How you become ill



How you become ill


It implies disturbed or unbalanced condition of  body elements or mind. The disease (pain or suffering) has two places of origin and manifestations viz. the body or the mind.

Disease causing factors

There are many factors affecting the health of a human being, causing the deformities or the disease. Few of them are listed below:-

  • Aetiological Factors (Roganam Karanani) 
  • Congenital Anomalies (Janmabala Pravritta Vyadhi) 
  • Suppression of Natural Urges (Vegavarodha) 
  • Vitiation of Body Channels (Srotodushti)
  • Digestive and Tissue Enzymes (Agni) 
  • Dietetic Factors (Aharaja Karanani) 
  • Toxins (Ama)
  • Infectious Diseases and Parasitic Infestations (Krimiroga)
  • Supernatural Powers (Grahabadha)
  • Natural Calamities and Epidemics (Janapadodhvansa)
  • Defence Mechanisms of the Body (Rogapahara Kshamata)

Panch Nidana

Ayurveda tell us how we become ill in five progressive ways, it is call Panch Nidana.  In Ayurveda, nidana parivarjana or “avoiding the cause” is considered as the first line of treatment in most of the diseases. For example, avoiding heavy, sweet foodstuffs and sedentary lifestyle is the first step towards healing of diabetes.These ways are as following:-

  • Nidana (The Causative factor) Nidana is the disease-causing factor. Diet, life style or external factors like environmental variations (excessive heat, cold or rain), injuries or any other factors that disturb the doshas are considered nidana. If we know that certain foods or particular activities aggravate a dosha we can avoid those causative and triggering factors and prevent manifestation or recurrence of disease.
  • Purvarupa – (The Preliminary indications / symptoms) Purva rupa are preliminary signs of disease. These symptoms appear before the actual onset of any illness, and are warning signs that disease may soon manifest. Each disease has specific preliminary signs. If there is any confusion about a specific diagnosis arising due to similar symptoms or causative factors, then purva rupas need to be considered. 
  • Rupa – (The Symptoms) Rupa, or the symptoms of a disease, indicate the actual onset of the manifestation process. When rupa appear, the disease becomes more pronounced with obvious and clearly defined symptoms.  The severity and number of symptoms present provide the doctor with indications of physical impacts, the possibility of cure and the length of time healing may take.
  • Upashaya – (The Exploratory Treatment) There are certain diseases which have identical causes, preliminary signs, and symptoms. For example, fever may be a symptom of typhoid, malaria or pneumonia. Here comes the role of upashaya. This involves investigating and eliminating particular diseases through diet, herbal remedies or physical therapies that can help to make an exact diagnosis. For example if the fever gets relived by anti malarial herbs then it is malaria.
  • Samprapti – (Development of the disease or pathogenesis of the disease) Samyak means “proper” and prapti is “to get.” Samprapti is to get the proper knowledge about the pathway of disease manifestation. This provides complete knowledge of the disease progression, starting from the cause, the doshas involved and the location where aggravated doshas are accumulated (dooshya). All the bodily changes that occur from the time of exposure to the causative factor, to the actual onset of disease and its manifestation are placed under this category ie the Kriya kaal

Benefits of pancha nidana

  • In addition to identifying the nature, location and treatment of disease, pancha nidana also helps in the prevention of disease, as it provides an understanding of causes (nidana).
  • Avoiding or taking certain precautions prevents exposure to the specific factors that generate disease. 
  • if we have knowledge about the preliminary signs and symptoms of a particular disease (purva rupa and rupa), steps to combat the disease can be implemented at that stage, before the disease has actually manifested.
  • The knowledge of pancha nidana is therefore valuable in diagnosis of diseases especially the ones with similar features. A thorough application of these diagnostic techniques assists in determining the right treatment to permanently cure the disease.

Kriya Kaal (complete process of how you become ill)

Kriya means “action” and kala means “time”. This means the knowledge of the stages of the disease and elimination of the disease causing factors before actual disease can manifest. Ayurveda recognisis and elebroates the six types of stages for disease manifestation. These six combined are know as Shat Kriya kaal.   

Sanchaya (accumulation) 

The doshas accumulates at a fixed place in the body. Nidan (the causitive factors) Poor diet, negative thoughts and feelings, or an inappropriate lifestyle contribute to the build up of a doshic imbalance. Symptoms are vague and ill defined.

Prakopa (aggravation) 

The doshas get excited by continuous wrong aahar (diet) , vihar (life style) and seasonal changes of weather. The dosha imbalance overflows and the first signs of illness appear (Purvarupa – (The Preliminary indications / symptoms)


the excited and accumulated doshas over flows and spread to other parts, organs, and systems of the body, leaving their original sites, making it difficult to diagnose the problem. It is the stage of migration.

Sthana Sansraya (relocation)

doshas accumulate at one specific point, the weak dhatus, causing pre-manifestation symptoms leading to malfunction and structural damage. Sthana Sansraya literally means talking shelter at a place. 

 Vyakti (manifestation)

symptoms are fully present and the disease is recognizable. Manifested symptoms are now being used by modem medicine also for classification & diagnosis of disease


the disease has reached its most dangerous level. It may become chronic, incurable, or even cause complications and the development of secondary or tertiary illnesses. The disease having taken taken months, years or even decades to reach this final stage, becomes chronic.
  • It is said that the duty of a physician or an individual by himself is to control the doshic aggravation at earlier stages in order to maintain/ restore the good health.
  • The techniques of Ayurveda permit the Ayurvedic practitioner to detect and treat illness at the earliest stages, long before permanent damage is done. Even in the later stages, however, it is often still possible for Ayurvedic Treatment to reverse the course of the disease and provide relief.


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  1. Mohan on May 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm said:

    Very informative.

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