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Time is divinity, it has neither beginning nor the end, it follows the accumulate effects of action, ordained by Adityas, Aakaasha and other Mahabhutas undergo changes or transformation. Every thing in the cosmos starting from the planets down to the minute substances, undergoing change or transformations, follows some orderliness, which can be recognized. The changes in the atmosphere into what is called the seasons follow a definite order, so also the physical body of all living beings. These changes are in exorable (is unavoidable) goes on silently without break. Because of these changes only the body goes in for different conditions, the properties of substances such as taste, potency, etc. are determined an the good or bad if all things are formed.
The eternal and continuous time has been subdivided into many arbitrary divisions for convenience to understand the changes in our day-to-day activities. One of such division is Rutu i.e. Seasons. The concept of Rutu came into existence on the basis of Masa, Rashi and having its own Swaroopa.
Rutus are totally 6 in number. Two consecutive months starting with Margasiras constitute the six Rutus as follows. The table below gives a clear view about these 6 rutus.
|1||Margashira + Pushya||Hemanta (winter)||Mid November to mid January|
|2||Magha + Phalghuna||Shishira (cold, dewy)||Mid January to mid March|
|3||Chaitra + Vaishakha||Vasant (spring)||Mid March to mid May|
|4||Jyestha + Ashadha||Grishma (summer)||Mid May to mid July|
|5||Shravana + Bhadrapada||Varsha (rainy)||Mid July to mid September|
|6||Asvayaja + Kartika||Sharat (autumn)||Mid September to mid November|
Now Rutu beginning from Sisira, Vasanta & Grishma (three down) fall under Uttarayana or Adanakala where Sun’s heat becomes more, takes away the moisture from the Earth and makes all men weak.
In the next three seasons i.e. Varsha, Sarat and Hemanta, the Sun’s heat reduces, the moisture on the Earth increases and this makes men stronger and this is known as Dakshinaayana or Visargakala.
The Uttaraayana or northern solatice being hot, reservoirs of water dry up, the air is hot and moisture of plants and all living beings becomes greatly reduced by co-operation because of this the body becomes weak, requires plenty of water to replenish the lost quantity. Tejas or fire like property will be more predominant during this phase, hence people should avoid the use of food and drinks having bitter, astringent and pungent tastes because of these similar property.
The Dakshinayana or southern solatice is colder. Rain is plenty and plants and animals become stronger in this people should avoid the use of sour, salt and sweet tastes during his period because use of this favours the increase of Kapha in the body.
Not only the behavior of a person is responsible for the causation of the disease but seasonal changes also bring abo0ut disease. They are responsible for the variation caused in the doshas of the body. The table below can give the idea of the doshic variation during particular Rutu.
The last seven days of he disappearing season and the first seven days of the next appearing season making a fortnight is considered as Rutu sandhi i.e. meeting of two seasons. During this period the regimen of the previous season should be discontinued gradually and those of the succeeding season adopted slowly. If on the other, they are discontinued or adopted suddenly, disease due to unaccustomed foods and activities develop.
Regimen to be followed in late winter i.e. between (Mid January to mid March)
This is the commencement of Uttarayanakala which is the Adanakala (period of dehydration). Megha and Palguna masa having the zodiac influence of Makara and Kumbha rasi is assigned as Sisira rutu (late winter).
Magha masa begins with he celebration of the festival Sankranti i.e. mid January to mid February and Phalguna masa begins with the end of Maha masa i.e. mid February to mid March.
Even though the Sisira rtu indicates he beginning of Adanakala one who has gained enough strength during the last season of the Visarga kala will not altogether lose it during the first season of Adanakala so Sisira is conducive to strength and good health.
Now lets discuss about the Ahara or the food, Vihara and the Achara to be followed for getting a perfect health.
The digestive power remains enhanced in the late winter by the cold winds so much so that it is capable of digesting any food stuff irrespective of its heaviness and quantity. (The effect of winter on the power of digestion and metabolism is proportionate with the health of he individual). So food having Madhura, Amla and Lavana rasa & Nutritious diet being Vaatahara is advocated generally. To be precise food, providing sufficient heat and also adequate nutrition to the tissue which are antagonistic to Vaata are beneficial. One should avoid taking such go the diets and drinks which are pungent, bitter and astringent in taste because they are instrumental in vitiating the Vaata and are light, during this season one should avoid taking cold diets and drinks.
Meat of aquatic and marshy animals which are fatty, meat of burrow dwelling animals, Prasaka or (animals who eat by snatching like horse, lion, camel, Marjara, sparrow, fish, eagle, hyene, bear, wolf, ass, mule, monkey, cow, vulture, etc.). Alcohol or Madira extracted out of fermented sugarcane is indicated, sugar cane juice, wheat black gram, fresh rice, lots of oil, ghee can be consumed.
Food having bitter, pungent and astringent taste should be avoided.
Some of the example are:
Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica),Tender shools of vetra (Satin caprea),Kalaya (Lathyrus aphacea),Gojihwa (Onosma bractiatum),Patola (Trichosanthes cucumerina linn),Avalguja (Psoralea corylifolia linn),Nimba (Azadirachta indica),Tila parni (Gynandrops, Gynandra bripuet) These are bitter in taste.
