Everything You Need to Know About Srotas: According to Ayurveda

Today, we’re going to discuss the Srotas according to Ayurveda. The concepts and theories are based on Dr. Deepika Sharma, Dr. Sakshi and Dr. Subhash Upadhyay’s Introduction of Srotas in Ayurveda. Of course, with the help of Dr. Sumit Kesarkar’s video Concept of Srotas Made Simple from the National Library of Ayurveda Medicine (NLAM).  

According to Keshav Poudel, distribution helps to satisfy the needs of consumers by supplying an assortment of different products of different producers. From this, efficiency can be achieved in both production and distribution. So this concept is the same with Srotas, since Srotas can be correlated as the channels of the body that delivers or distributes nutrients. 

The Definition and Etymology

The word Srotas came from the root word ‘sru’ which means to exude or to flow. They serve as the body’s “channels” or “pathways,” carrying nutrients and other elements from one part of the body to another in order to produce tissue. In other words, these Srotas act as a conduit for the movement of materials from the site of production to the location of need.

Sushruta claims that Srotas are people who carry or transport things like Prana (the element of life), Anna (food), Vari (water), Mamsa, and Meda Dhathu. According to Charaka, there will be “Parinamanapadyamananam,” which means “undergoing transformation,” specifically means that the channel will contain tissue constituents that are changing from their original conditions. Only those mobile dhatus are conveyed by the channels of circulation; they do not carry sthira (Stable) dhatus.

Srotas are the intricate nervous system routes or channels that Vayu controls in order to carry out the physiological and functional functions of the human body. The following terms are used as synonyms for Srotas Sira: Vein; Dhamani: Artery; Rasayani: Lymphatic Ducts; Rasavahini: Capillary; Nadi: Tubular Conduits; Pantha: Passages; Marga: Pathways, Tracts; Sharirachidra: Body orifices; Ashaya: Repository; Niketa: Resort; Sthanas: Sites; Samvrutsamvrut.

Structure of Srotas

The structure of Srotas can be understood by the term Kha Vaigunya which is described as ‘malfunction’. The term Kha is synonymus to Aakash which means space or void and Vaigunya means dysfunction. So we can say that Srotas are encapsulated with Aakash, as Aakash is omnipresent and can be found everywhere. 

For example, there are three pots that we can call Space 1, Space 2, and Space 3 but if we crush the pots it will release the same type of space. Meaning is we can’t distinguish the shape and color of the space but we can distinguish the differences of space if there are pots. In conclusion, space or Aakash can be found everywhere. Using this concept to the human body, Aakash are found in every organ and srotas can be considered as the first cell. 

Specifically, kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. So it’s responsible for urine formation and distribution. Then it will go to the ureter and the bladder for urine distribution. Each of them has Aakash which fulfills the structural requirements of srotas but only the kidney because it only has the ability to form and distribute. The ureter and bladder can be considered as Sira and Dhamani because it can be an artery and veins according to Shushurut.  

Types of Srotas in a Human Body

Despite the fact that Srotas are theoretically infinite, a specific number is assumed in accordance with their defined functions. According to Charaka, there are thirteen of them, whereas Sushrutha, who called them Yogavahi, says there are eleven pairs or twenty-two Srotas. Srotas are mostly divided into Bahya and Abhyantara types. Males have nine Srotas Bahya Srotas or Bahirmukha Srotas, whereas females have twelve. There are six Bahya Srotas: two Nasa, two Karna, two Nayana, one Mehana, one Guda, and one Vedana. 2 stana randhra and 1 rakta patham in females.

Along with these vast material pathways, certain more crucial channels are described as follows:

  • Manovaha Srotas, which transmits electrical feelings and thoughts.
  • Stanyavaha Srotas: Stanyavaha Srotas are television channels that broadcast stanya (breast milk). 
  • Shabdavaha Srotas: when aggrevated either by themselves or with Bhadirya, are produced by Kapha.
  • Samjnavaha Srotas: Transmission channels for the Buddha, also known as Samjnavaha Srotas.
  • Swaravaha Srotas: Shabda-carrying channels are referred to as Swaravaha Srotas.

Following the completion of these many Srotas, we can sort them into three categories:

1. The first three are Pranavaha Srotas, which are linked to the intake of ambient factors.

Annavaha, (carrier of life or air, carrier of food), and Udakavaha (Carrier of water)

2. The distributors of Rasa are the middle seven (Plasma), Blood (Rakta), muscle tissue, and Meda (Fat), Asthi (skeletal tissue), Majja (brain or bone marrow) and Shukra (Semen)

3. The final three channels include Swedavaha (carrier of urine), Mutravaha, and no separate Srotas for the Purishavaha (carrier of feces) for the shareerika dosha has been described.

What is Srotomoola?

The sphere of influence is Srotomoola, Chakradatta. identifies Srotomoola as the region where Srotas are from, develops or appears. It is comparable to a tree’s root. Additionally, it is Prabhavasthana, which refers to the anatomical seat of the relevant Srotas. It is also the primary seat of the pathology of those Srotas or the main site of illness manifestation in those Srotas. The moolasthanas of their animals are initially affected by the causes and manifestations of Srotas’ sickness corresponding to Srotas. This type of molesthanas is classified.

Function of Srotas

  1. Grahana or sangrahana: Storage or collection 
  2. Sravana: secretes, oozing, discharge, exudates 
  3. Vahana: carry, conduction, transportation 
  4. Shoshana: Absorption, Assimilation 
  5. Nissarana: Elimination or excretion
  6. Pachana: Digestion 
  7. Vivechana: Selectivity 
  8. Receptacle 
  9. Diffusion 
  10. Perniation

Srotas is nothing more than a hollow area or space. Charaka Acharya claims that they have seen the body as a srota, or “Srotomayamayampurusha.” The human body is made up of numerous Srotas. Srotas represent all macro- and micro-level descriptions of exchange, movement, and excretion occurring within the human body. 

In order to study pathology and practice medicine, srotas and their moolasthana have been described. Knowing about Srotas and Srotovaigunya makes it easier to use vaidya to treat illnesses. The body would be protected from ailments as long as the Srotas continue to carry out their regular duties. 

Special thanks to NLAM: National Library of Ayurveda Medicine, Dr. Deepika Sharma, Dr. Sakshi and Dr. Subhash Upadhyay for the reference materials and Dr. Sumit Kesarkar for discussing the topic very clearly. Don’t forget to subscribe to Organic Ayurveda Life for more ayurvedic related updates! 

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