Prakriti is the inherent physical, psychological and social tendency of a person. The assessment of Prakriti is based on various somatic and psychological factors. The knowledge of Prakriti is useful for diagnosis, prognosis and planning the treatment. This article focuses on assessing the features of the eye helpful in determining the Prakriti which may help in predicting the disease susceptibility of eyes and to plan and suggest lifestyle modifications. Descriptions of eyes in the context of Prakriti were collected and analyzed based on structural & functional variations. These variations were based on influence of Gunas on Prakriti. Disease susceptibility of eyes and lifestyle modifications were hypothesized accordingly.
Key words - Prakriti, Netra
Human body is a conglomeration of Dosha Dhatu and Mala . Prakriti is expression of body features, both internal as well as external . Prakriti is classified into seven types, out of which three types are based on domination of a single Dosha (Eka Doshaja), three with domination of two Dosha (Dwandwaja) and one with the combination of all three Dosha (Samadoshaja). The Prakriti of an individual is decided at the time of the conception and it remains constant till death. Prakriti is determined on the basis of various physical, physiological and psychological features. The predisposition to diseases, management and the life-style regimen suitable for an individual is dependent on one’s Prakriti. Descriptions on Prakriti in the fundamental texts of Ayurveda (Brihattrayis) have given importance to minute variations of the body parts. The current article attempts to throw light on descriptions of different Doshaja Prakritis with special reference to Netra (Eye).
Systematic print & electronic search was done regarding details of Prakriti from fundamental & contemporary texts of Ayurveda. Later special emphasis was given to details of Netra (Eye) in the context of Prakriti. The data related to Netra was analyzed and was classified into following aspects:
A. Structural variations of eyes
B. Physiological variations of eyes
A. Structural variations of eye:
A wide variety of minute structural variations in eyes are seen in general population. These subtle variations could be based on dimensions, color and general appearance of the eye. The fundamental texts of Ayurveda have explained about specific structure pattern for eye and its appendages based on the Prakriti. It can be summarized as follows:
The eyes of a Vata Pradhana Prakriti person will be distinguished by
• Vrutta Netra (Round eyes)
• Krishnavarna Netra (Blackish eyes)
• Acharuni (Non Attractive)
The eyes of a Pitta Prakriti person will be characterized by
• Tanu netra (Slender eyes)
• Tamra Nayana (Coppery eyes)
• Madhu Pinga Netra (Reddish brown eyes)
• Tanualpapakshma (Thin & scanty eye lashes)
The eyes of a Kapha Prakriti person can be easily differentiated with
• Shuklaksha (White eyes)
• Suvyakthaksha (Clear & prominent eyes)
• Vishala (Wide eyes)
• Deerga (Protracted eyes)
• Asita Pakshma (Dark eye lashes)
Physiological variations of eye:
Various functional variations are noted in eyes of different Prakritis. These variations may be due to predominance of Gunas (Properties) of the Dosha. The details may be enlisted as follows:
Vata Prakriti eyes have a distinct feature like
• Chala Drushti (Unsteady gaze)
• Supte Unmilitaaniva (Eyes do not close completely during sleep)
• Khara Netra (Rough Eyes)
• Dhoosara Netra (Dusty eyes)
• Mrutopamaani (Eyes do not appear lively)
Pitta Prakriti eyes have a discrete feature like
• Chala Netra (Unsteady eyes)
• Krodhena Madyena Ravescha Bhasa Ragam Vrajantyashu Vilochanani (Reddishness of eyes on exposure to anger, alcohol and sun)
Kapha Prakriti eyes have a distinct feature like
• Raktanta Netra (Deep red color of eyes at their margins & angles)
• Susnigdha (Unctuous eyes)
Structural & Physiological variations:
Vata Prakriti - The eyes of these people generally appear dull and lifeless. This is due to the predominance of the Ruksha and Khara Gunas which cause the eyes to be lusterless. The eyes will not appear completely closed at sleep. This could be due to rapid eye movements associated with the type of sleep and dreams in him. Vata prakriti person will have lofty dreams. The gaze of the person belonging to this Prakriti will be wavering and will be usually wandering over multiple sights due to predominance of Chala Guna. This feature may be an ocular manifestation of his personality.
Pitta Prakriti - The eyes belonging to Pitta Prakriti will tend to get reddish on exposure to anger, alcohol and intense sunlight. The reddishness may occur only on exposure to various external & emotional factors unlike in Kapha Prakriti. This feature may be due to Ushna, Teekshna, Sara and Amla Guna of Pitta.
Kapha Prakriti – The eyes of a Kapha Pradhana Prakriti will be white due Swetha Guna of Kapha, which makes the structures in the eye clearly distinct from its appendages and thus very pleasing in appearance. Snigdha & Slaksna Guna of Kapha and adequate secretions of Lacrimal & Meibobian glands may contribute to unctuous of eyes.
Raktaksha has been commented as Raktavanta, which signifies the systemic manifestation of Rakta Sarata Disease susceptibility of eyes and lifestyle modifications:
Based on the available information of Prakriti related to Netra, we can infer certain vulnerability to eye problems and their probable remedial measures. This hypothesis is based on probable effect of Gunas on Prakriti.
Vata Prakriti: A person belonging to Vata Prakriti will have a strong association with Ruksha, Vishada and Khara guna. Hence these individuals will have to be careful with occupations and conditions which may cause dryness of eyes. They are advised to undergo regimens which will help in maintaining unctuousness (Snighdhata) and moisture in eyes. Kriyakalpa like Tarpana in such people may be beneficial and their diet should include plenty of ghee. He should also avoid exposure to cold breeze and wind.
Pitta Prakriti: A person belonging to Pitta Prakriti will have strong association with Gunas like Ushna and Teekshna. Excessive indulgence in Pitta Vardhaka activities may result in redness of eyes. Such a person should pander to Sheetala, Madhura Ahara and Viharas like Sitala Jala Snana and Pindi. He needs to avoid hot, spicy, sour & fermented food as well.
Kapha Prakriti: A Kapha Pradhana Prakriti person will have well lubricated eyes. A person belonging to this Prakriti will have to restrain himself with activities that will increase Guru, Manda, Snighdha, Slakshna gunas. He should abstain from rich carbohydrate, fatty diet and regularly apply Anjana.
Each & every individual should have knowledge of his Prakriti. This helps an individual to be careful about some of the common disease vulnerability according to his Prakriti. The knowledge of Prakriti will help an individual to adopt sufficient lifestyle modifications to suit his/her Prakriti. This article has emphasized on description of eyes in the context of Prakriti. The descriptions of eyes were divided into structural & functional variations based on relevant data obtained from fundamental texts of Ayurveda. Based on this information, probable hypothesis were postulated to predict the probable ophthalmic conditions or disorders. On the basis of Gunas, attributed to a particular Prakriti, various remedial measures can also be designed to suit one’s Prakriti.