।। ॐ श्री धन्वन्तरये नमः ।।

TABLE OF CONTENT

  1. Introduction
  2. गुरु – Heavy
    1. Definition of Guru Guna
    2. Description of गुरु गुण (Guru Guna)
    3. Benefits or Effects of गुरु गुण (Guru Guna)
  3. लघु – Light
    1. Definition of Laghu Guna
    2. Description of लघु गुण (Laghu Guna)
    3. Benefits or Effects of लघु गुण (Laghu Guna)
  4. Comparison chart of गुरु & लघु properties
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INTRODUCTION

The two properties are the one opposite to each other. Infact, the two are those which are dependent on the same factors namely the density of the substance, pressure of the media which is either fluid or gas and their relative forces like Buoyancy. Even the consideration of the factor weight also is relative in its own sense which is only appreciated when compared with another object. To determine this, force known as Buoyancy is to be considered as important. The force Buoyancy is defined as an upward force exerted by the fluid or gas that opposes the weight of the object. It usually depends on the density of the object relative to the fluid or the gas where it is being suspended. Hence, if the object is less dense then it floats while the opposite, it sinks or falls on the ground. Hence when the density of the object is higher than the pressure exerted by the media (Liquid or gas) then it tends to fall, shows increase in weight and becomes heavy while the opposite results is floating, decrease in weight and becomes light.

Among the five Mahabutas, Prithvi and Jala are known for the property of compactness and binding which together increases the density of the object while the other three namely Akasha, Vayu and Agni are known for the property of Vivarana (separation), Chala (movement) and Pachana (Disintegration) which together decrease the density of the object. Hence these are attributed with the Guru and Laghu Guna respectively.

।। सर्वे जनाः सुखिनो भवन्तु सर्वे सन्तु निरामय ।।​

गुरु गुण – Guru Guna

Generally this property is equated as that property which results in Heavy (Intense weight) effect of a particular substance and is regarded to supplement the same effect into the body. The equating of Guru Guna to weight is with regards to the physical dimension or understanding of the property and not its chemical characteristics. Among the twenty selected properties Guru Guna is being the foremost which is a common aspect seen in all the texts. The property assumes utmost importance basically due to its great influence over the body as it results in the activity of Brimhana as told by Hemadri. The Brimhana action is one of the primary actions that are being observed by the scholars. Hence, it is also considered under the label of Shadupakrama by Charaka. This property being the main cause to initiate the said action of Brimhana, probably this is considered to be of utmost importance. 

But in the context of Dravyaguna, the weight of the object is not taken much into consideration other than in the process of dose fixation of the medicine. Thus, the property heaviness of substance will assume a different definition in the context of Dravyaguna.

DEFINITION OF GURU GUNA

There are various definitions for this property. But the one that is important from the context of Dravyaguna is being considered here. Thus two references are considered as mentioned below:

  1. यस्य द्रव्यस्य बृंहणे शक्तिः स गुरुः । (हेमाद्रि)
  2. गुरु वातहरं पुष्टिश्लेष्मकृत् चिरपाकि च । (भावप्रकाश)

As per Hemadri the factor that is present in the substance and is responsible for the बृंहण (Brimhana) effect on the body is to be considered as गुरु (Guru).

As per Bhavaprakasha, गुरु (Guru) is that factor present in the substance which is responsible for the control of vitiated वात (Vata), provides nourishment, has the ability to vitiate कफ (Kapha) and results in delayed digestion.

DESCRIPTON OF GURU GUNA

As the above definition goes the substance which is predominant with this property is considered to be heavy for digestion (चिरपाकी). This forms the point of assessment with respect to the chemical character of the substance with respect to the property GURU. As per the reference from Prashasthapada, the physical parameter of analysis with respect to this property is the tendency of the substance to fall down or sink in the subjected media. It is mentioned that property which makes the substance to fall down (पतन) towards the earth.

The main cause for the above nature of the property GURU is due to the fact that it is supposed to be manifested due to the predominance of पृथ्वी or जल महाभूत or both. It is Primary property of पृथ्वी महाभूत but is also seen in the other preceding जल महाभूत as well. Thus the effect of these predominant components of the substance either single or both will decide the intensity of the property. Even the level of predominance will be instrumental in determining the intensity too.

BENEFITS OR EFFECTS OF GURU GUNA

Any part of the body that is said to be predominant with the related महाभूत (Mahabhuta) will be affected leading to their increase or predominance. Thus all the components of the body namely दोष, धातु & मल which form the basic composition of the body are directly affected by the property. The effects of Guru Guna on these components are as under:

DHATU

As most parts of the body is dominated with these two महाभूत (Mahabhuta) itself, the use of substances which is predominant with this property will lead to increase in bulkiness of the body parts (बृंहण) or simply increase of the body tissues (धातु वृद्धि).

DOSHA

With respect to the Dosha also the same chemistry of the महाभूत (Mahabhuta) is applied, where the Dosha with the similar composition is the कफ दोष (Kapha Dosha). Hence, the predominance of this property will lead to vitiation of the कफ दोष (Kapha Dosha) or its simple increase. As the quality is opposite to those mentioned for the वात दोष (Vata Dosha), it results in the control of the same. 

MALA

With respect to the effect on मल (Mala) too there will be increase in bulkiness of the same as there is increase in the formation of the tissues so is the metabolism and hence the bye-products tends to increase in quantity. 

