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13. AYURVEDA: VEDIC HEALING


Ayurveda is the system of Indian healing that has been practised in India for thousands of years. Long before our era began, there
were universities in India where ayurveda, among other subjects, was taught to tens of thousands of students. Ayurveda, as Vedic
astrology, originates in the Vedic traditions.
In the Veda's (the holy scripts of the Hindu religion) we can find descriptions of the methods of Vedic astrology as well as ayurvedic
healing. No one need be surprised at the relationship between the two.
13.1 THE THREE DOSHA'S
Ayurveda is based on the three constitutions, the three dosha's. These three dosha's are called vata, pitta and kapha. Vata
corresponds to air, pitta to fire, and kapha to earth and water. The astrological signs can then be divided as follows:

Vata : Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius. Virgo is placed here because it is ruled by Mercury, which is an air planet
in Vedic astrology. Capricorn is mentioned here because it is ruled by the vata planet Saturn.

Pitta : Aries, Leo, Sagittarius and Scorpio. Scorpio is pitta because the classic ruler of Scorpio is the fire planet Mars. In Vedic
astrology, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not used, and so Mars remains the ruler of Scorpio.

Kapha : Taurus, Cancer, and Pisces. These are the earth and water signs not assigned to vata and pitta.

There are several methods which can help us to decide the constitution of a person, such as the pulse diagnosis, a urine test, face
reading and the general impression a person makes.
SEVERAL TYPICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DOSHA'S

A vata type is generally slim (thin), has difficulty concentrating, feels the cold and has a great urge to be quickly satisfied in
his needs. He eats quickly, chews his food badly and eats at irregular hours.

A kapha type is often corpulent, slow, and has a calm, thoughtful character. He eats a lot and enjoys his food.

A pitta type has a well-balanced figure, likes action and can be hot tempered. Because his life is so busy, he may feel food is
not very important.

13.2 ASTROLOGICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE THREE DOSHA'S


Astrology can also play a role in establishing the constitution or dosha. Naturally, we must use a Vedic horoscope for this and not a
Western horoscope, although there are astrologers who define the dosha via a Western horoscope. This is wrong, because both
ayurveda and Vedic astrology have their roots in the same Vedic tradition. This tradition forms a unit. The various methods rooted in
this tradition supplement each other and re attuned to each other.

To define the constitution, we do not use the Sun; we use the ascendant and the lord of the ascendant. If the ascendant is
Aries a pitta sign), and the lord of the ascendant (Mars) is in Scorpio (a pitta sign), it will point to a pitta constitution.

Planets in the first are also important, especially if they are close to the ascendant degree. Suppose someone has Saturn in
the first, this is a strong indication for a vata constitution. If a person has Jupiter in the first then that person tends to gain
weight and may have a kapha constitution (however, if Saturn aspects that Jupiter this tendency may not surface)

We also need to know which planets are in the sixth house and where their lord of the sixth house is placed. If Mercury is in
the sixth house and in Pisces, that points to either a vata (Mercury is a vataplanet) and/or a kapha (Pisces is a kapha sign)
constitution. Furthermore, Jupiter is a kapha (but somewhat pitta) planet, the Sun is pitta, Mars is pitta, Saturn is vata, the
Moon is kapha and Venus is kapha (and somewhat vata).

Another factor that plays a role in the analysis is the position of the Moon. The Moon, because she gives shape to earthly
matters, is an important influence on the human body. The questions we have to ask here are in which sign is the Moon
placed and is the Moon in conjunction with other planets.

The strongest planet in the horoscope is important. Often this concerns a planet placed in its own sign or is exalted and
placed in a house where it can develop its energy (for example houses 1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 or 11). If a certain planet in the
horoscope is prominent, then that planet will colour all the aspects of the life of the person involved, including his
constitution.

Actually, this is a complicated analysis, which seldom gives an unequivocal answer. This is not a catastrophe, because most people
are mixed types. So we can have a vata-kapha type, a pitta-kapha type, etc.
DIAGRAM 19: ASTROLOGICAL FACTORS AND DOSHA'S
VATA
element: air
signs: Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Capricorn, Aquarius

planets: Mercury, Saturn, Venus (secondary), Rahu.


KAPHA
element: earth and water
signs: Taurus, Cancer, Pisces
planets: Moon, Venus (primary), Jupiter (primary) Saturn (secondary),
PITTA
element: fire
signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Scorpio
planets: Mars, the Sun, Jupiter (secondary), Ketu.
Our example is the Kennedy horoscope
John F. Kennedy 29-5-1917 GMT: 20.13, 42.20 N.,71.07 W.
7th Pisces

8th Aries
Mars
25.43
Mercury 27.53

9th Taurus
Jupiter 0.21
Sun
15.09
Venus
24.04

6th Aquarius

5th Capricorn

10th Gemini
Ketu

11th Cancer
Saturn
4.27
Rasi

Chart

John F.

