Before we understand Panch-mahabhita, it is good to understand our core nature, मूल प्रकृति or our base class.
Here is the first part of N-part series.
शरीर, as per Sanskrit roots, is that which continuously undergoes destruction, catabolic nature. Degeneration, decay, to be rendered to pieces are natural phenomenon for शरीर.
देह , as per Sanskrit roots, that which continuously grow, anabolic nature. To develop and grow into larger identity is natural phenomenon for देह.
काया = शरीर + देह = Anabolic + Catabolic = Construction + Destruction
Ayurveda works on three level of Sharir
1) स्थूल (Gross Body) २) शुक्ष्म (Subtle body) ३) कारण (Casual body)
Gross body is made up of 5 basic elements i.e. पंचमहाभूत
Subtle body is made up of 5 तन्मात्रा (English translation – Sorry I don’t have)
Casual body signifies त्रिगुण (sattva, rajas, tamas) impressions.
5 basic elements are
आकाश, वायु, अग्नि, जल, पृथ्वी
Their essence is called तन्मात्रा
तन्मात्रा(s) are subtle and beyond our perceptions. They are unmixed with other kind of material, property or energy.
Before we discuss 5 elements, contemplate upon this aspect of life.