CHAPTER ON HUMORS (གནོད་བྱེད་ཉེས་པ་)

CHAPTER ON HUMORS (གནོད་བྱེད་ཉེས་པ་)

།ལུས་ཀྱི་མཚན་ཉིད་རྣམ་པ་གཉིས་ཡིན་ཏེ། །གནོད་བྱ་ཁམས་དང་གནོད་བྱེད་ཉེས་པའོ།

In Four Medical Tantras, the physiological characteristics of the human body are described in 2 aspects: Nod-ja-kham (གནོད་བྱ་ཁམས་, “the basis harm”) and Nod-jed Nye-pa (གནོད་བྱེད་ཉེས་པ་, “that what inflicts harm”). 


Nod-ja-kham or “the basis harm” is of 2 types: bodily constituents and waste products. It is what forms our physical body.

Nod-jed Nye-pa or “that what inflicts harm” are 3 humors - Wind, Tripa and Beken. 


།ནད་དང་ལུས་ཟུངས་དྲི་མ་རྣམ་གསུམ་པོ། །ཕན་ཚུན་གཅིག་ལ་གཅིག་རྟེན་རག་ལུས་པས། །ཆགས་གནས་འཇིག་པའི་རྩ་བ་ཡིན་ཕྱིར་ལུས།

Nye-pa (3 humors), bodily constituents (ལུས་ཟུངས་, Lu-zung) and waste products (དྲི་མ་, Dri-ma) are all mutually interconnected and interdependent, leaning on each other to form the body, that is a base for birth, existence and the final disintegration. 

3 humors are further explained through 8 topics: the type, the process of conception, body physique, Medrod (digestive fire), the nature of bowel movement, location, function and characteristics. 


 1. The type (classification)

།དབྱེ་བ་རླུང་དང་མཁྲིས་པ་བད་ཀན་གསུམ། །རྒྱུ་དང་ངོ་བོ་དཔེ་དང་འབྲས་བུ་དང༌། །གཉེན་པོའི་སྒོ་ནས་གྲངས་དང་གོ་རིམ་གྲུབ། །རྣམ་པར་མ་གྱུར་ལུས་གནས་གྱུར་པས་འཇོམས།

Wind, Tripa and Beken are 3 main classification of the “factor that inflict harm”. They are established on the basis of their cause (attachment, hatred and delusion), their natures (neutral, hot and cold), their similes (witness, aggressor and defendant), their result (disorders of Wind, Tripa and Beken), and their remedies (the elemental properties of earth, water and fire). Equilibrium of the 3 principal energies of Wind, Tripa and Beken ensures absolute health and survival, whereas disequilibrium brings forth disorders and destruction.


Hatred (ཞེ་སྡང་)

Desire-Attachment (འདོད་ཆགས་)

Close-mindedness (གཏི་མུག་)










Tripa disorder

Wind disorder

Beken disorder






།རླུང་ལ་དབྱེ་ན་སྲོག་འཛིན་གྱེན་རྒྱུ་དང༌། །ཁྱབ་བྱེད་མེ་མཉམ་ཐུར་སེལ་རྣམ་པ་ལྔ། །མཁྲིས་པའི་དབྱེ་བ་འཇུ་བྱེད་མདངས་སྒྱུར་དང༌། །སྒྲུབ་བྱེད་མཐོང་བྱེད་མདོག་གསལ་རྣམ་པ་ལྔ། །བད་ཀན་དབྱེ་བ་རྟེན་བྱེད་མྱག་བྱེད་དང༌། །མྱོང་བྱེད་ཚིམ་བྱེད་འབྱོར་བྱེད་རྣམ་པ་ལྔ། 

The 5 types of Wind: Life-sustaining Wind, Ascending Wind, Pervasive Wind, Fire-accompanying Wind, and Descending Wind.

The 5 types of Tripa: Digestive Tripa, Color-transforming Tripa, Accomplishing Tripa, Visual Tripa, and Complexion-clearing Tripa.

