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Definition of Sharir

Ayurveda is based on the belief that good health is a result of balance between the mind, body, and spiritAyurveda views the body as a microcosm of the universe and describes it as composed of five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The human body is referred to as sharir in Ayurveda.

Definitions by Charak Samhita

शीर्यते अनेन इति शरीरम् ।

(Ch.Su.1 Chakrapani Tika)

The transformation process proceeds towards disintegration.

तत्र शरीरं नाम चेतनाधिष्ठानभूतं पञ्चमहाभूतविकारसमुदायात्मकं समयोगवाहि |

(Ch.Sha. 6/4)

The body, which maintains a state of equilibrium, represents the conglomeration of factors derived from the five mahabhutas, and it is the seat of the chetana (soul).

This shloka emphasizes the Ayurvedic view of the body as a complex system that includes both physical and subtle elements. The physical body is a combination of five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and ether – that come together in different proportions to form various tissues, organs, and systems. These elements are constantly in flux and transformation and are susceptible to the influence of external and internal factors that can disrupt their equilibrium and create an imbalance. Additionally, the shloka emphasizes the significance of consciousness as the dwelling place of the body, recognizing it as the vital force that animates the physical form and gives it life. Ayurveda acknowledges both the interconnectedness of the mind and body, and the significant role of consciousness in maintaining health and well-being.

Definiton of Sharir

Furthermore, the shloka emphasizes the importance of balance and harmony in the body. The different elements and energies that make up the body must be in a state of equilibrium to create a cohesive and functional whole. Ayurveda recognizes that imbalances in these elements can lead to physical and mental disorders. It emphasizes that maintaining balance is essential for good health. Overall, the shloka highlights the holistic perspective of Ayurveda. Which views the body as a complex and interconnected system that must be approached in a comprehensive and integrated manner. This will help to achieve optimal health and well-being.

Definitions by Sushrut Samhita

शुक्रशोणितं गर्भाशयस्थ आत्मप्रकृतिविकार संमूर्छितं गर्भ इत्युच्यते |
तं चेतनावस्थितं वायुविर्भजति, तेज एनं पचति,
आपः क्लेदयन्ति, पृथिवी संहन्ति,
आकाशं विवर्धयति, एवं विवर्धितः स यदा हस्तपादजिव्हाघ्राणकर्णनितम्बादिभिर्अङ्गेरूपेतस्तदा शरीरं इति संज्ञा लभते |

तत्र षडङ्गं- शाखाश्चतस्त्रो, मध्यं पञ्चम, षष्ठं शिर इति |

(Su.Sha. 5/3)

It is the coalescence of the male and female seeds in the uterus where the soul combines with them intimately along with eight prakruthis (Elementary principles) and sixteen formations of prakruthi (vikaras). The eight prakruthis are Avyaktha, Mahan, Ahankara, and the five tanmataras. The sixteen vikaras are the five mahabhuta and eleven indiryas. When garbha is actively energetic, vayu forms further prithvi strengthens it and akasha (space) develops the same. The embryo is a styled body (Shareera) only when it is developed with hands, feet, tongue, nose, ears, buttocks and other organs.

Derivation of the word Sharir

The term Sharir comes from the Sanskrit word ‘shari,’ which means ‘to decay.’ Sharir refers to the physical body that contains the soul. According to Ayurveda, the body comprises of three doshas, or energies – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They govern various bodily functions. These doshas are responsible for maintaining the balance and harmony in the body. Any imbalance in them can lead to physical and mental ailments.

Ayurveda views the human body as a complex system of interconnected organs and systems that work together to maintain health and vitality. The body is responsible for nourishing and supporting itself, and comprises seven dhatus, or tissues. These are Rasa (plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscle), Meda (fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (marrow), and Shukra (reproductive tissue).

Other concepts included under Sharir

The concept of sharir in Ayurveda also includes the concept of agni, or digestive fire. Agni is responsible for breaking down food and converting it into energy that the body can use. Ayurveda believes that digestive disorders and other health issues can arise due to an imbalance in agni.

Ayurveda also recognizes the importance of the mind-body connection in maintaining good health. The mind can influence the body in many ways as it is a powerful tool. The three gunas, or qualities, namely Sattva (purity), Rajas (activity), and Tamas (inertia) makes up the mind. These qualities can influence our thoughts, emotions, and behavior, and can have a profound impact on our physical health.

In Ayurveda, the body is seen as a microcosm of the universe. It is governed by the same principles that govern the natural world. The seasons, the cycles of the moon, and other natural phenomena are all believed to have an impact on our health and well-being. Ayurveda recognizes the importance of living in harmony with nature. It encourages people to follow a seasonal routine that includes diet, exercise, and other lifestyle practices. These should be appropriate for each season.

In conclusion, sharir is a concept in Ayurveda that refers to the physical body that houses the soul. It is believed to be made up of three doshas, seven dhatus, and agni. All of these work together to maintain health and vitality. Ayurveda recognizes the importance of the mind-body connection, and encourages people to follow a holistic approach to health. It includes diet, exercise, and lifestyle practices that are appropriate for each individual’s unique constitution. Moreover, individuals can attain optimal health and well-being by living in harmony with nature and following Ayurvedic principles.

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