What is Anjali and Anjali Pramana in Ayurveda?


What is Anjali?

Anjali is the cavity or a bowl or a hollow space formed by joining two palms together such that it can hold a maximum quantity of substance. Anjali is used to measure liquid and semi-solid substances.

What is Anjali and Anjali pramana in Ayurveda?

Anjali is a unit of measurement defined in Ayurveda. Generally, liquid (Dravya) components or Tissues(Dhatus) of the body are measured through Anjali Pramana, also known as Kudava or Ardhasharava. 

1 kudava is approximately equal to 4 pala (192 grams). This quantity is referred to as dhatus in a state of equilibrium. That means if the dhatus are not in a state of equilibrium, Anjali pramana may deviate.

Anjali Pramana

Anjali pramana is a unit used to measure the volume of different body constituents which are in a fluid state or semi-solid, for example: Saptadhatus, Oj

Following are the Anjali Pramana of some bodily elements according to Charaka.

 Bodily Element 
Anjali Pramana
1. Udaka (water fluid compartment)  

10 Anjali
2. Ahara Rasa (Nutritional fluid after the digestion of the food)

 09 Anjali
3. Rakta/Shonita (Blood)

  08 Anjali
4. Purisha (feces/stools)

07 Anjali
5. Kapha/Shleshma (Phlegm) 

06 Anjali
6. Pitta (bile etc digestive juices) 

05 Anjali
7. Mutra (Urine)

04 Anjali
8. Raja (Menstrual blood) 

04 Anjali
9. Vasa (Muscle fat)  

03 Anjali
10. Meda (fat) 

02 Anjali
11. Stanya (breast milk) 

02 Anjali
12. Majja (Bone marrow) 

01 Anjali
13. Shukra (semen, reproductive fluid)

 ½ Anjali
14. Mastishka (Brain matrix)

 ½ Anjali
15. Oj/Oja/Ojas (Apara)

 ½ Anjali
16. Shleshma (lubricants) 

 ½ Anjali

Although the above measurements of body components have been given, there is no yardstick for the Anjali dimension as believed by Acharya Charaka. It is based upon the size of one's own Anjali (Svena Anjali Pramanena ), so the quantity that fits into each individual's Anjali will differ showing a personalized approach of measurement of bodily elements.

Utility of anjali pramana : 

This belief is one of Ayurveda's fundamental teachings to:

• determine the age or longevity of an individual

• determine the status of health and sickness

• facilitate the treatment procedure

• identify the location and size of parts of the body

• identify the consciousness in an individual to detect if he is alive or dead.

How much one should eat?

Digestion is the foundation for good health. One of the most effective ways to balance the doshas and improve digestion is to 'eat equivalent to what it fills up an individual’s Anjali.’ 

To effectively digest food, it is important to engage this ideal ayurvedic formula 

Definition and Importance of Anjali Spiritually:

Anjali in Hindu culture means “divine offering,” “salutation,” “benediction” or “joining the palms in reverence.”  In offering the entire of myself to Divine Love, Hindus offer water to the deity and the Sun god from the palms of their hands as a sacred ritual. The hollow of the hand making the offering is gifted with healing powers and positive energy. When the band of sun-rays refracts through the water, it disperses into seven colors. 

The energy deriving from these colored rays is soaked up by the body balancing tridoshas in the body. Thus the body automatically gains 'water & color therapy from sun rays.

 When donating or giving something humbly to someone or receiving the same, the donor and receiver make this posture.

Anjali Mudra:

Mudra is a Sanskrit word meaning “seal” or “gesture.” The Anjali mudra is one of the most popular and recognizable mudras in yoga. It is used as part of a greeting before yoga class and as a type of salutation at the end of class. But it is also a hand gesture (hasta mudra) used with asanas and during meditation.

Namaste or pranams, two hands folded in a welcome greeting, is the salutation that Indians are globally welcomed with. Literal meaning - ‘I salute the divinity in you, the gesture is being widely appropriated as the greeting of choice during & post-COVID-19 times. However, there is a hidden power in this gesture and we can tap into it by learning more about Namaste, or the Anjali Mudra.

When used in Yoga, doing this mudra means bringing both the palms together in front of the heart chakra, with the fingers pointing upwards. The hands need to be pressed evenly and firmly together. 

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