tantra guna in Ayurveda

Tantra guna description is found in Charaka Samhita in Ayurveda. Tantra is also called Shastra. A shastra is worthy of preventing an individual from doing wrong or improper actions. It enables a person to accomplish good, religious and auspicious actions.   Tantra guna helps to refrain from indulging in ominous tasks.  A text that is replete with scriptural qualities and there are no shortcomings  in it serves the purpose. Not all scriptures practiced in the world are equally seekers of intended attainment. Charak says  “Shastramevadit: pariksha”. We should follow a shastra only after considering its merits and demerits by probing it thoroughly. The scriptures should be benign. Fortunately Ayurveda scriptures have this cosmic approach. They discuss in detail about dharma, artha, kama and moksha.

The texts with the following qualities are able to abolish the ignorance and enlighten. These are also called tantra guna.

1  Sumahadyashasvi dheerpurushsevita  tantra guna   

The study, teaching of the revered tradition of Ayurveda has been practiced by sages since ancient times. Ayurveda, established as the fifth Veda, is used for the accomplishment of Purushartha  Chatushtaya. By using rasayna, vajikarana,  a  person gets priti, bala,and sukha. The use of Chyawanprash by the Chyawan Rishi referred to in Agnivesh Tantra and the consumption of Brahma rasayana by the Vaikhanasa   it confirms that Ayurveda has been used by the sages. The use of Tantra by famous and reputed persons is called as Sumhashashvidhi purushush tantra guna.

2 Artha bahul  tantra guna

The quality of the scriptures, which make available its readers knowledge of other sciences is known as the arthabahul tantra guna. Literal meaning of Arthbahul is to convey different meanings. This aspect has been taken as providing information from sources of different sciences.

 Ayurveda scriptures contain descriptions related to topics like grammar, astrology, vedanga, ethics and philosophy. While performing vaman karama, the patient’s face should be towards the east. Keeping head towards the south while sleeping in a specific direction is a subject of   astrological knowledge embedded in the Ayurvedic texts. Worship of Lord Shankar in the treatment of fever, mention of worshipping of God, cow etc. in the treatment of Rajayakshama is a matter of religious scriptures. Explaining about the behavior towards women is a matter of ethics.

3 Aptajana Poojita tantra guna

Shastra to be acclaimed by genuine people. It has been said that Ayurveda scriptures are absolutely authentic. When the sages like Agnivesha etc. composed their texts, they called their mutual texts as apta owing to be blessed with sages

4 Trividha shishya buddhi hita tantra guna

The text which is easily understandable to all the three types of disciples is called as Trivid shishya buddhi  hita. Sages described the subject in such a manner that it becomes conducive to the most intelligent, intelligent and even those who understand the subject with difficulty. Describing a topic with just a brief description serves the purpose to most intelligent students while its detailed description is for the least intelligent disciple. The mere mention of fifty Mahakashayas as a sign for underprivileged disciples symbolizes the quality of the scripture. 

 5   Punarukti dosha varjita tantra guna

There comes an instance when we observe repetition  of some of the topics in the same texts.  A text deprived of the above defect is a good text. Sometimes such a description may be due to the need of circumstances, and sometimes it has a purpose to make the subject clearer.For example,description of desha is  available both in  vimana sthana and kalap sthana. But they don’t signify the punarukti dosha. Any text devoid of this defect is called as an ideal text . 

6 Aarsha Tantraguna

It Means,shastra to be acclaimed by genuine people. This feature makes the Ayurveda scriptures absolutely authentic. When the sages like Agnivesha etc. composed their texts, they called the mutual texts as apta . Their tantra were revered as they were blessed by the Supreme Rishis. Due to the lack of rajas and tamas in the sages and due to the presence of sattva  guna, the books are gifted with the feature of Arsha guna.

7 Supranita sutrabhashya sangraha krama tantra guna

If the sutra(verse) ,bhasya(commentary) and sangrah krama (sequences)  in a text are well arranged, it is an example of Supranita sutrabhaya sangraha krama. Indication of detail from a brief word is called a sutra. It also describes the whole description of the text. Dalhan defines  a sutra as an orderly systematic description of the subject matter in a proper place.Last chapter of sutra sthan of Charak samhita contains description of seven chatushak and sangrehdvya.

