Five Vital Elements of Ayurveda



The universe by itself is interrelated in some or the other way. Everything in this world is bound by five unique elements of life and has gradually become the five vital elements of Ayurveda, rightly known as the science of life. I often think that my 2 eyes are just not enough to admire the magnificence of nature and enjoy its excellence in each of its significant existence. One such immeasurable quantum of nature’s solace is the presence of the five essential elements namely Water, Earth, Space, Fire and Air in every survival of this globe. With such importance, the heavenly science of Ayurveda calls these elements as the building blocks of life, comprising human beings as the major part.

Every single thing in this world, be it a living being or a non-living object is exclusive and unique in its own because of a differing ratio of the five elements of life.  Even the Ayurvedic remedies like herbs, Ayurvedic essential oils, yoga, meditation and other natural remedies aim at nurturing the values of these five elements. Ayurveda identifies human body as a combination of the five vital elements in varying proportions, making an individual unique from his fellow being. Every object in nature follows an orderly mechanism that would make us speechless in awe. We rise on Earth and finally rest on Earth only. In between, all the five elements play a significant role in our daily lives, determining our physical, biological, psychological, social and environmental attributes. They are indivisible and together they are known as Panchamahabhutas in Sanskrit.

The theory of five vital elements and human system: Let’s now have a look at the way that these five elements lead, rule and influence the personality traits and attributes of mankind.

1. Water (Jala, Apa, and Neer): Most of us know that the Earth comprises of 70% of water and just 30% of land, similarly the human body is also made up of about 70% water, but for which the human system would stop functioning. The presence of water in our body is witnessed through trouble-free movement of various parts of the body and governs various fluids like blood, saliva, plasma, mucus etc.

In short, our body is supplied with the necessary energy only with the presence of this predominant element that regulates our body temperature as well. All the liquid items that we drink are all various forms of water and intake of water enhances suppleness, coolness, softness and the moisture of the skin. On an emotional perspective, water can be compared to a loving, gentle and compassionate personality with kindness and consideration.

2. Earth (Dhara and Prithvi): Anything that is stable and solid can be represented as a form of earth. The nourishing solid food items that we ingest are from earth. Earth represents strength, durability, firmness and might.  The muscles, tissues, bones, hair, fat, skin, cells, nails and teeth of the human body are governed by this dominant element. Mentally, earth stands for braveness, steadiness, vigor, constancy and the attributes of a warrior at heart, essential for a healthy and hearty life filled with challenges.

3. Space (Akash): The ever-present dominant force encircling the Globe is the space also known as ether. What comes to your mind when you just look at the clear sky in the early hours of the day? This sight brings utmost joy, humbleness, openness, liberty and an immaculate ray of hope and light to me. Space is everywhere and it is this space in the human heart that accepts and gives love without boundaries and in the body, it is considered as the container that accepts all kinds of impressions. This element is said to be present in the human system, wherever cavity and emptiness is present like stomach, intestines, nostrils, lungs, bladder, ears, throat, blood vessels and mouth. Light and hollow food items like wafers, corn flakes etc, are examples of foods with the presence of ether element.

4. Air (Vayu): This vital energy is forceful and itinerant. Without air the entire world would stop breathing and would look lifeless. The oxygen that helps us survive is just a part of air and acts as the foundation for all the positive reactions in the human body. The functioning of the major parts of the body like intestines, heart, lungs, joints and stomach are supported by air. The intake of air enhances circulation, coolness and movement. Physically, air is attributed to light, weightless, dry and movable characteristics and mentally, it is related to an active, vibrant, full-of-life and energetic personality that can influence and stay optimistic.

5. Fire (Agni): Fire grants the essential power that the body needs to digest and react to all metabolic, nervous, perspiring and challenging activities. It is only the fire in you that can help you withstand difficulties and win over the most critical situations in your life. This energy element converts food to fat and transfers the necessary energy to bones and muscles. The presence of fire determines your intelligence and the body temperature. It augments digestion, color and glow of the skin and metabolism. Hot, rough, sharp and clever traits are associated with fire.

