Aharparinamakara Bhavas (आहारपरिणामकराः भावाः)

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Ahara Parinamkar Bhava are also explained which are required for proper digestion and metabolism of food. Four types of food we consume are responsible for a healthy body as well as are cause of various diseases. So to get benefitted from food it must be digested properly and Ahara Parinamakar Bhavas are the factors which help in digestion. Each factor has its own function. One must take care of these factors to avoid diseases and attain a healthy body

आहारपरिणामकरास्त्विमे भावा भवन्ति|

तद्यथा- ऊष्मा, वायुः, क्लेदः, स्नेहः, कालः, समयोगश्चेति ||१४||

Ahara Parinamakar Bhavas are the factors responsible for the digestion and metabolism of ingested food. These are six in number namely; Ushma, Vayu, Kleda, Sneha, Kala and Samyog. [1] Each one of them has a specific role in the process of digestion. Food which is digested and metabolized properly helps in nourishing the Dhatus. [2] Absence or lack of any of these Ahara Parinamakar Bhavas leads to improper digestion. And improper digestion is quoted the root cause of all diseases in Ayurveda. [3] Therefore, to be healthy one must keep in mind the importance of Ahara Parinamakar Bhava

The word Ahara is explained in Shabdkalpdruma as a substance which is swallowed through throat after eating. [6] The four types of food consumed is then worked upon by the Jatharagni and Panch bhutagni, undergoes Paka and replenishes the whole body as well as nourishes the Dhatus.[7] Parinama means the final product or stage after digestion of ingested food. Specific Guna of consumed food replenishes the same Guna of body. For example, Guru guna of Ahara replenishes the Guru guna inside body.[8] Bhava means the factors. Hence, Ahara Parinamakar Bhava are actually the factors responsible for the digestion, metabolism and nourishment of Sharir and Saptadhatus

तत्र तु खल्वेषामूष्मादीनामाहारपरिणामकराणां भावानामिमे कर्मविशेषा भवन्ति|

तद्यथा- ऊष्मा पचति, वायुरपकर्षति, क्लेदः शैथिल्यमापादयति, स्नेहो मार्दवं जनयति, कालः पर्याप्तिमभिनिर्वर्तयति, समयोगस्त्वेषां परिणामधातुसाम्यकरः सम्पद्यते||१५||

परिणमतस्त्वाहारस्य गुणाः शरीरगुणभावमापद्यन्ते यथास्वमविरुद्धाः; विरुद्धाश्च विहन्युर्विहताश्च विरोधिभिः शरीरम्||१६||

Acharya Charaka has described the karma [9] of each Ahara Parinamakar Bhava individually as: 1.) Ushma- ‘Ushma pachati’ means heat is responsible for digestion. 2.) Vayu- ‘Vayuh apkarshati’ means Vayu helps move forward the food into Amashaya. 3.) Kleda- ‘Kledah shaithilyama apadayati’ means kleda helps in loosening the food. 4.) Sneha- ‘Sneho mardwam janayati’ means sneha softens the food consumed. 5.) Kala- ‘Kalah paryaptim abhinirvartayati’ means kala converts it into easily digestible form. 6.) Samyog- ‘Samyogah tu esham parinama dhatusamyakarah sampadyate’ means samyog establishes equilibrium in the formed Dhatus.

The four types of food is responsible for the formation and maintenance of our body. And also, food is the reason behind the origin of diseases in the body. [7] So, we must take care that the food gets properly digested and nourishes our body and does not cause diseases. For this to achieve, Ayurveda mentions some rules to be followed, dietary habits to be adopted and some factors to be taken care of; in the form of Ashta Aharvidhi Visheshaayatana, Ahara Vidhividhana and Ahara Parinamakar Bhava

how Ahara Parinamakar Bhava can help us transform the ingested food into healthy Dhatus and attain a healthy body. We will discuss them one by one. 1.) Ushma – ‘Ushma pachati’. Ushma means heat. Here we can take it as Ushna bhojan and Agni. The Jatharagni or Pachak Pitta which resides in Aamashaya acts upon the ingested food and starts the process of digestion. In modern view also we talk about digestive enzymes which work more efficiently at a specified temperature. So one must not eat cold food or drink cold water which may cause Mandagni and improper working of enzymes by lowering down the temperature. 2.) Vayu- ‘Vayu apkarshati’. Commentator Acharya Chakrapani has explained it as to bring the distant situated food more in contact with Agni. Praanvayu helps drive the food down to the stomach. [13] Samaan Vayu amplifies the Jatharagni which furthers boosts the process of digestion. As Gati is a karma of Vayu, food propulsion and peristaltic movements of intestines can be attributed to Vayu. 3.) Kleda-‘Kledah shaithilyamaapadayati’. Kledak kapha which is present in Aamashaya disintegrates food into smaller particles. After loosening, food comes more in contact with Agni and becomes easily digestible. Kleda is generated because of watery content. So one must not take too much or too low quantity of water. 4.) Sneha- ‘Sneho mardawam janayati’. Snehansh in Aamashaya softens the food. 5.) Kala- ‘Kalah paryaptimabhinirvartayati’. Kala means time. For these factors to work it requires adequate time. Considering the above stated Ahara Vidhividhana, it is important to have food only if the previous meal is well digested (Jeerne). Atidruta (too fast eating) can cause improper chewing. Ativilambit (too slow eating) may cause mixing of engulfed food with the partially digested food and hamper the digestion. Kala is also important for proper mixing of saliva with food and for enzymes to work upon it. 6.) Samyog- ‘Samyogastweshaam parinaamdhatu saamyakarah’. Samyog means appropriate administration of all the rules and guidelines we have discussed above under Ashta Aharavidhi Visheshaayatan, Ahara Vidhividhan and Ahara Parinamakar Bhava. All the remaining factors other than the five discussed (Ushma, Vayu, Kleda, Sneha, Kala) can be studied under the heading Samyog. Matravat ahara is necessary as Agni can digest adequate amount of food. If taken in more quantity it can cause Mandagni. And if taken in less quantity it can result in Dosha vitiation. Likewise, we must not talk or laugh during eating or drinking. We may aspirate the food particles or fluids, it may also cause coughing or choking. Tanmana bhunjeet means we should concentrate on food only while eating. Engaging in other activities during eating like TV and social media deranges the process of digestion as one might take a lot of time to finish his meal, he might eat too fast or he might eat inappropriate quantity of food (Atidruta/ Ativilambit/ Amatravat). Also, one must give a thought to the Prakriti of oneself and also of the food items he consumes. He must eat what is suitable to him according to his Prakriti and Desh. So, in short Samyog is all about maintaining an equilibrium state among all these factors and following all the rules and guidelines whenever we eat or drink something