Everything we do- thinking, eating, listening, praying, singing, good and bad deeds, all are considered to have an influence on the five elements or panchmahabhutas. When we closely observe our body, we find that it is none other than a combination of 5 basic elements or panchmahabhutas i.e. Jala, Prithvi, Tejas, Aakash and Vayu. The measure of these elements determines our basic characteristics, who we are, what we do. We mostly inherit these basic characteristics.
Let’s have a peek at what Panchmahabhuta is, and why Ayurveda has so much emphasis on it!

“लोक समीतो अयम् पुरुषम्”

According to this principle, Purusha is the small sample of the Loka (or universe), implying the fact that what-so-ever is present in the external world also exists in the body. Our body is bounded by time and space, and based on the laaw of nature, it undergoes 6 modifications i.e. Shad vikara, all influenced by the permutation and combination of these mahabhutas and the resultant doshas viz,

  • Existence (Asti)
  • Birth (Jayate)
  • Growth (Vardhate)
  • Change (Viparinamate)
  • Decay (Apaksheeyate)
  • Death (Vinashyate)

Ayurveda, the 5000 yrs old Indian inherited legacy of medication, accounts with the information that can portray the quality and proportion of social and individual well-being status and moreover the methodologies to reinstall, keep up and re-try it on the chance of the guidelines of Vedic magic.

The Panchamahabhuta is a Sanskrit term comprised of three words i.e.

  • Pancha means ‘five’
  • Maha means ‘great’

Bhuta derived from the Sanskrit word “bhu” implying elements that ‘have their own existence’. Hence, nature is made up of five major elements that have their own existence is known as Pancha Bhutas. These five elements are supposed to be the parent elements and all the other elements are inherited from these parent elements. The body (shareer), senses (indriya) and mind (satva) are basically the grosser to finer manifested forms of basic elements of nature i.e. panchamahabhuta – Akash (space), Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Jala (water), Prithvi (earth) – and soul, the life principle. The agreeable exercises inside these elements and essential exercises in the middle of the elements mirror the status of individual and social soundness of an individual.

Know more about PANCHAMAHABHUTAS!!

Ayurveda has graced various guidelines from nature that show these panchamahabhutas to make, support, even out and update the various activities and limits in nature. Any slight variation or imbalance in the functioning or levels of these 5 elements leads to huge natural calamities in nature like floods, famines, storms etc.

तस्माद्वा एतमादत्मनं अकाश संभुताः |
अकासदवयुह | वायोरग्निह | अगनरपह |
अदभ्य प्रथ्वी | पृथिव्या ओषधाय |
ओसाधिभ्योष्नाम | अन्नत पुरुषः ||

(Yajur-veda, Taittiriyopanisad,vBrahmananda – valli, Anuvaka 1 (Vedic period)
From that atman (Supreme soul) space came into being from space wind, from wind fire, from fire water, from water earth, from earth plants, from plants food, from food man came into being.

“सर्वम् द्रव्यम् पंचभौतिकम् अस्मर्थे” (Ca.Su.26)

The panchamahabhutas are the elements that represent the core foundation of Ayurveda. To understand the relationship between these elements and our body & personality, the knowledge of these basic five elements is the foundation and are regarded as nature’s building blocks. Whatever we see around us is present within us.

तत्र शरीरं नाम चेतना अधिष्ठानभूतं पंच महाभूत विकार समुदाय आत्मकम् II

As per Ayurveda classics, the human body comprehends these five natural elements and Chetna, composing all together as shad-dhatu purush.

As the human body consists of sensory organs called ‘Sushma-indriya’ i.e., nose, tongue, eyes, ears and skin. Likewise, each of the organs rasps their functions from the universe by five basic elements known as panchamahabhutas.

According to Vedic science each and, every element of Panchabhuta is associated with one of the senses in our body. Let us see the characteristics of each element. The sensory attributes of the panchamahabhutas are as listed below;

Elements/ Attributes

Space (Akasha):   Sound
Wind (Vayu):         Sound + touch
Fire (Agni):             Sound + touch + form
Water (Apas):        Sound + touch + form + taste
Earth (Prithvi):     Sound + touch + form + taste + smell

These panchamahabhutas or the five elements i.e. space, air, fire, water and earth, transition from finite to form. The existence of space gives way to wind, the wind blows creating fire, the fire burns high and melts, water flows and hardens to become earth.

Prithvi/Earth – Nose

The earth element is associated from the tip of our body till the toe. The whole human body is said to be earth and beholds the sense of smell. As massive as it looks, it holds everything together and observes everything around with patience. The sensory organ it corresponds to is the nose which helps in smelling and recognising the smell from the universe.

Aap/Water- Tongue

Water element plays a very vital role in maintaining body balance with 65-70% the body composition. Water has no shape, no colour of its own and shows its nature to adapt to any conditions of life. The sense of taste perceived by the tongue is composed of the water element.

Teja/ Fire- Eyes

Tejas mahabhoota is directly proportional to Agni and Pachaka Pitta within the body. Sense of sight leads to greater imagination & visualisation that has the power of transformation, converting and making them of use like the digestive fire or jatharagni. Eyes formed from fire element aids in detecting and recognising the objects of the universe.

Vayu- Air- Skin

The movement of air gives a sense of touch as there is wind all over the human body. Randomness is what describes it best with the power to break order, if not right at all. But to find its way, it doesn’t cut the mountains, as the water does. Rather it respects the massiveness of the earth and changes its own direction. The sense of touch perceived by the skin is composed of a majority of Vayu mahabhuta.

