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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 201-206

Intelligence quotient and concept of Deha-Mānasa Prakṛti in Ayurveda

1 Department of Kriya Sharir, Gomantak Ayurveda College and Research Centre, Shiroda, Goa, India
2 Department of Agadatantra, Government Ayurveda College, Nanded, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication10-Aug-2016

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep V Binorkar
Department of Agadatantra, Government Ayurveda College, Vazirabad, Nanded - 431 601, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.188184

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Background: Ayurveda has classified humans according to Deha-Mānasa prakṛti. It has given equal emphasis to both physical and psychological status of the individual. Constitution or configuration is an individual's peculiar set up of body and mind. It is also of importance in etiopathogenesis, prognosis and treatment procedures of various ailments. It is said that nature has its relative roles in causing individual and group differences in their respective cognitive abilities.
Aim: The present study was designed to validate and assess the Intelligence Quotient of individuals of different Prakṛtis .
Materials and Methods: A study was conducted in healthy individuals of age 20-30 years, divided into three groups depending on their Deha-Mānasa Prakṛtis and thereafter assessed for their individual IQ.
Conclusion: This article highlights the comparative outcome and relation between Deha-mānasa prakṛti and intelligence of an individual. It is observed that IQ is more in kapha prakṛti , moderate in pitta prakṛti and least in vāta prakṛti individuals.

Keywords: Ayurveda, Deha-Mānasa Prakṛti, intelligence quotient

How to cite this article:
Nandvadekar V, Binorkar SV. Intelligence quotient and concept of Deha-Mānasa Prakṛti in Ayurveda. Ancient Sci Life 2016;35:201-6

How to cite this URL:
Nandvadekar V, Binorkar SV. Intelligence quotient and concept of Deha-Mānasa Prakṛti in Ayurveda. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Nov 29];35:201-6. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2016/35/4/201/188184

  Introduction Top

Classifying human individuals according to Deha-Mānasa Prakṛtis (DMPs) is one of the unique features of Ayurveda.[1] Almost all Ayurvedic classics have elaborated on the different DMPsand their importance in the various aspects of etiopathogenesis, prognosis and treatment procedures.[2],[3],[4] No equivalent theories have been discussed in detail in any other medical system. Basic concepts have given equal emphasis to both physical and psychological status of the individual.

Constitution or configuration is an individual's peculiar set up of body and mind. It is described in Ayurveda under the name of Prakṛti and is given considerable importance with respect to maintenance of health and incidence, progress and cure of disease. Modern medical literature as well as Unani [5] and Tibba [6] have also recognized the importance of study of constitution.

An Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a score acquired from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence of humans.[7] All through the history of psychology, no question has been so continual or defiant to resolution as that of the relative roles of nature in causing individual and group differences in their respective cognitive ability. It is inevitable for each and every science to adapt certain changes according to the changing world and so does Ayurveda. The present study “Validation and Assessment of Intelligence Quotient in Different Prakṛtis ” is an attempt made with such a perspective.

  Materials and Methods Top

The study was conducted in Kadanapally-Kadampuzha Panchayat in Kannur district, Kerala . Institutional Ethics committee permission was sought from the Government Ayurveda College, Kannur, Kerala. The study was conducted only on healthy individuals in age group of 20-30 years after obtaining written informed consent from the participants. 150 individuals fulfilling the inclusion criteria were randomly selected and thereafter divided into 3 groups considering their DMP.

The assessment of DMPshas been done using standard proforma along with questionnaire. The assessment of IQ has been done using “Bhatia's Battery of Performance Test of Intelligence”.[8],[9]

Inclusion criteria

  • Healthy individuals of age group 20-30 years
  • Individuals of either gender.

Exclusion criteria

  • Persons with congenital defects, hormonal imbalances, those having acute and chronic systemic diseases and psychological disorders are excluded.

Study design

The standard proforma with questionnaire has been made to assess both DMPs. Three different DMPshave been taken into account. The individuals with vāta dominating prakṛti along with pitta and kapha characters were consider under vāta-prakṛti i.e., ekadoṣaja as well as dvandvaja prakṛtis were taken together. Similarly pitta dominating prakṛti along with vāta and kapha were considered under pitta prakṛti and individuals with kapha dominating prakṛti along with vāta and pitta were considered under kapha prakṛti . The same procedure was followed for the determination of mānasa-prakṛti.

Assessment criteria

The only assessment criterion in this study is IQ. Performance in each component of IQ test is considered as assessment criteria. The performances are quoted in the tables as the scores given by the assessment scale.

