Mayu ~ Veda
Evolving Ayurveda
Why Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic meaning of Health
Definition of Health
Aim of Ayurveda
Branches of Ayurveda
Globalisation of Ayurveda
Pancha Karma
  About Mayu ~ Veda  
Skilled, dexterous and empowered by the Divine for healing is our left hand, for it removes blocks in the free flow of joy. And yet more potent is this divinely empowered right hand, for it contains all medicinal capacities of the universe, its all auspicious healing touch bringing peace, harmony, welfare, opulence, joy and liberation from all toxic conditions of matter - birth, death, old age and disease." -Atharva Veda

Within all of us is the arch type of the divine healer. This divine healer is the true healer in all beings, not any particular individual or special personality. To heal ourselves or others we must set in motion within ourselves. Dhanvatari, an incarnation of the God Vishnu, the eminent divine consciousness represents this truth in the tradition of Ayurveda. The god is a reminder that how ever much we know or skilful we become, everything still depends on the grace of the spiritual nature.

Pancha Mahabhuta

In Western medicine the person is viewed as an amalgamation of cells and tissues forming organs. However according to Ayurveda all objects in the Universe including the human body are composed of five basic elements (Pancha Mahabhuta’s) namely, earth, water, fire, air and ether. There is a balanced condensation of these elements in different proportions to suit the needs and requirements of different structures and functions of the body matrix and its parts. The growth and development of the body matrix depends on its nutrition, i.e. on food. The food, in turn, is composed of the above five elements, which replenish or nourish the like elements of the body after the action of bio-fire (Agni).
The tissues of the body are the structural whereas humours (Doshas) are physiological entities, derived from different combinations and permutations of Pancha Mahabhuta’s.
Life in Ayurveda is conceived as the union of body, senses, mind and soul. The living man is a conglomeration of three humours (Vata, Pitta &Kapha), seven basic tissues (Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja & Shukra) and the waste products of the body such as faeces, urine and sweat. Thus the total body matrix comprises of the humours, the tissues and the waste products of the body. The growth and decay of this body matrix and its constituents revolve around food which gets processed into humours, tissues and wastes. Ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation and metabolism of food have an interplay in health and disease which are significantly affected by psychological mechanisms as well as by bio- fire(Agni).


The life has three basic characteristics. First, it possesses the quality of performing self-activities and movements without any external help. In the external environment, Vayu Mahabhuta is responsible for providing the required force for the various movements. But for proper movements of Vayu, the uninterrupted space (Akasha) is an essential requirement. Therefore both Vayu and Akasha Mahabhuta are complementary to each other for the movements. This may be one of the reasons that by combining the Akasha and Vayu Mahabhuta, the concept of Vata Dosha was evolved that is responsible for all the movements in the body.

The second most important difference between the living and nonliving is that the living beings have the power to generate the energy by themselves for their activities, while nonliving depends on the external source of energy for their movements. For the purpose, the required fuel is obtained from the food, which in turn requires some processes to make it fit for as simulation in the living body as well as to get energy from it. For this purpose digestion and metabolism processes are necessary. As process of transformation (Paka) comes under the preview of Agni Mahabhuta, therefore the concept of Pitta was evolved which comprises mainly of Agni Mahabhuta. In this way Pitta is the second basic unit of the living beings that is responsible for all types of digestion & metabolism in body.

The next important requirement for the living beings is to have a compact and viable structure, for which the involvement of Prithvi Mahabhuta is necessary. Further, for sustaining of the life, it is very essential that the tissues and cells must remain immersed in the liquid environment, so both liquid and solid are the essential requirement for sustaining the life. Hence, by taking this point in to consideration the ancient scholars of Ayurveda evolved the concept of Kapha, which comprises of both Jala and Prithvi Mahabhuta. Kapha is mainly responsible for all the living structure of the body with fluidly environment.

In this way from Ayurvedic point of view the three primary units of life, which are Vata. Pitta and Kapha. As all the functions attributed to Dosha are related with the living cell. So they are present in every cell of the body. However, depending upon the nature of function of a particular group of cells or tissues, the proportion of Dosha may differ. In some cells which are attributed general functions, they may be present in equal proportion. On the other hand where the group of cells or tissue attributed some specialized functions may have dominance of that Dosha which is closely related with those functions and other Dosha least related may be present in lesser proportion. For instances the nervous tissues are more related with movements, so it has the dominance of Vata but Pitta and Kapha are also there may be in lesser proportion. Similarly the organs related with digestion and metabolism has dominance of Pitta with significant presence of Vata and little of Kapha.

It is obvious from the foregoing that Ayurveda has the unique doctrine of Tridosha. These basic units of the living organism are responsible for the different physiological and psychological functions. The Dosha in turn depends purely upon the Pancha-Mahabhuta theory of the Indian Philosophy. For instances Vata is derived from Akasha and Vayu Mahabhuta, Pitta from Agni and Jala and Kapha from Jala and Prithvi Mahabhuta. The proper functioning and equilibrium of these three Dosha are essential for health and any abnormality in their function or disturbance may lead to disease.

Vata Dosha

Vata Dosha is derived from Akasha and Vayu Mahabhuta. The main properties of Vata are dry, cold, light, subtle moving, clear and rough. Its function can be understood in the light of these properties. Vata initiates, controls, regulates, coordinates and performs all types of movement in the body. Free movement requires uninterrupted space, which is provided by its constituent of Akasha Mahabhuta and the force required for movement is provided by its constituent of Vayu Mahabhuta.

