By Yogi Ashwini

Ayurveda defines the physical body as ‘Dosha dhatu mala mool hi shariram’, i.e., the body is composed of doshas, dhatus and malas. These three factors direct and manipulate the physical manifestation of the body.

The Vedic seers interestingly saw the physical body as dosha, an impurity, the very reason for a body’s existence. If these impurities are removed, the body ceases to exist.

Let me share an interesting incident from the life of the great Yogi Ramakrishna Paramhansa with you, to help understand what a dosha means. He was fond of eating varieties of food and would very frequently send demands of many different dishes to be prepared by his wife. One day she asked him, “you teach people about sattvik diet and following a healthy regimen and here you feast on so many different dishes every couple of hours. How come you don’t follow what you preach?” He replied, “my body has become so subtle and light that if I do not indulge and add heavy or gross prana to it, the soul will not be able to sustain itself in the body and will leave the body. I have yet to discharge my responsibilities, the time for me to leave has not yet come. Therefore, I eat to keep the body dooshit (contaminated). Three days from when I will stop eating, I will leave the body”. And when he did, his wife immediately knew what was going to happen...and it did happen.

So for the soul to exist, impurity is required. It is this impurity which gives rise to desires that further give rise to experiences in the normal life.

Ayurveda, is based on these three doshas. Most individuals are made up of a combination of two doshas with one being more dominant than the other, thus defining the character of the person.

There are several traits ranging from the eyes, hair, hands, digestion to dreams that tells you the dosha that makes you. 

In the next few issues I will take you through individual doshas, their traits, associated diseases and ayurvedic remedies. Until then, you can take this test and find out which dosha are you. /ask-vaid.php

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.