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Monday, 16 May 2016

What is pitta pravritti?

Hindus classify biological tendencies into three primary types:

Kapha: This tendency is made with the combination of Water and Earth. In other words, fluidity and stability.

Pitta: This tendency is made with the combination of Fire and Water. In other words, 'energy' or heat and fluidity.

Vaata: This tendency is made with the combination of Space and Air. In other words, vacant-ness and extreme fluidity.

Regular readers may recall that even the signs are classified as Agni (Fire), Prithvi (Earth), Vayu (Air) and Jala (Water). Something that I have not explicitly touched upon earlier is that even the nakshatras (stars) have been classified into one of these tendencies (Vaata/ Pitta/ Kapha).

Now a couple of years back, I was unwell. Western medicine can treat an illness, but in my limited experience, treating someone who is 'unwell' is not the same as treating someone who is 'ill'. 'Illness' is an event, i.e. you get an infection etc. I would even classify diseases such as diabetes or asthama as an illness. But how do you treat someone who is 'unwell'. 

Characteristics of being unwell, from personal experience has been a big change in appetite, depression, a change in thought process, an being bereft of joy. 

All the blood work etc came back normal, so what was wrong? No doctor could tell. As unless my vitals move out of the specified range, the doctors call me 'normal'. (An interesting word this, 'normal'. Does it suggest I am well, or does it suggest I am as unwell as the rest of the people, so its normal haha).

Anyway, at that time I met with an Ayurvedic Nadi (pulse) doctor. He did not ask for my symptoms, neither did he ask me to get any tests done. He held my pulse for about 5-7 minutes and told me exactly what symptoms I was experiencing and specified a path for treatment. 

During the diagnosis, he mentioned that I had a 'pitta pravrutti', i.e. a body that was dominated by the pitta tendency (described above). So his treatment was geared to normalise that pitta (I think).

At that time I had no knowledge of astrology. But now that I have been a student for sometime, I decided to check if this 'pitta' tendency is indeed visible from my chart.  I did a very simple thing. I just noted down the nakshatras in which my primary nine planets are located, and wrote down next to them what tendency does that nakshatra represent.

First let me outline the tendencies of various nakshatras:

Note I have sorted each column in alphabetical order to make it easy to read.

Now when I looked at all my planets and the star they were posited in, the result was astonishing:

Pitta - 6 planets

Vaata - 1 planet

Kapha - 2 planets

It is amazing that the doctor was able to gauge this just from my pulse!

Now I decided to test it out on someone else I know, to whom the doctor had given similar diagnosis, i.e. pitta leaning body. Taking that person's birth details I carried out the same exercise and arrived at this:

Pitta - 7

Vaata - 2

Kapha - 0

That so much knowledge is hidden in our ayurveda and how closely it aligns with jyotisha is simply amazing!

Next I decided to check the chart of one of my cousins. He is one of 'those people', i.e. people who eat anything, anywhere, have no fixed times of sleeping or waking, take in little to no exercise, do not use a mosquito net, drink alcohol, drink water anywhere etc and yet do not seem to suffer from any major physical illness.

This is how his chart is placed:

Pitta - 2

Vaata - 3

Kapha - 4

Even a layperson can see that this persons tendencies or 'doshas' are much better balanced than the earlier two examples. 

Also, the dominance of kapha in him can be seen. Since Kapha provides the earth element, it has provided him a natural stability of structure. Thus due to a strong foundation, his body is able to handle much more variations than average. However, I think the primary strength comes from a much better balancing of the elements rather than the predominance of any one element.


Water and fire are both transformative substances. Grains put in water and boiled by applying fire are converted into food.

Thus thinking intuitively, we imagine what pitta tendency is responsible for in our bodies. digestions, absorbtion (i.e. conversion of food into flesh), thus also metabolism. It is also concerned with intelligence (i.e. conversion of knowledge and data into wisdom and inferences). Automatically, we can infer what organs are governed by pitta: intestine, stomach, sweat glands, blood. The fire element means it is also responsible for maintaining body temperature. Fire also is in charge of emotions that consume the native, i.e. anger and hate.

As seen from the description earlier. Vaata is the most subtle of the three being just air and space. Now intuitively, my readers will be able to tell what is the most subtle thing in the human body? Thoughts and emotions! So intense emotions like anxiety, fear, etc will be governed by Vaata. Since Vaata is in charge of movement (air and water, almost unrestricted movement), all sorts of fits, spasms, dizzyness etc will be due to a fault vaata. The root of emotions and movements is the cell impulses or synapses. What can be more subtle than that!? This too comes under Vaata.

This is the basic building block. Just like a building is constructed by mixing concrete in water, Kapha too is nothing different. It is the earth element and water element. Just as the quality of the concrete determines the resistance of the building, so does Kapha determine the resistance of the human body. It provides stability to the system. Strong muscles, well oiled joints, and the traditional measure of strength, the chest, are all seats of Kapha. Due to its stability, Kapha will breed emotions with a lot of longevity, like love or attachment and even envy on the other side. 

I have given the nakshatras and their tendencies here. So how are yours, balanced or imbalanced?!

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