Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta)

Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta) 


 
Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta) According to Ayurveda everything in life is composed of the Panchmahabhuta – Akash (Space), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire) and Prithvi (Earth) that combines in different ratios to form material world. Every organism living or non-living is said to be composed of Panchmahabhuta. Each element possesses different amounts of Guna (quality). Hence, each of them has unique qualitative nature.
The relationship of Panchmahabhuta with Sense organs, its Properties and Actions are as follows: 
Panchmahabhuta
Sensory Organs/work
Properties and actions in the body
Space (Aakash)
Ears/Hearing Sound
Akash forms vacuumed organs of the body. All body channels, working for the movement of the nutrients and all other fluids. It produces softness, lightness and porosity
Air (Vayu or Pavan)
Skin/Touch
Governs inhalation, exhalation, opening and closing of eyelids, locomotion and other motor functions. Air creates dryness, lightness and emaciation.
Fire (Agni or Teja)
Eyes/Visual (Sight)
Fire controls temperature and luster of body colour. It helps in digestion and assimilation of food, maturation and improves eye sight.
Water (Aap or Jala)
Tongue/Taste
Jal is the connecting force and fluid part of the body and slimy, fat and sweat by nature. It makes things supple and smooth, Imparts glossiness and Enhances fluid content. It acts as nutrient, emollient and purgative.
Earth (Prithvi or Bhoomi)
Nose/Smell
Prithvi controls organs as teeth, nails, flesh, skin, tendons and muscles. It is heavy, immobile, compact and rough and increases firmness & strength of the body. It acts as nutrient, emollient and purgative.
Theory of Panchmahabhuta

Within a simple, single living cell for example the earth (Prithvi) element prevailed by giving structure to the cell. The water (Jala) element is present in the cytoplasm (liquid portion) within the cell membrane. The fire (Agni) element regulates the metabolic processes regulating the cell. The air (Vayu) element is the gases part therein. The space (Akash) occupied by the cell denotes the presence of the element Akash.
In the case of a complex, multi-cellular organism as a human being for instance, Akash corresponds to spaces within the body (mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc.); Vayu denotes the movement (essentially muscular but nervous system also); Agni controls the functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism); Jal is in all body fluids (as plasma, saliva, digestive juices); and Prithvi manifests itself in the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair et al).
The Panchmahabhuta therefore serve as the basis of all diagnosis & treatment modalities in Ayurveda and has served as a most valuable theory for physicians to detect and treat diseases of the body and mind successfully.
Tridosha Theory as an Adaptation of Panchmahabhuta theory
Space + Air = Vatta
Fire = Pitta
Water + Earth = Kapha

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