The 5 types of Beken: Supporting Beken, Decomposing Beken, Experiencing Beken, Satisfying Beken, and Connecting Beken.


2. The process of conception

།དེ་ཉིད་མངལ་དུ་གྲུབ་པའི་ཚུལ་བསྟན་པ། །སྐྱེ་བའི་དང་པོ་ཁུ་བ་ཁྲག་ལ་གནས། །དཔེར་ན་དུག་ཅན་སྲིན་པོའི་དུག་སྐྱེད་མཚུངས།

The afflictive nature of Nye-pa (3 humors) already exist in the father’s semen and mother’s ovum from the very beginning of conception. Therefore an embryo acquires these Nye-pa in the uterus.


3. Body physique

།ཁུ་ཁྲག་མངལ་གནས་ཟས་དང་སྤྱོད་ལམ་གྱིས། །ཉེས་པ་ལྷག་གྱུར་རང་བཞིན་བདུན་དུ་འགྱུར། །རླུང་ཆུང་མཁྲིས་པ་འབྲིང་ལ་བད་ཀན་ཆེ། །འདུས་པ་མཆོག་ཡིན་ལྡན་གསུམ་བར་མར་འགྱུར།

The psycho-physiological nature of the human being is determined by the predominance of Nye-pa during the prenatal development. The mother`s diet and lifestyle during pregnancy will significantly influence the proportion of Nye-pa, giving rise to 7 different body physiques. 

A predominance of Wind, Tripa and Beken produces a small, medium and large physique respectively. The combination of all three Nye-pa in an equal proportion is considered the best, whereas those with dual combinations will have moderate physique.


4. Medrod

།དེ་བཞིན་ཕོ་བའི་མེ་དྲོད་བཞིར་འགྱུར་ཏེ། །རླུང་གིས་མི་སྙོམས་མཁྲིས་པས་རྣོ་བ་དང༌། །བད་ཀན་ཆུང་ལ་འདུས་པ་མཉམ་པར་འགྱུར།

In the same way, due to influence of 3 Nye-pa, the power of Medrod is of 4 types. 

Medrod of Wind person is unstable, whereas of Tripa person is strong and of Beken is weak. A person with a combined constitution of 3 Nye- pa will have a balanced Medrod.


5. The nature of the bowel

།ལྟོ་བ་རླུང་གིས་སྲ་ལ་མཁྲིས་པས་སྙི། །བད་ཀན་གྱིས་ནི་ལྟོ་བ་བར་མར་འགྱུར།

Bowel movement influenced by a predominance of Wind, Tripa and Beken have hard, loose and medium consistency respectively.


6. Location

།གནས་ས་ལུས་ཁྱབ་གྱུར་ཀྱང་སྙིང་ག་དང༌། །ལྟེ་བའི་འོག་བར་སྟེང་ན་མས་རིམ་གནས།

Although Nye-pa are located in every part of the body, they are more evidently reside in particular areas. Wind - below the navel, Tripa in-between the navel and heart, and Beken above the heart. 

Wind humor is also found more specifically in the bones, joints, ears, skin, heart, lungs, life channel, nerves and colon. 

Tripa is active in the lower stomach, small intestine, liver, gall bladder, eyes and blood.

Beken is located in the head, chest and above diaphragm. It is active in the nose, tongue, spleen, upper stomach, kidneys and bladder, as well as nutritional essence, muscles, fats, bone marrow, regenerative fluids, feces and urine. 

