।। ॐ श्री धन्वन्तरये नमः ।।

TABLE OF CONTENT

  1. Introduction
  2. स्निग्ध – Snigdha
    1. Definition of स्निग्ध गुण (Snigdha Guna)
    2. Description of स्निग्ध गुण (Snigdha Guna)
    3. Benefits or Effects of स्निग्ध गुण (Snigdha Guna)
  3. रूक्ष – Ruksha
    1. Definition of रूक्ष गुण (Ruksha Guna)
    2. Description of रूक्ष गुण (Ruksha Guna)
    3. Benefits or Effects of रूक्ष गुण (Ruksha Guna)
  4. Comparison chart of स्निग्ध & रूक्ष properties
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INTRODUCTION

Among the twenty properties that are considered under this group, the two namely Snigdha and Ruksha are considered to be one of the most used properties in the different treatment methodologies. Its prominence is so much evident that the two are considered to be the primary properties or even the potentiated properties named under Veerya. The two properties are the one opposite to each other. Infact, the two are those which are dependent on the same factor namely the moisture which is either provided or removed  by the substance. Thus the two properties namely Snigdha and Ruksha represent the property that imparts moisture and eliminate moisture respectively. The two properties are so powerful that they have the ability to bind or split a substance, surface or everything that is present in this creation. Thus these two properties are regarded as the main one for which they are considered under the concept of Veerya (Potency) too. Among the five Mahabutas, Vayu and Jala are known to possess the property of Ruksha and Snigdha respectively. Vayu by its capacity dries up the moisture which in turn results in disintegration. Even Agni too is said to possess this property in general except the one present in the body namely the Pitta Dosha. But when Agni and Vayu combine then the effect of Ruksha is enormous. This is due to the fact that Agni in presence of Vayu becomes virulent and both together bring about considerable changes in the form of Pachana (Disintegration) while Jala has the ability to bind the components of the substance by virtue of the moisture that it possesses. Thus the two properties have the ability to provide considerable unstability and stability to the substance respectively.
।। सर्वे जनाः सुखिनो भवन्तु सर्वे सन्तु निरामय ।।​

स्निग्ध गुण – Snigdha Guna

Generally the property Snigdha is equated as that property which imparts Moisturizing (Humidify) effect of a particular surface or substance with which it comes in contact and is regarded to supplement the same effect into the body. 

The equating of Snigdha Guna to Oiliness, Unctuousness or Moisture is with regards to both the physical dimension and chemical characteristic feature of the substance. The ability of the substance to supplement moisture to the substance or its surface or both forms the most important effect of the property. This gives its physical dimension of the property. In case of the chemical dimension, the property has the ability to forge bonds between surfaces and substances and probably in the level of atoms or molecules too.

The property assumes utmost importance basically due to its great influence over the body as it results in the activity of Kledana as told by Hemadri. The Snehana action is one of the primary actions that are being observed by the scholars as it is the basic requirement to carry out many other treatment modalities. It is that effect of the substance that has the power to soothe and prevent the ill effects of the high potent medicines that has the capacity to erode the tissues. It is also considered as the main pre-requisite for conducting a Shodhana therapy too. Hence, it is also considered under the label of Shadupakrama by Charaka. This property being the main cause to initiate the said action of Kledana or Snehana, probably this is considered to be of utmost importance. 

But in the context of Dravyaguna, the emphasis is given to the property that performs the action of Kledana by the substance that possesses it on the surface or the body on which it is used. 

DEFINITION OF SNIGDHA GUNA

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

  1. यस्य द्रव्यस्य क्लेदने शक्तिः स स्निग्धः । (हेमाद्रि)
  2. स्नेहमार्दवकृत् स्निग्धो बलवर्णकरस्तथा  । (सु.सू.)
  3. स्निग्धं वातहरं श्लेष्मकारि वृष्यं बलावहम् । (भावप्रकाश)

As per Hemadri the factor that is present in the substance and is responsible for the क्लेदन (Kledana) effect on the body is to be considered as स्निग्ध (Snigdha).

