A perversion or contrariety of the functions of the mind or brain (Shilam), and of the organs of sense-perception, is called Arishtam (an unfavourable symptom foreboding death). Now hear me describe, in brief detail, the symptoms which are called Arishta (fatal indications).
The man, who hears a variety of divine sounds even in the absence of any of the celestial beings, (such as, the Siddhas, the Gandharvas etc.), or thinks that he is hearing the uproar of a city, or the moanings of the sea, or the rumbling of a rain cloud, without their actual presence or proximity, or who is incapable of catching their sounds even when they are actually present and sounding, or assigns to them causes other than the actual ones, should be regarded as a doomed being. The person, who interprets the uproar of a city or the rustling forest as sounds emanating from other sources, or rejoices at the voice of his enemies, and is annoyed at that of his own devoted friends, or who suddenly loses the faculty of hearing without any manifest or tangible reason, should be deemed as already on the threshold of death.
The man, who feels cold when touching a hot or warm substance, and, vice versa, complains of a burning sensation even when suffering from a boil, or a postule of the Kaphaja type (characterised by numbness, shivering, etc.', or shivers when the temperature of his body is felt to be considerably high, should be looked upon as already on the point of death. The person, who has lost the faculty of touch, and does not feel any pain in any part of the body when it is struck or amputated, or feels as if his body had been strewn over with particles of dust, or suffers from discoloration of the skin which becomes marked with blue or red stripes, and who is harassed by hosts of blue flies after a bath or an anointment, should be regarded as one who has already passed the confines of life.
Similarly, the man whose body emits a fragrant smell without having been rubbed with any kind of perfume, or to whom a sweet thing tastes acid, and an acid tastes sweet, or who exhibits symptoms of a general perversion of the faculty of taste, or in whom (articles of) different tastes (administered in their officinal order of enumeration) tend to aggravate the deranged bodily humours, or bring about their pacification and a dumess of appetite if partaken of in the inverted order, should be regarded as a departed soul, like the one who has lost the faculty of taste.
The man, who deems a fetid odour to be a fragrant perfume, or one fragrant to be fetid, or one who does not feel any discomfort even at the smell of a burning lamp wick that has just been extinguished, or who has entirely lost the faculty of smell, should be looked upon as a dead man.
The man, to whom the twin attributes of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, as well as the peculiarities of weather (as storm, drought, snowfall, etc.), and the different quarters of the sky appear to be reversed or inverted; one who has lost all distinctions (of joy and misery, storm and sunshine, heat and cold, etc.), or to whom the specific attributes of things appear to be contrary and reversed, should be regarded as on the point of death. The man, who sees stars ablaze in the broad day-light or fancies seeing the fiery orb of the sun by night and the mellow disc of the moon by day, or who seems to witness the phenomena of rainbow and lightning even in the absence of any rain cloud, or the formation of a lightning-spangled rain-cloud even in a clear blue sky, is sure to be speedily gathered to his rest. The man, who observes the reflected images of chariots, palaces and aerial cars in the heavens, or sees the embodied images of the fire and sky gods, or to whom the earth appears to be enveloped in frost or smoke, or enshrouded in a sheet of fine linen, or chequered with cross lines, or blazing with fire, or flooded with water, or to whose sight the Pole Star and the asterism Arundhati (one of the Pliades) and the Milky Way remain invisible, should be reckoned as already with the dead.
The man, who fails to see his own image reflected in a mirror, in the moonlight, or in hot water, or sees but distorted reflections of himself or of any other animal, or of dogs, cows, storks, vultures, ghosts, Yakshas, Rakshas, Pishachas and Nagas, should be regarded as about to depart this life. The man, to whom fire appears to be free of its natural accom paniment of smoke, or that it is possessed of a colour resembling the hue of the breast feathers of a peacock, should be regarded as doomed, (if happening to be suffering from any disease). On the other hand, these phenomena indicate the approach of a disease in one, who is found to be as yet in the enjoyment of apparent health.