Nature was their laboratory, they collected the medicines from
the forests surround them and used them as they saw other animals
are doing it. They used the universal principal and approach.
Never tried to encroach the nature and environment. They were keen
and silent observers of all the happenings. Analyzed their
observations and then finally laid down few basic principals.
These principals were universal that is why these are timeless
also. To serve man-kind they demarcated health and diseases and
finally they came with the first heath science of the globe i.e.
Ayurveda. Researchers were none other than the common men having
their goal in their minds to save the human-race from endangers,
which were there. Along with this they also gave knowledge about
the nature and universe so that their coming generations will be
benefited by their knowledge and will live a healthy life. The
principals they established without any conditions of time, place
and race. These were the principals to tell the relation in
between man and universe. These are as follows.....
- Five Universal Elements.
- Psychological Components.
- Physiological Constituents of the body.
These are the pillars which carry Ayurveda's thoughts. Only after understanding these basic concepts we can find the way how Ayurveda thinks about the whole world and human body. After an over all review of these topics it will be easy for anyone to find the truth and utility of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is categorized in to Alternative Health science because of lack of knowledge about the basic concepts of Ayurveda and whoever is practicing Ayurveda have commercialized the concepts of Ayurveda but
The ATHARVAS are dedicated
restore the PURE AYURVEDA so that humanity can be served better. Let's discuss these basic concepts one by one to know Ayurveda better…………………!!!
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 relatively to other elements in any material, will decide its physical and chemical qualities and its function in the ecological system of ours.
What the above theory tells about these 100 or so elements. Indian philosophers did it thousands of years ago by their minute observation towards the nature and its natural phenomenon. They classified all the basic elements in five categories. These were named Mahabhootas and as these were five in number these were called as Punchmahabhootas. Here “Punch” denotes the number five. These are five elements which are responsible
for structural and functional integrity of the world. There is
nothing beyond these five elements, animate or in-animate. These
may be you and me. These five basic components have been defined by their actions.
Because a matter is always known by its actions basically. Action speaks . All these elements were named and described by their actions only,
similar what the coming generations of scientists did it in other
these are evolved
These Mahabhootas are made by a peculiar system. Each one of these five is blessed with the qualities of
its precursor along with its own qualities. These are as following……
Aakash Mahabhoota = Shabad (listening)
Vayu Mahabhoota = Sparsha (touch)
Agni Mahabhoota = Roop (vision)
Jal / Ap Mahabhoota = Ras (taste)
Prithvi Mahabhoota = Gandha (smell)
These characters are intermingled with each other in a particular fashion and Mahabhootas evolve one after one in the same order in which they are lined up above. Following is the fashion for these……..
Aakash Mahabhoota = Shabad
Vayu Mahabhoota = Sparsha + Shabad
Agni Mahabhoota = Roop + Sparsha + Shabad
Jal / Ap Mahabhoota = Ras + Roop + Sparsha + Shabad
Prithvi Mahabhoota = Gandha + Ras + Roop + Sparsha + Shabad
This is the fashion how the Mahabhootas are made or they
originate in an evolutionary fashion. Due to this particular
fashion these are similar to each other in lesser percentages.
This similarity binds the world together as does the adhesive
forces. These adhesive forces are possible only then, when their
is something to be shared with each other.
the Universal Composition
As discussed earlier these Mahabhootas are five in number. They are designed to full fill all the requirements of their concepts related both to the human body and the nature. These Mahabhootas are action specific. They are divided in five, according to the need of physiology of the nature and all animals. As Ayurveda is a science of nature and its relations with the human body. So there was a need of a link between nature and human beings, so Indian Philosophers-cum-Scientists developed this five fold system to full fill their aim. And concept of Punchmahabhootas was developed. These may be called as the five basic elements of Ayurveda . A brief knowledge of all these Mahabhoota is as follows……….
A. Aakash Mahabhoota:-
Correlated to the ether concept of Greek philosophers maximum times, the substances having more percentage of this element are responsible for lightness, exhibit porosity and posses the capacity to occupy “the fill up” spaces. Even it fill up the spaces but this has tendency of least or just ZERO resistance for any movement in that space.
B. Vayu Mahabhoota:-
Which is invisible but we can feel it by its touch on our tactile receptors and responsible for all kinds of movements in the universe and our body. It produces dryness, tends to absorb fluids from any where, and promotes clearness and lightness. On psychological level causes anxiety-states in the mind and the emaciation of the body.
Recall the wind blowing outside in the world. When it is cool and calm it is called as life. When it is high speeded it is called as storm, which destroys everything and when the same air is ceased it causes the suffocation. Same does the trait Vayu in our body. Vayu literally means the Air.
