Has it ever struck you as odd, then, that the manovahasrotas—the channel system of the mind—is not clearly described anywhere in the Ayurvedic classics? If the mind does indeed hold a place of import in this medicine, then why isn’t this channel described clearly?
You know how we all think of Ayurveda as a holistic system that addresses the mind and spirit as well as the body?
Has it ever struck you as odd, then, that the manovāhasrotas—the channel system of the mind—is not clearly described anywhere in the Ayurvedic classics? If the mind does indeed hold a place of import in this medicine, then why isn’t this channel described clearly?
This struck me as odd. I remember a conversation with my (our) friend Mike Dick, many years ago, when we were discussing the ten channels referred to in connection with the manovāhasrotas. We were specifically discussing the lack of precise information available anywhere about this information.
Indeed, if we comb through the Bṛhat Trayī (Aṣṭāṅga Hṛdayam, Suśruta Saṃhitā and Caraka Saṃhitā) or the Laghu Trayī (Mādhavanidāna, Śārṅgadhara Saṃhitā or Bhāva Prakāśa), we only find hints about the manovāhasrotas and its associated “ten channels.” Nowhere are they clearly described.
Around this same time, I was meditating on this lack of clarity around this, feeling strongly that the missing information must be somewhere.
All of a sudden I knew exactly where this information would be. I was able to put my hands on an ancient classical text and open to the exact page where these ten channels are described.
This felt like a gift from the Ayurvidya and led me to explore the organization of the manovāhasrotas in light of this information. I went on to explore the implications of this more complete picture on the practice of Ayurvedic medicine in general and Ayurvedic psychology specifically, as well as practices of yoga and meditation.
While admittedly a bit dense, this information is accessible to any serious student of Ayurveda, Tantra and Yoga.
In writing this, it seemed particularly important to provide extensive and accurate references, so that this information is understood for what it is: a picture that comes directly from authoritative sources, rather than from the imagination of an individual. It may be that we are able to move forward confidently with our own insights around these subjects only when we are sure that our foundations are based in classical authoritative sources.
I am so grateful for this information, as it has deepened, and continues to deepen my understanding and practice—both personally and professionally—of Ayurveda. I hope you find it as inspiring and juicy as I did.
I feel this information sets the stage for some very exciting work. I would love to hear if you come up with anything.
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