Difference between revisions of "Balam (बलम्)"

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The word “Bala” refers to the strength and ability of the body or part of the body to cope up with various physical stressors. This term “Bala” refers to various body components and functions as per the science of Ayurveda. (Mahesh TS, Shreevidya M. A review on balya action mentioned in Ayurveda. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014;5(2):80–84. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.133796)


The word Bala has been used invariably for strength of mind body and its components. However, the term is also used as a synonym for those components of the body which have the function of providing strength, protection, nourishment and stability to the other parts of the body. Hence, the word Bala is synonymously used for normal Kapha dosha (~the factor primarily responsible for strengthening and lubricating the body) and Ojus (~bioenergy or body component that helps in sustaining of life). It also stands for immunity and immune system in normal state.


According to Sushruta, “Bala” is defined as “the factor due to which one obtains the nourishment and stability of Mamsa dhatu (~the muscular tissues of the body), ability to perform various tasks efficiently, good complexion, clearness and pleasantness of voice along with clear and efficient working of all the organs either external like Jnyaanendriya (sense organs) or Karmendriya (organs with motor functions) and internal like Manas (mind), Aatma (spirit), etc” (Mahesh TS, Shreevidya M. A review on balya action mentioned in Ayurveda. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014;5(2):80–84. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.133796)

तत्र रसादीनां शुक्रान्तानां धातूनां यत् परं तेजस्तत् खल्वोजस्तदेव बलमित्युच्यते, स्वशास्त्रसिद्धान्तात् ||१९|| (Such. Samh. Sutrastanam 15.19)

The word “Bala” also denotes the normal “Kapha dosha” as it has the function of providing Bala for the body normally. It is also considered as “Oja” by Charaka. (Mahesh TS, Shreevidya M. A review on balya action mentioned in Ayurveda. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014;5(2):80–84. doi:10.4103/0975-9476.133796)

प्राकृतस्तु बलं श्लेष्मा विकृतो मल उच्यते|स चैवौजः स्मृतः काये स च पाप्मोपदिश्यते||११७|| (Char. Samh. Sutra. Adhyaya 17 Sutra 117)

Classification of Balam

Further Charaka also classifies Bala as three types namely Sahaja (natural), Kalaja (seasonal and age) and Yuktikrita (act of intelligence). (Char. Samh. Sutra. 11.36) Among the three, the Yuktikrita type is explained as the Bala that is developed by activities specially performed for increasing the same. These interventions include various exercises, Yoga, food articles and drugs having Rasayana (~a general tonic that nourishes all the tissues of the body) and Vajikarana (~an action that involves nourishment to the Shukra primarily) properties. According to Chakrapani, the food includes the articles like meat, ghee, etc. and activities includes rational practice of rest and exercise while Yoga refers to various medicinal preparations that are used in the treatment as Rasayana and Vajikarana. The concept is more towards the explanation of acquired immunity. This also tends towards the explanation of concept regarding bioenergy. In this context, Bala is considered as effect of the food, medicine or activities which are having the action of Balya.


The action Balya is defined as “Balaaya hitam balyam” which refers to substances those are beneficial and tend to increase Bala of an individual.[7]

As per the review of Bala concept, the Balya action possesses different dimensions which are to be assessed to ascertain complete action with respect to a given drug. Hence, it is important to have a review of the action that is necessary to understand the modalities of its assessment.

Emergence of concepts of immunity, bioenergy and nutritional supplements in the contemporary science have given an opportunity for scientific validation of concept of Bala and related Balya action.

Strength promoting drugs (Balya dravya)

Bala (Sida cordifolia), Atibala (Abutilon indicum), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Guduchi, Endri (Bacopa monnieri), Rushabhi (Mucuna prurita), Nikochaka Payasya, Katuki, Ripened fruit of mango, Rushyaprokta, Vidarikanda (Pueraria tuberose), Vatam (almond) Akshotaka, nikochaka (pista), Bhallataka (Semicarpus anacardium), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Amalaki (Emblica ofcinalis), Bibhitaki