Following are the components of “IQ” tests in this study:

  1. Pass along Test [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b
  2. Kohs' block design Test [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b
  3. Pattern drawing Test [Figure 3]
  4. Immediate memory Test
  5. Picture construction Test [Figure 4].
Figure 1: (a and b) Sample pictures for pass along test

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Figure 2: (a and b) Sample pictures for Kohs' Block Design Test

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Figure 3: Sample pictures for pattern drawing test

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Figure 4: Picture construction Test

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Observations related to Mānasa-Prakṛti

Among the 150 subjects registered in the study, 48 subjects belonged to sāttvika prakṛti , 52 subjects belonged to rājasika prakṛti and 50 subjects belonged to tāmasika prakṛti [Table 1]. Sex wise, sāttvika group was mainly composed of females whereas rājasika group was mainly composed of males.
Table 1: Distribution according to Mānasa Prakṛti

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Maximum subjects in sāttvika group had pravara sattva ; avara sattva was found more in rājasika group. When temperament was considered, maximum numbers of sāttvika subjects were normal, whereas rājasika group was composed of more number of aggressive subjects, while tāmasika group also had more number of normal subjects.

Observations related to IQ

The IQ of 150 subjects registered for the study was distributed normally with a range of 42.00. The lowest IQ found was 88 and highest was 130. The mean IQ was 109.73 with standard deviation – 8.86 and median 109.

This suggests that the average IQ of the study sample is 109.73. Maximum number of subjects (39.33%) had IQ between 100-110, which includes the mean value of the whole sample. The next large sector of the sample (33.33%) had IQ between 111-120 which is also near the mean value [Table 2].
Table 2: Distribution according to intelligence quotient

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Relation of IQ and Deha Prakṛti

The study comprised of equal number of subjects in 3 Deha Prakṛti (DP) groups [Table 3]. More vāta prakṛti subjects were seen in IQ groups 101-110 and 88-100. Pitta prakṛti subjects were clustered in IQ groups 111-120 and 101-110. Kapha Prakṛti subjects were more in IQ group 111-120. Comparatively more Kapha Prakṛti subjects were there in IQ group 121-130 [Table 4]. The mean IQ of different DPhad statistically significant difference. The mean IQ of vāta prakṛti individuals was 104.640 – the least, that for pitta prakṛti was 110.30 and that for kapha prakṛti was 114.24 – the highest [Table 5]. The difference between them is statistically significant as shown by one way ANOVA [F = 18.268, P < 0.001, [Table 5]. Thus DPhas influence on IQ. Most of the ācāryas have described vāta-prakṛti people to have poor memory (alpasmṛti ), unstable mind (avyavasthita mati ) and short memories (śīghravismaraṇa ). The individuals of pitta-prakṛti have been described as being intelligent, with a skilful mind (medhavī, nipunamati ) and also as having mediocre knowledge (madhyama jñāna vijñāna ). Kapha-prakṛti individuals are stable minded, have śāstrika knowledge (vidyāvantaḥ, dṛḍha śāstramatayaḥ ), have good memory (smṛtimān ) and endowed with intelligence (buddhyā yukta ). Dhī, dhṛti, smṛti all together contribute the modern concept of intelligence. The present study seems to confirm the Ayurvedic concepts.
Table 3: Distribution according to Deha prakṛti

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Table 4: Distribution of intelligence quotient in relation to Deha prakṛti

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Table 5: Comparison of Prakṛti and mean intelligence quotient

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Among vāta prakṛti subjects, majority had IQ between 101-110 (16%), whereas 10.66% subjects had IQ between 88-100. In case of pitta prakṛti subjects, majority belonged to IQ 111-120 (16%) whereas 14.66% subjects had IQ between 101-110. Among kapha prakṛti subjects 14% had IQ between 111-120 while 8.66% subjects each were found having IQ between 101-110 and 121-130.

Comparison of IQ scores in various DPs - Assessment by One way Analysis of Variance.

Relation of IQ and Mānasa Prakṛti

Comparatively sāttvika prakṛti subjects were found more in IQ group 121-130. In IQ group 88-100, both rājasika and tāmasika prakṛti subjects were more [Table 6]. The mean IQ in sāttvika prakṛti was 113.50 – the highest, rājasika prakṛti was 109.28 and tāmasika prakṛti was 106.56 – the least [Table 7]. The difference between them is statistically significant as shown by one-way ANOVA [F = 8.361, P < 0.001, [Table 6]. Thus mānasa prakṛti definitely influences IQ.
Table 6: Distribution of intelligence quotient in relation to Manasa Prakṛti

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Table 7: Comparison of Manasa Prakṛti and mean intelligence quotient

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Among sāttvika prakṛti subjects, majority had IQ between 111-120 (12%), whereas 10% subjects had IQ between 101-110. In case of rājasika prakṛti subjects, majority belonged to IQ 101-110 (12.66%) whereas 11.33% subjects had IQ between 111-120. Among tāmasika prakṛti subjects 16% had IQ between 101-110 while 10%subjects were found having IQ between 111-120.

Comparison of IQ scores in various Mānasa-Prakṛtis - Assessment by One way ANOVA.

  Discussion Top

The concept of Prakṛti is a unique one and unanimously accepted by all the ācāryas of Ayurveda. Considering the significance of it in theoretical as well as clinical aspects, it should be well understood, as it furnishes the base for existence of health or disease of a person.

