Dosha and Five Element Theory | Everyday Ayurveda

Ayurveda Theory and Philosophy

Dosha Theory

Before the Dosha emerges, the three Gunas of nature give rise to the five elements (Pancha Mahabhutas). Sattva gives the element of ether. Rajas gives fire. Tamas gives earth. Between Sattva and Rajas arises the subtle but mobile element of air. Between Rajas and Tamas arises the element of water.

These elements are the five states of matter: solid, liquid, radiant, gaseous and ethereal. They represent the potential densities of any substance in the universe, as well as psycho-emotional states of mind and heart.

These five elements then combine to create the three different basic types of human constitution (Doshas).

  • From ether and air comes Vata
  • From fire and an aspect of water comes Pitta
  • From water and earth comes Kapha

By the elements and Doshas, Ayurveda determines the basic nature of different individuals and establishes a line of treatment unique to their needs.

Determining Individual Constitution

Individual constitution is determined at birth and is the same throughout life. The three general types are determined according to the predominant Dosha, but combinations and variations also exist. Two Doshas may exist in equal strengths. The balance of Doshas will show typical conditions and tendencies towards excess.

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