Doshas (दोषाः)

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Doshas (दोषाः)

The term Dosha in Samskrit refers to ‘a fault, defect or weak point’ in general. It is also used to indicate someone’s noxious quality, crime, guilt or offense. However, in the context of Ayurveda, this term ‘Dosha’ by default refers to the 3 humors or bio energies in the body that control entire functioning of the body. According to Ayurveda, Sharira doshas and Manas doshas are separate entities that control the function of body and mind respectively. Vata, Pitta and Kapha are 3 sharira doshas while Raja and Tama are 2 Manas doshas. All of them have a some specific role and function which is vital for life.


वायुः पित्तं कफश्चोक्तः शारीरो दोषसङ्ग्रहः|

मानसः पुनरुद्दिष्टो रजश्च तम एव च|| (Char Samh 1.57)

vāyuḥ pittaṁ kaphaścōktaḥ śārīrō dōṣasaṅgrahaḥ|

mānasaḥ punaruddiṣṭō rajaśca tama ēva ca||


Sharira Dosha or Tridosha

  1. Vata
  2. Pitta
  3. Kapha

Vayu is dry, cold, light, subtle, mobile, non-slimy and rough in its characteristics and can be pacified by drugs that have opposite properties (i.e., creamy or oily, heavy and thick in their property). Pitta is mildly unctuous, hot, sharp, viscous, sour, mobile and pungent, and can readily be pacified by drugs and food articles having opposite properties. Kapha is heavy and dense, cold, soft, unctuous, sweet, immobile and slimy, and can be subsided by drugs and food articles possessing opposite properties. cha su 1.61,

Doshas and Panchamahabhutas (Association between Doshas and 5 basic elements)

Significance of Doshas

Manasa Doshas

Manas commonly correlated with mind is one of the integral components of one’s life. Vedas and Bhagvadgita hava clearly mentioned that Satva, Raja and Tama are the 3 properties of manas which carry individual significance. Among these 3 properties Ayurveda makes differentiation and considers Satva as Guna (Good quality) of mind while Raja and Tama are regarded as Doshas of mind.

  1. Raja
  2. Tama