This post described the basic principles of Ayurveda
Ayurvedic Concepts and Principles
Panchamahabhuta Theory in Ayurveda
- Akash Mahabhuta: It is similar to Space. Everything exists in space, and space separates matter. All body pores and body organs contain space.
- Vayu Mahabhuta: Air or vayu is dynamic and mobile in nature. Every movement in nature and the human body is due to vayu. In the body, vayu is symbolized in the form of oxygen, present in the blood, which is required for the sustenance of the body. This element has no shape or form but is the source of many disorders, as the Vata dosha.
- Agni Mahabhuta: This element converts the solids into liquids, and liquids into gases, i.e., it changes the state of any form of matter. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but it can be converted from one form to another. In nature, Fire gets rid of all old and dry matter, thus paving the way for a new life. This Agni provides the energy required for all activities in our body. We derive energy from the food we eat. In the body, fire helps to convert food to fuel, which can be utilized by our cells and helps energize the muscles in the body. Pitta dosha is mainly associated with Agni Mahabhuta. All the activities in the body are performed smoothly as long as this Agni is in balance. Ayurvedic therapeutics focus on rectification and maintenance of biological Agni.
- Jal Mahabhuta: Another element of Ayurveda that deals with a liquid state is represented by water. Water is the prerequisite for the survival of living creatures, including humans. About 70% of the human body is made up of water, the very important liquid that is required for its smooth functioning. In addition to water, fluids including our blood and lymph move between our cells and vessels, carrying away wastes, thereby providing us with the required energy. The body temperature is also regulated.
- Prithvi Mahabhuta: Earth represents the solid state of matter of the planet. It symbolizes stability, permanence and rigidity. In our body, the parts such as bones, teeth, cells and tissue indicate earth element. Earth is regarded as a stable substance. Talking about human beings, stability is the prerequisite for leading a healthy life, which is focused by Ayurveda.
- The earth element defines the structure of the cell. The solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair etc.) denotes the earth element.
- The water element is responsible for the presence of the cytoplasm within the cell membrane. All body fluids (i.e., plasma, saliva, digestive juices) denote the water element.
- The fire element carries out all forms of metabolic activities in the cell, including digestion. The functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism) denotes the fire element
- All respiratory activities, like breathing and the gaseous exchange, are symbolized by the air element.
- The space within the body (mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc.) occupied by the cell symbolizes the space or ether element in the body. This element is responsible for carrying out all functions that provide nutrition to the body and eliminate the toxic waste from the body, movements, etc.