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All About Ayurveda

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Ayurveda tells us about the Three Energies operating in the Universe!

In our previous post, we spoke about the Five Elements that constitute life, namely Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space. Now let’s try and understand the energies that are operating in the universe.

Ayurveda says that there are three principal energies governing the entire cosmos. There is no other energy apart from these three that is operating in the universe. These energies are termed as Doshas in Ayurveda and are present in every single living and non-living being.

Have you ever wondered why different individuals behave differently, if all of us are made up of the same Five Elements – Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space? Why is it that a rock never moves while a seed grows into a plant and then into a tree? Why is it that human beings can eat food and convert it into bodily energy while a stone remains still? Why is it that one person is restless while the other is calm and contained? Why is it that some people are hyperactive while some others are plain lazy?

The answer to all the above-mentioned questions lies in the concentration of the energies that we are all made up of. A stone has intense Kapha or binding energy and that is why it is hard, but has no life and cannot move. A restless mind has high Vata or energy of movement, while an angry person could have high Pitta.

Without confusing you further, let’s break it down for you:

Ayurveda believes that there are three energies operating in the universe or cosmos - 1) The binding energy or Kapha, 2) The energy of transformation or Pitta and 3) The energy of movement or Vata.

1) The binding energy or Kapha: Kapha is the combination of Earth and Water Elements. It is sticky, heavy and keeps things together. A rock is solid and hard because it has a lot of Kapha in it. Kapha is what keeps our body in shape and our cells together. Excessive Kapha could lead to heaviness, dullness, lethargy etc. And that’s the reason why people with a Kapha constitution could be on the heavier side and tend to be lazy at times.

2) The transformational energy or Pitta: Pitta is Fire. It transforms things from one form to another. The digestive fire or Agni in our body transforms the food that we eat into nutrients. If we burn wood then it gets transformed into ash. So, anything that transforms is Pitta. Pitta individuals are aggressive, fiery, determined and highly focused. But when out of balance, they could get bossy, dictatorial etc and could be angered easily. More on that later.

3) The energy of movement or Vata: Vata is the combination of Air and Space. The food that we eat moves from our mouth to our gastrointestinal tract. Our thoughts move from one direction to another. We as human beings move from one place to another. All this is governed by Vata. Vata is the energy of vibrancy, dynamism and movement. Vata individuals are creative, airy and mobile. They can jump from one thought to another in no time. And that’s the reason why they could be so indecisive.

So, Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the three energies that are governing the universe: either there is something that is binding or is causing a transformation or is making things move. There is no other energy operating in the cosmos apart from these three.

The three energies or the Doshas also determine the way we look, feel, eat, behave, think etc. More on that later…

For now, stay tuned, as up next we will talk about the connection between the Five Elements and the three Doshas or energies.

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