Janapada - large population, community
Udhwasa - Destruction of community
Apart from natural calamities (flood, famine, cyclone etc.), diseases can also lead to destruction on a mass scale. Such destruction is termed as Janapadodhwamsa.
जपदानां, जनसमुहानांउध्वम्सनम इतिजनपदोध्वम्स - जल्पकल्पतरु |
The diseases which produce destruction of large population called Janapadodhwamsa.
जनपद - Group of people living in a specific location.
उध्वम्स - Means destruction
Epidemiology - (Epi- among. Demos - people, logas-study)
Definition of epidemiology
Epidemiology is the science that studies the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.
Situation involving the destruction or death of a large population spread over a small locality, or a country or a part of world or even the entire world.
The concept of Janapadodhwamsa is discussed in charaka samhita, Vimanasthana Adhyaya-3; Verse 5, There Agnivesha asks question to Lord Atreya " How does the simultaneous destruction of communities take place by the incidence of one single disease, in spite of individuals who differ from one one another in their constitution, diet, Physique, vitality, habits, psychic make up, and age? "
Lord Atreya replied " Agnivesha! Though a community may be dissimilar with respect to the constitution and other characteristics of its individuals, there are other common factors which often get adversely affected, resulting in simultaneous outbreak of diseases having similar symptoms that destroy communities. The common factors which affect mass population are vayu (air), udaka (water), desha (land) and kala (season).
Causes of Janapadodhwamsa
As per Charaka :
- Nitya Hetu : The Nitya Hetu are the inevitable disastrous factors includes the harmful effects of sun, moon, stars and planets such as floods, cyclones, landslides, earth quakes, tsunami etc.
- Anitya Hetu : Anitya Hetu are the evitable disastrous factors includes prajnaparadhaja (terrorism, accidents etc), Shastra Prabhavaja (wars- nuclear weapons, missiles etc and advanced weapons), Abhisyangaja (effects of pathogens, evil forces & unhygienic conditions) and Abhishapaja (Curse).
- Shastra Prabhava (War) : Destruction of men and materials on massive scale. Usage of atom bomb and bio-weapons (like anthrax) destroyed population and had disastrous affects. These will results into spread of epidemics. such diseases are termed as Janapadodhwamsa Rogas.
Janapadodhwamsakara Bhawa (Nature of the vitiated factors)
तेतुखल्वमेभावा: सामान्यजलपदेषुभा भवन्तितध्यथा - वायु, उदकम्, देशः, कालइति | (च.वि. 3/6)
Four factors are Vayu, Jala, Desha and Kala.
Vayu or Air
- Spread of vitiated, hot/cold air with micro-organisms, dust, allergens, pollens and toxic gases.
- Temperature changes due to pressure gradient in air current from one place to another.
- Air current flows abnormally; forceful stromy or cyclic wind; severe cyclones and rainfall
Jala or Water
- Vitiation by disposal of industrial effluents and sewage to common sources; leakage of underground sewage pipes.
- Abnormal odor, color, taste and touch.
- Loses normal healthy qualities
- Creatures living in and around water leave and migrate to other areas.
Desha or Land
- Vitiation due to industries, overpopulation etc.
- Soil with abnormal color, taste, odor and touch.
- Becomes damp or marshy
- Harmful animals and insects increase; those residing in jungles or graveyard appear.
- Vegetables and fruits grown get polluted by toxins and pathogens leading to disease.
Kala or Seasons
There can be Atiyoga/ Hinayoga / Mithyayoga of seasons
Importance of Panchakarma and Rasayana Preventing and Control of Janapadodhwamsa
- Epidemic diseases are not being afraid of diseases, if he is assured of proper medication for administration.
- One does not suffer from disease even while all these four vitiated factors ending with seasons are at work if he is administered medications properly.
- Those who are not having identical actions during previous life and those who are not destined to die during epidemics, for their cure, Panchakarma (five elimination therapies) are the best.
- They should be properly administered Rasayana Chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy) and physical health should be maintained with such drugs as are collected before onset of epidemics.
Control of Janapadodhwamsa
- Truthfulness, compassion for living beings charity, scarifies, prayer to the gods, adoption of preventive measures, tranquility, protection of self by Mantra etc.
- For things as are good for the self, residence in auspicious localities, observance of Brahmacharya, service to those observing Brahmacharya, discussion of religious scriptures, great sages and those who have self control, and control associated with epidemics can easily save the lives of individuals provided the death of a particular individual during the period is not predestined.