While describing the Sara in context to Atura Pariksha, the terminologies like Sarvasara, Madhyamsara & Avara sara are found. These are only stated by Acharyas Caraka. Here Sarvasara is not a separate type, but it is just a stage which is found in a person in the form of qualitative & quantitative presence of all the types of Sara & gives the information about Dehabala.
Dhatu sarata is the special feature of Ayurvedic concept. For any physician to diagnose any disease there should be acquaintance of Tridhoshas, Sapta Dhatu s and Malas etc. Like that knowledge of Sarata is equally important. It is included in Dasavidha pariksha. In subject of Pariksha, Acharyas Sushruta opines that physician can achieve success in treatment when he is properly known about Pramanaa of Amga- pratyamga & Sarata of Dhatu.
Sara is Visudhatara svarupa of that particular Dhatu . So that it will able to perform its normal functions having good strength. If Dhatu will not in its proper state it will definitely hamper the strength. This strength is nothing but Dhatu bala. If Dhatu bala is good then it will provide the shield against the lodging of Dosa as Dhatu are Dushya and protect the body against diseases. To assess this DhAtu bala, Acaryass have given a tool i.e. to examine Dhatu sarata.
In other term, Acharyas Caraka has said there is interrelation between Sara of Dhatu & Vyadhikshamtva.
The persons who are very fatty, very thin, whose Mansa-Shoniita-Asthi Dhatu are not properly formed or not properly distributed in body, weak person, malnourished, taking less quantity of food can not fight against the disease power and are considered as Vyadhi-asahani-having low immune power. Means if the described signs are not possessing in which person has best immune power. Here it is cleared that when there is proper and formation and distribution of Mamsa, Sonita & Asthi Dhatu then immune power will be excellent then & then only oppose the Vyadhi-utpatti. This proper formation is nothing but excellent quality and quantity of Dhatu. This interdependence can be understood as - Dhatu posana, Dhatu sarata, Dhatu bala, Vyadhikamvtva
Utility of Sara Pariksha:
The word pratipatti stands for these three meanings stated as below
Real or true knowledge
Thus Acryass state utility of Sarapariksha for Bala pramanadnyanartham. As Sara means Bala, it means that Sarata is an important factor by which the strength of a person can be easily known. Though other factors also have their importance in assessing the Dehabala of the patient but S?ra Pariksha may be taken as lonely a capable for Bala assessment method which gives complete assessment of Dehabala. The body which possesses the Dhatu sarata Saravana Dhatu always remains strong. There are many examinations mentioned for Atura Pariksha, one of which is Dashavidha Pariksha coated in Caraka Samhita vimansthana 8th adhyaya.
The place of action is verily the patient himself. His examination is for the sake of the knowledge of his life span or that of the measure of his physical & mental strength and the intensity of morbidity of Dosha. The knowledge of the measure of his strength & intensity of morbidity are essential for the preparation of medicine & also in deciding the dose of the medicine. Also to avoid confusion between Guruvyadhita & Laghuvyadhita, proper assessment of patient is necessary for appropriate treatment.
A rash administration of very strong medication without examination, on a weak patient (Avara satva) will upset him. Weak people cannot stand for strong remedies. Due to these reasons Atura should be examined by Sarata.
A physician may be deceived by the appearance of the body merely & conclude a man to be a strong man, because of robustness, a man to be a weak because he is emaciated, a man to be exceedingly strong because he has a big body or that a man having small body is possessed of small strength, it is not true. These are persons who appear small in body & emaciated but are strong. For they are like the ant, which carries relatively more load than its body weight & therefore it has been said that a person to be tested from the point of view of Sarata.
To understand the importance of Dhatu sarata, it is essential to know the whole process of production of Dhatu. The whole process of Dhatu production is always continue & progressive as there is continuous ongoing process of anabolism & catabolism of the body elements. During this process Dhatu s are formed but for the formation of excellent Dhatu i.e. Dhatu sarata is depend upon many factors in digestion (samyak Pachana).
The Ahara is a factor which is responsible for the nourishment of body elements i.e. Dhatu. When ahara is taken in proper quantity and quality with observation of Aharavidhivisheshaayatana, having good digestive power, in proper time then Samyak Pachana (proper digestion) occurs which can promote strength, complexion, happiness and life itself.
From the digested food, Prasadbhaga (Ahara rasa) and Malakhyabhaga (kitta) are formed. Body channels constitute the means of passage for the essential & waste products. Through these channels the essential fluid (Ahara rasa) fed the Rasa, Rakta…etc. Dhatu & Oja,five sensory organs & also parts as body joints & ligaments. The Prasadabhaga Rasa is going to manufacture all bodily elements. Acharyas Charaka has clearly mentioned the channels (Srotasas) provide passage & does the nutrition of Dhatu.
After the completion of Jatharagni & Bhutagni Vyapara, Dhatvagni plays important role in production of Dhatu. Ahara rasa spread due to Vyana vayu (vikshepana) in particular Dhatu places (srotasa) upon which Dhatvagni acts & produces two main parts named sthulabhaga (poshya) & sukshmabhaga (poshaka). Out of them sthulabhaga is used to nourish ownself whereas Sukshmabhaga goes further to nourish next Dhatu. Again this Agni performs specific action on its own nutritive part i.e prasadabhaga. During the process of own nourishment, also gives nourishment to its Upadhatu. As there is formation of Dhatu mala, sara/refined/most purified part is also getting formed. This Sara which again contributes in the formation of good quality of that particular Dhatu i.e. Dhatu sarata while sukshmabhaga of this is going to contribute the main pool in the formation of Oja (which is considered as Sapta Dhatu sara).
In such away from nutrient Ahara rasa, Rasa Dhatu, forms Rakta Dhatu thence Mansa Dhatu, from Mansa-Meda Dhatu thence asthi Dhatu . From Asthi-Majja Dhatu & thence Shukra Dhatu are formed, nourished and kept with their best quality (Dhatu sarata).
Dhatu sarata & Dhatusamya:
Thus the co-relative & accumulative functions of Agni (Jatharagni, Bhutagni, Dhatvagni), Samhana vayu, Kleda, Kala & Srotasa (channels) on Ahara are going to produce these Dhatu of our Body. In such a way the increase or decrease in Dhatu is taken away & Dhatusamya is acquired which leads to protect the Health.
The imbalance state of Dhatu s is known as Dhatu vaishmya which is either Dhatu kshya or Dhatu vrdhdi leading to Rogotpatti. In Ayurveda many diseases mentioned are due to increase or decrease in Dhatu. Dhatusamya is the state of Prakruti i.e. Health which is the main aim of Ayurveda.
Achrayas have clear concept about Dhatu paka (Catabolism) & Dhatu poshana (Anabolism). Disorders caused due to Dhatu vaishmya can be brought to equilibrium state by Dhatu samya Chikitsa in which disease caused by Dhatu kshya is managed by Dhatu vrdhdi & vice versa.Whereas the Dhatu sarata is something more than the Dhatusamya. Because by increasing or decreasing the Dhatu to bring at its prakrtavstha is known as Dhatusamya but after the establishment of this Samya, to maintain it with supreme qualities is nothing but Sarata of that Dhatu which indicates towards the quality of Dhatu with its proper quantity.The best harmony of Dhatu producing factors produce Dhatu sarata. On the basis of Yukti & Tarka, deterioration of any factor from its normancy which are involving in the production of Dhatu affects the quality as well as quantity of Dhatu which directly influence purity or excellency of Dhatu i.e. Dhatu sarata.Thus Sarata is one step forward to equilibrium state of Dhatu.