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Ayurveda is the system of
Indian healing that has been practised
in India for thousands of years. Long before our era began, there were
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
signs: Gemini, Virgo, Libra,
planets: Mercury, Saturn,
Venus (secondary), Rahu.
element: earth and water
signs: Taurus, Cancer, Pisces
planets: Moon, Venus
(primary), Jupiter (primary) Saturn
signs: Aries, Leo,
planets: Mars, the Sun,
Jupiter (secondary), Ketu.
Our example is the Kennedy
John F. Kennedy 29-5-1917
GMT: 20.13, 42.20 N.,71.07 W.
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
- The lord of the ascendant
Mercury in Aries (pitta) and the Moon in Leo (pitta) point to a pitta
- The only indication for a
kapha constitution is the lord of the sixth house (Saturn) in Cancer
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
followed by Mercury (vata, score 7,18). This supports the earlier
conclusion of a
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.
CONSEQUENCES OF A
DISTURBANCE IN THE DOSHA HARMONY AND
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
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)
desirable. People with a certain constitution are susceptible to
There is a big chance that at a certain time the dominant constitution
will be disturbed,
become too much, and cause sickness.
of illnesses, which fall under a
are: obesity is a kapha ailment, a red rash is a pitta ailment and
rheumatism is a vata
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.
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.
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.
stimulates vata weakens kapha and vice versa. Kapha then is stimulated
by sweet, sour and salty and is weakened by pungent, bitter and acid.
pungent, sour and slightly salty and weakened by sweet, bitter and acid.
In our example horoscope we had a vata-pitta
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
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
20: THE EFFECT OF TASTE
||vata and pitta
||kapha and pitta
||kapha and pitta
||vata and pitta
||kapha and pitta
||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.
are many other therapies, for example
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.
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
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.
a person becomes ill, the prescribed
remedies are partly
directed at curing the illness itself and partly to restore the harmony
in the damaged
your horoscope and decide your dosha. Follow the methods described in
coincide with other conspicuous characteristics of the dosha's
constitutional type, which tastes should be emphasised in your diet?
TEXT IS A LESSON FROM
THE EMAIL COURSE 'APPLIED VEDIC ASTROLOGY'. IN THIS COURSE YOU WILL
LEARN VEDIC ASTROLOGY
ON THE BASIS OF YOUR OWN HOROSCOPE. TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS COURSE
CLICK ON THIS TEXT.
Roeland de Looff,
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