Kennedy

12th Leo
Moon

4th Sagittarius
Rahu
18.29

18.29

3rd Scorpio

2nd Libra

24.36

1st Virgo
Ascendant 29.43

I shall now explain how to define the dosha from our example.

Ascendant in Virgo (vata) and Aquarius (vata) on the cusp of the sixth house point to a vata constitution.

The lord of the ascendant Mercury in Aries (pitta) and the Moon in Leo (pitta) point to a pitta constitution.

The only indication for a kapha constitution is the lord of the sixth house (Saturn) in Cancer (kapha).

We then have a mixed vata-pitta constitution. The amount of kapha is very small.
Special note: In Indian astrology, there is a special and very detailed system to measure the strength of the planets. We call this
system shadbala. In this numerical system a large number of factors are taken into consideration when deciding the strength of a
planet.
It may be expected that Venus is the strongest planet in the Kennedy horoscope. Venus is in her own sign and in a trikona house.
However, according to shadbala it is the Sun (pitta, Shadbala score 7,63) which is the strongest planet, followed by Mercury (vata,
score 7,18). This supports the earlier conclusion of a vata-pitta constitution.
Usually what appears to be the strongest planet in a quick analysis is also a strong planet according to the more detailed shadbala
system. However, this is not always the case. The Kennedy example shows us that the planet that we would expect to have the
highest score (Venus) only obtained a 5,89.
When making an analysis of a horoscope, we must always remain alert and attentive for apparently remarkable situations. Never
switch over to the automatic pilot while analysing a horoscope.
13.3 THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DISTURBANCE IN THE DOSHA HARMONY AND ITS TREATMENT
Every person has a unique dosha (constitutional) harmony. It is mostly the dominant dosha that can become too much and that is
responsible for disturbing harmony.
When we define the dosha, or dosha's, of a person, we have a great deal of information about that person - how he functions, what
types of illness he is susceptible to, what types of food he should eat and which (ayurvedic) therapies are desirable. People with a
certain constitution are susceptible to subsequent illnesses. There is a big chance that at a certain time the dominant constitution

will be disturbed, become too much, and cause sickness.


Examples of illnesses, which fall under a certain constitution are: obesity is a kapha ailment, a red rash is a pitta ailment and
rheumatism is a vata ailment.
An example of treatment via diet: A vata type is predisposed to rheumatism. If a vata type wants to avoid rheumatism it would be
advisable to follow an anti-vata diet. He should eat food that weakens the vata.
In ayurveda there are six different tastes: sweet, sour, salt, pungent, bitter and acid. Everything we eat or drink falls under one of
these six tastes.

Vata is stimulated by pungent, bitter and acid, and weakened by sweet, sour and salt. Therefore it is advisable for a vata person to eat
food that is sweet, sour or salty.
Everything that stimulates vata weakens kapha and vice versa. Kapha then is stimulated by sweet, sour and salty and is weakened by
pungent, bitter and acid.
Pitta is stimulated by pungent, sour and slightly salty and weakened by sweet, bitter and acid. In our example horoscope we had a
vata-pitta constitution. An anti-vata diet consists of the tastes sweet, sour and salt. However, sour and salt stimulate pitta. The
emphasis in the diet of someone with a vata-pitta constitution will then be on sweet tastes. This will stimulate kapha, which
Kennedy lacks. In a large number of foodstuffs such as potatoes and rice, we can find sweetness. Eating sweet food will decrease
the chance of sicknesses developing which are connected with too much vata and pitta.

DIAGRAM 20: THE EFFECT OF TASTE


TASTE

STIMULATES

WEAKENS

sweet

kapha

vata and pitta

sour

kapha and pitta

vata

salt

kapha and pitta

vata

pungent

vata and pitta

kapha

bitter

vata

kapha and pitta

acid

vata

kapha and pitta

Apart from eating certain foods, there are many other ways of influencing the dosha harmony. Teas (yogi Bhasan, Golden Temple
Products) can stimulate or weaken kapha, vata or pitta. In ayurvedic massage, different massage-oils are used, which are suitable
for certain constitutional types. Massage is usually a form of therapy suitable for the vata type, considering that this type of person
generally does not feel particularly happy in his body.
There are many other therapies, for example an extensive purification therapy, called pancha karma. This is a therapy well suited to
the kapha type. Kapha builds up in the intestines, which can be thoroughly cleansed by pancha karma. There are rules for all the
constitutional types to follow in order to prevent a certain dosha becoming negative.
For example: It is important for a vata type to rest, not to watch too much television, and to rush around doing many things at the
same time. These activities stimulate vata. A pitta type should also take care not to do things too fast. However, a kapha type
should be active. A pitta type should also take care not to do things too fast.
When a person becomes ill, the prescribed remedies are partly directed at curing the illness itself and partly to restore the harmony
in the damaged dosha.