Graha Chikitsa (Psychiatry)
This branch of Ayurveda deals with psychology and psychiatry. It is also called “Bhut Vidya “. It has methods of diagnosis and treatments for diseases attacking mind. Graha Chikitsa deals with different factors that imbalances the mind.
Ayurvedic treatment methods for diseases affecting mind are mostly based on astrology, mantra and tantra. According to Ayurveda acharyas, mental diseases are caused due to the action of bhutas (bhootas – evil spirits or supernatural powers). The evil spirits can be Gandarvas, pisachu (devil), bhoota (ghosts), atma (spirits), etc. These supernatural elements cause trouble in the functioning of normal human mind.
It is still prevalent in India (and other parts of the world) the thought that dead people come and take the control of people, forcing them to do strange things. It is often believed that these atmas (souls) of dead people look to fulfill the unfulfilled wishes of the dead people.
Bhuts ( bhoots) are invisible to human eyes and can cause trouble in many different forms. That is why this branch of Ayurveda is often called bhoot vidya or the knowledge to prevent the action of bhoots.
These are situations beyond normal explanation of tridosha-dhatu-mala disorders. The treatment mainly is done by a mantrik, magician who can deal with extra-human elements like devils.
Ancient Indian astrology also deals with mental tribulations caused due to the movement of planets (Sun, Moon, and planets of the solar system are all considered planets in ancient Indian astrological concepts).
This bhoota is different from the five bhootas of panchabhootas. Panchabhootas are five elements of nature, namely Akash (sky, ether), Bhoomi (earth), Jal (water), Vayu (air) and Agni (fire, energy).