नाड़ी विज्ञान

नाड़ी विज्ञान (Nadi Vijnana) – Introduction

It is an attempt to reestablish the ancient science of naadi pariksha. Due to lack of scientific data this science could not be added to the courses. The current status of this beautiful science should be discussed and students should incline towards this contribution of Ayurveda. In modern sciences clinical practice the volume, rate, rhythm, character etc are assessed by examining the pulse, but Ayurveda has a lot more to offer. We just need to understand the science in depth, the decoding of the original text is very important. In INDIA some communities such as Santhalas and tantrikas were quite aware of this science but it was popularised after Sharangadhar. Indian physicians learned this science from tantrika-lore and shaped their knowledge with Hakims from the Greek-Arabic system. A practical hypothesis has been proposed to understand the nadi vijnana in relation to doshas.

Nadi Vijnana by Kanada

No data is available to decide the time of kanada, but for evidence, we can say that he was a tantrik. kanadas whole pulse lore is ascribed to 116 verses. and they can be categorized as- (A) General consideration of the origin of Nadi and examination of Nadi. (B) Characteristic of Nadi after taking a different kind of food stuff (C) Characteristic of Nadi in physiological condition (D) Nadi in mental states (E) Nadi as a prodromal symptom (F) Nadi in general pathological conditions (G) Nadi indicating bad prognosis (H) Nadi appearing apparently bad prognosis but really not so. (I) Nadi indicating good prognosis