MANAS

The effect of the property has its own expression too. As the substance takes majority of the energy and time for digestion (चिरपाकी), the relative effect on the mental faculty is that this property will result in lethargic or lassitude of mental status. 

।। सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु माकश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।।

लघु गुण – Laghu Guna

DEFINITION OF LAGHU GUNA

This Guna is taken as the opposite of the Guru Guna and hence it is generally equated to the property of Light in weight and like the earlier one it is said to attribute the same property to the body. The equating of the property to Light in weight is a relative measure where the determination is done on the basis of a comparison with another object. Physically the property is denoted by the ability of the substance to float or comparatively have lesser weight which makes it lighter than the rest of the substance in consideration. As per Hemadri, the property has utmost importance like its opposite as it results in the activity of Langhana. Even this is also considered one among the Shadupakrama of Charaka. This property is said to be the main cause to initiate the action of Langhana which makes it more prominent and common to be applied. 

But in the context of Dravyaguna, the weight of the object is not taken much into consideration other than in the process of dose fixation of the medicine. Thus, the property lightness of the substance will assume a different definition in the context of Dravyaguna.

  1. लङ्घने लघुः ____। (हेमाद्रि)
  2. लघु पथ्यं परं प्रोक्तं कफघ्नं शीघ्रपाकि च । (भावप्रकाश)

As per Hemadri the factor that is present in the substance and is responsible for the लंघन (Langhana) effect on the body is to be considered as लघु (Laghu).

As per Bhavaprakasha, लघु (Laghu) is that factor present in the substance which is responsible for the substance to be most preferred one under controlled diet, control of vitiated कफ (Kapha) and results in quick digestion.

DESCRIPTON OF LAGHU GUNA

As the above definition goes the substance which is predominant with this property is considered to be light for digestion (शीघ्रपाकी). This forms the point of assessment with respect to the chemical character of the substance with respect to the property LAGHU. The physical parameter of analysis with respect to this property is the ability of the substance to keep afloat or tend to rise above in the suspended media whether it is liquid or gas.

The main cause for the above nature of the property LAGHU is due to the fact that it is supposed to be manifested due to the predominance of अग्नि, वायु or आकाश महाभूत, either two or all of them. It is Primary property of आकाश महाभूत but is also seen in the successive महाभूत as well. Thus the effect of these predominant components of the substance either single, two or all will decide the intensity of the property. Even the level of predominance will be instrumental in determining the intensity too.

DESCRIPTON OF LAGHU GUNA

Any part of the body that is said to be predominant with the related महाभूत (Mahabhuta) will be affected leading to their increase or predominance. Thus all the components of the body namely दोष, धातु & मल which form the basic composition of the body are directly affected by the property. The effects of Laghu Guna on these components are as under:

DHATU

Among the seven धातु (Dhatu), those which are predominated by either of these three महाभूत (Mahabhuta) like अस्थि (Asthi) will be most affected. But its effect on the other धातु (Dhatu) is more noticed where it causes the increase the opposite qualities resulting in the decrease in the quality and quantity of the धातु (Dhatu) in general. Hence, this property will lead to decrease in bulkiness of the body parts (लंघनम्) or simply decrease of the body tissues (धातु क्षय).

DOSHA

With respect to the Dosha also the same chemistry of the महाभूत (Mahabhuta) is applied, where the Dosha which is composed of these महाभूत (Mahabhuta) are वात and पित्त दोष (Vata & Pitta Dosha). Hence, the predominance of this property will lead to vitiation of either वात or पित्त दोष (Vata or Pitta Dosha) or its simple increase. As the quality is opposite to those mentioned for the कफ दोष (Kapha Dosha), it results in the control of the same. 

MALA

With respect to the effect on मल (Mala) too there will be decrease in bulkiness of the same. As there is deterioration of energy and nutrition supplied by the substance which is necessary for the formation of tissues, there is decrease in their formation too. This in turn results in decrease in the bye-product formation resulting in the fall of bulkiness of मल (excretory products).  

MANAS

The effect of the property has its own expression too. As the substance is easily digestible, there is less consumption of energy and time for digestion (लघुपाकी), the relative effect on the mental faculty is that this property will result in mental alertness or energised mind. 

।। ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।

COMPARISON CHART OF THE गुरु (GURU) & लघु (LAGHU) PROPERTIES

CRITERIA

  1. Name
  2. English equivalent term
  3. Physical Equivalent
  4. Chemical Equivalent
  5. Action on Dosha
  6. Action on Dhatu
  7. Action on Mala
  8. Action on Agni (Appetite)
  9. General Action on Body
  10. General Action on Mind
  11. Panchamahabhuta Base
  12. Examples

आग्नेय गुण (LAGHU GUNA)

  1. लघु
  2. Lightness
  3. Light in weight or Buoyant 
  4. Highly Reactive
  5. Vatakara and Kaphahara 
  6. Langahana or Dhatuhrasa 
  7. Decrease excretion 
  8. Increase Appetite 
  9. Decrease strength & Bulkiness
  10.  Alert and energised mind
  11. आकाश, वायु, अग्नि
  12.  मुद्ग, लाजा

सौम्य गुण (GURU GUNA)

  1. गुरु
  2. Heaviness
  3. Heavy in weight
  4. Less reactive or Non-reactive
  5. Kaphakara and Vatahara 
  6. Brimhana or Dhatukara 
  7. Increase excretion 
  8. Decrease Appetite 
  9. Increase strength & Bulkiness 
  10. Lassitude and lethargic mind
  11. पृथ्वि, जल
  12.  माष, मुशली

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