PART 1: PACHAKA PITTA

Synonyms- Pachakagni, Koshthagni, antaragni, Kayagni, dehagni are the synonyms of pachakapitta. Sometimes just the word agni is also mentioned to indicate the Pachakapitta. The Pachaka pitta or jatharagni is the most potent agni in the human body and it give support to the other agnis like bhutagnis, dhatvagnis etc.

Location of Pachaka Pitta-
It is located in the interior of the amasaya and pakvasaya. Pachakapitta is located in the pittadharakala, which is also known as grahani. The pittadharakala is located in between amasaya and pakwasaya. Sushruta states that it is in Pakvasayamadhyastha, which should be understood as pakvasaya madhyastha, amasaya madhyastha. So pittadharakala should be considered as a kala-layer or mucous membranes inside two asayas i.e. amasaya and pakvasaya which jointly constitute annavahasrotas.

Under the stimulation of samanavata, Pachaka Pitta is produced from the pittadharakala. This pittadharakala is also known as grahani because this part of annavahasrotas retains the food till it is completely digested. This function of retention of the food is effected by the argala (valve-like arrangement) located at pakvasayadwara due to activation by the samanavata. (Ref.Arundatta on Ash:Hri:sarira 3/52, Sushruta: uttara 40/139,170, Charaka:chi:15/56-57).

Nature of Pachaka Pitta-
Vagbhata states that the pitta which located in the interior of amasaya and pakvasaya, has the quality of tejas in a very predominant degree, due to extreme heat, it is deprived of any cooling effect – somaguna- and thereby devoid general liquid nature and being helped by the associating vata etc. performs the functions of digestion and combustion and thus gets the application of agni. (Ash:Sam:Sutra:20/5).

Brief Account of Pachaka Pitta and its functions-
The function of Pachaka Pitta can be elicited as –

  1. The pachakapitta is produced from the pittadharakala.
  2. Pittadharakala is also known as grahani and located in the interior of amasaya and pakvasaya.
  3. The production of pachakapitta is due to the stimulation by samanavata.
  4. The main function of the Pachaka Pitta is the digestion of the food in annavahasrotas. By digestion, the food is divided into sara and kitta.
  5. Till the food is completely digested and the sara-essence or nourishing fluid is separated leaving the kitta-residue the food is retained and exposed to the action of the pachakapitta
  6. For this purpose, the argalas present in the two asayas are activated by the samanavata.
  7. The digestion in the amasaya is followed by that in the pakvasaya.
  8. There is adharadheyabhava- asrayasrayeebhava- between the pachakapitta and pittadharakala- grahani. The impairment of pachakapitta disturbs the integrity of the grahani and vice versa
  9. The health of an individual is dependent on the proper functioning of the pachakapitta.
  10. The pachakapitta imparts strength to the other pittas in the body and to their seats also.
  11. Pachakapitta the groups of digestive juices secreated into the annavahasrotas –is the controller of all other pittas which effect paka in the body.

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