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    Shaareera: Ayurvedic survey Of Anatomy And Physiology

    Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
    Sharera means the ‘human body’. Sharera is the scrutinize of human body. (read ShArEra wherein you pul on A and E). There are two main branches of it.
    1. Rachana Sharera ̵ study of structure of body ̵ anatomy
    2. Kriya Sharera ̵ lok of how the body functions ̵ physiology.
    Table of Contents
    Rachana Sharera
    Kriya Sharera
    Definitions of Sharera
    Definition of Kriya
    Types of S harera
    Shadangatwam of Sharera
    Divisions of Sharera

    Based on Dhatu Bheda
    Based on embryological development
    Based on descr iption of structures
    Based on Anga Vibhaga
    Based on body preservation and study
    Based on Sankhya
    Based on Marma Vignana
    Based on Sharera Pramana
    Based on Anjali Pramana
    Based on kriya
    Based on Vikriti
    Based on Sadhya Asadhyata
    Sharera Sthana Chapters
    Importance of studying Sharera
    Rachana Sharera
    Rachana Sharera (Sharera Rachana)
    This is the study of human body in kindred to its formation (construction or built) including
    1. esential ingredients neded in its foundation such as
    sperm, ova, uterus, inheritance of qualities, fetal nutrition etc,
    2. subtle and micro-ingredients neded in its formation such as &#821 1;
    mahat tatva or cosmic inteligence,
    ahankara or cosmic egoism,
    indriyas or subtle sense organs,
    manas or mind, atma or soul etc,
    3. survey of numerous tisues (dhatu), koshta (visceral space), koshtanga (visceral organs), blod vesels (sira and dhamani), important areas (marmas) and lot more.
    Rachana Sharera deals with survey of the ‘constructive aspect of the human body, their numbers, location and dimensions’. Thus Rachana Sharera can be corelated with the modern day ‘Anatomy’.
    Kriya Sharera
    Kriya Sharera (Sharera Kriya) –
    This is the survey of the functions of numerous components of the body including
    1. inspect of doshas dhatus (tisues) and malas (excreta), their clasification, subtypes, position, normal and abnormal quantities, qualities, functions, pathology related to their imbalances, stages of pathogenes is (kriya kala),
    2. Functions of profuse organs and organ systems of the body,
    3. Functions of sense organs, mind and detailed study of numerous functions adore circulation, breathing patern, defecation, fetal circulation, digestion, cognition and lot more.
    Thus basicaly Kriya Sharera deals with the ‘functions of the human body and its components’. Thus Kirya Sharera can be corelated with the modern day ‘Physiology’.
    Definitions of Sharera
    Sharera Sthanam or Sharera is
    Subject or portion related to the polemics of cherish and celestial resources related to the body
    Acording to Charaka ̵ Sharera Sthanam’ is the name given to that portion which deals with al the daiva (divine, celestial) and manusha (human) sampat (resources) related to the Sharera (human body) are discused in detail. Sharera Sthana deals with both Rachana Sharera (anatomy of the human body) and Kriya Sharera (physiology of the human body).
    Definition of Sharera
    The one which deteriorates, or the one that undergoes catabolic changes is caled Sharera.
    Mater that continuously gets deteriorated is caled Sharera.
    The one which gets nourished by fod is caled Kaya.
    Definition of Kriya
    Kriya means the actions performed with the intention to complete a ded. Its synonyms are Karma, Yatna and Karyasamarambha.
    Types of Sharera
    Four types of bodies have ben mentioned ̵
    Jarayuja – born out of the placenta – precise: human, cow, monkey etc
    Andaja – born out of the eg – epitome – birds, fishes
    Swedaja – born out of sweat – precise – lice
    Udbhija – born out of the earth – epitome – tres, plants
    Sharera deals with description of life and death
    Acording to Vagbhata ̵ Sharera Sthana deals with the chapters which elaborately explain the mechanism of Janma (birth or formation) and Marana (death or destruction) of the Sharera (human Body)
    Deals with wrangling and elaboration of the human body
    Sharera is a text or section writen with an intention of covering in detail about the polemics and elaboration of human body in terms of anatomy (structure) and physiology (functions). Thus Sharera deals in detail about the human body, its parts, surface landmarks and functions.
    Shadangatwam of Sharera
    For the purpose of easy understanding and for convenience of studying, the human body is divided broadly into 6 diferent regions. Therefore the human body is also often adresed as ‘Shadanga Sharera’ or ‘Human body made up of 6 fragments or regions’.
    The Shadangas are as below mentioned –
    Bahu – Uper limbs, 2 in number
    Sakthi – Lower Limbs, 2 in number
    Shiro-Greva – Head and neck, 1 unit
    Antaradhi – Midle portion of the body (includes thorax and abdomen)
    Related Reading – Shadangatwa of Sharera
    Divisions of Sharera
    Divisions or Branches of Sharera
