Indian approach of psychotherapy: Sattvavajaya-concept and application

Dr. K. M. Tripathi
Centre for Yoga, Malaviya Bhawan
Banaras Hindu University

Sattvavajaya is an objective approach for modification of mental functioning, based on Ayruvedic principles and it needs help, guidance and interference of an expert clinician. Sattvavajaya seems to be the psychotherapeutic system of Ayurveda or a non-pharmacological approach of Ayurveda to improve ones mental health and also to manage the psychological counterparts of any disorder. The term Sattvavajaya was mentioned in the Charaka Samhita. Charaka was the first scholar in the history of Ayurveda, who had visualized the role of psychological factors in the aetiopathogenesis and precipitation of diseases. Presently, in modern medical science too, mental health is gaining significance as an important aspect of one's total health or composite well-being. Like many other psychotherapeutic systems, Sattvavajaya also comprises the devices of ashvasana (assurance), samsuchana (suggestion), pratyayayana (persuasion), nirdesana (guidance), prashikshana (education & training), parimarjana (modification), sammohana (hypnosis), visamvedana (desensitization), rechana (catharsis), and samtripti (satisfying). From practical point of view, Sattvavajaya may be of three kinds, i.e., general Sattvavajaya, individual Sattvavajaya, group Sattvavajaya.

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This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002