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Vajikarana (वाजीकरणम्) or Vrishya chikitsa (वृष्य चिकित्सा) is a one of eight major specialties of Ashtanga Ayurveda (अष्टांग आयुर्वेदः). This subject is concerned with aphrodisiacs, virility and improving health of progeny. As per Charaka Samhita, by proper use of these formulations, one becomes endowed with good physique, potency, strength, and complexion and sexually exhilarated and sexually potent.
In Sanskrit, Vaji (वाजिन्) means horse. Horse is known as the symbol of sexual potency and performance thus, Vajikarana means producing a horse's vigor, particularly the animal's great capacity for sexual activity in the individual. Literally the Vajikarana is not exactly aphrodisiac but the current connotation meaning is same. It can be stated that vajikarana is the special branch of Ayurveda which improves the reproductive system and enhances sexual function. It deals with aphrodisiacs, virility and improving health of progeny.
वाजीकरणस्य हेतुः ॥ Aim of Vajikaranam
The main aim of Vajikarana chikitsa is successful copulation for healthy reproduction, with sexual pleasure being just an additional benefit. Therefore it is considered a part of ‘eugeny.’ Therefore, under this type of treatment, various therapeutic diets, medicines and lifestyle modalities are offered to enhance the overall health, strength and vigor of an individual. In Ayurveda, reproduction and related activities are believed to be functions of Shukra dhatu (a type of body tissue). Thus, Vajikarana chikitsa focuses on production of superior quality of shukra dhatu which would ultimately result in generation of best possible healthy progeny. Ayurveda acharyas have described code of conduct related to sex, dietary regime, qualities of normal reproductive tissue, factors affecting virility, qualities of sexual partner, role of mind in infertility, aphrodisiac and therapeutic formulations etc. under this branch of Ayurveda.
वाजीकरणस्य माहात्म्यम् ॥ Importance of vajikarana
It is said that, purusha earns dharma (eternal duties), artha (wealth, means of pleasure), preeti (desire or love or affection) and yasha (success) through his progeny.He gets these benefits through his progeny and this therapy is the means of begetting a healthy progeny. Therefore Vajikarana therapy which is intended for the healthy reproduction helps person to achieve all these in life.
वाजीकरणस्य फलम् ॥ Benefits of vajikarana
The person having numerous progeny is praised as one possessing a multiplicity of forms, having many faces, many dimensions, having lot of activities and having many eyes and also having intellect and soul. Such kind of a person is auspicious, praiseworthy, blessed, virile and the source of many genealogical branches. Affection, strength, happiness, livelihood, wide spread influence, vastness of kinsmen, fame, utility of the world which gives happiness latter on and pleasure are all dependent up on progeny. Therefore, a person desirous of progeny and the qualities associated with them should always take the virilifying medications if he wants satisfaction of the worldly desires and happiness.
Vajikaran chikitsa requires living in strict compliance to the directions mentioned in Ayurvedic classics. It involves various methods of shodhan (body cleansing) through vaman (emesis), virechan (purgation) and swedan (sweating). After the Shodhan therapy, based on the prakriti of the individual's imbalance (doshic body constitution-Tridosha theory), certain herbal and herbo-mineral combinations are administered. Other components in the therapy involves improving health and pleasure in general like, massaging with medicated herbal oils and herbal baths, wearing of fragrant garlands, anointing the body with fragrant herbal pastes, listening to music, etc.
Significance of Vajikarana Chikitsa in today's era of increasing incidences of infertility
Acharya Charaka described the scope of Vajikarana chikitsa and its utility in various areas of health and well-being. He said that vajikarana chikitsa is a boon for those who are desirous for progeny and qualities associated with having superior quality of progeny. Additionally this therapy helps to experience the pleasure derived from sexual intimacy for those who are deprived of it due to some ailment.
तस्मादपत्यमन्विच्छन् गुणांश्चापत्यसंश्रितान् ॥ वाजीकरणनित्यः स्यादिच्छन् कामसुखानि च । (Char Samh 2.1.22-23)
tasmādapatyamanvicchan guṇāṁścāpatyasaṁśritān ॥ vājīkaraṇanityaḥ syādicchan kāmasukhāni ca । (Char Samh 2.1.22-23)
वाजीकरणे गोदुग्धस्य माहात्म्यम् ॥ Specific cow’s milk for vajikarana
Ayurveda acharyas have described various nourishing foods and dietary regimens as a part of vajikarana treatment. Among all these recipes cows milk has been the commonest ingredient. Going ahead, acharyas have also described the desirable qualities or properties of a cow, whose milk can be used in these recipes. Acharya Charaka suggests to rear a cow having following qualities,
- Cow which is fed with the leaves of masha (black gram), stalks of sugar cane and leaves of arjuna (Terminalia arjuna).
- Cow which has calved for the first time
- Cow which is well nourished and has four teats
- Cow which has a living calf of identical color
- Cow which is red or black in color,
- Cow whose horns are projected upwards
- Cow which is not fierce and
- Cow whose milk is thick
For excellent virilific action milk obtained from such a cow, is medicated with certain herbs and other nutritive foods like ghee and honey.
Factors influencing virility
A person who takes ghee and milk, who is fearless and free from diseases and who indulges in sexual activity everyday, who is youthful and who has determination, gets sex vigor with women.
The man who has friends with similar profession, who have accomplished their objectives, who are attached to each other, skilled in fine arts, similar in mind and age, who have noble lineage, expertise, good conduct, and purity, who are ever desirous of enjoyment and are excited, free from grief and pain, who have similar conduct, who have lovable and pleasant disposition as well as speech, such a man gets increased virility. A man’s virility gets stimulated by inunction, dry massage, bath, use of scents, garlands ornaments, comfortable home, bed and seats new and pleasant clothes, pleasing sounds of birds, tinkling sounds of the ornaments of the women and samvahana (gentle massage without using any substance) by beautiful women.
Big ponds with lotus flowers frequented by honey-intoxicated bees, fragrances of jasmines and blue lotuses and underground rooms which are cold, rivers with waves of foam, mountains with blue peaks, onset of dark clouds, pleasant moonlit nights, pleasant wind with smell of the pond full of kumuda (water lily), nights that are agreeable for sexual enjoyment, women smeared with saffron and aguru, pleasing companions, rich cooing of the cuckoo bird, gardens in bloom, pleasing food and drinks, musical sounds, perfumed articles, broad mind and free from anxiety, accomplishment of the objective, freshly initiated love and women- these are the weapons of cupid (the god of sex) at the start of youth, sexual excitement, and pleasing times are excellent erotic factors for men.
Eligibility criteria for Vajikarana chikitsa
It is said that sexual activity should be neither practiced as complete celibacy nor excessive indulgence should be done as both will have detrimental effect on body as well as mind. It is recommended that the person below 17 years of age and more than 70 years of age should not consume vajikarana preparations. These preparations have to be consumed by Jitendriya Purusha or man who has control on his senses and desires. If vajikarana preparations are consumed by a man who has lost control over his senses and desire, he may prove harmful to society. Excessive coitus leads to shosha or loss of dhatus and suppression of sexual desire leads to impotency. Rules regarding coitus frequency, time, pattern changes due to seasonal variation, pre and post coitus preparations etc. are described at different places in Samhita. Before administration of vajikarana therapy purification should be done so that vitiated doshas and toxins are removed from the body and blocked channels are opened. This leads to increased bio-availability of vajikarana drugs for beneficial results. Vajikarana treatment benefits include increased sexual performance, improving health of future progeny as well as treatment of many sexual disorders like infertility, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.