(A) General consideration of origin of Nadi’s and their examination
There are 3.5 crores of Nadi’s- tanu and sthula (thin and thick) in nature lying in the body. They are tided in the Nabhi Pradesha (umbilical region) from where they spread obliquely, downwards and upwards. Again 72000 of them are thick and are attributed to convey the essential elements of five sense organs, these are known as Dhamnies. Among these dhamnies again there are 700 Sira’s, which is hollow from inside and contain countless microscopic pores which pour out the essential constituents of food required to the body. And also these sira’s having been spread in every direction in the body tie the whole body like a ‘Mridangam” (a musical instrument). The other description for the origin of Nadi’s is, that in the region of nabhi Pradesh there lies structure like a tortoise whose head is to the left, the left hand and left leg above, the right hand and the right leg downwards and the tail of the right side of the body. from this structure, the whole nadi’s take their origin. His mouth, tail, hands, and feet are also the seat of origin of nadi’s. 2 from mouth and tail and 4 from the limbs. Thus, these form 24 in total. regarding Nadi pariksha, it has been described that among 700 sira’s only 24 are quite prominent. And again out of these 24 only one, which spread in the right hand and the right leg, should be examined. In the morning after being free from hi daily routine the physician should examine the Nadi. In addition to the Nadi examination of the right hand and left hand, there is clear cut indication Tha particularly just to ascertain the expectancy of life of the patient, the nadi of right leg and in case of female . During examination the physician shloud rub slowly with his left hand the portion of the elbow of the patient, where the dhamni lies and become prominent. Again, putting the three finger of his right hand at the root of the thumb of the patient, examin the pulse of vaat, pitta and kapha dosha. The pulse, of vata is felt at the proximal end i.e. under the index finger and that of pitta and kapha is felt in the middle and end i.e. under the middle finger and ring finger respectively. There is also mentioning that pitta occupies the middle position while the vata lies in the end. The nadi at the root of the thumb is evidence of life and it should not not be examined whene the patient has taken his meals or has anointed with oil or is sleeping. Normally, the nadi is smooth in the morning, hot in the noon and fast in the evening.
(B) Characteristics of Nadi after taking different food stuffs
  • On consuming oil, molasses and substance like molasses – Strong (Pushta) {Verse no. 62}
  • Meat – Like rod steady (Laghudakrita, sthir) {Verse no. 62}
  • Sweet food – Jumping like frog {Verse no. 62}Sweet food – Jumping like frog {Verse no. 62}
  • Banana, molasses, cake prepared from pulses etc., dry food and meat – Sometimes curvilienar. sometimes jumping, resembles the pulse of the vata pitta but maintain no order. {Verse 63,77}
  • Parched grain, flattened rice – Steady and slow ( sthira and mandatar) {Verse no. 74}
  • Gourd (kushmand) reddish (muli) – Slow (manda) {Verse no. 75}
  • Green leaves, stems, roots – Resembles the movement of the pulse filled with blood {Verse no. 75}
  • Molasses, cakes, milk – Steady and slow ( sthira and manda) {Verse no. 76}
  • Liquids – Hard (kathin) {Verse no. 73}
  • Solids – Soft {Verse no. 73}
  • Frozen – Sometimes hard and sometimes soft {Verse no. 73}
  • Sweet taste – Resemble the movement of peacock {Verse no. 64}
  • Bitter taste – Move like earthworm {Verse no. 64}Move like earthworm {Verse no. 64}
  • Acid taste – Slightly hot and jumping, cold {Verse no. 64,74}
  • Pungent (Katu) – Resemble the movement of sparrow {Verse no. 64}
  • Astringent – Hard and tight (jada) {Verse no. 65}
  • Salt – Straight (sarala) and Rapid. {Verse no. 65}
  • Micture of all – Multiple movements {Verse no. 65}
(C) Characteristic of Nadi in physiological condition
  • Healthy pulse – Steady {Verse no. 104}
  • Good Hunger – Light and fast {Verse no. 106}
  • Appetite – Tremulous {Verse no. 104}
  • After sexual enjoyment – Hot like the flame of a candle {Verse no. 84}
  • In morning – Smooth (snigdha) {Verse no. 79}
  • In noon – Hot  {Verse no. 79}
  • In evening – Fast  {Verse no. 79}
  • In night  – Less prominent than day time {Verse no. 79}
  • In normal condition of vata – Uniform, fine, steady and slow (saamya, sukshma, sthira and manda)  {Verse no. 85}
  • In Bravery – Move like pigeon  {Verse no. 114}Move like peigon  {Verse no. 114}
(D) Nadi in mental states
  • Lust – Fast ( vegavati )  {Verse no. 93}
  • Anger – Fast ( vegavati )  {Verse no. 93}
  • Anxiety – Feeble (kshina) {Verse no. 93}
  • Fear – Feeble (kshina) {Verse no. 93}
  • Agitated condition. anger, fear, anxiety and giddiness – Feeble ( kshina) {Verse no. 97}
(E) Nadi as a prodromal symptom
  • Lassitute and slight pain in body when fever is to occur – Slow and jumping {Verse no. 80}
  • If fever is about to increase – Jumping forcibly {Verse no. 80}
  • Sannipata – Miscellaneous movements {Verse no. 81}
(F) Nadi in general pathological conditions and diseases
  • Vatika – Curvilinear motion {Verse no. 22}
  • Pitta – Tremulous {Verse no. 22}
  • Kaphaj – Slow {Verse no. 23}
  • Vata-Pitta – Moves sometimes like a snake, sometimes like frog {Verse no. 24}
  • Vata-Kaphaj – Sometimes like a swan, some time like snake {Verse no. 25}
  • Pitta-Kaphaj – Weak, cold and steady {Verse no. 26,27}
  • Sannipatika – Slow and fast alternately {Verse no. 29}
  • Fever – Very hot and fast {Verse no. 82}
  • Vatika Fever – Curvilinear {Verse no. 83}
  • When vata is excessively prodominanting – Thick (sthula), hard (kathin) and very fast. {Verse no. 85}
  • Patikka fever – Straight (sarala), long(dirgha), beating rapidly {Verse no. 86}
  • Pattika fever associated with excess metabolites – Hard as if the pulse come out of the skin {Verse no. 86}
  • Pattika fever when metabolites are reducing gradually – Light and beats rapidly {Verse no. 86}
  • Kaphaj fever – Very fine to touch like thread and slow {Verse no. 87}
  • Vata-Pittaj fever – Tremulous, moving to and fro, thick and hard {Verse no. 88}
  • Vata-Kaphaj fever – Hot and slow {Verse no. 89}
  • Vata-Kaphaj fever when Vata predominant – Always dry and harsh {Verse no. 89}
  • Vatika fever due to dry feeding – Dry, Harsh and knotted (pinda sannibhav) {Verse no. 90}
  • Pitta-Kaphaj fever – Fine steady and cold {Verse no. 91}
  • Pulse full of blood and excess metabolites – Appears hot, beneath the middle finger {Verse no. 92}
  • Bhuta fever i.e. fever due to evil spirits – Move forcibly like a flooded river in rainy season {Verse no. 94}
  • Vishama jwara .i.e intermittent fever – Sometimes beats in its normal position and sometimes in the displaced position. When fever come on alternate days or on every 3rd or 4th day – The pulse whirls and is hot {Verse no. 95}
  • Fever due to anger -As if, the nadi moves in association with the other nadis. {Verse no. 96}
  • Fever due to Lust – As if, moves along with the other Nadis{Verse no. 96}
  • Excess fever due to anger and lust – The nadi is very hot and fast {Verse no. 96}
  • Sexual enjoyments during fever – Weak and slow {Verse no. 98}
  • Desire of sex during fever – Fast and tremulous {Verse no. 98}
  • Patient of fever when takes curd (Dadhi) – Hotter and moves irregularly {Verse no. 99}
  • Patient of fever when takes kanjee and sour substances – Slow and hot {Verse no. 100}
  • Exercise, anxiety, grief and just after recovery from fever – Nadi assumes miscellaneous movements {Verse no. 101}
  • Indigestion – Hard and tight (Kathin and jada) {Verse no. 102}
  • After recovery from indigestion – Slow and light (Pushtihina), light, soft and fast {Verse no. 102,103}
  • Full of blood – Tepid and heavy {Verse no. 103}
  • Autointoxication (Sam) – Heavy {Verse no. 103}
  • Poor appetite – Slow {Verse no. 104}
  • Cachexia – Slow, moves like swan {Verse no. 104}Cachexia – Slow , moves like swan {Verse no. 104}
  • When the stomach loaded excessively with good qualities of food – Moves like the hood of snake {Verse no. 105}
  • Grahani (Malabsorption) – In the leg moves like swan i.e. slow, but in the hand like frog i. e. jumping {Verse no. 107}
  • In the more advanced stage of Grahani – Feeble, very slow felt beneath the fingers with great difficulty {Verse no. 108}
  • Atisar (Chronic Diarrhoea) – Weak, feeble and slow {Verse no. 108}
  • Bilambika – Mostly weak but sometimes jumping {Verse no. 108}
  • Amatisar (Dysentry) -Thick (Prithula) and tight or rigid (jada) {Verse no. 108}
  • Voluntarily retention of urine and stool – The dosha which predominates during this stage, leads the movement of the Nadi {Verse no. 109}
  • Cholera and gastro-interitis – Jumping like frog {Verse no. 109}
  • Anaha (Abdominal distention) and urethritis (Mutrakrichha) – Heavy {Verse no. 110}
  • Vishtambha – Curvilinear {Verse no. 113}
  • When Vata predominates in vishtambha and Gulma – Nadi assumes curvilinear motion and appears as if it is displaced from its original place {Verse no. 113}
  • Pain due to Vata – Always curvilinear {Verse no. 111}
  • Pain due to Pitta – Hot {Verse no. 111}
  • Pain associated with the distention of abdomen (Adhman) – Strong (Pushtirupa) {Verse no. 111}
  • Diabetic conditions – Beaded {Verse no. 112}
  • Diabetic associated with autointocication – A bit hot {Verse no. 112}
  • Abscess when not filled with puc etc. -Paittika i. e. jumping {Verse no. 115}
  • Fistula – Hot and curvilinear {Verse no. 115}
  • After vomiting beaten with stone or after extraction of spear etc. – Slow like swan’s movement {Verse no. 116}
  • Nadi in Poison – Jumping {Verse no. 113}
(G) Nadi indicating bad prognosis
  • When all the three Doshas are at fault at the same time  – Slow, tremulous, steady, very feeble(impercepitble), disappearing from its place and reappearing is due to derangement of all the three Doshas at a time and indicates unfavorable condition of the patient {Verse no. 30}
  • When all the three Doshas are at fault at same time – Nadi looking quite prominent very slow , thick lick rod , feeble , moves obliquely is due to derangement of all the three doshas at a time and is indicative of unfavorable condition {Verse no. 31}
  • When all the three Doshas are at fault at the same time – When the body is too hot and the Nadi is cold and vice versa and the Nadi assumes the miscellaneous movements, the death is certain  , Sometimes jumping like paittika Nadi ,sometime curvilinear like vatika Nadi and sometimes slow like Kaphaja Nadi and when sometime beneath the index finger and sometime beneath the middle finger and sometimes beneath the ring finger , i, e. assumes the circular motion , yhe Nadi indicates unfavorable condition{Verse no. 34,32}