8     Shobhanabhidheya tantra guna

The text  which contains most appropriate and relevant topics signifies the feature Shobhanabhidheya Tantragun. The age-old theme of Ayurveda is Ayu. Ayurvedic treatise contains the themes related to Hitayu, Ahitayu, Sukhayu and Dukhayu. Ayu related topics are mentioned in detail in the texts of Ayurveda. Other topics have also been written keeping a focus on this theme. Obviously owing to the nature of the objective mentioned in the text makes Ayurvedic texts of foremost quality.

9 Anavapatita shabda tantra guna

                      The scripture which does not use obscene words. It is natural for the system to be influenced by the surrounding circumstances of the desha , kala etc. The use of indecent and monogamous words in the performance of the original form of scripture is always undesirable. The use of words like holak, jentak khudika etc. though not awful  but are  meaningful .

10 Akashta shabada tantra guna

No difficulty in pronunciation of systemic words. In fact, it is necessary to have the quality in any book that the subject mentioned in it can be pronounced  easily. This is the specialty of the texts of Ayurveda. Presently, if there is any  difficulty in reading and pronouncing the text of Ayurveda, then the fault in it is not in the texts. But It is  due to the lack of practice of Sanskrit speaking of the students studying it.

11 Pushkalabhidhana

Texts having sentences giving clear meaning  are known to be endowed with the feature of pushkalabhidhana. Just like features of purana is ‘There is not a virtue like charity,and not a sin like suffering.’ This single theme is clearly reflected in the Purana.

12  Kramgatartha tantra guna

Description of the subject in a specified sequence is called as Kramgatartha. For instance in the first chapters of the Ashtanga hridya name of thirty chapters are mentioned. Then their details are described in the same sequence. Similarly the name of eight sections is described in Charak Samhita and their description  follows in toto in the same sequence.

13 Arthatatavavinishchiya pradhana

Giving importance to the main subject in the treatise confirms the feature of Arthatatavavinchiya pradhana in the text. In such text all other topics which seem secondary there are described just to nourish and justify the primary topic. For instance Charaka samhita is a text of kaya chikitsa and  Sushtuta  Samhita  is a text of Shalya tantra. The subject matter mentioned in it reflects the theme meant there.

14 Sangatartha tantra guna

A text worthy of  justifying its purpose in a rational way reflects the property of sangatartha guna. The purpose of Ayurveda  is described in Charak  samhita  and is honestly explained in the text . Similarly the aim of the text Agnivehsa tantra is described as achieving a level of equilibrium in dhatu and hence the whole discussion is focused on it.

15  Asankul prakarana tantra guna

A text is known as a good treatise if the subject matter is crystal clear. There is not any confusion in clearly understanding it. The discussion which is confusing, difficult to understand is called sankul . A text should be free from such defects. For instance chapter related to prameha contains knowledge about prameha  , chapters related to kushtha contains description about kushtha only. Though there seems some deviation in the topics like mention of use of hot water in jwara in janpaddondhwansiya adhyaya and  krimi roga in vyadhit roopiya vimana adhyaya. But these relate to the concerned topics so  featured with asankul prakaran property.

 16 Aashuprabodhaka

One of the qualities of the texts is that the knowledge given in them should be quickly graspable. The ashuprabodhak quality is indicative of the quality of a good content that makes the reader understand easily. All Ayurvedic texts have done it  in a good way.


17  Lakshanavat tantra guna

To know a topic in detail, it is necessary to start it by understanding  etiology, symptomology and therapeutics. The feature of the text enriched with it is called Lakshanavat. For instance sutras of the Ayurvedic texts have the feature of conveying maximum knowledge in minimum words. Similarly Ayu is defined as a combination of sharir, indriya, satav and atma.

18   Udaharanavat tantra guna


To make a subject clearer it is imperative to illustrate it with examples. Those texts which are replete with examples come under the category of ideal texts. The tread to the  quality of the texts. Such property is called as udharanavat tantraguna. Ayurvdic texts have successfully established the fact by citing different examples.  As is mentioned in Charak Samhita, Taking care of a pregnant woman is equivalent to taking a pitcher filled with oil from one place to another without spilling the oil.

Anup Kumar Gakkhar, Haridwar

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