As per Sushruta, the property स्निग्ध is the property that results in the softening (मृदु) of the whole substance or surface of the body along with the increase in the strength (बल) and enhance the colour of the body (वर्ण) 

As per Bhavaprakasha, स्निग्ध (Snigdha) is that factor present in the substance which is responsible for the control of vitiated वात (Vata), but vitiate कफ (Kapha) and results in the action of वृष्य (Vrishya – Aphrodisiac) and increase of strength (बल).

DESCRIPTON OF SNIGDHA GUNA

As the above definition goes the substance which is responsible to result in the moisture of the surface with which it comes in contact with. This is also attributed with the same action inside the body too. It is known by a coating of dampness on the surface with which the substance has been in contact. It forms the point of assessment with respect to the physical character while the chemical property can be understood by the factor that it increases the body water and moisture. It also has the ability to hydrate the body either locally or generally when applied externally or taken internally respectively. In fact, this nature forms the chemical nature of the substance which is measurable through different methods like Biomedical impedance analysis.

The main causative element for the said property SNIGDHA is due to the fact that it is supposed to be manifested due to the predominance of जल महाभूत. It is the Primary property of जल महाभूत but is also seen in  पृथ्वी महाभूत as well as a subsidiary or a situationally manifesting property.  The level of predominance will be instrumental in determining the intensity of the property too.

BENEFITS OR EFFECTS OF SNIGDHA 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 Snigdha Guna on these components are as under:

DHATU

As most parts of the body is dominated with these जल महाभूत (Mahabhuta) itself, the use of substances which is predominant with this property will lead to increase in the strength of the Dhatus and as a result increase in the stamina of the body. It also leads to proper hydration of the skin surface which will result in the enhancement of fairness. Finally, it makes the body parts मृदु (soft) and results in fairness of the body. 

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. With respect to Pitta Dosha too it is very antagonist, hence one can see the control of पित्त दोष (Pitta Dosha). But when the same property is associated with उष्ण (Ushna) property then it will lead to the vitiation of the पित्त दोष (Pitta Dosha).

MALA

With respect to the effect on मल (Mala) too there will be increase in bulkiness of the same as the moisture will make the excretory products to swell. Hence there will be proper excretion of excretory products from the body which may be sweat, urine, faeces, etc. 

MANAS

The effect of the property on the mind is that it gives a pleasure feeling due to the softness that it creates. Moreover, its association with other properties in the substance is an important aspect to determine its effect. It may cause an irritative effect when it is associated with the उष्ण गुण (Ushna Guna). 

।। सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु माकश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।।

रूक्ष गुण – Ruksha Guna

DEFINITION OF RUKSHA GUNA

This Guna is taken as the opposite of the Snigdha Guna and hence it is generally equated to the property of dryness and like the earlier one it is said to attribute the same property to the body. The equating of the property to dry perception is obtained due to the loss of moisture that is seen on the surface. Physically the property is denoted by the absence of moisture in a particular surface. As per Hemadri, the property has utmost importance like its opposite as it results in the activity of शोषण (Shoshana). Even this is also considered one among the Shadupakrama of Charaka under the name रूक्षण (Rukshana). The word शोषण (Shoshana) refers to the action of the substance which has the ability to absorb the moisture from the other surface on which it acts. This results in break of the surface making it rough to touch which is the major parameter for the analysis of moisture loss. The substance having good affinity towards moisture will be actually absorbing it which is known in general as hygroscopic. This forms the chemical nature of the substance that has this property.

But in the context of Dravyaguna, the action of शोषण (Shoshana) by the substance which can be equated to the hygroscopic activity is to be taken where the moisture from the surrounding is absorbed by the substance rendering dryness to the surrounding surfaces. Thus, the hygroscopic or dryness property of the substance is to be considered in the context of Dravyaguna.