Pitta Dosha

Pitta, which is made up mainly of Agni Mahabhuta, performs all the functions of digestion and metabolism. Pitta has hot, sharp, liquid, sour, pungent, flowing and unctuous properties. It is responsible for heat, vision, appetite, thirst, softness, intelligence, power of understanding and complexion.
Its main seats of actions are lower part of stomach, small intestine, liver, spleen, blood, lymph, sweat, skin and sense organs of vision. Its specific seat of action is the small Intestine.

Kapha Dosha

Kapha is derived from Jala and Prithvi Mahabhuta and its main function is to unite. Its properties are heavy, slow, smooth, white, thick, soft, unctuous, stable, viscous and sweet.

Vata is the Leader

Vata, Pitta and Kapha are very important for the function of living cell, but Vata is leader of the remaining two. In Ayurveda Pitta and Kapha have been said as lame as their activities are impossible without the help of Vata. For instances, enzymes belonging to Pitta are present in the body mainly in inert form and cannot produce chemical reaction unless they are secreted, activated and brought into contact and all these functions are of Vata. The proper shape and presence of minute pours in the cell are essential for its survival. Similarly Kapha, which represent the living-cell, its shape and channels are due to Vata. It also governs division of a cell. The living cells require material for the repair of wear and tear caused by day-to-day strains and stresses. Vata is essential for bringing the required materials at site of the cell for this purpose.

After Dosha, the next most important constituent of the body is Dhatu (tissue). It provides a solid and living structure to the body and has the dual function of maintaining as well nourishing the body. Seven Dhatu present in the body are Rasa (lymph tissue), Rakta (blood tissue), Mamsa (muscular tissue), Medas (fat tissue), Asthi (bone tissue), Majja (bone marrow tissue) and Shukra (reproductive tissue).

Rasa: During digestion, the ingested food is broken down so that it may be assimilated. This nutrient portion in the digestive system is known as Ahara Rasa (food nutrient) but when absorbed into the body, it is transformed into Rasa Dhatu. Rasa is absorbed from the intestine by the action of Samana Vayu and then it circulates all over the body by the action of Vyana Vayu. One meaning of Rasa is moving which indicates its continuous movement all over the body in order to nourish tissues and organs. Its main function is to provide nutrition for maintenance, development and repair of bodily tissues. All the other tissues get nutrition from Rasa. Its seat of function is all the Dosha, Dhatu, Mala and organs situated all over the body.

Rakta (Blood): The red colored Rakta (blood) is formed from Rasa by the action of Ranjaka Pitta. Blood is the root cause of life which provides complexion and nourishes Mamsa (muscular tissue).

Mamsa (Muscular Tissue): Mamsa provides strength to the body and nourishes Medas Dhatu. It envelops the body to protect the internal organs of the body.

Medas (Lipid Tissue): Medas provides unctuousness and firmness to the body. Sweat is considered as its waste product, Medas nourishes bone.

Asthi (Bone tissue): Asthi Dhatu supports the body, keeps it upright, and nourishes Majja Dhatu.

Majja Dhatu (Bone marrow): Majja fills the bones. It provides all types of strength and immunity to the body, unctuousness and attraction. It nourishes Shukra Dhatu.

Shukra Dhatu (Reproductive tissue): The main function of Shukra is reproduction. It also provides strength, patience, attraction, sexual satisfaction, nourishment and life.


The vital essence of all the Dhatus, which is known as Ojas, is essential for the maintenance of life. All living creatures are nourished by it and its absence leads to the cessation of life. It is first to enter the heart as it begins to develop in embryonic life. Its main seat is the heart from where it is distributed all over the body. Its color is said to be like that of ghee (reddish yellow), its taste like that of honey and its smell like that of roasted paddy (Laja).

As honey is collected by bees from various fruits and flowers, so Ojas is also the nectar or essence and is the end product of various physiological processes.
It is also known as Bala (strength) because it provides strength to the body in terms of physical, mental, immunological strength and resistance to disease.
Ojas is an important factor in providing stable and well-developed musculature, with which one is able to easily perform all types of actions. It influences voice and complexion and aids in the proper functioning of the senses, motor organs and mind.

Ojas is of two type’s i.e. Para (primary) and Apara (secondary). Para-Ojas is situated in the heart where it sustains life. On the other hand, Apara-Oja circulates all over the body through the circulatory system. The measure of Para-oja has been mentioned as eight drops while Apara-oja is half an Anjali (equal to the quantity hold in palm).

Mala (Waste Products)

During the process of digestion and metabolism certain waste products known as Mala are formed in the body which has to be excreted from the body, otherwise they may vitiate the body tissue. Their proper regulation is important in the maintenance of health, because their retention or excessive elimination may lead to the disease state.


Agni means fire and it is responsible for all types of digestion and metabolism in the body. Pitta performs its digestion and metabolism functions due to the Agni component present within it and due to which, Pitta and Agni are sometimes considered one and the same. Pachakagni, Bhutagni and Dhatvagni are the main types of Agni. These have the functions of digestion, catabolism and anabolism respectively.

2009 All rights reserved.
Mayu - Veda, 467 Great Horton Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD7 3DL, England,   Email: