The ancient form of natural medicine, Ayurveda has always placed a high focus on the body constituencies. Our body constitutes doshas which are a combination of the 5 elements of nature. Kapha – Pitta – Vata are the 3 doshas that define the true nature or the characteristics of a person by birth. Fundamentally, Ayurveda is based on three basic principles – The nature of a person’s constituency (the dosha or Prakriti), the nature of the imbalance (Vikriti), and the nature of the medicine. Let us understand more about Prakriti & Vikriti in depth
What is Prakriti and Vikriti?
In Sanskrit, Prakriti means ‘original creation’ (Pra means original and Kriti means creation), and Vikriti means ‘after creation’ (Vi means after and Kriti means creation).
Prakriti is the natural profile of an individual – who I am. Vikriti, on the other hand, is the external environment, upbringing (called Sanskar in Hindi), and the acquired habits & traits that an individual inhibits over time. Vikriti is, therefore – whom I have become in the context of time.
When a baby is born in the human world, the parents pass on their characteristics and traits to the new individual. Prakriti is the basic nature of the baby or the body constitution at the time of birth. In simple words, Prakriti is the constitution or the set of attributes we are born with.
Prakriti is often misunderstood to be determined at the time of birth. Interestingly, our innate body dosha, the Prakriti is determined even before our birth, i.e., at the time of conception.
Vikriti, on the other hand, refers to our present state. Unlike Prakriti, Vikriti is in an ever-changing state of body and mind. Some texts also refer Vikriti as the imbalance.
These imbalances or the recently developed traits can start right from childhood or even during the gestation period. If the mother has a disturbed lifestyle, imbalances can occur right from the womb for the to-be-born child.
Factors affecting Prakriti & Vikriti
Prakriti of an individual is a result of genetics. The dosha which is dominant at the time of the sacred union also impacts the Prakriti of the child. During pregnancy, if the mother is dominant in Pitta dosha, it is quite possible that the child will have a pitta dominant dosha. This is why in most cases, The family gives the mother emotional, spiritual, and physical support to keep the body as balanced as possible during pregnancy and away from the dominance of a particular dosha.
Vikriti on the other hand depends on lifestyle choices, daily habits, the kind of food consumed, etc. Ayurveda is not always about correcting food habits. Our mental conditions – Sattvik, Rajsic & Tomasaic, our dosha imbalance i.e., vikriti, and in fact many other bodily functions depend on our environment including the air we breathe in and the emotional inputs.
Ayurvedic Medicine and the Modern diagnosis
Ayurveda fascinates everyone today, purely because of the wonders it does to the everyday life of troubled individuals. There are many practitioners who, with incomplete knowledge are not able to distinguish between Prakriti and Vikriti of a person. This not only leads to a faulty diagnosis but also difficulty managing everyday tasks.
According to the ayurvedic texts, a True Ayurvedic Physician will first determine our body’s nature – the dosha. The physician determines the individual’s Vikriti by asking him several questions about the imbalances. The physician then recommends an ayurvedic diet and lifestyle to the patient. Therefore, on the basis of Prakriti of our body the ayurvedic physician treats or balances the Vikriti.
According to Darwin’s theory of genetics, Prakriti is the ancestral lineage that affects not just an individual but many generations. The physical, mental and spiritual state of the parents at the time of the baby’s birth determines the baby’s true nature (Prakriti).
While a child grows up, there are many external influences like the environment he/she is brought up in – epigenetics, that create a lasting impact on the individual. Many a time, these impacts drive the individual away from their basic nature and therefore cause Vikriti i.e., a state of imbalance.
According to Sigmund Freud , a person has only one true nature (Prakriti) but can have multiple personalities (Vikriti), which are often formed during the initial years aged 0 to 7.
Prakriti & Vikriti are our two unique ayurvedic profiles. If we understand these well enough and modify our lifestyle & habits accordingly, 90% of our problems will no longer exist. You will feel healthier & lighter as compared to your older self.