Body Composition

All forms of Matter of which we are aware, all physical things even to the most subtle, are built up by the combination of five basic elements.These are space or ether (akash), air (vayu), fire (agni), water (jala), and earth (prithvi). Pancha Mahabhuta(The five elements)are the building blocks of all creation.
All the matters in the universe is made up of these five elements .Hence the entire universe is Panchabhautik (composed of five elements) Health is a state where these elements remain completely balanced. The dominant part of the basic element decides the nature of the substance.These elements combine together in an inseparable combination to become gross objects .The dominant part of the basic element decides the nature of the substance.The elements (mahabhutas) have certain qualities, attributes and impacts on the body and mind. So in human body solid part is from Prithvi (earth) mahabhoota, liquidity from Jal (water), heat from Teja (fire), Prana (vital force) from Vayu (air) and empty places such as channels of circulation from Akash (space) and soul is Brahaman.
All human beings are a living microcosm of the universe and the universe is a living macrocosm of the human beings.
Hence, Ayurveda states Yat Pinde, Tat Bramhande.
This statement clarifies basic elemental compatibility or similarity between nature and humans .The health is preserved only when these five elements comprising our body are in homogeneous state and equilibrium and in harmony with environment /nature. Our food and life style has impact on this delicate balance of five elements. So it is clear that substances found in the nature (plants, herbs, minerals , foods etc ) are usually harmonious with the human system. because they are fundamentally the same in character and composition.So this five elemental theory forms basic principle for ayurvedic treatment . Whatever is in excess or less quantity in our body we can balance it from the nature .That is why Similar substances present in nature if consumed causes increase and substances having opposite properties decrease the excessively present elements .
The elements (mahabhutas) have certain qualities, attributes and impacts on the body and mind.
• Earth represents the solid state of matter. Hence, substances that have Earth as the predominant element (Parthiva Dravya) will have these features such as stability, permanence, heaviness, compactness, HARDNESS ,roughness and rigidity. In our body, the parts such as bones, teeth, cells, fat, muscles, skin, nails and hairand tissues are manifestations of the earth. Earth is considered a stable substance.e.g in foods milk ,ghee, sugarcane , bananas etc
• Water characterizes change and represents the liquid state. Substances containing liquid as predominant element possess these attributes such as liquidity, coldness ,unstability moisture containing , thick, dense, moist, cool, soft, and sticky, cohesive , lubricating , satiating etc .Water is necessary for the survival of all living beings. A large part of the human body is made up of water. Our blood, lymph, and other fluids move between our cells and through our vessels, bringing energy, carrying away wastes, regulating temperature, , and carrying hormonal information from one area to another. It is present in plasma , mucus , saliva etc . Foods possessing water as main element are cucumber , pumpkin ,melons etc .
• wind orAir is the gaseous form of matter which is associated with qualities such as movement, dryness, lightness, trasnparency or clarity , dynamicity , tactile sensation etc . Within the body, air element is the basis of life , Prana or the vital force for existence . It is responsible for entire movements in body such as in lungs ,heart, stomach, intestines and joints;circulation , impulse conduction ,all energy transfer reactions. It is a key element required for fire to burn. foods containing air as main element are almost all pulses , peas ,beans etc
• Fire represents a substance's ability to undergo changeor we can say have the power to transform states of matter i.e .solids into liquids, to gas, and back again. In other words, it possess power to transform the state of any substance. Substances that have fire the main element possess following qualities burning sensation , luster,dryness , penetrating, sharpness, hot, non-slimy, minuteness , weightlessness and roughness. Within our bodies, the fire or energy binds the atoms together. It is responsible for all metabolic activities i.e respiration , digesting of food , maintaining body temperature , conduction of nerve impulses , even our thought processes. Fire is considered a form without substance., res ponsible for intelligence , lusture , glow ,of skin , normal activity of eyes etc . mainly foods associated with it are ginger, spices etc
• Ether is the space or void which encompasses the entire matter It is the field or distances which separate matter. The chief characteristic of ether is sound where sound represents the entire spectrum of vibration.Qualities of ether dominant substances areminuteness, transparence, clarity ,lightness, hollowness etc .Ether /akasha is present wherever there is a space or cavity like in the nostrils, mouth, ears, throat, lungs etc .Example :light foods.
The proportion/quantity of each mahabhuta (element) varies and hence the existence of variety of substances in this universe, each one is very different and unique.
Panchmahabhootas and their relationship with 3 Gunas –
1.Akash – Sattva
2. Air – Vayu – Rajjas
3. Fire – Agni – Sattva + Rajjas
4. Water – Jala - Sattva + Tamas
5. Earth – Prithvi – Tamasic
Sattva is lightening for intellect and is virtuous for body and mind. Enriches human being with knowledge.Rajas are attachment promoting and moves towards desires and it moves a man towards doing actions. Tamas comes from ignorance. It develops delusion, Pramada (inability to take right decision), laziness and sleepiness.Tamas comes from ignorance. It develops delusion,inability to take right decision, laziness and sleepiness etc.
5 mahabhootas in Tridoshas
• Vata – Vayu + Space
• Pitta – Agni +Jala
• Kapha – Jala + Prithvi
Vital energy that is responsible for the movement in smallest unit of the body.
Also present in each and every cell of body and is manifested by the all metabolic activities going inside body .
Kapha pertains to water and earth elements. Kapha is responsible for growth and protection. The mucousal lining of the stomach, and the cerebral-spinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal column are examples of kapha.
So these five elements are the very basis of ayurvedic treatment .