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Physiology of Respiratory System
Functions in General
‘Prāna Vāta’ situated at ‘Nābhi’, comes out through the throat to consume a nectar-like substance called ‘Visnupadāmrta’ from the atmosphere. After consuming this nectar of atmosphere, it re-enters the body speedily and nourishes the ‘Jīva’ (Śā. Pū. 5/51). Though the site of ‘Prāna Vāta’ is described to be ‘head’ in all earlier textbooks, Śārnńgadhara has described it to be ‘Nābhi’ in this reference. ‘Nābhi’, in Samskrta language, just means ‘a center’. So, this is indicative of a particular center in the head. ‘Raktam jīva iti sthitih’ is the opinion of Suśruta and this means that the terms ‘Jīva’ and ‘Rakta’ are synonyms. So, when translated with this background, the above verse gives the following meaning: “Because of the activity of ‘Prāna Vāta’ that is situated in brain, a nectar-like substance is consumed through the act of respiration. This substance in turn, nourishes the ‘Jīva’ (Blood).” This nectar-like substance must be oxygen. Nervous control of respiration and transportation of oxygen through blood also can be inferred from this reference.
Lung – Phupphusa
On the left inferior aspect of the heart, ‘Plīhā’ (spleen) is situated and on its left side there is ‘Phupphusa’ (Left lung). On right side, the corresponding organs situated are ‘Yakrt’ (Liver) and ‘Kloma’ (Right lung) respectively (Su. Śā. 4/31). Suśruta has used two different terms to mean left and right lungs- ‘Phupphusa’ for left lung and ‘Kloma’ for right lung. This conclusion is drawn because of the fact that the term ‘Phupphusa’ has not been used in its plural form.
- The content Functions in General is borrowed from an article by Mr.Kishor Patwardhan