7. Function

།ཉེས་པའི་ལས་ནི་རླུང་གིས་དབུགས་འབྱིན་རྔུབ། །བསྐྱོད་དང་ལས་སྤྱོད་ཤུགས་འབྱིན་གནོད་བྱ་རྒྱུ། །དབང་པོ་གསལ་དང་ལུས་རྗེས་འཛིན་པར་བྱེད། མཁྲིས་ལས་བཀྲེས་སྐོམ་ཟས་ལེན་འཇུ་བ་དང༌། །ལུས་དྲོད་མདངས་གསལ་སྙིང་དཔའ་བློ་ལྡན་བྱེད། །བད་ཀན་ལུས་དང་བློ་བརྟན་གཉིད་ལོག་དང༌། །ཚིགས་འབྲེལ་བཟོད་ཅིང་ལུས་འཇམ་སྣུམ་པར་བྱེད།

The general function of balanced Wind energy are regulation of respiration and movement, actions of body, speech and mind, the smooth flow of 7 bodily constituents, the delivery of waste products and sharpening of all sense organs. A balanced Wind sustains the body in its totality. 

The general functions of balanced Tripa energy are to help enhance hunger and thirst, to assist in digesting ingested food, to generate body heat, to clear the complexion as well as to enhance courage, determination and intelligence. 

Balanced Beken energy is responsible for producing firmness of the body and mind, inducing sleep, connecting joints, promoting physical and mental tolerance, smoothing the body and lubrication the joints.

General functions of balanced Humors




  • Vehicle of the mind that enables to perceive sensations and thoughts
  • Regulates respiration and mobility
  • Sustains life through breathing
  • Provides energy for movement
  • Circulates blood, lymph, and subtle energy
  • Aids in digestion, nutrient absorption and delivery
  • Supports waste excretion
  • Transfers memory and experiences
  • Regulates actions of body, speech and mind
  • Facilitates sensory organ clarity and functions
  • Generates body heat
    Regulates hunger, thirst and perspiration
  • Assists in digestion and nutrient transformation
  • Rules metabolism
  • Clears sense organs and specifically gives sight
  • Provides clear and radiant complexion
  • Enhance feelings, courage, determinationand willpower
  • Gives pride, ambition and a sense ofperfection
  • Gives intelligence, interest and alertness


  • Responsible for fluid balance of the body
  • Regulate endocrine and lymphatic systems
  • Provides firmness and stability to body and mind
  • Promotes sleep, tolerance and patience
  • Connects and lubricates the joints
  • Keeps the organs and skin smooth
  • Regulates appetite and satisfaction from food
  • Helps to break down the food

།ཁྱད་པར་སྲོག་འཛིན་རླུང་དེ་སྤྱི་བོར་གནས། །གྲེ་བ་བྲང་གཞུང་རྒྱུ་ཞིང་ཟས་སྐོམ་མིད། །དབུགས་རྔུབ་མཆིལ་འདོར་སྦྲིད་པ་སྒྲེག་པ་འབྱིན། །བློ་དང་དབང་པོ་གསལ་ཞིང་སེམས་འཛིན་བྱེད། །གྱེན་དུ་རྒྱུ་བའི་རླུང་ནི་བྲང་ལ་གནས། །སྣ་ལྕེ་ལྐོག་མར་རྒྱུ་ཞིང་ཚིག་འབྱིན་ལ། །སྟོབས་མདངས་ཁ་དོག་འབད་རྩོལ་དྲན་གསལ་བྱེད། །ཁྱབ་བྱེད་རླུང་ནི་སྙིང་ལ་གནས་པ་སྟེ། །ལུས་ཀུན་ཁྱབ་པར་རྒྱུ་ཞིང་འདེགས་འཇོག་འགྲོ། །བརྐྱང་བསྐུམ་འབྱེད་འཛུམ་བྱ་བ་ཕལ་རག་ལུས། །མེ་དང་མཉམ་པའི་རླུང་ནི་ཕོ་བར་གནས། །ནང་ཁྲོལ་ཀུན་ཏུ་རྒྱུ་ཞིང་ཁ་ཟས་འཇུ། །དྭངས་སྙིགས་འབྱེད་ཅིང་གནོད་བྱ་སྨིན་པར་བྱེད། །ཐུར་དུ་སེལ་བའི་རླུང་ནི་གཞང་ལ་གནས། །ལོང་དང་ལྒང་པ་གསང་བ་བརླ་ནང་རྒྱུ། །ཁུ་ཁྲག་བཤང་གཅི་མངལ་ནང་འབྱིན་སྡོམ་བྱེད།

Specifically, Life-sustaining Wind is located in the crown of the head and moves through the throat and chest regions. It helps in the swallowing of food and drink, regulates breathing process, expels saliva, activates sneezes and burps, sharpens the memory and sensory organs, and maintains the mental attitude. It regulates the nervous system and the unity of the body and mind. It manifests from the central channel, from the subtle Wind of the mind and is the source of the 4 other kinds of Wind.

