Quintessential 5 Elements Of Life

Quintessential 5 Elements Of Life


One would be living under a rock if claims to be unaware of the basic five elements of life. Each one of us, even though mildly, is acquainted with the fact that the whole universe is made up of the 5 elements namely - Earth, water,  fire,  air,  space. Or in the language of Ayurveda - Prithvi, Ap, tej, vayu, and akash.

Are These Facts Or Mere Conjectures

It is inevitable for people to question science. Any logical mind would think twice before diving into the factual contents of science. The science behind the five elements of life has been postulated and believed by people since time immemorial. I'm sure we have all grown up listening to the fact that these five elements are what sustain our universe. We have grown up believing in the supremacy of five elements. The earth represents our motherland,  water sustains our day-to-day needs,  fire fuelling nature with its atrocious yet needful spark,  air comprising gases for our basic sustenance,  and lastly the space in which we thrive. One would surely be factually incompetent if opposes the idea of the five elements and their ascendancy.

Does Ayurveda Believe In The Primacy Of The Five Elements Of Nature

Ayurveda indeed believes in the five elements of nature and its essence. The science of Ayurveda popularly addresses the five elements of Panchmahabhuta. Pancha means five and mahabhuta meaning superior elements. Ayurveda believes in the science of panchamahabhuta so much so that the study of Ayurveda begins with the teaching of panchamahabhuta and its importance. Ask any student of Ayurveda,  a beginner or a learned physician, one might tell you the importance of panchamahabhuta even whilst sleeping. That's how important panchamahabhuta is for Ayurveda and its practitioners.

Why Does Ayurveda Primarily Support The Panchamahabhuta Supremacy


Ayurveda vehemently supports the principle of 'lok samanya purusa '.Now naturally one might ask the logical reasoning behind lok samanya purusa. Centuries ago, our acharyas have postulated the lok samanya purusa. The meaning lies in its name. Our body is the concise form of the universe. How is that possible??? Our body comprises all the factors required to sustain a universe. As mentioned earlier, just like the universe has five basic elements for its endurance, our body consists of these five elements in minute form for the sustenance of good health. Prithvi represents the moorti of our body,  ap the kledatva, teja the santapa residing within us,  vayu the prana, and akash the susira.

Role Of Panchamahabhuta In The Formation Of Garbha 

As mentioned prior in this context, panchamahabhuta is the very basis of the creation of life in the universe. Each of the panchamahabhuta plays a pivotal role in the formation of the fetus within the womb.

1. Prithvi

The Prithvi Mahabhuta plays the role of 'samhanana ', which maintains the integrity and compactness of the cells. It maintains the structure of the fetus.

2. Ap

The Jala Mahabhuta has the property of kledana in the body.  It nourishes the fetus with all the required nutrients and also maintains the required moistness in the body.

3. Tej

The Agni Mahabhuta represents the pachana Karma. It aids in the process of maturation of a growing fetus.

4. Vayu

The vayu Mahabhuta does the vibhajana karma. In simpler words, the vayu Mahabhuta helps in the process of cell division and cell differentiation.

5. Akash

Akash Mahabhuta provides vivardhana karma. It provides spaces wherever required, such as the vessels, ducts, cavities, etc.

From the above-mentioned facts, look at how mesmerizing and unfathomable the science of Ayurveda and its principles are.

Are The Panchamahabhuta And Panchendriya Correlated


Our acharyas have postulated the correlation between panchamahabhuta and panchendriya. Before indulging in this correlation let us first understand the panchendriya. The indriya, in simpler words sensory faculties,  are namely five in number.

They are shabdanendriya,  sparshanendriya, roopendriya, rasendriya, and ghranendriya. The objects of intellectual faculties (indriyartha) are sabda ( hear),  sparsha ( touch),  roop ( vision), rasa ( taste),  gandha ( olfactory). The corresponding areas ( indriyashaya) where these indriyas reside are - karna (ear),  tvak (skin),  chakshu ( eyes),  jihwa (tongue), gharana ( nose).

Now let us come to the point of discussion. There is an inseparable relation between panchamahabhuta and panchendriya. It is said that each of the panchamahabhuta resides in each of the indriya ashaya and aids in the perception of corresponding senses.

They Are As Follows 


  1. Prithvi resides in ghrana ( nose) and aids in olfactory perception.
  2. Ap resides in jihwa (mouth) and helps in the perception of taste.
  3. Agni Mahabhuta resides in the netra (eyes) which then helps in the perception of vision.
  4. Vayu Mahabhuta resides in tvak (skin) and supports the sensation of tactile faculties.
  5. Akash Mahabhuta resides in the karna (eye) that helps in the processing of hearing faculties.

It is important to mention here the principle of successive accumulation of properties.

As Prithvi has sabda guna,  jala has sabda and rasa guna and teja has sabda, rasa, and roopa guna. Needless to say, the successive Mahabhuta have their guna as well the guna of the previous Mahabhuta. Therefore akasha has all the five gunas.

Can we deduce a correlation between panchamahabhuta and tridosha


As we are perfectly aware of the fact that our body is sustained by vata, pitta and kapha and their functions. There is an unquestionable correlation between tridosha and panchamahabhuta.

The similarities in the properties themselves are a logical explanation for this correlation. It is as follows.The kapha dosha is correlated with the Prithvi and jala Mahabhuta.

The pitta dosha with the Agni Mahabhuta and the vata doshas with the vayu and akash Mahabhuta

How can they be kept in balance


Now that we know all the correlations and essence of panchamahabhuta, its maintenance and balance must be our primary concern. As important tridoshas are for our health,  it is essential to keep the panchamahabhuta entities in our bodies at bay. Therefore our regiments, be it diet or activities,  must be conducive to our body. We must balance out each of our entities.

By keeping the kapha dosha in check,  the kledatva (nourishment)  and samhanana (compactness)  in our body also remain intact which is provided by the prithvi and jala Mahabhuta. The body gets all the required nutrients and maintains its moisture and the cells remain intact in their shape and size.

By controlling the pitta dosha, the pacana karma functions at normalcy, and the paka (maturation) procedures are carried out smoothly which is again the function rendered by agni Mahabhuta. By keeping the vata dosha at bay,  the vibhajan(cell division) and vivardhana karma (space) is also performed accurately, which is rendered by the vayu and akash Mahabhuta. The prana is sustained in our body. In present times, where each one of us is unintentionally indulged in climbing up the stairs of success it is remarkable to say that the importance of maintaining a healthy regiment has also maneuvered its way into one's life.

People around us look into a plethora of ways to adopt a healthy life. Therefore knowledge about the basic entities of our universe as well as our body is of equal importance. Only when the base is irrevocably strong can its build be maintained in equal strength. The same goes with the fact that only when the panchamahabhuta and tridosha are kept in normalcy can our body also relish the effect of a healthy lifestyle.

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