The basic Principals of Ayurvedic Therapy

Five elemental Principles (Pancha Maha Bhutas)

Lord Shiva at the end of his divine cosmic dance out of pure compassion towards the great seers like Sanka, gave the secret of creation by sounding the drum (Damaru) “drumbeat” Nine times and Five times.

With their extra ordinary intuition and wisdom the sages understood the meaning of this message. Sounding of the drum five times nine times represented the nine planetary forces and five times represented the five elemental principles. These forces and principles control, operate and guide everything in the universe. The five elemental principles that form the building blocks for all material existence are Ether or Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.They saw the harmonious connection and complex interplay between energy and matter. This fundamental knowledge later became the basis for the science of Ayurveda, Jyothish (Astrology) and Vaastu (Vedic science of art and placement).

Jyotish describes the logistics of the planetary forces and how they operate and influence our life. Ayurveda tells us in what proportion and through which elements those forces function for optimum health. vaastu guides us in harmonizing these energies through structures and design. When these forces are allowed to express and operate optimally, a perfect natural order gets established. Thus, the three sciences are the knowledge base for holistic understanding of our existence and wellness.

According to Vedas, there is nothing beyond these five elemental principles in the physical world. Under varying conditions these principles attract, repel, bind and blend with one another in unending ways, in a cosmic dance. Being in tune with this dance is the secret of health and wellness.

The Vedas explain that Ether (Akasha) is the pure space that manifests first from the pure consciousness. But this pure space is not nothingness; it is full of particles. As sub atomic physics explains, the very first manifestation of matter is both a wave and a particle, depending on the observer’s point of view, changing from energy to matter and matter to energy in less than a trillionth of a second. Our mind and thoughts are comparable to this first elemental principle, Ether or Space.

When Ether gets more dense, atoms and molecules are produced. This principle is called Air (Vaayu). Air principle should not be confused with gases like , Oxygen, Hydrogen Nitrogen or any such other gasses. They are all part of the air principle, which is movement. Even thinking from one thought to another is air principle.

When the movement becomes intense the Fire (Agni) principle evolves. It is the principle behind all metabolic activities and synthesis and assimilation of information. It expresses as heat in the non sentient.

From the Fire principle, the water principle (Jala) is evolved. One may wonder how water (liquid principle) comes from fire. The basic knowledge of physics tells us that when Hydrogen (air principle) burns (fire principle) water is produced!! Also intense heat liquefies any matter.From the liquid (Jala) principle Earth (Solid) principle is evolved.

These five principles, which are the building blocks of the physical universe do not exist as individual entities. They are always intertwined and may appear predominantly as one or the other principle.

Our body, mind and spirit are also made up of these five principles both at the grosser(physical), subtler (Astral) and causal (Spirit) levels.

Our five sense objects– ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose and their underlying subtler functions, sound, touch, vision, taste and smell are governed by the following elemental principles. Sound by Space, touch by Air, vision by Fire, taste by Water and smell by Earth.


This means: three governing principles, which govern the entire physiology and psychology of every living being. They are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Vata is made up of Space and Air: governs all the movements and thoughts.

Pitta is made up of Fire and Water: governs all the metabolic activities and synthesis and assimilation of thoughts.

Kapha is made up of Watr and Earth.: governs all the adhesion, lubrication and emotions.

Seven Dhatus

Human body is made up of seven vital tissues called Dhatus. Dhatu in Samskrit means “that, which binds together”. These are:

life sap or equivalent to plasma or lymphatic fluid (rasa), blood (rakta), muscles (mamsa), fatty tissue (medha), bones (asthi), bone marrow and nervous tissue (majja) and semen and reproductive system (shukra).

Each of these Dhatus, gets converted from one to the other starting from the first Dhatu, Rasa. The conversion process takes place through the action of a particular Dhatu Agni (fire) Agni in this context means the metabolic activity supported by a particular hormone or amino acid and the metabolic sequence for this conversion is very specific and happens in a very orderly manner. Proper Agni is very important for this process and to be healthy. Under normal circumstances it takes thirty days from the intake of a food to be converted to the final Dhatu Sukra. However there is one exception to this. That is cow’s milk. Milk gets converted to Sukra Dhatu within 24 Hours.

(Cow in Samskrit is pronounced as GOU. Gou means Jnana, (true wisdom/consciousness) In the Vedic culture the cow is respected as a very holy animal and is being worshipped in the Hindu culture. This has the most profound and deeper meaning. It is both physical and spiritual. Unless the meaning and purpose of one’s life is understood at the cosmic level it is difficult to comprehend this statement. Cow is also known as Kama Dhenu, meaning one who fulfils all the desires. The desire in Samskrit is called Kama. Kama is the subtle essence of the final 7th Dhatu called Sukra. This Dhatu is very important for fulfilling one’s physical desires. When there is enough Sukra Dhatu in the body, the subtler transformation of this Dhatu, which operates at the astral and causal level, is known as OJAS. The quantity of ojas in each person’s body are only a few drops. When there is deficiency of Ojas in the body, the person looses both inner and outer beauty and succumbs to terminal diseases. AIDS is one disease where the Ojas is totally depleted.

There is no other food, which gets converted straight to Sukra Dhatu without going through the other six Dhatus. This is the reason why a cow is called Kama Dhenu. Since the true purpose of Kama is attainment of Self realization, cow is, in reality the giver of Self knowledge. This was understood by the sages in their silence. They were called Rishis. Rishi means, one who speaks the TRUTH. Lord Krishna in the Hindu mythology is always portrayed being with a cow. Vedas also mention that all the demigods live in a cow’s body. Hence a cow is worshipped.

When the cow’s milk is fermented we get Yogurt (curds) then butter and finally ghee (clarified butter). In Ayurveda all these products are used in various therapies and as medicines. An animal, which plays such a vital role in one’s life at all levels of existence, is without a doubt worth worshipping. Cow’s urine and dung is used in many medicines and as a natural manure. Slaughtering, torturing a cow is unthinkable to anyone who understands the meaning and purpose of life. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavadgita: “Among the cows, I am the “Kama Dhenu”