  1. यस्य शोषणे शक्तिः रूक्षः। (हेमाद्रि)
  2. रूक्षस्तद्विपरीतः स्याद् विशेषात् स्तम्भनः खरः । (सु. सू.)
  3. रूक्षं समीरणकरं परं कफहरं मतम्  । (भावप्रकाश)

As per Hemadri the factor that is present in the substance and is responsible for the शोषणे (Shoshana) effect on the body is to be considered as रूक्ष (Ruksha).

As per Sushruta, the property is more responsible for the opposite action of स्निग्ध गुण (Snigdha Guna) especially resulting in खर (Roughness) and स्तम्भन (Sthambhana) effect.

As per Bhavaprakasha, रूक्ष (Ruksha) is that factor present in the substance which is responsible for the vitiation of the वात दोष (Vata Dosha) and control of vitiated कफ दोष (Kapha Dosha)।

DESCRIPTON OF RUKSHA GUNA

As the above definition goes the substance which is predominant with this property is considered to be having the ability to dry things or surface or else known as शोषण (loss of moisture). The loss of moisture is the main reason for the breakage or fragility of surface making it rough to touch. This forms the point of assessment with respect to the physical character of  the property RUKSHA. The chemical parameter of analysis with respect to this property is the ability to absorb the moisture or water inside the body or when added to another substance where the dearth need of water is resulted. This activity is generally mentioned as hygroscopic. 

The main cause for the above nature of the property RUKSHA is due to the fact that it is supposed to be manifested due to the predominance of वायु महाभूत. But is also has its presence in the अग्नि and पृथ्वी महाभूत too. It is Primary property of वायु महाभूत and is only seen as a subsidiary property in the other two. 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 RUKSHA 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 Ruksha 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 removal of moisture from them. This inturn decreases bulkness, making it fragile and rough. Even the channel surfaces too become rough and fragile leading to the collection of the contents in them thereby blocking the easy passage or Stambhana (स्थम्भन) as described by Sushruta. It also decreases the bulkiness of the  धातु (Dhatu) in general and on excess may even simply lead to decrease in the body fluides and even 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 basically composed of the महाभूत (Mahabhuta) is वात (Vata Dosha). Hence, the predominance of this property will lead to vitiation of either वात (Vata) 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. But when the पित्त दोष (Pitta Dosha) gets vitiated due to its own causative factors, this property further augments it.

MALA

With respect to the effect on मल (Mala) too there will be decrease in bulkiness of the same as there is absorption of moisture. There may be formation but the bulkiness will be lacking. Hence it may result in conditions like constipation or excretion in little quantities, etc as there will be decrease in the bulkiness of मल (excretory products).

MANAS

The effect of the property has its own expression too. As the substance is result in decrease of moisture, there will be decrease in a feeling of heaviness making the person alert, quick and attentive psychologically. Thus the person will be having a highly alert mind with high spirits till the use of optimum energy.

।। ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।

COMPARISON CHART OF THE स्निग्ध (SNIGDHA) & रूक्ष (RUKSHA) 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

रूक्ष गुण (RUKSHA GUNA)

  1. रूक्ष
  2. Dry
  3. Roughness due to low moisture 
  4. Hygroscopic effect and feeling of thirst 
  5. Vatakara and Kaphahara 
  6. Shoshana or Dhatuhrasa 
  7. Decrease excretion 
  8. Decrease or improper Appetite 
  9. Decrease strength & Bulkiness
  10.  Alert and energised mind
  11. वायु
  12.  यव, मरीच

स्निग्ध गुण (SNIGDHA GUNA)

  1. स्निग्ध
  2. Unctous or Moisturizing
  3. Smoothness feeling of surface
  4. Increase of moisture or body water
  5. Kaphakara and Vatahara 
  6. Softens and Dhatukara 
  7. Increase excretion 
  8. Decrease Appetite 
  9. Increase strength & Bulkiness 
  10. Lassitude and lethargic mind
  11. जल
  12.  घृत, तैल

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