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Doṣa, aka: Dosa, Dosha, Dosā, Doṣā; 14 Definition(s)


Doṣa means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

The Sanskrit term Doṣa can be transliterated into English as Dosha or Dosa, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Doṣa (दोष) refers to the ten “faults” in a poetical work (kāvya), accoridng to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 17. They are opposed by the ten guṇas (‘merit’) which provide sweetness and depth of meaning.

The following are defined as the ten faults (doṣa):

  1. gūḍhārtha (circumlocution),
  2. arthāntara (superfluous expression),
  3. arthahīna (want of significance),
  4. bhinnārtha (defective significance),
  5. ekārtha (tautology),
  6. abhiplutārtha (want of synthesis),
  7. nyāyādapeta (logical defect),
  8. viṣama (metrical defect),
  9. visandhi (hiatus),
  10. śabdacyuta (slang).
Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

about this context:

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).


1) Doṣa (दोष).—A Vasu; husband of Śarvarī and father of Śimśumāra; a kalā of Viṣṇu.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 6. 11-14.

2) Doṣā (दोषा).—A queen of Puṣpārṇa and mother of Prado1ṣa, Niśitha and Vyuṣṭha.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 13. 13-14.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

about this context:

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Āyurveda (science of life)

Doṣa (दोष) has been defined as that which is one of the components of Prāṇa (‘life’) and plays causative role in physiology and pathology. As it covers the wide range of the entire living world, ti has been applied to the other animate groups as well such as those relating to animals (aśvāyurveda, gajāyurveda, gavāyurveda etc.) and plants (vṛkṣāyurveda). Doṣas have wide range of functions. Similarly, though doṣas are all-pervasive they are predominantly manifested in certain sites such as vāta below the navel, pitta between the heart and navel and kapha in the region above the head.

When prāṇa (vitae) enters into the material body, the three doṣas—vāta, pitta and kapha—emerge to take up the physiological functions. Vāta consists of air (and ether), Pitta of fire and Kapha of water (in combination with earth.) They are called dhātu, doṣa and mala because of their maintaining, pathogenic and excretory phases. The three Doṣas (kapha, pitta and vāta) generally pervade the entire body and are particularly located in head, navel and below respectively. As the world is maintained by air, the sun and the moon by their functions of movements, receiving and releasing, the body is maintained by the three Doṣas (vāta, pitta and kapha) with respective functions. Doṣa is so-called as it defines Prakṛti (human constitution) as well as produces abnormality thus playing vital role in physiology and pathology of living beings.

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

about this context:

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Hindu science dealing with subjects such as health, medicine, anatomy, etc. and has been in use throughout India since ancient times.

General definition (in Hinduism)

The review of ancient rasa literature revealed that the ancient Rasācāryas have recognised number of doṣas for almost all the drugs of mineral origin including metals, minerals and mercury. Not only these ancient scholars have recognised the bad effects of each doṣas of the drugs and tried to remove them specifically and have evolved or described suitable processes, techniques and drugs also for that purpose.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

There are three kinds of morbid elements (doṣa) of the body, viz. vāta, pitta and śleṣman , and two morbid elements which affect the mind (sattva), viz. rajas and tamas. By the disorder of the first three the body becomes diseased, and by that of the second two the mind becomes affected.

Source: archive.org: A History of Indian Philosophy

Doṣā (दोषा, ‘evening’), is frequently referred to from the Rigveda1 onwards, usually as contrasted with uṣas, ‘dawn’. In the Chāndogya-upaniṣad the word is contrasted with prātar, ‘early’. See also Ahan.

Source: archive.org: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

The concept of Doṣa has been evolved by the great sages of Āyurveda to differentiate with livings and non-livings. Though Śarīra (human body) is made up of Pañca Mahābhūta, it attains life only when Ātma (spirit), Indriya (senses) and Mana join to it. Doṣa are the biological units of the living body which are responsible for its all functions. Doṣa are three viz. Vāta, Pitta and Kapha, and each of which is also made up of Mahābhūta. Vāyu and Ākāṣa Mahābhūta form Vāta-doṣa, Agni Mahābhūta forms Pitta-doṣa, and Pṛthvī and Jala Mahābhūta form Kapha-doṣa.

The word Doṣa is derived from the verb ‘duṣa’ which means to vitiate. In the normal state of equilibrium they support the body and when vitiated produce the disease. Doṣa play important role in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases.