Just like the five fingers in our palms, these five elements are highly important and form an integral part of every human being according to Ayurveda. Each of these building blocks play an imperative role in different phases of our life like Earth and Water elements are predominant during the childhood, when the body attains growth physically, whereas the element of Fire rules during adulthood when the body undergoes a drastic change. When we attain old age, the body tends to lose its flexibility and there is the predominance of Air and Space elements. I trust that this fundamental knowledge about the five vital elements of Ayurveda helps us realize that our body that is blended with nature, naturally.

Thought for the day:

“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind and intellect and also ego-sense; these are the eight-fold division of my nature. This is inferior. Know my mother nature, the higher, Oh Mighty-Armed, the life-element by which the universe is upheld”. (7:4-5)                                                        – Bhagavad Gita

Suggested Reading:

  1. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity By Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
  2. The Subtle Energy Body: The Complete Guide By Maureen Lockhart Ph.D.
  3. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles By Vasant Lad

Reference Links:

  1. The Five Elements Part I: Ether by California College of Ayurveda
  2. Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Comparative Overview by NCBI
  3. Ayurved, the science of life by Richfield

History of Ayurveda: The Ancient Wisdom Of Healing



History, when explored is always a key to unlock even the most unsolvable mystery. Let us spend some of our dear time in taking a trek through one such historic voyage, where each of our paces will provide us with a stack of treasure pacifying our soul. Let me tell you the name of such an estimable treasure island where I’m going to take you through!!! Yes, AYURVEDA is that one spectacular vicinity of more than 5000 years old, where we are going to fix our vision for the next few minutes. Let’s get started for this notable remark of our journey of life!!!!

Ayurveda – Name & Fame: Ayurveda‘ is composed of two Sanskrit words, Ayus meaning life and Veda meaning knowledge. According to Hinduism, there are 4 major Vedas or the holy books namely Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda and Ayurveda is considered as a subdivision of Atharva Veda. As the name implies, Ayurveda is a true knowledge of life that helps in leading a cultured and civilized life.

This age old spiritual science of holistic healing, which dates back to about 5000 years is still fresh in the world as a newborn pride, the main reason being its efficiency and effectiveness over all sorts of ailing illness. Few reliable sources state that Ayurveda’s basic principles got standardized around 1500 BC but there is no real evidence for the exact beginning of Ayurveda and no one exactly knows when this miraculous science had its birth as it is ageless like Mother Earth.

Ayurveda & Mother India : With its roots being deeply set in ancient India, Ayurveda is still considered to be the only existing form of holistic traditional medicinal treatment of body, mind and soul, which when blended together forms an ideal human system. India is a land of holistic traditional cultures and values, where you can find its eminence in each one of its remnants and Ayurveda, the established epic is not an exception at all.

Ayurveda – Spiritual Methodology of the Eternal Master:  A wise and a knowledgeable Master is often the reason behind any successful system in this world. Ayurveda, the miraculous medicinal approach is believed to have the Master of All Masters as its Mother. Yes, as per the Hindu mythology, Ayurveda is believed to be a boon granted by Brahma – The Lord of Creation to Dhanvantari who was crowned as the God of Medicine.

Ayurveda – Sources & Resources: The main sources of Ayurveda rest in three invaluable texts contributed by the most renowned Ayurvedic practitioners of ancient India- Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbata. Their contributions include Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and a compilation of a set of major texts called Ashtanga Hridaya & Ashtanga Sangraha.

  • Charaka – The Esteemed Curator: Charaka is a man of mystical and legendary values. He is believed to have been in the court of Kanishka, an age old ruler of the Kushana Dynasty in India. Perfect preaching & practice of medicine together with ‘Privacy of Patient’s Confidentiality‘, one of the golden tenets of a tactful curator meant a lot to this man of values. Charaka’s literary exertion has Kaya-Chikitsa (Internal Medicine) – ‘The diagnosis and treatment of ailments through internal and external application of medicine’ as its core content.
  • Sushruta – The Skilled Surgeon: Sushruta is said to have served in the court of Gupta Dynasty as a surgeon. He is the man who took a giant pace in the field of surgery namely plastic, cosmetic and prosthetic surgery along with cesarean section and handling of compound fractures. Sushruta Samhita dealt with Shalya Tantra (Surgery) to a great extent.
  • Vaghbata – The Versatile Compiler: Vaghbata is believed to have existed in the 5th century AD, who took strenuous efforts in perfectly expressing the essence of Ayurveda in rhythmic verse which is found to be very essential by all the students of Ayurveda who commit to memorize these verses, which is the basis of Ayurvedic study of healing.

Hope this brief journey through Ayurveda proved to be inspiring and informative for you, which will certainly clad your thoughts & actions in an Ayurvedic way!!! Happy Health to You!!!

Thought for the day:

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. By Marcus Garvey

Suggested Reading:

  1. Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume One: Fundamental Principles by Vasant Lad
  2. An English translation of the Sushruta Samhita, based on original Sanskrit text, volume 1: Sutrasthanam by Susruta Susruta
  3. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity by Swami Sadashiva Tirtha

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda by Wikipedia
  2. Brief History of Ayurveda by Healing Sphere
  3. History of Ayurveda by Professor Dr. P.H. Kulkarni

Ayurveda And Yoga: The Good Great Siblings



I love the natural way of healing, which is the best approach for a balanced living. I’ve done numerous researches and have read manifold books on Ayurveda. You know, I’ve also been to India to explore the most interesting and awe-inspiring attributes of Ayurveda. I didn’t how I missed the most essential verity that Ayurveda is Yoga’s sister science. I was amazed to read this piece of information while I was surfing through the internet in search of something not as thrilling as this one. I’ve heard that the science of Ayurveda insists on practicing Yoga, meditation and other physical exercises but the feeling of looking at these sister sciences together from the same Indian family is simply great!

These siblings are born to Spirituality and Purity, the father and mother respectively. Both of them share the same truth-seeking and optimistic underpinning and aim at granting the best ways for healthy and harmonious living. Ayurveda and Yoga are been taken to many parts of the world are proven successful mainly due to the fact that they help people achieve the promised results without much side effects. These sister sciences have many attributes in common and the most significant among them are listed below:

  1. Meditation: Ayurveda as well as Yoga insist meditation as these sciences believe that a clear and calm mind can do all the magic for your determined and active living in the pink. Through meditation, you can realize your actual powers and it improves your concentration, giving a good start to your day.
  2. Primitive teachings of Veda: Yoga and Ayurveda have come from the ancient Vedas, where the former has originated from the Yajur Veda and the latter from Rig Veda and Atharva Veda.
  3. Practices for holistic healing: Both these sciences teach and preach health practices that support holistic healing. They stress on striking the balance of doshas (elemental energies or humors), dhatus (tissues) and malas (waste materials) for sustaining a hale and hearty system.
  4. A healthy mind in a healthy body: This is the watchword of Ayurveda and Yoga and that is why Ayurveda suggests worshipping God, healthy eating, use of herbs and Ayurvedic essential oils along with meditation, Yoga and other physical exercises while Yoga suggests meditation and workouts for physical fitness as well as mental strength along with a balanced diet and regular prayers.
  5. Predominant aims of life: Both share the predominant aims of life which is nothing but accomplishing one’s duties, earning wealth, fulfilling the desires and attaining liberation, popularly known as Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
  6. Psychology, physiology and anatomy: The principles of Ayurveda and Yoga are same when it comes to psychology, anatomy and physiology where both these practices nigh on 5 sheaths of human body, 72,000 subtle channels known as Nadis, ultimate energy called as Kundalini Shakthi and the 7 predominant Chakras representing the energy centers. On a psychological perspective, both of these sister sciences robustly signify that mind, emotions and spiritual concerns have a direct impact on the physical health and are the root cause of all infirmities.
  7. Cleansing techniques: Ayurveda and Yoga have an organized system for detoxification of the human body, in which the earlier science follows 5 cleansing methods known as Panchakarma and the later science specifies 6 refining means called as Shatkarma for eliminating the unwanted materials of the body in a natural way.

Hope you’d have enjoyed this amazing piece of information, if you have explored it the first time, just like me! Bring these siblings to your family as well for all the good health and wealth to dwell in your residence.

Reference Links:

  1. Shatkarma by Wikipedia
  2. Ayurveda and Yoga, Sister Sciences by Blue Lotus Ayurveda
  3. Panchakarma by The Ayurvedic Institute
  4. Ayurveda and Yoga, the sister sciences. A holistic approach to healing by YOGA Chicago