Ascending Wind is located in the chest region and moves through the nose, tongue and larynx. It helps to produce speech and promote physical strength, maintains good complexion and skin radiance. It provides diligence, encourages initiative and proactive behaviour, supplies compelling charm, and enhances memory sharpness. It eliminates excretions like sputum and mucus from the mouth, nose, throat and lungs. 

Pervasive Wind is located within the heart and it pervades through all bodily systems. It is responsible for movement, stretching and bending of limbs and digits, provides balance and posture, opening and closing of body orifices, and most of other physical and verbal activities. It support the heart function, blood and energy circulation, and distribution of nutrients. Most activities that involve movement are reliant on Pervasive Wind.

Fire-accompanying Wind is located in the stomach and intestines, and moves throughout the gastrointestinal tract. It is responsible for digestion, especially separation of nutrients from waste products and maturation of essential bodily constituents. It provides nourishment and energy to the body through proper absorption and maturation of nutrients.

Descending Wind is located in the region of rectum and moves through the large intestine, urinary bladder, genital area and the thigh. It is responsible for the ejaculation and retention of semen, menstrual blood, sexual fluids, stool and urine. It rules conception, foetus development and labor. 


།འཇུ་བྱེད་ཞུ་དང་མ་ཞུའི་བར་ན་གནས། །ཟས་འཇུ་དྭངས་སྙིགས་འབྱེད་ཅིང་ལུས་དྲོད་དང༌། །ལྷག་མ་བཞི་ཡི་གྲོགས་དང་སྟོབས་སྐྱེད་བྱེད། །མཁྲིས་པ་མདངས་སྒྱུར་མཆིན་པར་གནས་པ་སྟེ། །དྭངས་མ་ལ་སོགས་ཁ་དོག་མ་ལུས་སྒྱུར། །མཁྲིས་པ་སྒྲུབ་བྱེད་སྙིང་ལ་གནས་པ་སྟེ། །ཡིད་གཞུངས་ང་རྒྱལ་བློ་དང་འདོད་པ་སྒྲུབ། །མཐོང་བྱེད་མིག་ལ་གནས་ནས་གཟུགས་མཐོང་བྱེད། །མདོག་གསལ་ལྤགས་གནས་ལྤགས་མདོག་གསལ་བར་བྱེད།

Digestive Tripa is located between the digested and indigested site. It is body fire that comes from liver and gall bladder. It resides mainly in duodenum and function throughout the digestive tract. It digests food, regulates hunger and thirst, absorbs and matures nutrients, generates body heat and is responsible for proper function of metabolism. It assists in the proper functioning of the remaining 4 types of Tripa and promote their strength.

Color-transforming Tripa is located in the liver and helps to mature all bodily constituents (nutrient essence blood muscles fatty tissues bones bone marrow regenerative fluids Dang) and gives them their colours, meaning making sure they are healthy.

Accomplishing Tripa is located in the heart and boosts your courage, pride, intelligence, and willpower, helping you assert yourself and gain confidence to achieve your goals.

Visual Tripa is located in the eyes and allows us to see shapes and colours. It observes the world through the eyes and communicate the perceived to the mental consciousness.

Complexion-clearing Tripa is located in the skin and plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy, glowing complexion and skin elasticity. It also is responsible for regulating temperature. It acts as a protective fire energy that surrounds the body, shielding it from harmful or negative influences.