Source: Hand book of domestic medicine: Basic principles of Āyurveda

In Buddhism


Dosā, (f.) (Sk. doṣā & doṣas, cp. Gr. du/w, du/omai to set (of the sun)) evening, dusk. Only in Acc. as adv. dosaṃ (=doṣāṃ) at night J.VI, 386. (Page 332)

— or —

1) Dosa, 2 (Sk. dveṣa, but very often not distinct in meaning from dosa1. On dveṣa see under disa) anger, ill-will, evil intention, wickedness, corruption, malice, hatred. In most freq. combn of either rāga (lust) d. & moha (delusion), or lobha (greed) d. moha (see rāga & lobha), to denote the 3 main blemishes of character. For defn see Vism.295 & 470. Interpreted at Nd2 313 as “cittassa āghāto paṭighāto paṭigho ... kopo ... kodho ... vyāpatti.” — The distinction between dosa & paṭigha is made at DA.I, 116 as: dosa=dubbalakodha; paṭigha=balavakodha.—In combn lobha d. moha e.g. S.I, 98; M.I, 47, 489; A.I, 134, 201; II, 191; III, 338; It.45 (tīṇi akusalamūlāni). With rāga & moha: Dh.20; It.2=6; with rāga & avijjā; It.57; rāga & māna Sn.270, 631 etc.—See for ref.: Vin.I, 183; D.III, 146, 159, 182, 214, 270; S.I, 13, 15, 70; V, 34 sq.; M.I, 15, 96 sq., 250 sq., 305; A.I, 187; II, 172, 203; III, 181; Sn.506; It.2 (dosena duṭṭhāse sattā gacchanti duggatiṃ); Ps.I, 80 sq., 102; Pug.16, 18; Dhs.418, 982, 1060; Vbh.86, 167, 208, 362; Nett 13, 90; Sdhp.33, 43.—Variously characterised as: 8 purisa-dosā Vbh.387; khila, nīgha, mala S.V, 57; agati (4 agati-gamanāni: chanda, d. moha, bhaya) D.III, 228, cp. 133, 182; ajjhattaṃ A.III, 357 sq.; its relation to kamma A.I, 134; III, 338; V, 262; to ariyamagga S.V, 5, 8.—sadosa corrupted, depraved, wicked D.I, 80; A.I, 112; adosa absence of illwill, adj. kind, friendly, sympathetic A.I, 135, 195, 203; II, 192; Vbh.169, 210; Dhs.33 (cp. Dhs. trsl. 21, 99); VvA.14 (+alobha amoha).

—aggi the fire of anger or ill-will D.III, 217; S.IV, 19 sq.; It.92 (+rāgaggi moh°); J.I, 61; —antara (adj.) bearing anger, intending evil in one’s heart Vin.II, 249; D.III, 237; M.I, 123; A.I, 59; III, 196 sq.; V, 81 (opp. metta-citta); perhaps at PvA.78 (for des°); —kkhaya the fading away, dying out of anger or malice S.III, 160, 191; IV, 250; V, 8; Vbh.73, 89; —gata=dosa (+paṭigha) S.IV, 71; —garu full of anger S.I, 24; —dosa (: dosa1) spoilt by anger Dh.357; —saññita connected with ill-will It.78; —sama like anger Dh.202; —hetuka caused by evil intention or depravity A.V, 261 (pāṇātipāta). (Page 332)

2) Dosa, 1 (Sk. doṣa to an Idg. *deu(s) to want, to be inferior etc. (cp. dussati), as in Gr. dέomai, deu/omai) corruption, blemish, fault, bad condition, defect; depravity, corrupted state; usually —°, as khetta° blight of the field Miln.360; tiṇa° spoilt by weeds Dh.356; PvA.7; visa° ill effect of poison Th.1, 758, 768; sneha° blemish of sensual affection Sn.66. Four kasiṇa-dosā at Vism.123; eighteen making a Vihāra unsuitable at Vism.118 sq.—J.II, 417; III, 104; Miln.330 (sabba-d.-virahita faultless); DA.I, 37, 141.—pl. dosā the (three) morbid affections, or disorder of the (3) humours Miln.43; adj. with disturbed humours Miln.172, cp. DA.I, 133. (Page 331)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary

dosa : (m.) anger; corrupting; defect; fault.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

about this context:

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Dosa, aversion, is another akusala cetasika. When the citta dislikes the object it experiences there is dosa, aversion.

Dosa is aggressive, just like a snake which has been hit. The function of dosa is spreading of itself or writhing as
when poison takes effect. Dosa is harmful for mind and body. Because of dosa our appearance becomes ugly: we may become red in the face, our features become unpleasant and the comers of our mouth droop.

Dosa can also appear as fear. When there is fear one dislikes the object which is experienced. Fear is harmful for mind and body.

Dosa arises with two types of citta, of which one is "unprompted" (asankharika) and one "prompted" (sasankharika).

Source: Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

'hatred', anger, is one of the 3 unwholesome, roots (mūla). - d. citta: hate consciousness; s. Tab. I (30, 31).

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

Part of the Dosa Team.


Dosa has destructive nature. It is very ugly. It hurts anyone anything. Dosa destroys its home and its environment. In the presence of dosa everything wicked and unhumanly things can be committed. Dosa cetasika is the head of all dosa related cetasikas and dosa cittas. When there is issa, there also arises dosa and this is also true in case of macchariya or in case of kukkucca.

Source: Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

M Repulsion, hatred, anger.

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English GlossaryAversion; hatred; anger. One of three unwholesome roots (mula) in the mind.Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

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