Planets and the Tissues of the Body

Modern Ayurveda

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The influence of the planets extends to the tissues (dhatus) of the body as described in Ayurveda. As with the doshas, there is not a final one-to-one correlation to the planets but a number of important correlations.

1. PLASMA (Rasa dhatu) - The Moon's rulership over the water element in the body and Kapha dosha brings its influence to the plasma or basic bodily fluid as well. A strong Moon provides good hydration to the body, which is the main function of the plasma. Classical Vedic astrology also considers Mercury because of its association with the skin, with which the plasma is connected. An afflicted Mercury can cause skin diseases, which often arise from a sensitive mind and nervous system.

2. BLOOD (Rakta dhatu) - In Ayurveda, Pitta or the fire-humor is a waste-material or by product of the blood. This connects it to Pitta planets like the Sun that governs the heart which drives the blood. In classical Vedic astrology, the role of the Moon as governing bodily fluids, of which the blood is the most important, is also considered. Mars as the planet causing most Pitta and blood disorders must not be forgotten either.

3. MUSCLE (Mamsa dhatu) - Mars is a planet of work and action, which in the physical body occurs mainly through the muscles, so its role relative to the muscles is ifnportant. Classical Vedic astrology also considers Saturn, which is responsible for the structure of the body. The muscles are the main tissue that forms the body.

4. FAT (Meda dhatu) - Jupiter is the main planet responsible for bulk, weight or largeness in the body, so its role relative the fat tissue is central. Yet the Moon's role to allow us to hold water and weight must also be considered.

5. BONE (Asthi dhatu) - The bone is the main Vata tissue in the

body and is intimately connected to the absorption of Prana in the large intestine, both of which factors relate to Saturn. Classical Vedic astrology also considers the role of the Sun because only if,the Sun is strong and digestion good can the bones be properly built up.

6. NERVE OR MARROW (Majja dhatu) - Mercury's connection to the nerves (gray marrow) is well known in both western and Vedic astrology. The role of Mars relative to the red marrow of the bones is another aspect of Majja Dhatu in Vedic thought. Saturn and Rahu as causing nervous system disorders, largely by depleting the nerve tissue, should not be overlooked either.

7. REPRODUCTIVE (Shukra dhatu) - The Sanskrit name for Venus as Shukra also refers to the reproductive fluid. The strength or weakness of the reproductive system is closely connected to the placement of Venus in the chart. Yet the Moon's general role in fertility is another significant factor.

Ayurvedic &


DETERMINATION of individual constitution is perhaps the most important factor behind correct physical and psychological treatment. We cannot simply look at all people, with their varying shapes and sizes, temperaments and inclinations, as the same. The same recommendations of food, exercise or even of meditation cannot be equally valid for everyone. One of the great values of traditional systems of medicine and astrology is that they provide individual typologies, which take these natural differences into account.

Ayurvedic medicine determines individual mind-body types according to its view of the three doshas or biological humors. Vedic astrology classifies people into personality types according to the nine planets. In this chapter, we will show how these two systems of typology correlate. By interfacing Ayurvedic biological types with the Vedic astrological types, we have a precise classification that can help us understand the full range of our potentials in life.

Ayurvedic medicine categorizes individuals according to which of the three doshas of Vata, Pitta or Kapha predominates in their nature, in what proportion and to what degree. The doshas reflect the condition of our prana or vital energy and our resultant psycho-physical expression, so we could also call these 'pranic' or 'vital energy' types.

Vedic astrology classifies people in several ways but most important is according to the dominant planet in the birth chart, with individual types based upon the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the two lunar nodes (Rahu and Ketu). These plan etary types are 'karmic types', reflecting our overall life-movement and experience. They reflect not only bodily and mental traits, but also the full range of our life-experience, inwardly and outwardly.

The great majority of people are one type primarily, either doshic or astrological, which usually can be easily ascertained. Yet even among the same types are higher or lower (spiritual or materialistic), strong or weak, or healthy and unhealthy manifestations. Once the individual type is determined, such variations can then be examined.

While planetary types are more numerous than doshic types, the three main doshic types can be increased to seven, with the addition of dual (Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Vata-Kapha) or triple types (Vata-Pitta-Kapha), and all nine planetary types have their doshic ramifications. As each one of us contains the influences of all the planets and all the doshas to some degree, such typologies remain relative - a good orientation toward our unique nature, but not the last word on who we are.

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