།བད་ཀན་རྟེན་བྱེད་བྲང་ལ་གནས་པ་སྟེ། །ལྷག་མ་རྣམས་ཀྱི་རྟེན་དང་ཆུ་ལས་བྱེད། །བད་ཀན་མྱག་བྱེད་མ་ཞུ་བ་ལ་གནས། །ཟས་སྐོམ་མྱག་ཅིང་འདྲུལ་བར་བྱེད་པ་ཡིན། །བད་ཀན་མྱོང་བྱེད་ལྕེར་གནས་རོ་ཚོར་བྱེད། །ཚིམ་བྱེད་མགོར་གནས་དབང་པོ་ཚིམ་པར་བྱེད། །བད་ཀན་འབྱོར་བྱེད་ཚིགས་དམིགས་ཀུན་ལ་གནས། །ཚིགས་རྣམས་འབྱོར་ཞིང་བརྐྱང་བསྐུམ་བྱེད་པ་ཡིན། 

Supporting Beken is located in the thorax region and supports the other types of Beken in providing moisture and basis. It is responsible for lymphatic and endocrine systems and supplies water to every part of the body. It is also responsible for thirst and salivation. 

Decomposing Beken is located in the undigested site and breaks down food particles into very fine paste. It is saliva in the mouth and gastric juices in the stomach. It breaks down and decomposes food during digestive process. 

Experiencing Beken is located in the tongue, experiences the six tastes and tells us what food we like and dislike.

Satisfying Beken is located in the head and is responsible for the feeling of satisfaction in associated with the sensory organs.

Connecting Beken is located in all the joints and is responsible for connecting the joints, lubrication and enable the smooth stretching and retraction of limbs.


8. Characteristics

།ཉེས་པའི་མཚན་ཉིད་རླུང་མཁྲིས་བད་ཀན་གསུམ། །རླུང་གི་མཚན་ཉིད་རྩུབ་ཅིང་ཡང་བ་དང༌། །གྲང་ཞིང་ཕྲ་ལ་སྲ་ཞིང་གཡོ་བ་ཡིན། །མཁྲིས་པའི་མཚན་ཉིད་སྣུམ་བཅས་རྣོ་ཞིང་ཚ། །ཡང་ཞིང་དྲི་མནམ་འཁྲུ་ཞིང་གཤེར་བ་ཡིན། །བད་ཀན་མཚན་ཉིད་སྣུམ་ཞིང་བསིལ་བ་དང༌། །ལྕི་རྟུལ་འཇམ་བརྟན་འབྱར་བག་ཅན་དུ་གནས།

The characteristic features of Nye-pa pertains to the characteristic of the 3 principle energies. Wind is characterised as being rough, light, cold, subtle, hard, and mobile. These qualities play a vital role in maintaining the overall well-being of the body by counterbalancing the two other humors. If Wind becomes excessively strong, the body starts displaying symptoms associated with Wind dominance, such as dryness (rough), physical and mental lightness and restlessness, and heightened sensitivity to cold. The mind becomes more subtle (sensitive) and unstable (mobile), while the hardness aspect of Wind can manifest as lumps, tumours, and swellings. 

Tripa is characterised as being oily, sharp (quick acting), hot, light, malodorous, purgative and wet (sweating). Tripa reduces Beken humidity and neutralises the coldness and dryness of Wind. If Tripa becomes excessive, the face, hair and skin becomes oily. Body temperature rises, and sharp quality manifests as fever and infections. Tripa shows symptoms of instability and lightness through quickly changing nature of symptoms. People may complain about perfuse sweating with bad body odour, as well as diarrhoea.

Beken is characterised as being oily, cool, heavy, blunt, smooth, stable and sticky. Earth provides the quality of heaviness, and water provides coolness and humidity. It controls Tripa’s heat, infections and fever disorders. These qualities sustain Beken and nourish body and organs. If Beken becomes excessive the digestive and metabolic heat diminishes. This lead to gained weight, the body becomes heavy and cold. Skin becomes oily, sticky and smooth. Mind also becomes heavy and dull. Beken disorders have stable and chronic course. 

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