C. Agni Mahabhoota:-
The fire . A factor responsible to heat up everything and penetrates, illuminates all and subtle. This has the attribute of form or image. It produces inflammatory reactions, glow, impart sensation of colors. All the corrosive materials can be included in this category. The exothermic property is on peak.
Water born from the womb of fire!! Fluidity, heaviness, viscosity, dullness and cognoscibility- are the nature of this fourth Mahabhoota. This is capable of making gustatory appeal and promoting viscosity. Loosening, spreading over, moistening, permeate through, disintegrate and exude, are other properties this possess. Satisfaction and exhilaration of the spirit and linking of substances or to keep the things in position are also attributed to this Mahabhoota. Just opposite to the Agni this trait is of an endothermic property.
It is more physically active in nature than chemically, in comparison to rest four of its category. Its physical characteristics are – heaviness, grossness, stability and possess the property of smell and capable for an olfactory appeal. It works as a ground for the creatures as does the carbon for the physical world.
A Connecting Link
All the living and non living matters of the world are the creations of these five elements known as- Aakash, Vayu, Agni, Jal/ Ap and Prithvi in a specific order in the starting hours of formations of the earth. All the creatures are made by these elements. In all animates and in-animates these five basic elements will present definitely. But one or more will be in leading role and others will be supportive to that. Dominancy of any of these will change qualities of that particular material totally. In human body these stay in a particular percentage. Where, each plays its own role in the harmony in the physiology of the body and for body's relations with the rest of the ecological system. So whenever in our body their configuration disturbs from that percentage what we were awarded at the time of Prakruti formation, the whole system got dis-ease which is known as disease in medical science. So their role in the prevention of the diseases is bigger and when one is known to all the facts about his Mahabhautic configuration, he/she will remain healthy throughout the life easily.
So these Mahabhootas work as a connecting link between man and nature, whenever this connecting link is got upset- disturbances occur and these disturbances lead us to diseases, vice-versa harmony of these Mahabhootas is known as health. If one wants to remain healthy forever he should know about his need for a particular composition of Mahabhootas which is possible only after knowing of the Prakruti of one. Particular composition of these two traits (physical and psychological) decides the working and nature of a particular animate or in animate. When one is aware about his particular composition (Prakruti) it will be easy for him to handle himself in any up and down of the surrounding which causes disturbance in these the diseases.
of Punchmahabhootas in health
After this brief introduction of all these Mahabhoota , we can know the importance and actions of these Punchmahabhootas in our body. And by knowing their deficit or increase in the body of their particular actions, we can know which Mahabhoota is affected. Any decrease in qualitative and quantative properties of any of these Mahabhoota will affect the physiological role of that one on the body directly. Along with this physiological support, these also play a role in the development of an embryo. These Mahabhootas affect the ratio of Tridoshas in the body and a particular constitution is formatted, which we know as Prakruti . In both the conditions, after getting the knowledge of their percent role in the body we can select a drug of same quality, i.e. which ever Mahabhoota is effected, will be provided from outside. What needs for this is a vision which can identify them in nature. Ayurveda have developed this vision that we need to come close to nature today in this era of mechanics. This will make us together with the nature. No doubt. These Mahabhootas decide the Tridoshas in our body and also configure our body's Prakruti (bio constitution). One should be known to his/her Prakruti and so that which Mahabhoota is needed for body may be supplied from outside easily.
of Mahabhootas in Ayurveda
Any science needs its basic principles for its development. Basically these Mahabhootas are the basic chemicals of the Ayurvedic science. Whole the chemistry of man and nature is dependant on these Mahabhootas . They are the same as the Carbon, Phosphorus; Nitrogen etc. are in the modern chemistry. When one talks about the health of human beings, then it is always important to discuss about both the nature and man together, and their mutual relations with each other. Philosophically man and nature were similar and later on this was also proven by modern science also. Ancient Indian philosophers cum scientists described these. These are five basic elements known as - Punchmahabhootas. Ayurveda established these as basic principles to get success in the treatment. It is important here to know theories of Samanya & Vishesha (theories of synergism and antagonism, respectively) . According to these theories a drug of similar qualities or composition will increase its counterpart any where, this is known as theory of Samanya and that one opposite to it is known as the Vishesha. In any case one or two or more of these Mahabhootas is less, both quality wise and quantity wise, it will cause disturbance in the physiology of the body which is known as disease. To fulfill less or to decrease these through medicines is easy, because as discussed earlier these Mahabhootas are common in all the animate and in-animate organisms. Natural materials have been identified by Ayurvedic scholars and classified in the different categories to be used in both of the cases- to increase or decrease the Mahabhootas inside the body. So, when it is known that which
one of Mahabhootas is needed and how much to can maintain the health easily. This is considered separately as well while discussing the concept of
Prakruti-see it there.
After a brief knowledge of Punchmahabhootas it is important to understand the TriGunas. As where, Punchmahabhootas make, physical and chemical background of whole world. Universal like Punchmahabhootas there are three forces, which decide their physical and chemical momentum of any object. These are known as TriGunas. Here “Guna” means the characteristic efficiency of any of the objects, through which it responds and does its peculiar jobs. These Gunas are more related with the psychology of the materials at all levels. According to Indian philosophy not only the living and animate world comprises of psychology but in animates also have these traits. Animates can work with psychology and physiology both. But in-animates are not having any kind of link between psychology and physiology. This link between physiology and psychology is known as-Aatma (The Soul)
(Go to yoga page to know all about Aatma). As body is a blend of psychology and physiology so it is important to know about both. Specifically in Ayurveda- physiology and psychology are intermingled in away that we can't separate these two, from each other!
TriGunas are also- character and activity specific just like Punchmahabhootas. As the term ‘Tri' tells – these are three and their characteristic features are as follows:
Neutral balanced, positivistic. 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!
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.
Inertia!! This binds the things to place. This hates any transition or transformation. This is orthodox in nature. Symbol for dark black i.e., nothing clear is soul of this. Make things to dump – deaf – dumb. Negative approach is a big and positive is zero here. Important for a pause, which give the relaxation to all animates.
As discussed earlier these Gunas decide activity of the Punchmahabhootas. Their relations with these physical materials is as follows-
a. Aakash - Sattva dominant
b. Vayu - Rajas dominant
c. Agni - Sattva + Rajas dominant
d. Jal - Rajas + Tamas dominant
e. Prithvi - Tamas dominant
After considering the characters of TriGunas, actions of Mahabhootas can
be understood easily. In inert Bhootas these TriGunas provides the activities. After this mix up; Mahabhootas will be able to prefer specific actions,
as viruses changes to animate from in-animates. These TriGunas make psycho part where Soma part is governed by Mahabhootas and their result is
a psychosomatic body. Particular composition of these two traits overall results the nature and working of
everything of our universe.
“TriGunas” affect you and me
Nothing is possible without these. One may be dominant or recessive in a matter, but will always be there. Decides action of in-animates when they will be used by any of the living organism eg; a person consuming maximum or total meat and flesh will be cruel more due to his diets- don't forget the Taliban for cruelty they are famous. 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:
This enlightens all the subtle, gives enthusiasm, positive approach and strength to the body.
Allows transitions, transformations and controls the balance of rest two.
Sedative in nature, causes unknown and unwanted pains, Takes a person towards the dizziness of ideas which leads to depression.
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 Punchmahabhootas and these total eight prepare configuration of a human body by giving birth to Tridoshas.
So by special care we can get the best progeny for our world, healthy and wealthy balanced new generation. You can get it!!
constituents of the body
Human machine can only be said as a body only, when it is in the process i.e. it is doing all its important biological performances in a harmony. Otherwise there is no difference in between a cluster of flesh and bones and a living organism. Ayurveda is devoted to the concept very well and without any doubt Ayurveda is the first science of the globe to identify the bio processes of human body with proper care. Ayurveda believes that human body performs its functions in a ladder step manner. It Starts from the basic step, up to the ultimate requirement of the body viz; immunity and reproduction. These different steps provide necessary material to the body for the nourishment of the Punchmahabhootas and the TriGunas, Soul and Mind also. It is important to get the zest of these bio processes.
Because normal working of the body is health and any minute abnormality in physiology is known as disease. And prevention of the diseases is to maintain all these bio processes and treatment is to restore all the positive moves of these processes, as our computers can do in case of lost of any of the software. So for understanding a medical science one should know that how that particular science thinks about the processes of the body and how it will restore these processes.
STEPS OF PHYSIOLOGY ‘SAPT DHATUS'
Food consumed by us, nourishes our bodies. It happens in a particular fashion. Ayurveda believes that this process got 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:
Provides nourishment to all other six buddies of its. It's a transporter of body – Plasma fluids.
- Rakta :
Works like Rasa in movement, provides energy to all other five provides color/complexion to body. Blood!!
- Mamsa :
It covers the body and gives movements to the body, Muscular system of the body.
- 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.
Bears the body, make it to stand upright as does the skeletal system for us.
- 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!
- 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.
the immune power of the body
From these all, an essence is generated, which is known as Oja/Ojus is a material inside our body which helps the body to fight against the disease and disease causing factors. What we call immunity now a day. We can get this immune power only then, when these seven are well formed in our bodies for the preventive measures this is of main importance.
Ojus is generated only then, when the first Dhatu – Rasa is in its pure form and the channels, through which it will lead to other Dhatus, are clear. There should be no obstruction in its (Rasa's) way.
Rasayanas therapy is devised for this purpose only. Rasayana therapy provides “Ojus” to the body i.e. strength to body to fight against the diseases (See
Rasayanas for details).