Dincharya & Ratricharya
Activities done by a person from morning to evening are referred to as Dincharya. In Ayurveda, dincharya is considered as a measure to prevent physical, mental and social problems. A balanced food style and a restricted life style are the key principles constituting such measures in Ayurveda. The various steps to follow in Dincharya include:
- Jagaran (Waking up) & Malatyag (Defecation): Waking up early in the morning (at least 30 to 40 minutes before sunrise) not only improves physical health but also boosts the mental vigor. Waking up late causes laziness and slothfulness and makes the whole day sluggish. To facilitate the digestion of food consumed the previous night, waking up early is crucial. Dominance of Vata in this period helps to pass the Mala (urine/stools) early. Thus, waking up early helps in purification of body. As the duration of the stay of the Mala inside the body increases, the susceptibility of the body to opportunistic infections increases.
- Dantadhawan (tooth brushing): Ayurveda advocates using long, straight twig having circumference like little finger. The twig could be of neem, khadir, mahua or karanj. Tooth powders or toothpastes containing extract of the plants can also be used. Tooth brushing at least twice a day is a must to prevent dental decay. After brushing teeth, tongue should be cleaned by scrapping.
- Gandush-dharan (keeping liquid in mouth for some time): In this step, medicated oil or cold water is placed for some time in mouth. This removes foul smell of mouth and makes teeth strong. Dental decay is the result of vitiated Vata. Oil pacifies the dosha, and hence improves overall oral health.
- Anjan (cleanser for the eyes): as per Ayurveda, Early deterioration of vision might be because of the fact that Anjanavidhi is not practiced. For this, one should daily apply ‘Sauviranjana’ (collyrium made from antimony). Rasanjana (a preparation of Berberis aristata) is to be applied once in a week for lacrymation of the eyes.
- Nasya (refers to nasal insufflations of medicines): In this procedure, medicated oil is applied in nostrils by fingers. Nasya improves the gleam of skin and strength of the shoulders, neck, face and the chest. It placates the bad mouth and breath odour. It prevents early graying of hairs, stiffness of neck, lockjaw, frequent headache, facial palsy etc. It also minimizes the severity of frequent respiratory tract infections.
- Dhumpan ( Ayurvedic medicated smoking): Dhumpan (smoking) of herbal drugs is beneficial in many supraclavicular diseases.
- Vyayam (exercise): This is the most important part and must be done daily. Exercise reduces obesity, increases stamina, regulates digestion and maintains physic in proper shape. Suryanamaskara, disciplined work out to whole body, is a great form of exercise. It gives strength to the lungs. Morning walk, swimming and yoga exercises are also good for health.
- Kshaurkarma (cutting of hair, beard and nail): Doing Kshaurkarma thrice in a fortnight provides physical and mental beauty.
- Abhyanga (ayurvedic oil massage): Medicated oil is applied all over the body, especially on head, ears and feet. Oil calms the Vata and gives stability. Dandruff and dry hair can be prevented by regular application of oil on the head. Ears are one of the seats of Vata, so Vata is hushed again. Walking enhances Vata, hence application of oil to the feet avoids the ill effects of Vata Dosha. The aim of Abhyanga is to moisturize the skin. Abhyanga slows down the aging process, improves vision, nourishes the body tissues and enhances sound sleep.
- Snan (bathing): Bathing provides physical and mental purity. It is also believed to possess aphrodisiac effect.
The regimen to be followed after sunset till morning falls under Ratricharya. According to our ancestors, the heavier or negative energies are at their peak at this time, hence you need to be careful and alert. Ahar, nidra and bramhacharya are the three sub-pillars of ratricharya.
- Ahar (food): Ahar should consist of light and easily digestible food. Avoid deep fried, cold foods, dairy products and sweets. A gentle walk after dinner is relaxing and one tends to feel light and mentally relaxed when going to bed.
- Nidra (sleep): The hours of sleep as well as the time of sleep are important. According to the biological clock of the body, sleep during night is most beneficial. It rejuvenates the brain, makes you feel happy, nourishes the tissues of body, increases strength, pacifies tiredness and increases vitality. All this, in turn, increases the life span of a person.
- Bramhacharya (prohibition of sexual intercourse): Sexual intercourse at the interval of three days in all seasons but at the interval of fortnight in summer season is recommended by Sushrut.
- Charak Samhita of Agnivesha. Vidhyotini Hindi Vyakhya- Sastry K & Chaturvedi G – Editors. Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi 221001. Reprint 2011.
- Guru Sharan Pal, Preventive Health Measures in Ayurveda, Int J Ayu Pharm Chem, Int J Ayu Pharm Chem 2015 Vol. 2 Issue 3, 2015.
- Akshar Kulkarni et al, Remuneration Of Pursuing Dinacharya, Jnana Srotas Vol 9 Issue 2. Dec 2014.
- Sushruta samhita Poorvardha. Commentary by Ambikadutta Sastri. Chaukhambha Sanskrit Academy. Varanasi 221001.