SROTAS -- Channel

Resources = Dr. Mhaiskar, Dr. Lad, and the Classics (Caraka)


Srotas is channel; the origin of srotas is in akasa. Akasha does not come from anywhere and it doesn’t go anywhere. The cardinal feature is NOT coming across anything i.e. non resistance.

The origin of akasha leads to mula akasha--we only capture space in the formation of a body/house/ etc.

Akasa is spread throughout the body

It is different from sira and dhamani

It is NOT blood vessels

Ca. =  The body itself is nothing else but a congregation of srotas.

Body compartments exist to permit the functioning of the respective tissue.

Space is necessary for flow but also for the nutrition.

There are as many srotamsi in body as there are different substances. e.g. 7 dhatus (meaning 7 tissues) and requires 7 channels (1 for each) (all of these are commonly called the nutritional channels) + 3 for the three malas (wastes)--purisha (feces), mutra (urine), sveda (sweat)--called the elimination channels-- + 3 srotamsi for intake: food + prana + water

1.      Synonyms: srotas, sira, dhamani, rasayani, rasavahini, nadi, pathin, marga, shariracchidra, samvritasamvrita, sthana, ashyaya, niketa are the names for the visible and invisible spaces within the body.

2.      aggregation--like attracts like and hence similar materials come together to form specific tissues, organs, and so on

3.      innumerable--they are indefinite in quantity

4.      # srotamsi named by:

·        Caraka - 13

·        Susruta – 16; excluded 2 for surgery sveda and majja; but comes up with three more: reproduction = vaginal passage (garbhovahasrotas), nutrition of child with breast milk = breasts (stanya vahasrotas), and mind (manovahasrotas)

According to Caraka all srotamsi are available to the doshas for movement

Mind must move and moves to the level of limit of senses (hair and nails have no sense and are then the limit of mind) Mind works with the sense organs.

The color of the srotas is the same as the color of the corresponding tissue

The srotamasi are : 

·        large

·        minute

·        elongated

·        branching

The color aspect is important because it’s implied in the thinness of srotamsi

A srotas is a unit of production, producing a new substance; giving rise to a new substance requires a srotas

Therefore, for the multitude of new substances there is a multitude of srotamsi

As long as the srotas is functioning normally, health is possible. See Ca. Vi. 5. 1-31

There are two types of tissue:

·        those that support work e.g. make the kidney  (Dr. Lad says this is sthayi)

·        those doing the special work e.g. doing the work of the kidney (Dr. Lad says that this is asthayi) these are specialized structures and are helpful in making new body structures

According to Caraka the mula or root is the controlling organ  N.B. know about their vitiation = prokopavijnan

Each srotas has two controlling organs:

1.      prana--that channel in which vital breath flows :   1) hridayam = heart    2) mahasrotas = GI tract

2.      udaka--that which carries water  1) talu (palate or upper part of the mouth  2) kloma = undefined (pancreas?)

3.      anna--flow of food 1) amashaya   2)  vama parsva  (gullet/food pipe?)

4.      rasa--flow of plasma (and lymph)  1) hridayam = heart   2)  10 great vessels connected to the heart itself (all vessels entering and exiting the heart)

5.      rakta--flow of blood  1) liver   2) spleen

6.      mamsa--muscle  1) snayu  = tendons   2) tvak = skin  (flow here means component part providing nutrition to)

7.      meda--fat  1) vrikau = kidneys  2) vapavahanam = omentum (part of peritoneum = a big sack containing fat)

8.      asthi--bone  1) meda  2)  jaghanam = pubic part of bony pelvis

9.      majja--bone marrow  1) asthi = bones   2) sandhi = joints

10.  sukra--semen  1) vrisha¦au = testicles  2) shepha = penis

11.  mutra--urine  1) basti = urinary bladder  2) vankshana = ureter ( external passage sometimes included)

12.  purisa--feces  1) sth³laguda  = anus  2) pakvashaya = large colon

13.  sveda--sweat  1) medas = fat  2) lomakupa = hair follicles


If the root of a tree is injured the whole tree suffers; therefore same with srotamsi and their roots

With regard to the annavahasrotas--if food flow restricted food does not enter stomach and same if stomach is affected

The components of Srotamsi

1.      roots / mulas

2.      channels / margas

3.      the flowing substance / vayabhava

4.      opening / mukha

Some srotas have external opening such as the mouth and anus and others not (such as ambu)

For the female 11 open to the outside and for the male 9 open to the outside



1.      factors which vitiate doshas also vitiate srotamsi e.g. food, drink, exercise, etc. For example even if you take in food properly prepared etc. you will not be able to digest it if mind suffers from fear, worry, anger, uncomfortable bed