Aakash/ Space- Ears

Space or Akasha is said to be present dominantly above the eyebrow. Just like its name, it is infinite. It is ananta. All the four elements have it and it has all the four elements in it. It is pure, the ultimate truth. Where there is nothing, it has its presence there. Visualisation and hearing are the characteristics of it perceived by the ears, basically composed of aakash mahabhuta helping in listening and recognising the sounds. Rule of Panchamahabhuta isn’t simply a hypothesis yet have a basic utility in Ayurveda as it shapes the base of the Ayurvedic essentials, for example, Tridoshas, body constituents, Prakriti idea, activity, and properties of substances, human turn of events, and so on.

Where is PANCHAMAHABHUTA in our body?

The idea of panchamahabhuta is the idiosyncrasy of Ayurveda. It clarifies the uprightness of all living and non-living creatures in this universe. This hypothesis is likely the eldest apparatus to investigate this universe. Pancamahbhutas assume a fundamental job in physiologic capacities just as ailment arrangement. The dietetic unevenness is the main source in the event of disease.etc.


The old style ayurvedic treatment relies upon tridosha Siddhanta, the hypothesis of three humors or tri-doshas. Like all issues known to mankind, tridoshas are likewise a stage and mix of the 5 elements that combine considering a particular goal in mind to frame 3 bio humors or tridoshas in our body. These 3 doshas control and equalize the different frameworks and capacities in the body. The panchmahabhautik sign of the three doshas are as per the following;

Vata: Aakash (Space) + Vayu (Air)

Vata is the most impressive dosha and controls the fundamental substantial capacities just as the psyche and also influences the movements in the body, from the movement of the prana and nerve impulses to body fluids and even thoughts.

Pitta: Agni (Fire) + Jala (Water)

Pitta dosha is responsible for metabolism, digestion and hormones linked to appetite.

Kapha: Prithvi (Earth) + Jala (Water)

Kapha dosha is responsible for strength and stability, muscle growth, weight and the immune system.

The essential body structures are prevailing in one dosha and subsequently show highlights of that particular mahabhutas. The mahabhutas with the dominance in the related bodily tissues are as follows; Earth: Nails, bones, teeth, muscle, stool, hair, ligaments etc Water: tissue fluid, blood, fatty tissues, urine, lymph, sweat, etc Fire: All digestive juices, eyes etc Air: skin, hollow structures etc Space: All body channels, body cavities, pores in the body

According to Indian heritage of philosophy, nature or prakriti has three personality characters viz. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, also known as Triguna. These are fundamental for the functioning of the universe as the entirety of panchabhutas is grasped by trigunas, still, every one of them has prevalence of one and diminution of the other trigunas, subsequently making the various characteristics and qualities. An authoritative purpose behind creation is Avyakta, that essentially has three gunas like satva, raja and tama. So all mahabhuta similarly have these gunas or attributes to different degrees.

Sattva quality is the indication of cognizance and sound brain, while Rajas and Tamas demonstrate the scattered perspective. In this way, mahabhutas have following properties;

Aakash – Sattva
Vayu – Rajas
Agni – Sattva & Rajas
Jala – Sattva & Tamas
Prithvi – Tamas

Each individual’s psychosomatic disposition or body constitution is controlled by these 3 doshas at the hour of preparation or fertilization. Exactly when the lacking life form or what we call it as incipient organism, is molded the body constitution or the Prakriti is settled. We individuals being a piece of this nature are additionally comprised of the basic 5 components, that result in the fabrication of 3 bio humors or doshas. However every individual has various mixes of these doshas predominance which make them one of a kind. This extraordinary mix is known as Prakriti of the individual and this gets composed at the hour of origination of that person. A verse from Shrimad Bhagvad Gita,

भूमिरापोऽनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा।।7.4।।

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, psyche, acumen and character; this is the eightfold division of human showed nature.

The 3 doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha each consist of any two regular components of panchamahabhutas, that give one of a kind attributes to the individual as indicated by the prevalence of the dosha and exhibit seven fundamental body constitutions viz, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata Pitta, Pitta Kapha, Kapha Vata, Vata Pitta Kapha. Each individual’s constitution has its own parity of Vata – Pitta – Kapha.

Panch Bhautik Chikitsa: A Unique Branch of Ayurvedic Medicine
The ayurvedic text Charak Samhita infers that man is an encapsulation of the universe. Inside man, there is as much decent variety as on the planet outside. So also, the outside world is as different as individuals themselves. Panch Bhautik chikitsa uses a wide scope of materia medica including spices, minerals, creature items that are utilized in various states of wellbeing and infection so as to re-establish harmony. The equilibrium of these five elements in the body denotes health and their imbalance denotes disease. Understanding the fundamental principles of Ayurveda will not only help mankind to live a better life.

Ayurveda maintains the health and cures any disease based on the Prakriti of the individual and the imbalances of the doshas present in the individual. With its extraordinary restorative strategies and prescriptions, Ayurveda causes the body to recuperate without anyone else by giving dosha adjusting diets, methods and exercises.
Stay tuned for our next blog on the Doshas that make your exceptional body constitution (Prakriti). In the meantime, you might want to check out your body constitution. Don’t know your Ayurvedic body constitution or Prakriti. Click here to take the free analysis.

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