Power of Panchamahabhuta

Ayurveda believes that a person’s physical and psychological health depends on the interconnection and good balance between mind, body, and soul. Proper balance inside the body leads to health and any type of imbalance gives illness. According to the Ayurveda, everything in this universe is made of five elements and our body is also made of panchamahabhutas. These five powerful elements are known as Panchamahabhutas named as space, air, fire, water, and earth. In Ayurveda, the theory of Panchamahabhutas is the foundation to understand the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. In this way, we can see that these five elements are a very important part of Ayurveda. Each mahabhuta has its own function, characteristics, and action on the body.

These panchamahabhutas emerges from the energy named as pancha tanmatra. The word tanmatra is made from “tan” and “matra.” Tan means subtle and matra means element. The five tanmatras are sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell. These tanmatras are related to our five senses. We perceive the sound from the ear, feeling of touch from the skin, sees things with eyes, taste with the tongue, and smell from the nose. This way tanmatras is the mode to sense the world.

All the elements (mahabhuta) are the combination of tanmatra. They combine together in different proportions to form an element. The unique combination of tanmatra to form panchamahabhutas is said below:-

  • Space element originates from sound tanmatra.
  • Air element originates from sound and touch tanmatra.
  • Fire element originates from sound, touch, and sight tanmatra.
  • Water element originates from sound, touch, sight, and taste tanmatra.
  • Earth element originates from sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell tanmatra.

Panchamahabhuta in relation to Body & Diet

Space (Akash) –

Space represents the hollow organs of the body like nostrils, mouth, and abdomen. In the relation to diet, the food substances dominant with the space element are known as Aakashiya ahaar/diet.

Aakashiya Ahaar

Qualities

  • Soft
  • Smooth
  • Light
  • Rough
  • Cold
  • Deep penetrating

Action

  • Eating food substance dominant with air element provides lightness and softness inside the body.
  • But on the other side intake of this type of food is the reason behind the emaciation.

Air (Vayu) –

The air inside the human body is the force responsible for the circulation of blood, breathing, and joint movements. In relation to diet, the food substances dominant with air element are known as Vayavya ahaar/diet.

Vayavya Ahaar

Qualities

  • Light
  • Dry
  • Cold
  • Deep penetrating
  • Spreads quickly

Action

  • It gives lightness and dryness to the body.
  • But on the other side intake of this type of food is the reason behind the emaciation and constipation.

Fire (Tejas)

Fire is the element responsible for the all the metabolism, digestion and functioning of enzymes etc. It represents the heat of the body. In relation to diet, food with the dominance of fire element is known as Tejas ahaar/diet.

Tejas diet

Qualities

  • Hot
  • Dry
  • Light
  • Non-sticky
  • Deep penetrating

Action

  • Eating the food substance dominant with fire element leads to the healthy and glowy skin.
  • But on the other side excess intake of this type of food is the reason behind acidity, heartburn, and burning sensation in the body.

Water (Jal)

Water element represents the fluid of the body like blood, lymph, saliva, and digestive juices. The food dominant with water element is known as Apya ahaar/diet.

Apya ahaar

Qualities

  • Cold
  • Soft
  • Liquid
  • Heavy
  • Sticky
  • Oily

Action

  • Eating food substance dominant with water element provides hydration and smoothness.

Earth (Prithvi)

Earth element represents the solid parts of the body like bones, teeth, muscles, and hairs. The food with the dominance of earth element is Parthiva ahaar/diet.

Parthiva Ahaar

Qualities

  • Heavy
  • Hard
  • Slow
  • Stable
  • Fatty
  • Non-sticky
  • Solid

Action

  • It helps in the growth and development of the body.
  • But on the other side excess intake of this type of food is the reason behind obesity.