Saturday, November 28, 2009

Basics of Ayurveda

Basics of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a scientific art to live a healthy life. This is a tradition of health. The tradition started from the creator of earth himself, Brahma and went up to many holy souls, who were the one’s who had freed themselves of all worldly desires by means of spiritual endeavors and acquiring the gift of universal knowledge. This understanding embraces the past, present and future and is till today pure and timeless. The principles are derived from universal laws of nature that have changed little through time. These principals were settled through subjective, objective, and intuitive approaches to gain knowledge, incorporated with a deep understanding of the unseen intelligence of the universe. The practices of Ayurveda have withstood the test of time. Basic Principles of Ayurveda comprise of:Five Universal Elements: Panchmahabhootas

Today more than 100 elements have been detected by modern scientists. These are the basic elements like; hydrogen, carbon, sodium etc; which unite together to create all the beings, living or non living of our world. Presence of any one of these relative to other elements in any material will decide its physical and chemical qualities and its function in the ecological system of ours.

According to Ayurveda everything in Universe is poised of the Panchmahabhootas – Aakash (Space or ether), Vayu (Air), Teja or Agni (Fire), Jala (Water) and Prithvi (Earth). These are mixed in countless varieties of relative magnitude such that each form of matter is distinctly unique. Although each element has a range of attributes, only some get evident in particular situations. Constantly changing and interacting with each other, they craft a situation of full of life flux that keeps the world going. This all happens under the control of TriGunas.

In a simple, single living cell for example the earth element predominates by giving structure to the cell. The water element is present in the cytoplasm or the liquid within the cell membrane. The fire element regulates the metabolic processes regulating the cell. The air element is the gaseous part therein. The space occupied by the cell denotes the presence of ether, the Aakash

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); Jala is in all body fluids (as plasha, saliva, digestive juices); and Prithvi manifests itself in the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair et al)

The Panchmahabhootas therefore serve as the foundation of all diagnosis and treatment modalities in Ayurveda and has served as a most valuable theory for physicians to detect and treat illness of the body and mind successfully.
The relationship of Panchmahabhootas with Sense organs, its Properties and Actions are as follows:-


Sensory Faculty

In Our Body



All body channels, working for the movement of the nutrients and all other fluids. Vacuumed organs of the body are made of Akash



Governs inhalation, exhalation, opening and closing of eyelids, locomotion and other motor functions.



Coarse and bright, pedals temperature and luster of body color. Digestion and assimilation of food is done by it inside the body



The adhesive force and fluid part of the body is Jal, making things supple and smooth



Heavy, immobile, compact and rough. Controls organs as teeth, nails, flesh, skin, tendons and muscles. Sweet taste.

If Percentile involvement of Panchmahabhootas is known, an individual can do better with the health. Sushruta tells in His great text of Ayurveda- “There are five Prakrutis according to the involvement of these five in the body. At Atharvayurveda, we access your Prakruti according to the involvement of Panchamahabhootas also. Go to
Prakruti Analysis: Your body type.

Psyche Components- Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
TriGunas are also- character and activity specific just like Panchmahabhootas. As the term ‘Tri' tells – these are three and their characteristic features are as follows:

a. Sattva:
Neutral balanced, positive, Cool! Calm! Sweet! Disturbances can't affect this. High spirits are core of this aspect. This is able to enlighten all the objects by its glow. Rest two may cause any deformities but purity of it's never allows disturbances to invade. Kind as love of nature and pure as blessings of God!

b. Rajas:
Rajas Guna is activity, factor responsible for change, works to rearrange the things and ideas, transaction from darkness to light or vice-versa. It transforms potential energies of life and nature into kinetic energies. New formations anywhere in the world are controlled by this specific factor.

c. Tamas:
Inertia!! Binds things to their places, hates any alteration or renovation. This is orthodox in nature. It makes things to deposit. Negative approach is a big and positive is zero here. Important for a pause, which give the relaxation to all animates.

Where Sattva is enlightened like a sunny day; Tamas is darkened as a no-moon night, Dawn and Dusk are Rajas, for a Human Body:


impinge on body


This enlightens all the subtle, gives enthusiasm, positive approach and strength to the body. Bold, brave and clean hearted person, never pain others, can face all alone.


Allows transitions, transformations and controls the balance of rest two. It is in between two so always needs help of family and friends for everything.


Sedative in nature, causes unknown and unwanted pains, Takes a person towards the dizziness of ideas which leads to depression. If it is on higher ratio in someone, he can’t face any grief even all are with him.

Out of these three, two (Rajas and Tomas) are also known as Maha-Doshas as they can cause problems to our bodies, due to tendency of negativity (Tamas) and nature to go towards the negativity (Rajas). Sattva is pure, so no question, for appearance of a disease! These S.R.T. (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) blend with the Panchmahabhootas and these total eight prepare configuration of a human body by giving birth to Tridoshas.
According to the involvement of the Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in the body there are
16 types of Prakruti, described well by Charka Samhita. Seven among these sixteen are Sattvika, six are Rajsika and Tamsika are only three. Know your TriGuna-Prakruti and maintain your energies click Prakruti Analysis: Know your body type.

Food consumed by us, nourishes our bodies. It happens in a particular fashion. Ayurveda believes that this process gets completed in seven steps – one by one or all simultaneously. These seven steps hold body and nourish it by their activities and abilities. These are known “Sapt –Dhatus”. These are:

  1. Rasa:
    Provides nourishment to all other six buddies of its. It's a transporter of body – Plasma fluids.

  2. Rakta:
    Works like Rasa in movement, provides energy to all other five provides color/complexion to body. Blood!!

  3. Mamsa:
    It covers the body and gives movements to the body, Muscular system of the body.

  4. Meda:
    Collects the energies and stores it for the strengths of the body, Adipose tissue, along with other components, which are liable to store energy in them.

  5. Ashti:
    Bears the body, make it to stand upright as does the skeletal system for us.

  6. Majja:
    Responsible for love and nourishment as its structure is also smooth and soft. As it fills the gap in bones, it can be said- marrow!

  7. Shukra:
    After nourishment of the body, rest will go for the coming generation. Important for reproductive capacities of a person, or can be said a power nourishing the reproductive strengths of a person. These seven together hold up the body and provide strength for life.
When these Dhatus change in their way properly, each tissue level is nourished. For this Rasa Dhatu, the foremost should be of good quality. If it will be so, all Dhatus will good. Rasayanas are meant for this only.


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