Assessment of Balam

Balam Vyayamshaktya

Methods of examination of bala is mentioned in classical Ayurvedic texts, is mostly based on anumana pramana(inference). Like as1. Deha bala : Deha bala is examined by i. Vyāyāma śakti19: It is also explained through the samyak lakshana of vyāyāma (sign of appropriate exercise)20 . a. Sweda gamana: Perspiration. b. Swas vriddhi: Enhanced respiration. c. Gatra laghava: Lightness of the body. d. Hridaya uparodha: Inhibition of the heart and such other organs of the body. 2. Mānasika bala is examined by - Utsāha (Enthusiasm)21: 3. Deha and manashik bala: Prakrita doshas (normal humor) are the bala, so prākrita doshas can be explained only through their karma (action) and Rakta is also responsible for the formation of bala. Hence Viśuddha rakta can be explained through its karma (action). Some karma(action) responsiblefor deha bala (physical strength) and some are for manashik bala (mental strength). i. Karma (action) of vata dosha22: a. Utsāha: Enthusiasm; b.Ucchvāsa: Inspiration; c. Niśwāsa: Expiration; d. Cheṣṭa: Movements; e. Sama dhātu gati: Normal metabolic transformation of dhātus; f. Mala mutrādi gati : Proper elimination of excreta ii. Karma(action) of pitta dosha23: a. Darśana: Good vision; b. Pachana: proper digestion; c. Ushna: normal temperature; d. Kshudha: Hunger; e. Trishṇa: Thirst; g. Śarīra mriduta: Softness of the body; h. Prabha: Lusture; i. Prasāda: Happiness; j. Medha: Intelligence iii. Karma (action) of sleshma dosha24: a. Sneha: Unctuousness; b. Sandhi bandha: Cohesion; c. Sthirata: Steadiness; d. Guruta: Heaviness; e. Vrishata: Virility; f. Śāririk bala: Strength; g. Kshama: Forbearance; h.Dhriti: Patience; i.Alobha: Altruism. iv. Karma (action) of Rakta dhatu25: a. Varna Prasāda: proper complexion; b. Māmsa puṣṭi: Nourishment of māmsa dhātu; c. Jīvan dān (sustain life). 4. The normal state of bala constitutes the following sign in an individual26 . a. Sthira upachita māmsa : All the dhātus are equally produced and the resultant effect is growth of the body. b. Sarvacheṣṭa: (Kāyika and mānasika cheṣṭa): Endeavor in physically and mentally. c. Aprtighāta: Strong working capability with bhārvahanādi d. Swara varṇa Prasāda: Clear vocal tone and normal complexion e. bāhya karaṇa: That is specific function of Vak: vachan (speech); Pani: Adana (swap over); Pada: Gaman (movement); Payu: Visarga (excretion); Upastha: Nandana (pleasure). f. Abhyantar karan: Srotra: Sabda(sound); Twaka: Sparsha(touch); Cakshu: Rupa(vision); Jibha: Rasa(taste); Nashika: Gandha(smell) etc. If all the above functions are normal, then we can say bala is in normal state. (Nath et al. CLINICAL EXAMINATION OF BALA (STRENGTH). UJAHM 2015, 03 (04): Page 103-108)

Bala and immunity

Internally bala is expressed through vyadhi kshamatwa. Vyadhi kshamatwa indicates the strength by which a person fights against the disease. Inside that is the process by which vyadhi prativandhyakatwa is provided33. In modern science has also mentioned about immunity. Immunity can be defined as the self preparedness against invasion by microbes which also includes defense against non microbial antigens and malignancy. Classically it is divided into two categories. a. The non- specific immunity or the innate immunity is not affected by prior contact with the invader and it is effective against all without recognizing the specific identities of the enemies i.e Vyadhibala virudhitwa. It is composed of many factors. Firstly the constitutional factor due to which some individuals are more prone to some specific infections but others are not. b. The specific immunity: There is separate mechanism for each and every enemy (antigens).The weapon for one invader will not act against the other hence called specific. This immunity develops properly only when the body is exposed to the specific antigen. i. e. prior contact is essential, but theprovision is inborn, means sahaja. The specific immunity may be active or passive. Active immunity is developed within the body by the lymphocytes against antigens introduced in to the body i. e. vyadhi utpada prativandhakatwa. The passive immunity occurs due to transfer or introduction of antibodies from outside. It is a readymade immunity and can act immediately but it is short lasting. (Nath et al. CLINICAL EXAMINATION OF BALA (STRENGTH). UJAHM 2015, 03 (04): Page 103-108)