor commands to the organs.

It is also the cause for speech production and audition by shrotendriya(ear).

वायुस्तन्त्रयन्त्रधरः, प्रवर्तकश्चेष्टानामुच्चावचानां, नियन्ता प्रणेता च मनसः, सर्वेन्द्रियाणामुद्योजकः, सर्वेन्द्रियार्थानामभिवोढा,  प्रवर्तको वाचः, प्रकृतिः स्पर्शशब्दयोः, श्रोत्रस्पर्शनयोर्मूलं I (C.Su12/8)

  • Functional regulation of Indriya by Vata dosha

Prana vata: Prana vata is located in the shir and it regulates the function of Indriya.

Udana vata:  Similarly Udana vata regulates the function of Vakaindriya and is responsible for speech production and memory.

 Vyana vata: Help in taste reception and motor actions like movement of body parts and contraction and relaxation of muscles.   

प्राणोऽत्रमूर्धगः| उरःकण्ठचरो बुद्धिहृदयेन्द्रियचित्तधृक्|| (A.Hri. Su. 12/4)

उरःस्थानमुदानस्यनासानाभिगलांश्चरेत्||५|| वाक्प्रवृत्तिप्रयत्नोर्जाबलवर्णस्मृतिक्रियः| (A.Hri. Su. 12/5)

हृद्यवस्थितःकृत्स्नदेहचरःशीघ्रतरगतिर्गतिप्रसारणाकुञ्चनोत्क्षेपावक्षेपनिमेषोन्मेषजृम्भणान्नास्वादनस्रोतोविशोधनस्वेदासृक्स्रावणादिक्रियोयोनौचशुक्रप्रतिपादनो विभज्य चान्नस्य किट्टात्सारं तेन क्रमाशो धातूंस्तर्पयति| (A. Sang. Su. 20/4)

  • Functional regulation of Indriya by Pitta dosha

Sadhaka Pitta – Manas

Alochak pitta – Eye, Vision ,

Bhrajaka Pitta- help in Touch sensation, skin,

यत् पित्तं हृदयस्थं तस्मिन् साधकोऽग्निरिति सञ्ज्ञा, सोऽभिप्रार्थितमनोरथसाधनकृदुक्तः; यद्दृष्ट्यां पित्तं तस्मिन्नालोचकोऽग्निरिति सञ्ज्ञा, स रूपग्रहणाऽधिकृतः ( S. Su.21/10)

  • Functional regulation of Indriya by Kapha dosha

Tarpaka kapha- Provides nutrition to the part of Indriya located in Shira (Brain)

Bodhak Kapha- Rasnendriya (Tongue) Taste sensation

Sleshaka Kapha: Locomotion, movement of joints

जिह्वामूलकण्ठस्थो जिह्वेन्द्रियस्य सौम्यत्वात् सम्यग्रसज्ञाने वर्तते; शिरःस्थः स्नेहसन्तर्पणाधिकृतत्वादिन्द्रियाणामात्मवीर्येणानुग्रहं करोत्; सन्धिस्थः श्लेष्मा सर्वसन्धिसंश्लेषात् सर्वसन्ध्यनुग्रहं करोति  || (S.Su. 21/14)

  • Role of Indriya in Homeostasis and health:

Health is a dynamic state and it depends on balanced functional state of body constituents like Dosha, Dhatu, Mala, Indriya, Mana.

Balanced functional state of Indriya is important determinant of Health and disease.

The mana has power to regulate the contact of sensory stimulus to indriya.

The Atmastha mana prevents the excessive indulgence of sensory organ towards any stimulus which is harmful to the body thus preventing the disruption of homeostasis and development of disorders.

Ayurveda has considered the astamyaindriyartha samyoga as prime factor for causation of disease.

समदोषःसमाग्निश्चसमधातुमलक्रियः|प्रसन्नात्मेन्द्रियमनाःस्वस्थइत्यभिधीयते||(S.Su15/41) इत्यसात्म्येन्द्रियार्थसंयोगः,प्रज्ञापराधः,परिणामश्चेतित्रयस्त्रिविधविकल्पहेतवोविकाराणां; समयोगयुक्तास्तु प्रकृतिहेतवो भवन्ति|| (C.Su.11/43)

All the textual references i.e. Samhita chapter number and verse number have been mentioned in the text.

Abbreviations: C.- Charak, S.- Shusruta, A.- Astanga, Sang. – Samgrah, Hri. – Hridyam, Su. Sutrasthan, Ci. Chikitsa sthan, Sha. Sharir shtan,  Siddhi. – Siddhishtan, In. – Indryia shtan, Vi. – Viman sthan

Assessment:

Multiple Choice questions:

Q.1. Which of the following is not a Karma indriya?

  1. Hsatha
  2. Pada
  3. Guda
  4. Chakshu

Q.2. Out of these, which one is not a Panchindriyaartha:

  1. Rasa
  2. Sparsha
  3. Rasana
  4. Shabda

Q.3. The knowledge, which is gained in conjugation of Atma, Indriya, manas and Indriyartha is known as:

  1. Buddhi
  2. Pratyaksha
  3. Both
  4. Anumaan

Q.4. Which among the following is not a special sense organ?

  1. Chakshu
  2. Shrota
  3. Ghrana
  4. Sparsha

Q.5. As per Sushrut, ‘Anand’ is the function of ……………. Karmaindriya

  1. Payu
  2. Hastha
  3. Upastha
  4. Vagaindriya

Q.6. Which Indriya is present in Samvaya relation with Mana:

  1. Rasa
  2. Roop
  3. Shabda
  4. Sparsha

Q.7. Which dhamani is related to Sparshagyan from all over the body

  1. Urdhva Dhamani
  2. Adhoga Dhamani
  3. Triyag Dhamani
  4. Both (1) & (3)

Q.8. Which dosha help in perception of taste-

  1. Vyana vata
  2. Bodhak kapha
  3. Both 1&2
  4. Kledak kapha

Q.9. Sparsha grahanam refers to-

  1. Contact of stimulus i.e. sabda, sparsh, roop, rasa gandha with indriya
  2. Touch sensation
  3. Both 1&2
  4. None

Q.10. Which dosha is responsible for reception of Shabda and sparsha-

  1. Vata dosha
  2. Pitta
  3. Both 1&2
  4. Kapha

 

Answer sheet for MCQ

Question no Answers
1 4
2 3
3 3
4 4
5 3
6 4
7 3
8 3
9 3
10 1

 

 

 

 

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