Fire is a potent and supreme element which governs our body as well as mind. Many of us may not know about the connotation between the fire and our life. But have we ever thought, how our digestive system functions? How we get into the grip of agitation, anxiety, pain or burning sensation sometimes? That’s just because of fire known as “Tejas“ in Sanskrit and simply “Agni” in Ayurveda.
Concept of Fire in Ancient Ayurveda:
According to Ayurveda, there are 5 types of fire in our body. Namely: 1) Paachak agni which is the fire helping the process of digestion, 2) Saadhak agni, governing the intellect, ideas and allowing for understanding, 3) Alochak agni is the fire that helps in perceiving and visualising the images and related to eyes, 4) Ranjak agni rejuvenates the body and gives the body its colour by ignition, and 5) Bhraajak agni, the fire that digests the sunlight and proffers the body with radiance and healthy skin. All these fires work together to nourish the body, pertaining to respective allocations .That’s why we generally come across hearing doctors, that the digestive fire happens to be weak in case of indigestion. For this reason we tend to take those foods which are associated with the high fiery properties (known as Pitta in nature) like high spicy, salty and soury or lighter (easier to burn) foods. Pitta is one of the three main Doshas present in the body and is the dominant carrier of fire and water in the body. When this constituent is imbalanced, disorders like aggressiveness, heartburn, irritability, redness, swelling, stomachache, fever, insomnia, nausea etc. usually occur. When the fire is high, we feel heat and when the fire is depleted in the body, we feel cold. Thus, it’s necessary to keep this element and also the rest of the co-existing elements in balance by eating a healthy diet and adopting a right lifestyle.
Hindu mythology: Agni; the mainstay of life
According to Hindu ideology, the body is made up of five crucial elements, ie: water (jal), air (vaayu), fire (agni), vaccum (akaash) and earth (prithvi) which are known as “Pancha Mahabhootas”. During the formation of a foetus, all these five elements come together and co-exist in his or her body, untill the foetus matures into an individual and ultimately meets the end. It’s a law of nature, “what is taken, should be returned back to the nature.” So, when a person dies, we cremate the body and by doing so, all the five bodily elements are turned back to the nature. The heat (inside the fire) of the body goes along with the FIRE, air inside our system goes with the AIR, ashes left behind are carried away with the WATER, rest of the particles left on ground are taken by the EARTH. When the skin coating is lost, the VACCUM constituting the body also disposes off, simultaneously. When the fire is extinguished, a person dies and body becomes cold. The temperature of the body is felt only because of FIRE. Hence, the Fire plays a significant role from birth to death, in the context of lifecycle of human beings.
“The discovery of fire was a discovery of life in a disguise.” It’s unusual to say but, the human survival would not have been possible if there was no Fire ever known to us. Be its role inside the human body or outside in day to day life’s phenomena.
In the anger management process, correction of various health issues like heartburn, poor peripheral blood regulation, sciatica pain and swelling in legs, various gynaecological disorders like issues during menstruation, the underlying cause which needs to be treated, is again the imbalanced Pitta dosha (governing fire) in the body. For this purpose, use of silver proves to be very beneficial because of its cooling properties. Drinking of silver water, a kind of decoction made by boiling 2 cups of water along with a piece of pure silver in a vessel and thereafter, bringing into use the remaining half left quantity (1cup) of silver water. Taking of 1 tsp of this silver water twice or thrice a day has been reported very effective in treating patients with severe pitta disorders. Silver reacts well with earth’s energy that’s why it is better to wear it on the lower parts of the body. At the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre and through its linked sources, we emphasise on making each and every one aware of the basic facts that are needed to bring about the lifestyle changes inside the individual and reshaping the mould of life to envision a better and healthy future. After all, a calm mind and physically stable body is all that one needs in today’s time. It’s strange that we live in so close association with the nature, yet, never understand its significance in our life. Every tiny thing present around us effects our living.
HIMALAYAN IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE
Dr. Shruti Bhardwaj