Recognized as one of the leading Ayurveda Schools and Ayurvedic Health Spas outside of India.
Recognized as one of the leading Ayurveda Schools and Ayurvedic Health Spas outside of India.

The Ayurvedic Press

Secrets of the Pulse: The Ancient Art of Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis

The Philosophical and Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda

by Vasant Dattatray Lad, BAM&S, MASc

Thousands of years ago, Ayurveda described multiple levels of the radial pulse that could be used to interpret the status of the organs and systems of the body as well as the mental and physical constitutions of the individual. As the first text on pulse diagnosis for the Western student, this book provides a method by which anyone can learn to read his own pulse. Imbalances and potential disease states can be detected in their early stages, giving one the opportunity to correct them before they affect the quality of life. With practice and guidance, one can acquire the proficiency to use this knowledge to heal self and others.

This new edition contains revisions and expanded descriptions that developed in response to the questions and feedback of the many students and teachers who use this book in Ayurveda schools and clinics around the world.

ISBN-13 978-1-883725-13-6
172 pp. $20.00

Secrets of the Pulse: The Ancient Art of Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis
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Table of Contents and Chapter Two

  • Reviews
  • More Info
  • About the Authors

"Secrets of the Pulse offers practical teachings on pulse analysis that Vasant Lad, MASc, received from his guru. It describes a unique assessment method that enhances a practitioner’s sensitivity and awareness and helps to cultivate the ability to directly perceive fundamental issues affecting the body."

– B. Cook Instructor, Wellpark College of Natural Therapies

"The ancient Vedic wisdom came from the caves and mountains of India, where the rishis had ashrams and disciples. Students came to study in the guru’s home. The rishis imparted knowledge as they experienced it in a deep state of meditation. These early teachings were an oral tradition and, because there were no books, the students stored the knowledge in their brains and it became a part of them."

Excerpted from Chapter One,
Nadi Vijnanam: The Art of Reading the Pulse

For those who already own the book, details of the changes found in the 2nd edition are listed below.

  • The book has been extensively re-organized and certain points have been clarified.
  • Much of the material in Chapter 9 has been moved to its relevant chapters. For example, the text and illustration for ama vata (rheumatoid arthritis), a fifth level pulse condition, has been moved to Chapter 5, the chapter that explains the fifth level pulse. 
  • There is new information in the chapter on manas prakruti about deities and their influence on the doshas as well as the planets and deities. 
  • Of course, errors have been corrected.


There is an error in the table on Page 34 in the 2006, 2nd edition printing. (The 2009 printing has the correct text.) The accompanying illustration on page 35 IS correct. The table should read as follows:

Vata (1) Pitta (2) Kapha (3) Pulse Level Kapha (3) Pitta (2) Vata (1)
Colon Gallbladder Pericardium 1st Level Bladder Stomach Small Intestine
Lung Liver Vata, Pitta, Kapha Circulation 7th Level Kidney Spleen Heart

PDF Version, fits exactly over the current table. Just print and paste it on!

Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc, is an Ayurvedic physician who received the degree of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAM&S) from the University of Pune, in Pune, India in 1968 and the Master of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya in Pune, India in 1980. For 3 years he served as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He also held the position of Professor of Clinical Medicine for seven years at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine, where he was an instructor for many years.

Vasant Lad's academic and practical training includes the study of allopathic medicine (Western medicine) and surgery as well as traditional Ayurveda.Vasant Lad is the author of 11 books on Ayurveda as well as hundreds of articles and other writings. With almost 500,000 copies of his books in print in the US, his work has been translated into more than 20 languages.