“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ― Nikola Tesla. We have already seen the 5 elements that make up the material world. These elements, per Ayurveda, also form the basis of the subtle energies. In fact, there is a close interaction between the elements of matter and the energies of function. In other words, while the building blocks of structure give a form to any substance, the energies ensure its adequate operation.
Ayurveda recognizes 3 vital energies or ‘doshas’ of nature which are fundamental for universal functioning. The energy of movement and transportation called ‘Vata,’ the energy of transformation called ‘Pitta,’ and the energy of cohesion and lubrication called ‘Kapha.’
Each of these in turn is connected to the basic elements as follows: Vata is composed of space and air, Pitta of fire and minimally water, Kapha of earth and water. To explore further, let us learn the qualities of these doshas. Each dosha derives its qualities from its constitutional elements. So, ponder for a moment, the feeling of a touch of breeze or the air element. It feels cool. Air dries out moisture, while space expands and is subtle and light. Thus, Vata dosha (space and air) has the qualities of light, dry and cold. Following a similar line of thinking, fire is hot and sharp while super-heated metal liquefies and spreads. Pitta (fire and water) has the qualities of hot, light, sharp, liquid and spreading. Similarly, Kapha (earth and water) adopts its elemental qualities of heavy, cold, static, moist, soft and cloudy.
While the above is not a complete list of all their qualities, it gives us a starting point on the ‘tridoshas’ or the 3 energies. The tridoshas are responsible for all governing functions, external and internal, body and mind, anabolic and catabolic, growth, sustenance, and disintegration. The concept of elements and energies are at the very root of the Ayurvedic system of healing.
Ayurveda: The Science of Life
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