2.      specific factors affecting each specific srotas e.g. asatbhya  (asatmya) bhojana -- non agreeable food affects the anna v.s. (food channel)



1.      atipravriti = excessive flow

2.      samga = obstructed flow

3.      sira granthi = localized dilatation (such as vericose veins)

4.      vimarga gamana = out of the course of the channel  e.g. eating too much tares stomach so obstruction may occur in stomach



1.      Pra na v.s. = wasting, suppression of urges, roughness, physical exercise, during hunger and severe factors

2.      Udaka v.s. = heat, ama, fear, drinking, dry food and suppression of thirst

3.      Anna v.s. = excessive quantity of food, untimely, and unwholesome food leading to derangement of agni

4.      Rasa v.s. = heavy, cold, too oily, excessive quantity, excessive mental work

5.      Rakta v.s. = food and drink causing burning, too oily, hot and liquid, exposure to sun and fire

6.      Mamsa v.s. = food that is channel-blocking, bulky, heavy; day sleep

7.      Meda v.s. = lack of exercise, day sleep, excessive fatty foods and alcohol

8.      Asthi v.s. = excessive physical exercise, jerking, rubbing of bones, and constant use of vata increasing factors

9.      Majja v.s. = crushing, excessive bath, injury, compression, constant use of antagonistic foods

10.  Shukra v.s. = sex during improper time and non-vaginal place, suppression of discharge of semen, excessive sex, faulty surgery, drug, and cauterization

11.  Mutra v.s. = taking water, food, or coitus during urge for micturation, suppression of urge, especially in those who are wasted or wounded

12.  Purisha v.s. = suppression of urge for defecation, over-eating, eating during indigestion or when previous meal is not yet digested, and especially in those who are lean and thin

13.  Sveda v.s. = excessive physical exercise, excessive heat, use of hot then cold things not in natural order, anger, grief, fear




(A general note from Caraka—the symptoms of the srotas carrying dhatus is same for the dhatus respectively.)


1.      Prana vahasrotas (v.s.)= too long, short, aggravated, shallow or frequent breathing with sound and pain

2.      Udaka v.s. = dryness of tongue, palate, lips, throat, and kloma; excessive thirst

3.      Anna v.s. = anorexia or no desire for food (anna abhiloshanam), no taste  (arocaka ), indigestion (avipaka), vomiting (cardi)

4.      Rasa v.s. = loss of desire for food, anorexia, distaste in mouth, loss of taste sensation, heaviness, drowsiness, body-ache, fever, feeling of darkness, paleness, obstruction of channels, impotency, malaise, laziness, loss of digestive power, untimely wrinkles and grey hair

5.      Rakta v.s. = leprosy, erysipelas, boils, gulma, abscess, nilika, jaundice, vyanga, piplu, tilakalaka (black moles), ringworm, psoriasis, leucoderma, papules, urticarial patches, red patches

6.      Mamsa v.s. = adhimamsa, arbuda (tumor), kila, galashaluka, galashundika, putimamsa, alaji, ganda, cervical adenitis, upa jihvika

7.      Meda v.s. = the dispicable ones and premonitory signs and symptoms of prameha

8.      Asthi v.s. = adhyasthi, adhidanta, dantabheda, asthisula, discoloration, abnormality in head hair, body hair, nail, beards and moustaches

9.      Majja v.s. = pain in joints, fainting, feeling of darkness and appearance of thick based wounds

10.  Shukra v.s. = impotency and erectile dysfunction, progeny sick, impotent, short-lived, deformed; poor chance of conception, higher chance of miscarriage or abortion

11.  Mala v.s. = breaking, drying up, excessive retention or excretion, and other maladies of the wastes



(Quoted from Caraka so notice that he refers reader to other chapters where the treatment has already been given)


amapradoshika  = deal with ama or treat indigestion  via 1) pacana--helping digestion and 2) dipana--building agni and 3) anuloma--promoting movement such as sipping hot water 4) langhana--stop eating or eat very little at meal and drink hot water; this gives agni time to rekindle


Rasa = all reducing measures

Rakta = see chapter on properly formed blood

Mamsa = evacuative measures, application of alkali and cauterization

Meda = see Ch 8 on despicable ones

Asthi = the 5 evacuative measures, enema, and bitter medicated milk and ghritam

Majja = intake of predominately bitter and sweet food, sexual intercourse, physical exercise, elimination of the doshas in time and place

Shukra = intake of predominately bitter and sweet food, sexual intercourse, physical exercise, elimination of the doshas in time and place

Malas =  as stated in the suppression of urges




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