Massage, unction, application of oil on he head, fomentation by Jentaka process, one should reside in an underground residence and the inner heated apartment of a building, bedding and seats should be covered specially by heavy wrappers, skin or blankets. Sexual act is also advised during this season.
Wakening up at Brahmi muhurta. Washing the head, feet and anal region with warm water is beneficial. Application of oil and massaging the body, later performing the exercise, then taking bath, one can apply fragrant powders one should keep themselves warm by wearing woolen clothes, jackets, etc. wear slippers even at the home.
Following the Sisira rutu is the Vasantha rutu. Chaitra – Vaishaka masa, having the zodiac influence of Meena and Mesha rasi are included under Vasanta rutu. During the spring, the accumulated Kapha is liquefied by the heat of the Sun and as such disturbs the power of digestion and causes many diseases.
April, the month of ugadi, the commencement of New Year according to our calender, Hindus welcome it by eating neem and jaggery in equal part symbolizing the acceptance of happiness and agony equally.
Usually, Vasantha rutu give rise to moderate strength because the Kapha which gets accumulated in the seasons preceding the Vasantha rutu gets liquefied during spring seasons and hampers the digestive power. During this rutu, the wind blows from the south, the Sun rays are coppery red in colour, the trees are full of fresh sprouts, bark and leaves, pleasant singing of cuckoo and bees etc. is heard.
The digestive activity is hampered during this season. Intake of Laghu and Ruksha ahara are beneficial. Food having astringent and bitter taste is advocated. Heavy, unctuous, sour and sweet diets should be avoided.
Madhu (honey), barley, wheat, soup of meat of animals of deserts region should be resorted. Laja, Chanaka or Bengal grams, fresh Sahakara (Mango juice mixed with sugar), fresh and pure Asava, Arista, Sidhu, Maadhava (different kinds of alcoholic beverage) can be taken. For those who are non vegetarian meat of rabbit, antelope, common quail and gray partridge are good.
Water processed with ginger, honey, Mustha, bark of Asana, Khadira, Chandana is taken as drink.
Heavy, unctuous, sour and sweet diets are apathy.
Suka dhanyas or corns like: Sali, Sastika, Vrihi, Syamaka, Yava, Godhuma, Mahasali, Tila, various types of Simbi (Dolichos lablab linn.), Avalguja (Psoralea corylefolia linn) and Edagaja (Cassia tora linn.).
Meat of animals living in marshay area and water is apathya.
Buffalo meat, pork, beef, fish, etc. should be avoided.
Some of the vegetables like masaparni (Teramnus labcalis spring), Karbudara (Bauhinia varigata linn.), Suvarchala (Helianthus annua linn.), Nispava (a variety of Simbhi), Kovidaa (Bahunia varigata linn), Kalamba (Ipomoea reptam poir), Naleka (Onosma echoides linn), Prapunaada (Cassia tora linn.) etc. are Apathy during this season.
At the advent of spring one should habitually resort to exercise, unction, smoking, gargling and collyrium. Therapies like emesis, Dhooma or snuffing must be adopted as it is the season where Kapha is predominant, purgation, basti and Siro virechana are adopted in this season. Emetic therapy is specially administered in the month of Chaitra only.
Getting up early in the morning,Avoiding day sleep,Washing the excretory orifices with lukewarm water,Besmearing the body with Chandana and Agaru (Aquilaria agalocha roxb.),One can enjoy woman and blossoms of garden.
The third season of the Adana kala is Greshma rutu. Month of Jyesta is mid May to mid June and Asadha is mid June to mid July is taken as Grishma rutu. In Grishma rutu, the Sun’s rays appear like that of the flowers of Atasi (light blue in colour) and are very hot. The Earth seems to be burning with heat but the breeze from he southwest is comfortable. All animals feel like suffering from fever by the effect of the wind, Sun and consequent sweating. The water sources gets dried up, trees have no shad, summer season causes weakness.
Madhura, Laghu and Snigdha dravya, which is light for digestion, should be taken. Food should be sweet, cold and liquid. One should avoid pungent, sour and salt taste and hot and alcoholic drinks should not be taken.
Thin gruels prepared with corn flour and sugar, kept in fresh mid pots. Meat of animals and birds living in desert like region, rice, milk, ghee, grapes, coconut water, sugar are beneficial. Sita phala and seasonal fruits like Amra (mango), Jambu (Jamun) are also good.
Substances possessing pungent, sour and salt taste, hot and alcoholic drinks should not be taken. Sura, Madira, Amla kangi.
With the beginning of Greshma rutu people usually loose their strength because one should avoid exercise, basking in the Sun. Fragrant garlands prepared with the petals of lotus and lily should be worn across the head. Residing in the cool house is advised, visiting beautiful lakes, rivers, forests which are cool and spreading pleasant fragrant are food for recreation. Day sleep is also advocated. Avoid smoking, drinking.
Getting up early in the morning, Bathing with cold water, Wearing thin clothes sprinkled with perfumes, Sexual intercourse should be avoided as far as possible, One should completely stop the intake of alcohol during this season. Otherwise it produces Oedema, loosness of joints, burning sensation and delusion.