PART 3: SADHAKA PITTA

This is one of the pitta associated with certain mental faculties and emotions.
Location of Sadhakapitta-
According to Sushruta, the pitta located in Hrudaya is to be known as the sadhakagni and its functions is to enable one to achieve one’s aspiration. Vagbhata also stated that the sadhakapitta is located in Hrudaya. (Sushruta:sutra:21/10 and Ash.sam.sutra.20/4).

Functions of Sadhaka Pitta-
According to Sushruta the sadhakapitta enables one to achieve one’s aspirations; Dalhana observes that – it enables one to achieve one’s manoratha viz. dharma, artha, kama and moksha.(Dalhana on Sushruta:sutra 21/10) According to Vagbhatta,

the sadhaka pitta is responsible for Buddhi –intelligence, medha memory and intellect, abhimana self esteem, utsaha-enthusiasm and the achievement of one’s aspirations of Sabda, sparsa, gandha etc., as well as to achieve artha and karma and to satisfy one’s aspirations. (Ash.Hri:sutra.12/13-14) These references indicate that the sadhakapitta is essentially connected with some of the higher mental faculties and emotional states, but correlated and ascribed to the structure described as hridaya.

The concept of Sadhakapitta, therefore, encompasses psycho-physiological actions. In view of the synonymous use of the words hridaya and manas, some controversy has also been created regarding sadhaka pitta. The circulation of rasa and rakta, which is the main function of the thoracic heart is not mentioned as that of the sadhakapitta. If the sadhakapitta is to be considered as located in the thoracic heart, any disturbance in function or involvement of the heart may be expected to affect the sadhakapitta and its functions leading to the manifestation of one or other kind of mental and imotional tensions. But in different hrdrogas-cardiac diseases, do not included any symptoms of mental and imotional states. But the symptoms of moorcha and moha mentioned in the symptomatology of the hridrogas are due to insufficient prinana and jevanakriyas to the mastishka- wherein the mana is located due to the deficient function of the heart.

The substances produced by mastishka, with functions similar to those ascribed to Sadhaka pitta, may be the various neuro-transmitters – e.g. acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, seronin, glutamic acid, gama aminobutyric acid, glycide- of the central nervous system. A number of peptides- e.g. substance P, Neurotensin, Endorphins, Enkephalins, Thyrotropin- releasing hormone, angiotension, bradykinin, bombesin, oxytocin, vasopressin, melanocyte stimulating hormone- MSH, MSH release – inhibiting melanocyte stimulating hormone, somatostasin- and other substances – e.g. histamine, prostaglandins, and precise roles remain in nerve tissue may also play a role, but their precise roles remain to be established.

However, a careful study of these factors regarding their participation in conducting the functions ascribed to sadhakapitta may be a reasonable approach in identifying this pitta.

It is clear that the psychic and emotional functions ascribed to pitta are conducted by the sadhakapitta and they are 1. courage and valour (sauryam) 2. anger (krodham) and 3. infatuation (moham). These three functions including the function of hunger and appetite belong to the limbic system.
It is noticed that the emotional states of shauryam, krodha, moham and kshut are closely associated in the functions of the centre-complex in the limbic system. There are the functions of the pitta which can be instrumental in achieving one’s aspirations- a function of the Sadhakapitta.

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