In simple words, the Pancha Mahabhutas refer to the five sense organs. These are the means through which we perceive the external world. They are the eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue.According to Ayurvedic principles, the Pancha Mahabhutas also help us to absorb the perceived external objects into our bodies as various forms of energy.
Pancha mahabhutas and the universe
Based on the five senses (Pancha Mahabhutas), Ayurveda classifies the entire universe into five groups. The Pancha Mahabhutas of the universe are christened according to their basic qualities as Akasha; Vayu; Agni; Jala; and Prithvi.
The five Mahabhutas also constitute the food and drug ingredients. The respective qualities are realized by the senses in terms of Rasa (taste); Guna (quality); Virjya (potency); and Vipaka (the taste following metabolism and consequent digestion processes).
Ayurveda and Pancha mahabhutas
Technically, every single atom of the human body as well as the outside universe is made up of the five Mahabhutas.
Scientifically an atom is composed of various elements like neutrons, positrons and electrons.
As per the Ayurvedic principles, these elements building up each atom is constituted by the typical attributes of the five Mahabhutas.
The aforementioned different elements constituting the atom are representative of Prithvi Mahabhuta.
The manner in which these elements as well as the atoms stay attracted to each other denote the characteristic feature of Jala Mahabhuta.
An atom is a reservoir of energy. When an atom is broken up, it also produces energy. This potential power of an atom as well as the energy latent in the unbroken atom is Agni Mahabhuta.
The force with which the electrons move, represent the primary characteristic of Vayuv Mahabhuta; while the space in which the atomic constituents travel is the main identity of Akasha Mahabhuta.
It is when the body fails to accomplish the refurbishing and elimination mission, the physique becomes weak -- generally or partially. Enzymatic action is to be blamed for this disorder. Then, we get affected by various types of illnesses.
Explanation of Pancha mahabhutas
The Pancha Mahabhutas theory has been variously explained by the different philosophical schools. Many explanations converge as to the basic concept whereas a few have offered divergently different concepts.
Nonetheless, each one of the theistic philosophical camps agrees with their compatriots in one respect. That common ground of unanimity is one of the basic Ayurvedic principles that the Pancha Mahabhutas constitute the universe.
Mention may be made of the Charaka atheist school of thought; it does not believe in anything that is not perceptible through the naked eye. Hence, it does not accept the fifth Mahabhuta – Akasha (the space wherein the atomic constituents move around).