  • Death in one Day – Beats very rapidly and stops suddenly , like the movement of large black bee {Verse no. 39} The Nadi appears the index finger like flash of lightning after intervals , causes death within a day {Verse no. 41}
  • Death within half and an hour (ArdhaPrahar) – The Nadi impinges two finger’s breadth below the thumb {Verse no. 43}
  • Death within four and half an hour (DedhPrahar) -The Nadi runs in straight line one finger’s breadth below from the thumb  {Verse no. 44}
  • Death within 18 hour (6 Prahar) – The Nadi appears merely like a streak two finger’s breadth below the rest of the thumb and more often disappears {Verse no. 45}
  • Death within 36 hours (12 Prahar) – Nadi , when for the most period in most does not appear at the root of the thumb and sometimes appears feeble and sometimes strong is indicative that the patient will die within 36 hours {Verse no. 40}
  • Death within 3 days – If the Nadi appears 1 and 1\4 finger’s breadth below the root of the thumb , indicates death within 3 days {Verse no. 46} , When the patient suffering from derangement of the three Doshas at a time and is restless due to temperature and the Nadi in cold , he will die within 3 days {Verse no. 37}
  • Death within 4 days – The Nadi of both the legs and wrist are felt beneath the index finger only, The Nadi runs with temperature 1 an 1/2 finger’s breadth below the root of the thumb.{Verse no. 38}
  • Death within 5 days – The Nadi moves very slowly 1 an 1/2 finger’s breadth below the root of the thumb {Verse no. 48}
  • Death within 7 days – The Nadi beats rapidly for a period and the thumb if there is no swelling in the body , the patient will die within 7 days
  • Death within 1 month – If chronically ill patient becomes extremely cachexic or fatty and if his Nadi is thin and smooth in like earthworm moves slowly in Zigzagway and in case when the Nadi is thick and hard like snake and becomes imperceptible after its fast and curvilinear motion , the patient will die within 1 month {Verse no. 35}
(H) Nadi appearing apparently bad prognosis but really not so
  • Nadi apparently of bad prognosis – Always due to habit of carrying load, fainting, fear, and grief, if the Nadi becomes fine or appears after every long pause, the man still survives.{Verse no. 50},
  • Due to fall injury, plastering of the fractured bone, diarrhoea and maximum loss of semen, it the Nadi does not appear, it does not indicate death .{Verse no. 51}
  • When the man is captured by evil spirit etc. and the Nadi mimic the picture of derangement of the three Doshas at a time, it does not indicate that the patient will die.{Verse no. 52}
  • In grief, being victim of severe cold or in case when one falls from the height or jumps to a height if the Nadi does not beat it indicate that the man will survive.{Verse no. 57}
  • In the case when Pitta is deranged maximum in comparison to Vata and Kapha, the Nadi of Pitta appears first and runs more vigorously than that of Vata and Kapha.In such condition, one should not be misled that all the three Doshas are at fault at a time and treat the case for the excessive derangement of Pitta .{Verse no. 75}
  • As long as the thumb, the patient will survive inspite of all the grave symptoms whatsoever may be.{Verse no. 56}
(I) Nadi indicating good prognosis
  • Good prognosis – If the Nadi is quite thin appearing like thread but does not leave its original position i. e. it beats just below the thumb, it indicates good prognosis, if the patient is treated properly.{Verse no. 57}
  • When the Nadi resumes its normal position in relation to its time etc. it indicates good prognosis {Verse no. 60}
  • When the characters of the Nadi coincide with the orders of accumulation,vitiation and normalization of Doshas, the disease is durable and it is indication of good prognosis.{Verse no. 61}
  • Nadi is clear, soft, beats in its normal position, being neither fast nor excessively slow.{Verse no. 58}

Giving concluding remark about the work of Kanada, it can be said that it is independent work on sphygmology which has the following characteristics :

  1. There is indication that before the examination of Nadi at the root of the thumb, the Nadi found at the elbow joint be rubbed lightly.
  2. Varieties of Nadi have been described after taking of foodstuffs of different qualities.
  3. A good number of diseases to be diagnosed by means of Nadi have been enumerated.
  4. Similarly, various types of Nadi have also been mentioned to assess the prognosis of the patient.
  5. Different types of Nadi which apparently appears clinically to be of serious type may be misleading, but really are not so have also been cited.
  6. Four different types of Nadi indicating good prognosis are also found in the work.
  7. The important thing to be worth recording is that work mentions differently in verse eighteen about the traditional change regarding location of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The Pitta occupies the uppermost position, the Kapha in the middle whilst the Vata is felt in the terminal part from about downwards respectively.