The Concept of Manas in Ayurveda (Part-2)
Prof. Murlidhar Paliwal
M.D.Ay. (Samhita), Ph.D. in Samhita
Department of Samhita and Sanskrit
Faculty of Ayurveda, BHU, Varanasi
PRINCIPLES OF TREATMENT:
- Nidan Parivarjan (to avoid the etiological factors): To avoid the etiological factors causing psychological or psychosomatic disease is the first step for the treatment.
- Karan Pratyanika Chikitsa (treatment according to cause): Psychological diseases can originate from single or multiple etiological factors like Kama, Shoka, Lobha, etc. Therefore, the specific cause/causes should be considered while planning the treatment. As quoted by Acharya Vagbhata –
कामशोकभयक्रोधहर्षेर्ष्यालोभसम्भवान्।परस्परप्रतिद्वन्द्वैरेभिरेव शमं नयेत्॥(अ.हृ. उ.-6/54-55)
- Sattvavajaya Chikitsa
It shares similarities with the term ‘Psychotherapy’ used in modern medicine. Acharya Charaka has given guidelines for treating psychological disorders. It includes spiritual and scriptural knowledge, patience, memory, and meditation to restore the normalcy of the psyche. As quoted by Acharya Charak–
मानसोज्ञानविज्ञानधैर्यस्मृतिसमाधिभिः। -च.सू.- 1/58
a. Spiritual and scriptural knowledge (ज्ञानविज्ञान ): The physician should be well educated and well aware of spiritual and scriptural knowledge so that he/she would be able to advise appropriate behavioral changes or lifestyles to patients in accordance with their needs.
b. Dhairya (धैर्य): Impatience is one of the underlying causes of psychological disorders. Knowledge of spiritual and scriptural texts helps to improve patience even in adverse situations.
c. Smriti (स्मृति): One should understand the universe in its actual or real form which includes the eternal and non-eternal entities. By knowing the fact related to the universe, one can keep himself away from a psychological disorder.
d. Samadhi (समाधि): Meditation can be used to restore the normalcy of the psyche as meditation helps to control the Manas and to make Atma dominant.
- To follow the course of conduct related to virtue, wealth, and desire, to live in contact with the person expert in psychic diseases, and to obtain complete knowledge about the self, etc. are stated to be the treatment of psychic diseases. As Acharya Charaka says-
तद्विद्यसेवा विज्ञानमात्मादीनां चसर्वशः॥(च.सू.11/47)
- Treatment of mental disorders is done with favorable sound etc. which brings about happiness. As Acharya Sushrut says:
मानसानां च शब्दादिरिष्टो वर्गःसुखावहः।(सु.सू.1/37)
Other approaches for treatment:
- Use of talent-promoting drugs (Medhya-Rasayana): Mandukaparni, Vacha, Guduchi, Shankhapushpi, etc can be used as medhya Dravya.
- To follow the regime of Achara Rasayana
- Use of aphrodisiacs i.e. Vajikaran: Vajikaran Dravyas are said to improve physical strength by increasing Shukra-dhatu, also promoting happiness in the mind. Therefore, these drugs can be used to treat psychological diseases where mood elevators are needed.
- Application of bio-purificatory therapy i.e. Panchakarma– Panchakarma promotes the purification of body channels and thereby the better quality tissue (Dhatu) formation. Properly developed tissues are essential for maintaining normal physiological functions. As physiology and psychology affect each other; restoration of normal physiology could help to improve psychological disturbances.
- Satyabuddhi (to introduce with real knowledge):- One should be aware of the fact that the human body is not an eternal one, so one should behave accordingly. When there is a real understanding of worldly matters, this particular stage of Satyabuddhi is achieved. After the development of Satyabuddhi, there is no attachment in worldly desires which causes happiness.
- Sannyasa: The actions which cause bondage should be avoided. An absolute detachment from actions causing bondage results in happiness. As Acharya Charak says-
सर्वसंन्यासःसुखानाम् । (च.सू.-25/40)
Why Manas is considerable?
- Because a person indulge in any activity after proper thinking
- Because work done after proper and improper thinking causes success and failure respectively.
