PART 5: BHRAJAKA PITTA

Charaka has not described this pitta as a separate entity but he has included the functions attributed to it among those of pitta in general. He has stated that the production of normal and abnormal temperature of the body, as well as the normal and abnormal colour of the skin is due to pitta. Chakrapani in his commentary has stated that these functions belong to the Bhrajaka pitta.

Location-
The Bhrajakapitta is located in the skin. Dalhana explained that the twak is understood as the Bahya twak known as avabhasini. ( Sushruta:sutra:21/10)
Charaka has described the twak (skin) in six layers. The first layer two only Udakadhara (bahyatwak) and asrikdhara (blood supporting). He has not named remaining four layers but has described them in terms of diseases as may occur in each such layer. Sushruta and Vagbhata have described the same in seven layers. According to Sushruta, the skin has seven layers. Avabhasini which is the first layers and it serves to reflect all colours and is capable of being tinged with hues of all the five gross elements. Vagbhata referred to the seven layers of skin, but without names. Arunadatta, in his commentary, listed the names of these layers as mentioned by Sushruta. It may be noticed that Sushruta’s avabhasini and Charaka’s udakadhara are

nearly identical, in so far as their being the first among the several layers of the skin but not in their function vis-à-vis those which relate to colour, absorption of materials applied in different forms to the skin etc. (Ref- Charaka:sarira 7/4, Sushruta:sarira.4/4)

Function of Bhrajaka Pitta-
The functions of the Bhrajaka pitta are
• Gives complexition to the skin (bhrajana)
• Absorbs the medicaments administered through skin in the form of abhayanga (massage), parisheka (shower bath) avagaaha (tub bath), aalepa (Ointment) etc.
• Exhibits five varieties of chaaya i.e. complexion.

The normal or abnormal temperature and variations in the colour are the functions of the bhrajakapitta. According to Susruta, bhrajakapitta enables the paka- transformation or conversion of the substances used for abhayanga, parisheka, avagaaha, lepana etc. It radiates the glow of one’s natural complexion. Dalhana’s commentary on the above is by abhyanga etc. is meant the radiation-lustre-due to the panchabhutas.
Vagbhata stated that the pitta which imparts lustre to the skin and makes it radiate is called the bhrajakapitta. Commenting on the above, Arunadatta observed it confers complexion to the skin by the paka of the substances used for abhyanga, lepa, parisheka etc.
According to Bhela, bhrajakapitta is that which is responsible for the manifestation of the specific qualities of the body, emphasizes their importance, creates different hues of the skin, nails eyes and hair. It also brightens them.
It may be stated that the bhrajakapitta may represent the factor in the skin responsible for the colour of the body. ( Ref-Chakrapani-charaka.sutra.12/10, Dalhana:Sushruta.sutra 21/10, Arundatta on Ash.Hri.Su 12/14, Bhela:sarira 4/6)

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