Glossary of Terms


The ancient Indian system of medicine with its roots in the Atharvana Veda. The tenets of this system are still valid, practiced and thriving today as they were millennia before. Charaka, Sushruta, Vagbhata to name a few have written Samhitas, detailing the medicinal properties of various herbs that can be used for healing and treating various disorders of both body and mind and for the rejuvenation of the spirit.

Indian Psychology:

Psychology as an organized science was studied in ancient India under the purview of human medicine which has extensive roots right from Vedic times. But understanding, classifications, methodologies, characterization, typology, etc., of human behaviour—incorporating body, mind and soul has been a corner stone of the Indian medical system, which has a significant segment on psychological aspects of human behaviour though it is not detailed under the name of “Psychology”. The coining of the term is a relatively recent phenomenon compared to the medical tradition. Even though Psychology per se was not studied, one of the essential thoughts that burned at stalwarts of Indian intellectual thought were: who is the person?, how does he think?, what is thinking?, what is seeing?, what is the mind?, what is it made up of? These and many more questions that delve into a person’s psyche was of utmost importance to our seers and sages. These have led to immense bodies of knowledge, which are spiritual, technical, practical and empirical, which is yet to be explored and disseminated even to this day.

“Indian psychology is a complex subject variously viewed as esoteric and spiritual, philosophical and speculative, practical and ritualistic, and of course, as we believe, systematic and scientific understanding of human nature. There is truth in all these characterizations.” (Rao, Paranjpe & Dalal, 2008, p. xvii)

Pancha Maha Bhutas:

Consist of Akasa (ether), Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Ap (water) and Prithvi (earth). They combine with each other in different permutations and combinations to form the entire cosmos, including man according to Ayurvedic, Samkhyan and other schools of Indian thought and philosophy. Their varying proportions in each species and in each individual being are responsible for the large variety of life that we see around us.


Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Psychologists explore such concepts as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. Some, especially depth psychologists, also consider the unconscious mind. While psychological knowledge is often applied to the assessment and treatment of mental health problems, it is also applied to understanding and solving problems in many different spheres of human activity. Although majority of psychologists are involved in some kind of therapeutic role (clinical, counseling, and school positions), many do scientific research on a wide range of topics related to mental processes and behavior (typically in university psychology departments) or teach such knowledge in academic settings; and some are employed in industrial and organizational settings, and in other areas such as human development and aging, sports, health, the media, law, and forensics.


Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational measurement. The field is primarily concerned with the construction and validation of measurement instruments such as questionnaires, tests, and personality assessments


Puranans meaning "of ancient times" are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography. Puranas usually give prominence to a particular deity, employing an abundance of religious and philosophical concepts. They are usually written in the form of stories related by one person to another. The Puranas are available in vernacular translations and are disseminated by Brahmin scholars. There are 18 Maha-Puranas and an equal number of Upa-Puranas. The Puranas are also divided into Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika Puranas based on the deity they deal with.


Samkhya is one of the six schools of Hindu and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible. It is regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India. Samkhya is one of the six orthodox systems (Āstika, those systems that recognize Vedic authority) of Hindu philosophy. The major text of this Vedic school is the extant Samkhya Karika circa 200 CE. There are no purely Samkhya schools existing today in Hinduism, but its influence is felt in the Yoga and Vedanta schools. Samkhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist. Samkhya denies the existence of Ishvara (God) or any other exterior influence. Samkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). There are differences between Samkhya and Western forms of dualism. In the West, the fundamental distinction is between mind and body. In Samkhya, however, it is between the self (as Purusa) and matter (Prakriti).


The three Doshas of Vata, Pitta and Kapha are together called as Tridoshas. The Tridoshas are composed of all the Pancha Maha Bhuthas, but one or the other is predominant, with the other four in lesser dominance. There can never be a state when one or the other Pancha Maha Bhutha is absent totally. All five are essential to sustain life. The Tridoshas form a bottom-up processing in the formation of life and more specifically here, humans and their psyche. When any one or more of the Doshas go out of balance it leads to illness. Even the food we eat has a dominance of Doshas, which when consumed improperly, can lead to an imbalance of the Doshas which in turn lead to disturbances in health and lifestyle.


