Definition - What does Mamsa mean?

Mamsa is a Sanskrit wording meaning “meat,” “muscle” or “flesh.” The root, mam, means “to” or “into me.” Sa has several meanings, among them “knowledge,” and is used as a pronoun for God, Shiva or Vishnu. Mamsa, therefore, has both physical and spiritual significance.

In the traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda, mamsa is one of the seven dhatus, or tissues, of the body. Mamsa protects vital organs, ensures movement of the joints and keeps the body in alignment. The belief is that mamsa must be balanced for health; any imbalance in mamsa can cause illness and/or injury.

Yogapedia explains Mamsa

Ayurveda practitioners believe that when mamsa is balanced, earth, water and fire elements are present. Mamsa becomes aggravated because of an imbalance of the doshas (biological elements or energies). Likewise, too much or too little mamsa affects the body and mind negatively. When mamsa is balanced, muscle tone, strength and flexibility are good, providing physical and mental well-being. To balance mamsa, Ayurveda practitioners recommend dietary changes, including cleanses, and physical exercise, including yoga asanas.

In Tantra and Tantric yoga, mamsa is symbolized by khechari mudra in which the tongue reaches back to the throat, simulating eating meat. Mamsa sadhana is the control of speech. The belief is that the yogi should talk only when necessary, and some yogis practice silence for extended periods of time to focus inward. Someone who surrenders every action to the Supreme is called a mamsa.

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