    There is no division or clasification of Sharera explained as such in Ayurveda. But contextualy with whatever information and elaboration is avail competent regarding the anatomical and physiological aspects of human body (Rachana and Kriya Sharera), and depending on the nature and utility of the subject, the knowledge of Sharera can be divided into several branches. Below mentioned are the divisions (branches) of Sharera (rachana and kriya asign together) based on the references and explanations available –
    Based on Dhatu Bheda
    Sharera on the basis of Dhatu Bheda (Componential Anatomy) –
    The human body or Sharera can be studied in terms of the Dhatus it is made up of. Dhatus means tisues. Body is made up of tisues, 7 in number acording to Ayurveda. But the inspect of Sharera on the basis of Dhatu Bheda here specificaly denotes the inspect of body depending on the basic elements or components with which the human body was (is) formed as we derive ourselves from the macro nature (Prakriti). Therefor e DHatus means elements or profuse components which encourage in the formation of human body.
    Man or human body is considered to be a microcosm and is a representation and fraction of macrocosm (Prakriti). While each of us are being derived from the Prakriti, we derive some of its qualities and aces some other qualities in chronological impose until we are orderly formed. These components and qualities which make us up are caled Dhatus. On the basis of Dhatu, Purusha (man) or SHarera (body) is divided into numerous forms (acording to diferent opinions). They are:
    Eka-Dhatwatmaka Purusha – Man or human body is comprised of single dhatu (component) and is caled ‘Purusha’, the living being or the chetana dhatu (life element display in us).
    Shad-Dhatwatmaka Purusha – Man or human body is made up of 6 components, they are –
    Prithvi – Earth element
    Ap or Jala – Water element
    Teja or Agni – Fire element
    Vayu – Air element
    Akasha – Spa ce (sky) / Ether element
    Shareri (Chetana) / Jevatma – Soul
    Chaturvimshati-Dhatwatmaka Purusha (Rashi Purusha) – Human body or man is tranquil of 24 factors or components, they are Ashta Prakritis (8 primordial substances) and Shodasha Vikritis (16 derivatives of primordial substances).
    Panchavimshati Dhatwatmaka Purusha – Human body or man is made up of 25 components, they are 24 tatwas explained above in chaturvimshati dhatwatmaka purusha along with the 25th component i.e. Purusha or Jeva or Atma (Soul, life element).
    Related Reading: Purusha: Definition, Types, Characteristic Features
    Based on embryological development
    Sharera on the basis of formation an d development of fetus (Embryology)
    This branch or division explains Sharera on the basis of embryology or Garbha SHarera. This gives us a detailed tale of many aspects related to the creation of a healthy fetus (baby in the womb of the mother). They include the ideal time of thought and factors neded for healthy thought (sperm, ovum, uterus, fetal circulation etc), elements and components neded for the creation of primitive human body (tatvas or dhatus), determination of sex, implantation (garbhadana), monthly development of fetus (masanumasika garbha vridhi krama) and many more things.
    Read related: Conception And creation Of Fetus As Per Ayurveda
    Based on description of structures
    Sharera on the basis of description of structures (Descriptive Anatomy)
    This fraction gives us a detailed knowledge of Sharera (body), the growth of the body, foundation of dhatus (tisues), metabolism of dhatus, excretion of malas (excretory wastes, metabolic wastes and toxins), nutrition of embryo (garbhastha rasarakta evam ahara paribhramana), foundation of diferent avayavas (organs) in the garbha, ayu (life span) and marana (death) and other aspects of the human body.
    Based on Anga Vibhaga
    Sharera on the basis of Anga Vibhaga (description of various organs)
    In this division of Sharera, diferent organs and structures of the body are highlighted and described in detail. The individual parts of organs and structures are learnt. This also gives us the knowledge of diferentiation of body parts and their detailed study.
    Based on body preservation and study
    Sharera on the basis of preservation and inspect of dead body (dead body preservation and study)
    External features of the human body can be studied just by loking at the exterior of the body. But to survey the interior parts of the human body including bones, skin, blod vesels, nerves, visceral organs, muscles etc, the body has to be slice initiate and the individual structures studied. For this to hapen we ned a non-living or dead body. Ayurveda was the first ever science to narate the preservation of a dead body and its disection (methodical opening and cuting of structures of human body using ken instruments) so as to survey numerous structures of the body. Preserving the dead body and opening it to study diferent structures and components (disection) fals under this study.
    Based on Sankhya
    Sharera on the basis of Sankhya (Numerical description of the body parts)