Consists of a combination of Akasa and Vayu Mahabhutas, leading to characteristic behaviours depicting qualities like unpredictability, erratic, fast and restlessness. There are different types of Vata that govern the body, predominant among them being five, namely Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana Vayu. Each of them has specific locations and functions in the body that they perform.


Consists of a combination of Agni and Ap Mahabhutas, leading to characteristic behaviours depicting qualities like short temperedness, precise, sharp and decisiveness. The different types of Pitta most commonly referred to are Pachaka, Ranjaka, Bhrajaka, Allochaka and Sadhaka Pitta. Each of them has specific locations and functions in the body that they perform.


Consists of a combination of Ap and Prithvi Mahabhutas, leading to characteristic behaviours depicting qualities like stability, predictability, slow, dedicated and thorough in all activities. The five types of Kapha most often referred to are Kledaka, Avalumbaka, Bodhaka, Tarpaka and Sleshaka Kapha. Each of them has specific locations and functions in the body that they perform.


The three Gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas which in unison are called Trigunas. The Trigunas form a top-down processing in the formation of humans and their psyche. There can never be a state when one or the other Guna is absent in a person or a thing at any point of time. All three are essential to sustain life. But the combination and permutation are different and diverse through the entire cosmos. If either the Rajas or Tamas gunas go out of balance in a person, it leads to mental imbalances. Every species including the kind of food we eat has specific dominance of Gunas, thus making some foods non consumable according to tradition.


People with a predominance of Sattva guna, have qualities such as: non-violence, desire of sharing goods with others, forgiveness, truthfulness, right conduct, belief in gods, scriptures etc. good amount of knowledge, intelligence, ingenuity, memory, courage, steadfastness and tendency of doing benevolent acts without any expectation in return.


People who have a predominance of Rajo guna have qualities such as: more of grief, habit of wandering, cowardice, pride, harsh speech, cruelty, crookedness, selfishness, self-boasting, seeking only pleasure, lust (sexual acts) and anger.


People with a predominance of Tamo guna, have qualities such as: remorse-less-ness, no belief in gods, scriptures etc., tendency of indulging in sinful acts, restraining the intellect, ignorance (lack of knowledge), bad (cruel) mentality, not inclined to do any activity (due to lack of interest and enthusiasm) and tendency to sleep always.


Are philosophical texts considered to be an early source of Hindu religion. More than 200 are known, of which the first dozen or so, the oldest and most important, are variously referred to as the principal, main (mukhya) or old Upanishads. The term Vedanta is also used to refer to the Upanishads.


The Vedas (knowledge or wisdom) are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. The class of "Vedic texts" is aggregated around the four canonical Samhitās or Vedas proper (turīya), of which the first three (traya) are related to the performance of yajna (sacrifice) in historical Vedic religion: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the Atharvaveda. The Rig Veda manuscripts have been selected for inscription in UNESCO's "Memory of the World" Register 2007.


is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Within Hindu philosophy, the word yoga is used to refer to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy. Yoga in this sense is based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and is also known as Rāja Yoga to distinguish it from later schools. Patanjali's system is discussed and elaborated upon in many classical Hindu texts, and has also been influential in Buddhism and Jainism. The Bhagavad Gita introduces distinctions such as Jnana Yoga ("yoga based on knowledge") vs. Karma Yoga ("yoga based on action"). Other systems of philosophy introduced in Hinduism during the medieval period are Bhakti yoga, and Hatha yoga.

16 Classical Personality Types:

Besides the basic seven types of Doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha and their blends) and the basic seven types of Guna combinations (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and their blends) that people can be classified under, Ayurveda recognizes 16 types of personalities based on the classical guna theory. Both Charaka and Sushruta Samhitas have a description of these types. According to them there are seven types of Sattva, six of Rajas and three of Tamas, totaling sixteen types of personalities under which all people can be grouped. (Here when Sattva is suffixed to the name of the personality, it denotes a state of mind). The seven types of Sattva are: Brahma Sattva, Mahendra Sattva, Varuna Sattva, Kubera Sattva, Gandharva Sattva, Yama Sattva and Rishi Sattva. The six types of Rajas Sattva are Asura Sattva, Rakshasa Sattva, Paisaca Sattva, Sarpa Sattva, Praita Sattva and Sakuna Sattva. The three types of Tamas Sattva are Pasava Sattva, Matsya Sattva and Vanaspatya Sattva.


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