The references regarding the concept of buddhi and smṛti in Ayurveda are highly blended with the thoughts of ancient Indian philosophies i.e., darśana . As described in our saṃhitās , the three pramāṇas namely pratyakṣa , anumāna and āptopadeśa were followed. Pratyakṣa in the form of darśana and sparśana was applied for the assessment of characteristics. Āptopadeśa was taken as the basis for classification of prakṛti in different types. The proforma and questionnaire covers physical, physiological, psychic and intellectual spheres.

Ayurveda holds the view that every individual is a conglomeration of pancamahābhūta . Modern physiology postulates that all humans are made up of same organic and inorganic compounds and the bodily phenomena are governed by the same rules and regulations. The single cell structure undergoes division to form innumerable cells in the body; but still shows some dissimilarity in contour, immunity, intelligence etc., quantitatively as well as qualitatively. The cause and effect of all these events are dealt in detail under genetics whereas we have to lean on to the concept of prakṛti to explain the same. In sum, the constitution is the sum of the physique, physiological and psychological attributes of an individual. (Therefore, constitutional assessment requires a simultaneous and comprehensive consideration of all these aspects.) Though the contributions of them may vary, the influence of psychological attributes over the rest is great. For we know that “we are what we think”.

The aim of describing mānasa-prakṛti is to get familiarized with the psychological characteristics/attributes of an individual, thereby utilizing them to the maximum extent to leap forward in all the activities of the life. In Ayurveda , the concept of intelligence can be found spread under different headings – buddhi, jñāna, prajnā, medhā, dhī, dhṛti, and smṛti . From this we can infer that an entity called intelligence cannot be included satisfactorily under any single topic or terminology, but the primary definition of buddhi remains as the decisive capacity or capacity of discernment. We can also safely conclude that dhī, dhṛti, and smṛti are the three dimensions of a picture called buddhi .

As was noted earlier, intelligence, the ability to vary the behaviour, as per knowledge stored from past experience, to suit the varying situation and requirements in the given environment, will vary from individual to individual (from one to another). It can be measured by using reliable, validated, specially designed tests like Bhatia's Battery of Performance Test of Intelligence. It is administered by using verbal and performance tests. The measured value is expressed in ratios as a percentage of person's mental age to his chronological age.

The classics describe that sattva is a mano guṇa and is responsible for good memory, intelligence etc., The same is implied in the study. The rajas and tamas are considered as mano doṣas and in our study also, rājasika and tāmasika prakṛtis have shown less IQ, especially tāmasika prakṛti . The distribution of deha prakṛti observed in the study was normal.

In the present study, vāta prakṛti has shown less IQ, pitta has shown moderate IQ and kapha has shown highest IQ. But the study has also shown that the tāmasika prakṛti is having low IQ and sāttvika prakṛti having high IQ. The results can be explained with the help of relation of doṣas with triguṇas . When we explore the relation of these doṣas with the triguṇas, Vāta is dominant in rajo guṇa; pitta is dominant in rajas and sattva guṇas and kapha is dominant in sattva and tamoguṇas . Tāmasika prakṛti is seen having less IQ, but kapha prakṛti is seen having highest IQ – though there is a relation between kapha and tamo guṇa . It is because, the tamas present in kapha is not dominant during normal condition and sattva will be dominant in normal condition. Tamas will be more when the kapha is in aggravated state. The same happens in case of pitta prakṛti also, which has shown moderate IQ. The case of vāta prakṛti showing least IQ can be explained by the predominance of rajo guṇa and this guṇa without the dominance of sattva guṇa might have led to the less IQ scores in the vāta prakṛti individuals.

  Conclusion Top

The concept of prakṛti in Ayurveda deals with the whole individual, his body, body's structure and functions and mental set up. Intelligence is the general mental ability to adapt to the different situations in the life and Intelligence Quotient is the parameter to calculate the intelligence in general. IQ is more in kapha prakṛti , moderate in pitta prakṛti and least in vāta prakṛti individuals. IQ is more in sāttvika prakṛti , moderate in rājasika prakṛti and least in tāmasika prakṛti . The other factors which influence IQ levels in the individuals are socio-economic status (IQ is less in lower classes when compared to others), education (higher the education, higher the IQ), diet (vegetarian diet influences IQ positively) and temperament (normal individuals have more IQ in comparison to calm and aggressive individuals).

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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Shastri KA, editor. Sharirsthana. Sushruta, Sushruta Samhita (Ayurvedatatvasandipika Hindi Commentry). 17th ed., Vol. 4. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Samsthana; 2001. p. 62.  Back to cited text no. 3
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Azmi AA. Basic Concepts of Unani Medicine a Critical Study. Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi, India: Jamia Hamdard; 1995. p. 5-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
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Mahmud J. Introduction to Psychology. New Delhi: APH Publishing; 2004. p. 243.  Back to cited text no. 8
Verma SK. Development of psychological testing in India. In: Malhotra S, Chakrabarti S, editors. Developments in Psychiatry in India, Ch. 2. New Delhi: Springer Publication, India; 2015. p. 15-32.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]

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