By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Dosa, DoSa, Dosha
Doṣa literally means ‘that which contaminates’, defect.
The word is derived from the root ‘duṣ’ which means ‘to contaminate,’ or ‘to spoil’.
The word ‘doṣa’ has several synonyms such as:
However, it is also used in a technical sense in certain fields of knowledge.
In Literary Compositions
In literary compositions doṣa can be of five types. They are:
- Padadoṣa - pertaining to the use of the word
- Padāmśadoṣa - pertaining to the use of the a part of the word
- Vākyadoṣa - pertaining to the use of the sentence
- Arthadoṣa - pertaining to the use of the meaning
- Rasadoṣa - pertaining to the use of the sentiment
These defects are sometimes raised to ten or even more.
In tarka or logic, the dosas are broadly categorized in two ways. They are:
- Lakṣaṇadoṣa - defect in implication meaning
- Hetudoṣa - defect in the enumeration of causes
In the Ayurveda, the main constituents of health are the three doṣas or humors:
- Kapha - phlegm
- Vāta - wind
- Pitta - bile
If they are in a balanced state, health will be maintained. Disease results on them being disturbed or imbalanced.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore