Five Elements (Pancha Bhoota) – Air, Space, Water, Fire & Earth

By Yoga

Five elements- Human body is composed of the following elements

(1) Air (Vayu)
(2) Space (Akash)
(3) Water (Jal)
(4) Fire (Agni)
(5) Earth (Prithvi)

Proper proportion and integration of these five elements are indicative of life but when these elements disintegrate, death takes place.

Air: Life would not have been possible, had there been no air. Air is life itself. Its conducts, regulates and controls various activities of the human body, including the functioning of the heart, blood circulation, maintains our body’s balance, helps in downward movement of urine and faeces, regulates respiration, nourishes mental faculties, rejuvenates memory, produces sound, causes movement of bile and phlegm in the body. Air is a positive element. Its centre of action is on the lungs, heart, chest, thymus, cell formation, self-control, and it also balances temperament, aids in keeping the heart and mind in a state of purity.


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Space : Space is a negative element that affords enough scope for air to circulate in the body. In the absence of space, air would not have been able to circulate. If circulation is blocked or restricted, it can create congestion in the heart, leading to disorders like paralysis, fainting, heart attack, suffocation and choking. Space is required for all organs of the body to provide the mobility to discharge various functions.

Water : Water, like air, is an essential element without which life would not have existed. The importance of water as a life-saving device can be gauged from the very fact that about 70% of water always remains in the body whereas the rest is consumed and utilised by the body. Without water, fluid content in the body diminishes/depletes leading to serious disorders like constipation and fluid loss, scant or even total loss of urine, kidney failure, and imbalance of elements. It helps to maintain heat and blood circulation. It is a negative element like space.

Fire : It accounts for creating heat in the body, digests food, induces thirst and appetite, keeps flexibility off muscles, beautifies the complexion, promotes thinking process and sharpens discriminative faculty of mind, produces antibodies to fight diseases. Lack of total absence of fire (heat) element leads to various problems in digestive eye-sight, mental derangement, anaemia, fainting spells, epilepsy, production of acidity, apart from sound skin problems. Heat is representative of fire. Lack of heat causes extreme weakness but its excess can cause burning in the eyes, urticarial eruptions, skin boils, dark complexion and its total absence forebode impending death. Fire is a positive element.

Earth : It is a neutral element. Its absence will result in inactivity and inertia in human activity. Obese, easy-going; sloth and fleshly persons are excellent examples of the excessive presence of this matter. Such people are inert, inactive, have no urge to progress in life, are immune and insensible to outside impressions, lack drive and initiative, are slow to run away or keep away from various problems of life. Such people are called ‘LFkwydk;’ in Sanskrit.

Such people are self-centred take pleasure in the momentary joys of life. For a healthy and happy life, these elements must play their respective role in the metabolic process but a person’s food habits, living pattern and hereditary factors disturb their equilibrium in the body, thus inviting various disorders.