According to Ayurveda, Ojas is the finest material substance in the body—in fact it is as much consciousness as it is matter. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who founded the Transcendental Meditation technique and inspired the revival of Ayurveda in its comprehensive and integrated form, referred to Ojas as a “lamp at the door”—the junction point between consciousness and matter—lighting both inside and outside.
Because Ojas links consciousness and matter, it serves to integrate the whole mind/body system when it is properly enlivened and maintained. It is Ojas that allows all the contradictory values of physiology and mental functioning to be bound together, acting like a cosmic glue. The more Ojas, the better your health, and the stronger your immunity, balance, and happiness.
Shrotas, Channels and the Gap
The traditional Ayurveda purification treatments, known as Panchakarma, help promote Ojas in the body. When Ojas is produced in the body, it provides a channel for consciousness to flow into matter. Ojas is the finest physical value of biological intelligence. And that finest physical value needs to flow through the body through proper, unobstructed channels. These channels are known in Ayurveda as “shrotas.”
On the grossest level, the “shrotas” or channels can be seen as blood vessels, lymph circulation channels, capillaries, cellular pores, etc. But if we look more closely, we find that shrota represents the space through which intelligence flows—the gap that allows transformation from one value of matter into another. Shrotas, then, are gaps in the body.
Most people think of a gap as emptiness, a place where nothing exists. But according to Maharishi Ayurveda, all healing mechanisms operate in the gaps.
Musicians tell us that the rests, the silences between the notes, and also the upbeats, the spaces between the main beats, are where music’s life really comes from. “Take care of the gaps, the silences,” said a gifted soprano, “and everything else takes care of itself. The music flows forward naturally.”
It is the same with the creation of anything in the universe. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said the gap is the “lively nothingness” that allows the transformation of one state of matter to another. This includes the transformation of imbalance to balance.
Actually, the whole body can be viewed as nothing other than gap. One of the principle texts of Ayurveda, the Charaka Samhita, says, shroto mayo purushan, which means, “the whole physiology is nothing other than gap.” The entire body is a shrota for the flow of biological intelligence. The body is an innocent channel that reflects the beauty and wisdom of nature’s intelligence.
By purifying the shrotas, nature’s intelligence (physically manifested as Ojas) can flow freely throughout the body. This is why having regular Panchakarma treatments supports the prevention of disease. By keeping the channels of the body clear, Ojas—that lively intelligence that links consciousness and matter—finds no obstacle to its free flow and functioning.
This is the specialty of Panchakarma…linking oil massages with consciousness, heat treatments with the intelligence of nature.
For information on Panchakarma treatments, visit The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa website: