Ayurveda Basics

Ayurveda Basics

Panchamahabhoota and Tridosha Theories

Ayurveda believes that Man is a miniature version of the Universe, so the basic composition of Man and the Universe/Nature is the same. The universe is made up of five basic elements (Material Substances) namely,

  • Prithvi (Earth)
  • Agni (Fire),
  • Jala (Water)
  • Vayu (Air)
  • Akash (Space/Ether)

These are known as Pancha- (5) and Mahabhootas (Elements)
Along with these, there are Three Non-Material substances, namely,]

  1. Satva (Consciousness or Knowledge)
  2. Raja (Motion or Action)
  3. Tama ( inertia).

These three are known as Tri-Gunas. Tri (3) and Gunas (Qualities) are the basic constitutions of matter. Depending on the predominance of these elements, and their activation in the body, three functional energies are formed which are known as the Doshas. They are three in number, namely,

  • Vata (Air energy)
  • Pitta(Fire energy)
  • Kapha( Water Energy)

These elements of Ayurveda can be perceived by their distinctive qualities such as Akash by Sound, Vayu by Touch, Agni by Colour, Jala by Taste, and Pruthvi by Odour. These are the basics of our Five Senses which are perceived by our Sensory Organs, Ears, Skin, Eyes, Tongue, and Nose, respectively.

Connection of Panchamahabhootas and Doshas in Ayurveda:

  • Vata = Vayu + Akash
  • Pitta = Agni
  • Kapha = Pruthvi + Jala

The word Dosha in Ayurveda is originated from the verb Dushya, which means to vitiate. These three Doshas nourish the body when are in a balanced state, or in the state of equilibrium and cause bodily diseases if they get vitiated. The same is with the three Gunas of the mind, if vitiated, cause psychological disturbances called Manas-Doshas.

VATA: This Dosha is responsible for all the movements in the body. It has the following Five sub-types depending on the location in the body:

  1. Prana Vayu : Located in the Head, Throat, Lungs, etc, basically in Upper Part of the body above the Diaphragm.
  2. Udana Vayu : Located in the Umblicus mainly, also in Throat and Chest.
  3. Samana Vayu : Located in the stomach mainly.
  4. Vyana Vayu: Located all over the body
  5. Apana Vayu : Located in the lower umbilical region

PITTA: This Dosha is responsible for the Digestion and Metabolism of the body. It has further Five types depending on the location in the body. They are mentioned as follows:

  1. Alochaka Pitta : Located in Eyes.
  2. Ranjaka Pitta : Located in the Liver and Spleen.
  3. Pachaka Pitta : Located in the stomach .
  4. Sadhaka Pitta: Located in the Chest and Heart.
  5. Bhrajaka Pitta : Located in the Skin

KAPHA: This Dosha is responsible for Nutrition and Lubrication. It has further Five types depending on the location in the body. They are mentioned as follows:

  1. Kledaka Kapha : Located in Stomach
  2. Tarpak Kapha : Located in the Head.
  3. Shleshaka Kapha : Located in the joints mainly,
  4. Avalambaka Kapha: Located in the Chest
  5. Bodhaka Kapha : Located in the Tongue

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