Guiding Light: Purity, impurity, and the five elements

As per the science of Ayurveda, everything in life is made up of the five elements which include Aakash (space), Vayu (air or wind), Jal (water), Agni (fire) and Prithvi (earth). We are made up of these five universal elements which are also referred to as the Pancha Mahabhutas. Each of these five elements is unique to one another and contains its own peculiar attributes. They are constantly changing through interactions with each other creating a dynamic flux that keeps the world going.

Each element corresponds to certain parts of the body and responsible for different functions within the human system. Akash corresponds to spaces within the body like the mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc. Vayu represents a movement (muscular); Agni or fire is responsible for the functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism); Jal is in all body fluids (plasma, saliva, digestive juices); and Prithvi is the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair).

Each of these elements also represents certain specific universal traits. Every one of these 5 elements is influenced by another changing its form and characteristics into a brand new element. Aakash tatvam changes and becomes Vayu or wind. When the element of space receives the quality of touch it becomes wind, when the element of wind receives the quality of form it becomes fire and so on.

From a universal point of you, there is no pure or impure. Everything on this planet is said to have a purpose and reason for its existence. The human body is made up of matter which consists of these five different elements. This matter is prone to decay as it comes with a certain degree of shelf life or restricted timelines.

This decay is caused by impurities that exist in the environment surrounding us. While it is impossible to escape this condition what can be done is that the process can be delayed and slowed down considerably. With the help of Prana or breath, one can clean or purify the systems and remove any impurities that occur within this tangible human body.

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