Functions of Srotas: Body Channels

Functions of srotas

According to their physical structure, they transport food, plasma, blood and other dhatus, dosas, malas, life-force and so on. Their main functions are as follows:

  1. Transports food nutrients from the gastro-intestinal tract to their respective dhatus to nourish them and making it possible for them to regenerate.
  2. Cleanses the body by transporting wastes such as feces, urine and sweat to their sites of elimination, thus keeping the body fit and healthy.
  3. Supports life by sustaining the breath.
  4. No chemical element in the body can be produced, nourished or suffer an increase or decrease without the help of the srota.
  5. Srotas are central to all the functions of the body, being responsible for all movements like transport of malas, sensory or tactile feelings, emotions, desires and so on. Hence, they help in performing all body activities. Srota are present in every part of the body from the smallest cell of the body, to all minor and major body organs.

Srotas and emergence of diseases

The importance of srotas for the smooth functioning of bodily processes is evident.

Consequently, it is of utmost importance that the srotas remain in their natural healthy state

like the dosas and the dhatus.

Even one of an unhealthy or diseased srota affects t

Functions of Srotas: Body Channels

he surrounding srotas which causes ailments related to both. |f any of the srota, whether a cell or ant) minor or major body part, does not perform its function perfectly, then toxic elements accumulate in these srotas and these cells or body parts suffer from severe diseases nice cancer, for example, if the srota of the skin cells and blood cells get corrupted, it results in slon cancer and blood cancer.

Healthy srota enhance the smooth circulation of dosas, dhatus and upadhatus throughout the body and speed the movement of malas to their excretory orifices. Diseased srotas pass on their state of imbalance to the dosas, dhatus and malas they carry, which in turn further corrupt the srotas due to the circulation of vitiated dosas, dhatus and malas. It becomes a vicious cycle. If dhatus or malas accumulates in the srotas, the metabolic process of that dhatu is hampered. The adjoining dhatus are also adversely affected, due to the obstruction in the circulatory process of the dhatus. This leads to ama dosa, which travels to other parts of the body, blocking other srotas and causing ailments. The common cold and related diseases are a good example. The out-of-balance dosas travels from the diseased nasal channel (srota) to the srota in the thoracic region causing cough. Through these channels, dosa reaches the ear and it causes earache, heaviness and deafness. When it flows to the head, it causes sinusitis. It causes bronchitis on reaching the lungs and dysentery on reaching the bowels. Hence, it is necessarily required to keep all the srotas clean and in good health.

 Types of srotas

Our body is a network of innumerable large and small channels (srotas). Some srotas, like the gastro-intestinal tract, arteries, veins, lymphatic, reproductive and urinary tracts, and so on, are visible to the naked eye. Others arc so small that they can be seen only under the most powerful microscope, like the minute cells. In a complete human body there are millions of srotas.

The Body and its Vital Forces

Ayurveda, yoga and other scriptures describe the human body along with their interaction with inner consciousness, in depth. By the activation of energies present within the inner self one can prevent oneself from forthcoming diseases and can also get free of existing diseases. This way it also describes the various techniques by which one can move on the path to reach God and attain complete bliss. These vital forces and their mode of action are described in the form of:

  1. Tridanda (The three dimensions of life – body mind {psyche} and soul)
  2. Panca pancaka (The five pentads)
  3. Pancakosa (The five spiritual body sheaths)
  4. Body physiology and Astacakra (The eight cakras)
  5. Astacakra and its relation with various yogic practices and kundalirii yoga

Tridanda: The Three Dimensions of Life – Body, Mind

(Psyche) and Soul

Body, Mind (psyche) and Soul (The True Self or Consciousness) together constitute Tridanda in Ayurveda. They remain located in mutual association with each other. This makes the existence of life possible. The combination of these three jointly constitutes a body, an immortal essence of a living individual, and it is within this body where everything exists. By acquiring the precise knowledge of this Tridanda, i.e. Body, Mind and Soul, an expert physician can diagnose the nature, etiology or cause and location of a disease, and accordingly can choose a suitable treatment including medication, food and lifestyle.

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