Pancha Bhutha - the five elements and it's significance to the food.
In Ayurveda and Indian philosophy, we give lots of importance to the Pancha Bhutha or Five Elements. They are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. They represent the physical and energetic qualities of the human body and overall health of human being. Any disorder in us indicates that there is imbalance of one or more of these elements.
Earth (Prithvi) - when this element is in balance, we feel grounded, secure, and capable of handling life's challenges.
Water (Jala) - this element represents emotions and intuition. It is associated to sense of taste, the productive system and is present in blood, lymph and sweat.
Fire (Agni) - it is associated transformation, energy, passion and vitality. It is related to sense of sight and is present in bodily function such as digestion and metabolism.
Air (Vayu) - it is associated with movement, lightness, communication and expansion - it is the sense of touch and is in bodily functions such as respiration and circulation.
Space (Akash) - it is associated with emptiness, clarity, consciousness, spirituality and infinite possibility. It is the sense of speech and hearing and the endocrine glands that controls metabolism.
You might wonder why is that I am choosing to write about this - simply because it is associated with food too.
I have seen my father set up his catering kitchens in different and difficult terrains, he will prepare with bricks the fire station, smear it with turmeric and colored turmeric, make a prayer to the Fire element requesting it stays calm and contained and helps cook food that will help appease the fire here equivalent to hunger of the people eating it. I follow the same prayer before I start cooking every time.
One of the other elements is Jala or water. Before the food is served, he would prepare a plate with all the food and offer it to the Gods by sprinkling water around. He would pray that the food not only fills the stomach but also nourishes their mind and soul.
We eat our food with our hand, as we believe the five fingers represent the five elements and when together it grabs the food it creates a combined energy of five elements which is very important to a health living.
I pray and hope this blog helps the readers understand how everything is inter linked and knowing helps being mindful.