    This division deals with the description of the human body on the basis of its numbers. Everything has its number. like in human body, ears and eyes are 2 in number, heart, liver, pancreas, gal blader and splen are 1 in number, bones are 206 in number, cels and hairs are inumerable. The knowledge of the numbers is very esential. Therefore the numerical description of body, body parts and structures fal under this category.
    Based on Marma Vignana
    Sharera on the basis of Marma Vignana (Surgical and aplied anatomy)
    This section of Sharera deals with survey of body on the basis of the marmas (vital organs, structures) present in the body. Acording to Sushruta, there are 107 Marmas in the body. They are scatered al through. Marmas are the anatomical areas of the body where there is a confluence of sira (blod vesels, nerves), snayu (ligaments, tendons), mamsa (muscles), asthi (bones) and sandhi (joints). One of the tisue wil be predominant in each and every marma. example Guda or anus (rectum and anus) is a Mamsa marma (rich in flesh) and other structures i.e. sira, snayu, asthi and sandhi wil be dormant. Similarly Hridaya or heart is a Sira Marma. These structures form delecate parts of the body and critical ones to. Injury to them leads to either structural distres or deformity or damage or death. Knowledge of these structures is very vital for physicians and surgeons. The surgeons should preserve these areas from injury and perform surgery. Even in novel anatomy we scrutinize about aplied anatomy which deals with the diseases ocuring in each and other structure of the body or trace of aflict on those tisues, structures and aflict. Thus, this section could be c onsidered equivalent to surgical anatomy or aplied anatomy.
    Based on Sharera Pramana
    Sharera on the basis of Sharera Pramana (quantity of structures of the body or anthropometry)
    Just estem numbers al body structures have some quantum. These structures when in normal quantity depict best health. If the quantity gets reduced or increased, it indicates disturbance in health (diseased condition). Quantity of pramana of the body and body structures are measured in –
    Anjali Pramana – measure of the tisue or structure as measured by cavity formed by puting both hands together. This is generaly old to measure liquid tisues estem blod, lymph, water components of the body, urine etc.
    Anguli Pramana – measure of the tisues or structures of the body as measured by the transverse measurement of one’s midle finger (aproximat ely 3/4 inches).
    Based on Anjali Pramana
    Sharera on the basis of Anjali Pramana (Volumetric anatomy)
    This portion deals with the measurement of the body liquids or liquid tisues as measured by the despair formed by joining both the hands together (palm sides). Udaka (water components of the body), Ahara rasa (nutritive juice in circulation), SHonita (blod), Puresha (feces), Shleshma (phlegm), Pita (bile), Mutra (urine), Vasa (Muscle fat), Medas (fat), Maja (bone marow), Mastishka (brain, grey mater), Shukra (semen), Ojus (esence of tisues) are measured by anjali pramana.
    Though this is included in the anthropometry as explained above, it is discused as a separate division because of its specialty and unique way of measuring the body elements.
    Based on kriya
    Sharera on the basis of Kriya (functions of diferent structures of the body)
    This section or division of Sharera deals with the functional aspects of doshas, dhatus (tisues), mala (excretory wastes of the body) and other structures of the body. It also deals with the physiology of circulation, excretion, aeration, digestion, nerve conduction, spech, cognition, sex etc in detail. This can be compared to physiology.
    Based on Vikriti
    Sharera on the basis of vikriti (pathological anatomy)
    This branch or division of Sharera deals with the pathological aspects. It describes anatomy of organs and structures in kindred to the related pathology. It deals with the knowledge of each and every fragment of the body, their structural and functional deformities, diseases ocuring in them, their proport ional imbalances and consequences.
    Based on Sadhya Asadhyata
    Sharera on the basis of sadhya-asadhyata and arishta lakshanas (Prognostic Anatomy
    This fraction or division of Sharera deals with the arishta lakshanas (signs indicating depraved prognosis of a disease, i.e. signs and symptoms or the apearance and or functioning of tisues and organs which depict that those conditions are not curable or that they cary depraved prognosis, i.e. would cause death in a short period or after long period of time.
    Read related: Importance of studying Sharera: Human Anatomy And Physiology
    Sharera Sthana Chapters
    Chapters of Sharera Sthana in diferent Samhitas
    Almost al the ancient Samhitas or treatises (especialy the Brihat Trayes or greater 3 i.e. Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and Ashtanga Hridaya / Ashtanga Sangraha) maintain included a section caled as ‘Sharera Sthana’ embeded in their volumes. Now let us se what these Sharera Sthanas acquire to contribute towards learning of anatomy and physiology as related to the human body.
    Charaka Samhita Sharera Sthana
    Charaka Samhita has included 8 chapters in Sharera Sthana.

