Ayurveda is made up of two words, Ayu meaning life and Veda meaning Science or knowledge together meaning the Science of life. Here, Ayu does not refer to just the physical live body that we see around us, it also refers to the assembly and structure within the sharer or body. The study of the internal construction of the human body refers to Rachana Sharir in Ayurveda.
The Department of Rachana Sharir (Anatomy) of SRI SAI Institute of Ayurvedic Research & Medicine teach various aspects of Rachana Sharir in their BAMS course.
What exactly does this subject cover? What does an average student learn about throughout the semester? Let us know more about Rachana Sharir.
What is Rachana Sharir?
Rachana Sharir is one of the basic subjects in Ayurveda introduced during the first year of studies. Most BAMS college in Bhopal and India has Rachana Sharir taught at the BAMS or Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery degree. Rachana means structure and Sharir means body, this subject, undoubtedly is about human anatomy. To be able to treat people and diagnose human beings, it is important to first know what the structure is.
When Ayurvedic Doctors at an ayurvedic research centre first meet their patients, they use their knowledge to first analyse the physical ailments. Thereafter, based on the patient’s feedback a plan is formulated for treatment. The Rachana Sharir subject helps doctors make the initial analysis quickly and accurately.
What does Rachana Sahrir cover?
In simple terms, Rachana Sharir at public and private BAMS college in MP covers the bones, muscles, different vessels and organs among others. The subject over the course of the semester teaches about embryology, histology, Anthropometry, Genetics, marma sharir and more. Here, it is important to note that modern medicine is referred to along with traditional medicine knowledge to understand the body.
The course is designed in a way that students learn the knowledge in the classroom and then practice them in the laboratory. Dissections are held and supervised by the professors. Students get a close-up view of what the internal structure of the human body is like. Students are encouraged to conduct research on the human body to illustrate the Ayurvedic Rachana Sharir principles.
Rachana Sharir is the basic subject that all Ayurvedic experts should know. Regardless of what the specialisation or area of practice of a student is, one must know about the human body.
Body: In Ayurveda, there are two different concepts of the body. There is the gross body or sthula sharir and the subtle body or Sukuma sharir. The gross body is a mix of five different elements of the panch mahabhuta which are space, air, fire, water and earth. Together they make up the three doshas which are the consciousness and the basis for all diseases. The subtle body is made up of five organs, karmaindriya or motor organs, mahat or intellect, ahamkara or ego, manas or mind and tanmatras or subtle elements. These are the basis of our soul that has impressions of our previous life.
Panch Mahabuthas: As mentioned above, five elements make up human beings, air, space, fire, water and earth. Besides the doshas, they also are connected to one sense organ in our body. The ears are connected to the space element that creates a void in our bodies. The air element is associated with the skin and has properties of being light, clear and dry. Fire is associated with the eyes and the earth the nose. Finally, the water element is connected with the tongue and taste.
Anatomy of the body: Ayurveda refers to modern Science for its anatomical definitions and divisions. There are four shakhas or extremities to us, the two arms and legs. Thereafter comes the Madhya sharir or the mid part of our bodies. The final part of the human anatomy is the urdhvajatru or parts above the neck. The head controls our body and all activities. The middle part is used for vital bodily functions such as digestion, respiration and excretion. The function of the extremities is to assist with any physical actions and activities. There are also smaller parts of our body that are called pratyangas such as the nose, chin, ears, eyes, fingers, knees etc.
Rachana Sharir Sub-Specialisations
There are several branches to Rachana Sharir. Each branch has more in-depth knowledge to explore and study. Students can choose one of these branches to specialise in when meeting patients and treating them. There are eleven in total which are as follows.
- Abhinivratti sharir
- Garbha sharir
- Sira dhamni srotas
- Asthi sharir
- Sandhi sharir
- Peshi sharir
- Marma sharir
- Praman sharir
- Tantra sharir
- Koshtha koshthanga ashay
- Indriya sharir
A description of a few of these descriptions has been done below.
Asthi Sharir: Asthi refers to bones. This part of Rachana Sharir is about the different types of bones in our body. Modern medicine says there are 206 bones in our body but in Ayurveda, there are 300 asthi. The limbs have 120 bones, the trunk has 117 and the head and neck have 63 bones. There are also five types of Asthi, Kapal, Ruchak, Tarun, Valay and Nalak.
Srotas: There are many elements or parts in our human body that tie up all the parts mentioned here together. These are called the srotas or circulation tracts of the human body. These are the pathways where nutrition and waste products move from the origin to the final destination. If there is an obstruction in the srotas, diseases crop up. Srotas have fixed sites with different functions but can have several openings. The best way to describe srotas would be, unicellular structures or capillaries.
Sandhi Sharir: Shandhi refers to joints or places where two bones meet together. There are several sandhis in our body, 290 to be exact as per Charaka and 210 as per Sushruta. Sandhis are further subdivided into two parts, Chala and Achala. There are also the kora or hinge joints, ulukhal or the ball and socket, samudag which has slight movement to it, pratar which glides, tunnasevni which are sutures, the jaw or vayastunda and the shankavarta.
Rachana Sharir is a complex and massive subject. All of the best ayurvedic hospital in India that teaches the subject to their student also teaches its different sub-divisions mentioned here. Students also spend a considerable amount of time in the laboratories getting a feel and touch of the organs and structures. This is an extremely invaluable subject that will assist in the long term in one’s career.
To study Rachana Sharir, you must enrol in India’s leading Ayurvedic Institue and SRI SAI Institute of Ayurvedic Research & Medicine. It is known as the best Ayurvedic College in Bhopal, Madya Pradesh.
For further admission-related information, visit the official website of SRI SAI.