Have you ever wondered what the reason for your existence is?
Have you ever thought about why humans are humans?
Why did humans have different structures than others?
What makes us different with different abilities?
It’s a fact that an atom has 99% empty space. We are also built the same. If such a fact is true, and we condense ourselves, the entire humanity in the world would fit in a basketball. But it’s not possible. Why?
Biologically, we are formed of a basic unit known as Cell. Within cells there are different functional units. Modern science specifics all these functions in a complex way. But be it modern science or Ayurveda, the principle and nature remains constant.
In Ayurveda, origin of body is stated by two laws:
1. “Yat Pinde Tat Brahmande” – Principle of one’s life is the same as that of the universe.
2. “Yat Brahmande Tat Pinde” – Principle of universe is same as that of one’s life.
Now, since nature is based on five elements known as Panchamahabhutas, a body should also be based on the same. The Panchamahabhutas are Prithvi (Earth), Aap (Water), Tej (Fire), Vayu (Air), and Aakash (Space). These Panchamahabhutas and one’s consciousness together makes one’s body.
The five sensory organs of the body are made up of these Panchamahabhutas;
1. Ears – Aakash (space) via. Shabda (sound)
2. Skin – Vayu (air) via. Sparsha (touch)
3. Eyes – Tej (fire) via. Roopa (view)
4. Tongue – Aapa (water) via. Rasa (taste)
5. Nose – Prithvi (earth) via. Gandha (smell)
Thus, the body is composed of Panchamahabhutas. When the body is working, these Panchamahabhutas get burnt and degenerate. After degeneration, these get converted into Panchamahabhutas again. Thus the first law of thermodynamics, “energy can neither be created nor be destroyed, but can be transformed from one form to another” , holds true.
Further, Visarg (giving strength), Aadan (removal of strength) and Vikshepa (movement); behind these three things, there are three strengths of nature – Chandra (moon), Surya (sun) and Vayu (wind). In Ayurveda, these are known as Tridoshas namely, Kapha, Pitta and Vata Dosha. These Doshas integrate or disintegrate the components of the body.
Kapha is a white coloured, cold, heavy, thick, sticky type liquid substance. It is a defence system, responsible for strength, stability and resistance.
Pitta is hot, sharp, has a strong smell and a bit of expansive property. It performs activities of metabolism, digestion and produces heat.
Vata is dry, moderately cold, movable and a tiny substance. It is responsible for the movements all over the body. It initiates an action and also controls it.
In the universe, the sun creates a dryness effect on earth; whereas the moon creates cold effects on Earth. Thus the effect of both is maintained, and life is sustainable on Earth. If the Sun or moon dominates, life won’t be sustainable on Earth. The same goes for the theory of Tridosha. Body is well maintained or sustained in the presence of a proper ratio of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Further, Charaka explains that body parts can be divided into innumerable individual components called “Paramanus”. According to Charaka “Paramanus are innumerable because of their huge number, highly minute structure and limited perspective ability of sense organ.” This Paramanus in modern science is termed as a Cell.
Further, when groups of cells come together, they form tissues. In Ayurveda these tissues are known as Dhatus. There are seven Dhatus in human body:
1. Rasa Dhatu: It is analogous to Plasma of the human body. This is flowing and it’s dominant element is Jala (water). It is aided by Vata’s mobility and it defines the role of circulation of hormones, nutrients and proteins within the body.
2. Rakta Dhatu: It is analogous to blood in the human body. The Agni (fire) is it’s dominant element. It gets its red colour from Pitta. It is responsible for transportation of oxygen and nutrients within the body.
3. Mamsa: It is analogous to muscles. It covers all the organs and is related to strength and stability. It is influenced by Kapha Dosha.
4. Meda : It is analogous to fat tissues in the human body. It is solid and firm. It’s dominant elements are Jala and Prithvi (earth). It is responsible for storage of fat and energy within the body.
5. Asthi: It is analogous to bones of the human body. It gives the body it’s stability. It is nourished by the food consumed.
6. Majja : It is analogous to bone marrow within the body. It is associated with the nervous system within the body. It governs the metabolic process in the brain and spinal cord.
7. Sukhra: It is the form of energy known as Ojas. It’s analogous to the reproductive system of the human body. It is responsible for life, vitality and energy of the body. It is predominantly influenced by Kapha Dosha.
Every Dosha and Dhatus have their own significance within the body. A well maintained body is the one which has all the Doshas , Dhatus stabilised. We can also conclude that, body is made up of Panchamahabhutas and are responsible for our existence. This was all about the basic composition of the body.