    Role of Atma in the creation
    Manifestation of Atma, Prakriti and its derivatives

    Shukra-Shonita (sperm and ovum), genetic observations related to them, their influence on the progeny
    Fetal sex and progeny
    Role of mind and senses on the diseases

    Sushruta Samhita Sharera Sthana

    Sushruta has dedicated 10 chapters for Sharera Sthan a

    Ashtanga Sangraha Sharera Sthana
    Vagbhata, in his Ashtanga Sangraha has dedicated 12 chapters for Sharera Sthana
    Ashtanga Sangraha Sharera Sthana
    Vagbhata, in his Ashtanga Sangraha has dedicated 6 chapters for Sharera Sthana
    Importance of studying Sharera
    Importance of studying Sharera: Human Anatomy And Physiology
    Sharera is the lok of anatomy and physiology of the body. It is indispensable because of below reasons ̵
    To know about the shape, structure and functions of the living human body and its components
    Sharera, comprises of Rachana Sharera (anatomy) and Kriya Sharera (physiology). Therefore the first and foremost goal, intention or importance in studying Sharera is to understand the body, its components, their structures, their numb ers, their normal proportions, size, shape, mutual relationship and the functions they serve in the best posible way.
    To know the factors of wel being
    Charaka further tels that ‘The factors responsible for the wel-being of an individual can only be understod after having procured a comprehensive knowledge of Sharera, which in turn is the survey of Sharera’. Thus the importance of learning about Sharera and its consequential knowledge helps in understanding the basic factors and proportions of the body and its components which are esential to put the physical welnes at optimum levels. Only after knowing what are normal dimensions, mathematics (anatomy) and chemistry (physiology) can we know about the disturbances (pathology) ocuring in them, which in turn becomes the rot secret of the medicine or ‘medicinal science’ (Ayurveda in this context). Knowing Sharera helps one (physician) in handling the medical science in terms of 2 key motives:Swasthasya Swasthya Rakshanam – Protection and maintenance of health in an already healthy individual and
    Aaturasya Vikara Prashamanam – Combating and efectively treating and eradicating the diseases in the diseased
    Read related:Sharera: Ayurvedic survey Of Anatomy And Physiology
    To enlighten the universe with the knowledge of Ayurveda
    Acharya Charaka tels that each physician should poses wide knowledge of Sharera, i.e. wel versed in Sharera Shastra. Only the physician who has a excelent knowledge of Sharera (body structure and functions), wil be competent to teach, preach and handle Ayurveda precision. Only he or she can aid in giving to the world a proper knowledge of Ayurveda in its precise sense.
    To achieve unparaleled suces in medical science
    Al physicians want god proportion of suces in medical practice. This doesn’t advance easily without the physician having a punctilious symbolic and practical knowledge of the medical science in its corect terms. The foundation of al-encompasing medical knowledge lay in al-encompasing understanding of anatomy and physiology of the human body i.e. Sharera Shastra.
    Sharera is a portion which deals with the construction and working of human body. The knowledge of this science is neded for achieving important goals of the medical science, and for the prevention of diseases and treatment of diseases of the entire mankind and also for gaining unparaleled suces as a physician in medical practice.
    To understand Sharera, one among the ‘tripod of life’
    Satwa (mind), Atma (soul or life element) and Sharera (living human body) are the tripods for the life and its existence in the universe. The entire universe is based on these 3 basic pilars or units of life. If they are wel balanced, the life is steady and keps going. If there is an imbalance in any of the 3 elements, there is a colapse and destruction of life. Sharera is one among the tripod of life and the knowledge of Sharera is obtained by Rachana Sharera (study of construction of the body or anatomy of the human body) and Kriya Sharera (functions of the human body or physiology of the human body), both of which constitute a science caled Sharera Tantra (comprehensive scrutinize of human body). So by understanding Sharera we understand life and by understanding life, we in turn understand the modes and methods of keping the life element in balance and in equilibrium such that each one of us indulge in a comprehensive health.
    Sharera, Kriya Sharera in particular deals with ‘understanding manas and atma’ also and also with reverence to their relationship with physical body.
    Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)
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