Metrical Text

An increased quantity of a bodily principle gives rise to a similar increase in the quantity of one immediately succeeding it in the order of enumeration as stated above; aud hence an increase in any of the fundamental principles of the body should be checked and reduced to its normal quantity.

* An abnormal flow tends to stimulate the voluptuous sensation of a woman to a considerable extent, and is followed by a sense of reactionary weakness. It emits a fetid smell and originates ovarian tumours.

Now we shall describe the characteristic features of the strength-giving principles of the body, as well as the symptoms that mark their loss or waste. The quintessence of all the fundamental principles of the body, starting with lymph chyle and ending with semen, is called the Ojas, which is identical with what is termed "vital power." This view of oneness of vitality with protoplasmic albumen has been adopted in the present work *

This Ojas (albumen) or strength-giving principle serves to impart a firm integrity to the flesh (and the muscles), exercises unbounded control over all acts of vitality, improves the voice and complexion, and helps both the external (operative) and the internal (intellectual) sense organs, in duly performing their natural functions.

Authoritative Verses On The Subject

Ojas (albumen being of a white colour belongs to the class of Somatmakam (cooling) substances.

* The Sanskrit term "Ojas"' has a variety of meanings. Primarily it means protoplasmic matter as found in cells (Vindus). Secondarily it means albumen as we shall describe later on in the chapters on etiology and therapeutics of Prameha. Several authorities hold a contrary view stating that Ojas (albumen) forms only one of the essentials of vitality and that the two are by no means identical.

It is cooling, oleaginous, and firm (Sthira), contributes to the formation and growth of flesh, maintains its integrity or holds it firm, and is mobile or capable of moving about from one place to another within the organism. * It is further soft and shiny, and is possessed of the most efficacious virtue and should be regarded as the most important element (seat) of vitality. The whole body with its limbs and members is permeated with Ojas, and a loss or diminution in its natural quantity leads to the gradual emaciation (and ultimate dissolution) of organism.

A blow, a persistent wasting disease, anger, grief, cares and anxieties, fatigue and hunger, are the causes to which should be ascribed the wasting or disappearance of this strength-giving principle (albumen) of the body. The bodily albumen, through the agency of the above-said causes, is wasted through the channels carrying the different fundamental principles of the body. Albumen is transformed into strength which radiates from the heart.

A deranged or vitiated albumen (Ojas) is characterised firstly by its dislodgment from its proper seat or locality (Visransha), secondly, by a change or modification of its native virtues in contact with the deranged humours or disordered organs (Vyapad) and thndly, by wasting away (Kshaya).

* Several editions read Rasam, meaning it to be possessed of a sweet taste.

The first of the preceding properties (dislodgment) gives rise to such symptoms as looseness of the bone-joints, numbness of the limbs, dislodgment of the deranged humours from their respective receptacles and suppression of the (bodily and intellectual) functions. To the second of the foregoing properties, (change or modification of its natural virtue through contact with the deranged bodily humours etc.) should be ascribed such symptoms, as numbness and heaviness of the limbs, dropsy due to the action of the deranged bodily Vayu, discoloured or changed complexion, feeling of malaise, drowsiness and somnolence. The third property of the deranged albumen, loss or wasting), brings on fits of fainting, loss of flesh, stupor, delirium and ultimately death.

Authoritative Verses On The Subject

A deranged state of albumen is marked by the three abovesaid properties of dislodgment from its proper seat (Visransha); by a change of its natural virtues through contamination (Vyapad) and by wasting (Kshaya). The first of these properties (Visransha) is characterised by looseness of the joints, by an inert state of the body, by a sense of fatigue, by a dislodgment of the deranged humours from their natural seats, and by a suppression of the bodily and intellectual functions. Numbness and heaviness of the limbs, malaise, a discoloured complexion, drowsiness, somnolence and dropsical swelling brought about by a deranged state of the bodily Vayu, should be considered as natural consequences of the Vyapad (change of the natural virtues of albumen through contamination). The loss or waste of Ojah (albumen) is marked by such symptoms as fits of fainting, emaciation of the body, bewilderment and distraction of the mind, delirium and loss of consciousness and ultimately death.

The medical treatment in cases of dislodgment or flowing out external secretion) of albumen from its natural seat (Visransha), as well as in the event of it becoming contaminated by the vitiated principles of the body, should consist in improving its quantity by elixirs and remedies possessed of rejuvenating properties, tending to increase the quantity of such fluid (albumen) in the body. A patient who has lost all consciousness owing to an excessive loss or waste of albumen) should be given up by a physician (as incurable).

The oily or albuminous matter found within the components of the other fundamental principles (Dhatu) of the body as metabolised by the internal heat and regularly metamorphosed into the succeeding ones) should be grouped under the head of fiery or thermogenetic (Agneya) substances. This fatty matter (Vasal predominates in the female organism and produces its peculiar softness, beauty and pleasing shape, causes the growth of scanty but soft hair on its surface. It strengthens the eyesight and increases the energy of the body, improves its power of digestion and heightens its glow and complexion. Fat is deranged by such acts as, an abuse of astringent, bitter, cold, parchifying or Vistambhi (indigestible food which remains stuffed in the stomach substances, a voluntary repression of the natural urging for evacutions of the body, by excessive sexual indulgence, and fatiguing physical exercise, or by the draining action of any particular disease.

An instance of dislodgment of fat from its proper seat or locality is attended by such symptoms as roughness of the skin, loss of the natural healthful glow of the body and a breaking or an aching pain in the limbs. Anaemia or a gradual emaciation of the body, impaired digestive function and a slanting or downward course of the deranged humours, mark the case where the bodily fat has undergone a change in its natural properties through any foul contamination. A case of loss or waste of the bodily fat is marked by such symptoms as, impaired digestive function, dulness of sight, decay of strength and aggravation of the bodily Vayu, and always ends in death.

The medical treatment in the latter case (loss of fat) should consist in the administration of oily or emollient drinks, use of medicated unguents or lubrications, Pradeha (plasters of oleaginous substances) and Parisheka (washes) and a diet comprising light, cooling and well-cooked articles of food.

Metrical Texts

A person suffering from a wasting of any of the constituent humours or fundamental principles or excrements of the body, as well as one suffering from loss of Ojah (albumen) naturally craves for drink and food that tend to contribute directly to the formation of the matter (or bodily principle) so lost or wasted. Conversely, the particular food or drink longed for by a person suffering from a loss or waste of any of the abovesaid fluids or principles, should be looked upon as possessed of a curative virtue in that particular case. Such a person devoid of consciousness and divested of his bodily and intellectual functions through a deranged state of the bodily Vayu (nerve-force) and extremely weak and enfeebled owing to the loss of the vital fluid should be regarded as past all cure.