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Preface to Ayurveda, the Science of Life

Updated: Jan 16, 2021

Ayurveda means the science of life and advocates that the microcosm is no different from the macrocosm. Thus our body is the mirror of the universe and is constantly changing as it has to adapt to the changing environment and the repetitive circular patterns.

According this system, there are three basic forces or energies each of which exerts a strong influence on the body and mind for 4 hours, two times in 24 hours.

These physical forces that control the complex activities of the human body as well as the activities that support the whole universe, are called the "three dosha": Kapha, Pitta, Vata.

These life forces are represented by the Sun, the Moon and the Wind as well as the 5 elements.

The Sun is the energy of transformation, is represented by fire and corresponds to the Pitta or fiery biological temperament of man. With its light and heat, it helps beings to grow. Pitta life force gradually develops the body by converting food through the process of digestion.

Pitta-type people have a muscular build, are very athletic and become strong leaders.

The phenomenon is very similar to the renewal of the earth after a volcanic eruption.

The Moon is the means of cooling, is represented by the combination of earth and water and corresponds to the Kapha. Through its watery and emotional action it contributes to the nourishment of things. Kapha life force is the binding nature of water energy. Its cohesive nature gives stability to the body and is responsible for maintaining creation.

Kapha-type people are strong, thick-boned and caring.

The Wind energy is the beginning of movement, is represented by the combination of air and space(ether) and corresponds to Vata life force. The Wind with its movements and fluctuations stimulates things.

In nature, its destructive action is reflected by hurricanes, cyclones, storms and earthquakes.

Vata dominant people are usually slim, energetic and creative.They are easily distracted and highly dependent on the weather, people around them and foods they eat.

All the activities of the universe and consequently of the human body are performed based on the three basic functions:
Creation, Maintenance and Destruction.

As mentioned above, the 5 elements - space(ether), air, fire, earth, water - are the basic components for the 3 life forces of the Universe:

Sun-Pitta (fire = transformation & energy)

Wind-Vata (air = movement & ether = space),

Moon-Kapha (earth = density & water = cohesion)

Behind all the material forms in Nature, there are 3 inner forces that contribute significantly to the creation of everything, the Gunas and they are:

  • Sattva = the deepest idea, consciousness or intelligence

  • Rajas = the motive energy, movement or action

  • Tamas = the self-existent inertia, which prevents the above

Their influence is evident in the temperament and behavior of each person.

Associating the gunas with the 5 elements, we could say that the elements are the clay from which a container is made, while the gunas are the ones who are responsible for whether a container will become beautiful or ugly.

The elements compose the quantitative side of things e.g. size and density and gunas are responsible for their quality.

In conclusion, according to the properties of the life forces, the body goes through in a 24 hours cycle-circadian cycle, where changes happen, affected by light and darkness.This cycle is divided in two phases:

the 1st cycle or "day" cycle of dosha's influence from 6am to 6pm

1. Kapha 6am-10am

2. Pitta 10 am-14pm

3. Vata 14pm-18pm


the 2nd cycle or "night" cycle of influence of the same forces from 6pm to 6am

1. Kapha 18pm-22pm

2. Pitta 22pm-2am

3. Vata 2am-6am

In line with these cycles, an IDEAL DAILY SCHEDULE could be:

• Uprising 6: 00-7: 00

• Light breakfast (optional) 7: 00-8: 00

• Main meal of the day 12: 00-13: 00

• Light lunch 18: 00-19: 00

• Sleep before 22:00

sources by the books of: Anreas Moritz, Dr David Frawly & Dr. Subhash Ranade

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