Part 3 here...
In this part let me initially take a philosophical angle to the elements and then on some interesting aspects of our body.
a. Elements and abstract qualities
Since the 5 elements form the bed rock of all matter in this world let us look at what they represent within us and also outside us.
· Earth – Stability, Perseverance and steadfastness.
· Water – Agent for change and also the carrier.
· Fire - Transformational agent. It’s considered as form without substance.
· Air - Air is existence without form and it is an agent for dynamism and movement.
· Space - It’s the field, source and represents the concept of distance for vibration.
As we become more and more sensitive to ourselves and the environment we start observing the primacy of the elements of nature within us. This is when our actual self discovery starts. All the elemental nature is stored within us as memories and they are as follows:
· Earth memory is in the heart
· Water memory is in the kidneys
· Fire memory is in the intestines
· Air memory is in the lungs
· Ether memory is in the brain
b. Life, Fire and Disease
· As one wise man said, “The body is nothing but fire”. The extent to which Hinduism and some of the other religions pray Agni as god can be understood from the fact that if there is NO AGNI then there is NO LIFE. A balanced fire component in the body is the most important aspect for health and longevity.
· Pitta is the container, Agni is the content. Pitta is gross and Agni is subtle. In the same measure there is a subtle component to Agni too. This is called “Tejas”. This is the illumed radiance around an individual which is a direct result of managing the fire component in the right way.
· It is told that there are 40 different Agnis in our body. Mainly 13 of them (1 digestive fire, 5 in the liver – this converts food into 5 elements for the bodily tissues and 7 agnis in 7 bodily tissues).
· When we exercise well a good Agni is maintained and hence digestion is good and so is health.
· When Agni is imbalanced then food isn’t properly digested and results in a condition called AMA. This is an internal toxin and the initial stage of on setting of diseases in the body.
· There are 3 things important to be noted:
o When AMA accumulates it tends to putrefy and ferment within the intestines and spread throughout the body resulting in disease. That does not digest, ferments.
o Now if I tell you that the first signs of AMA as it tends to accumulate is seen as a coating in the tongue accompanied with some lethargy and stiffness in the body, then would it not be possible for you to keep your tongue clean and lead an healthy life? The fact that this is so non-invasive, simple and yet very effective is what prompted me to share this blog.
o Before we get to that if I state the popular reasons as to what causes Agni disorder then you would be surprised all the factors are absolutely part of our current day life style - Eating at inappropriate times, overeating especially having a large meal in the evening, eating junk devitalized food that is difficult to digest, excessive sleep, anger, grief, consumption of excessive fluids and frequent changes in dietary habits.
· For any treatment to be effective the first step is to clear the body of its AMA (toxins). Traditional alternative therapies start with this step and this cures most of the diseases to a great extent. But the wise would try and avoid formation of this AMA.
· Symptoms of having this AMA in the body are:
o You wake up tired, feel lethargic and don’t feel hunger after long hours of eating.
o General aches and pains, lacks mental clarity, heaviness in the abdomen, legs, heart burn and possibly gas bloating.
o The most important of it is the coating in the tongue especially upon waking up in the morning.
· Let us check some quick ways of busting AMA:
o Eating freshly prepared, enzyme rich food (not frozen, microwaved and stale).
o Have the largest meal as lunch, avoid meat consumption and fluid / water intake 30 minutes before meal and 30 minutes after meal.
o Avoid taking bath 45 minutes before meal and 2.5 hours after meal.
o Herbal teas, warm water, deep belly exercises do help.
In summary so far, we went through some of the basics, un-manifested connections between elements, tastes and health, importance of fire in maintaining health, AMA as the first stage of the disease and that the signs of every disease is first seen in the tongue as a coating. In the next section let us check out as to how to read the tongue.