- Because we perceive all objects in the universe with help of Manas.
- Because Manas reflects personality makeup.
- Because Manas plays an important role in causing health and illness.
- Because good mind makeup causes the social health and peace also.
Different views regarding the seat or location of Manas:
- As per Acharya Bhela, it is located in between the head and palate.
- Modern scholars such as Gananath sen, Dharmendra Banerjee, and Damodar Sharma Gaur are of the view that the Hriday which has been stated the seat of Manas indicates the brain. (-Padarth Vigyan by Professor Yogesh Chandra Mishra)
- Acharya Charak and Vagbhat have mentioned the Hridaya as the seat of Manas. There is a group of the scholars like Pt. Hariprapanna Sharma and Kaviraj Upendranath Das who have rebuffed this tendency of considering the term Hridaya in the sense of brain.
(-Padarth Vigyan by Professor Yogesh Chandra Mishra)
- Halliburton and MacDowell have cautioned us about the problem when they pointed out that as a ray of light cannot see itself, so we cannot expect to understand consciousness from a mere study of cerebral functions (-Handbook of Physiology- Halliburton, and MacDowell)
- Brown has induced the concept of ‘Cardiac Psyche’and admits the heart to be the specific organ of anxiety, comparable to the eyes as the sense organ for sight. He concludes that anxiety shows at least irritability in the specific organ. The psychic causes of the heart attack prove it even today. (Brown-Herz and Angst).
- The brain is the important source of knowledge and controller of the different sensory as well as motor activities, but the different emotions in daily life such as happiness and miseries also affect the heart.
- The heart can be considered as the primary place of Manas while the brain can be compared as its office or controlling point and the whole body as the working field.
- The modern theory of the cardiac psyche, micro brain activities of the heart is closer to the ancient Ayurvedic thinking.
Whether Manas is Bhautik or Ahamkarik?
- According to Sankhya philosophy discussed in Sushrut Samhita, Manas is originated from Ahamkara (ego) along with sense and motor organs.
- According to Acharya Charaka, Manas and Indriyas are originated from Khadi (Kha, etc.) Sukshma Bhutas which justifies the Bhautikatva of Manas.
- Diet is stated to increase the strength of Manas along with the body in the Annapanvidhi Adhyaya of Charaka Samhita.
- Chhandogya Upanishad describes that the gross part of food generates feces etc., the middle portion causes the development of muscles and other parts of the body, while subtle parts nourish the Manas. (Chandogya Upanishad -6/ 51)
- The sweet taste has a soothing effect on five senses and Manas (- Ch. Su. -26/41)
- According to Ayurveda, intellect even being mental faculty can be promoted by the use of Medhya Rasayan which are Bhautik in nature.
- The use of medicines in the treatment of Unmad and Apsmar Roga proves that medicine cures mental diseases and these medicines are Bhautik in nature. Ayurveda considers its Bhautikatva for treatment purposes.
- Manas is considered as one of the Antah karanas which play a great role in the perseverance of knowledge.
- We perceive any knowledge when Atma is attached to Manas, Manas to Indriya, and Indriya to the Indriyartha (object).
- Manas is the cause of bondage and liberation depending upon deeds performed.
- We can say firmly that Manas is the significant entity that plays a role right from the formation of an embryo to health and ill-health.
- Manas is accepted as Ahankarik in the school of philosophy.
- Rajas and Tamas are considered as Manas Doshas which causes psychopathology.
- A harmony between Man and his environment is needed to reduce man’s vulnerability to mental disease and to permit him to lead a more productive and satisfying life.
- By Ayurvedic line of treatment with Psychotherapy & Spiritual therapy, one can be able to treat mental diseases effectively.
- The principles of Sadvritta and Achar Rasayan advocated in Ayurveda highlight the importance of sociocultural factors in the maintenance of mental and social health.
- The field of Ayurvedic Manas Vigyana (Ayurvedic Psychiatry) needs more research & elaboration.
access for Video Lecture – https://ayurvedanetworkbhu.com/the-concept-of-manas-in-ayurveda/