The Doshas Explained

The images from this blog’s banner represent the panchamahabhutas (five great elements): ether, air, fire, water, earth.

In the vast world of Ayurveda, the subject that gets the most attention is the doshas. You may have heard about the doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) from listening to Dr. Oz, in magazines, or just in general on the Interwebs.

There’s a lot of misinformation about what the doshas are, why they’re important, and how to balance them, but to truly understand the doshas, you have to first understand five great elements (called pachamahabhutas in Sanskrit or MBs for short).

Every living thing, every inanimate object, pretty much everything and everyone in the Universe, as Ayurveda sees it, is built from these five elements. The MBs determine physical characteristics, personalities, what diseases we are prone to, sleep patterns, to name a few.

From subtle to gross, smallest to largest, the mahabhutas are:

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