Yat Pinde Tat Brahmande - Body, The Universe; Universe, The Body
Modern Astrophysicists had revealed the origin of the human body, and showing the quiet of the similar composition in the universe and the human body. The human body at its fundamental levels is made up of the electrons and the atomic nuclei. There are more than even 90 elements in the body that originate from the places even prior to arriving on Earth. On the other hand the universe has always been a topic of people's curiosity, fascinating and scary in its vastness.
The Big Bang produces matter and antimatter, with slightly more matter being created at some point, leading to our Universe today. In the very beginning, before any stars form, only helium, hydrogen, and trace amounts of lithium are produced. The Big Bang is the source of the origin of the lightest elements i.e. Helium and Hydrogen which make up 98% of the present Universe. Small stars like the Sun are constantly fusing the light elements into heavier ones, and slowly making the high-end elements mentioned in the periodic table by adding one neutron at a time. Whereas the larger stars end up their cycles by fusing in supernovae, and when this event happens i.e. when the cores of the stars implode and collapse, result in expelling the huge amount of energy in the form of burned fuel back into the universe.
The Human Being
Similarly, when coming to the body of the human beings, the majority of the entities that make up the humans comes from none other source than supernovae. Almost every element which is required to make DNA is found in the aftermath of exploding stars. The supernova remnant contains signatures of a wide variety of elements of the periodic table, including everything necessary to create DNA. DNA is an incredibly complex, long molecule, but when the electron microscopic image at subcellular level is seen, it is revealed that DNA is made of the same building blocks (atoms) as everything else. While, by mass, we are mostly Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen, there are dozens of elements essential to life processes in the human body.
This is a very fascinating and curious thing that all these facts of similarity between man and the universe, that the modern Astrophysicist are interested in, are mentioned in the ancient texts of Ayurveda. Ayurveda being the Ancientmost science of life and medicine is based on many theories of tridosha (the three humors- energies of life) and Panchmahaboota (five basic elements). These five elements include the aakash (ether- free space), vaayu (air), agni (fire), jal (water), and prithvi (earth). The ancient Sages that wrote this great vast literature had mentioned the Science of life and even beyond life. The similarity of man and universe is also given in the texts by the Sages.
Lokpurush Samya - Elaboration of similarity between the Individual and Universe
Yavanto hi loke murtimanto bhavvisheshatvantah purushe, yaavantah purushe taavanto loke.
(Reference- Charaka Samhita Sharira Sthan 5/3)
This phrase from the ancient literature Charaka Samhita means that whatever entities that are present in this universe are present in the individual too. The universe and man are having a similar composition.
Then Acharya (Ancient Sage) had given the detailed justification of this fact by saying that the universe has numerous numbers of humores like stones-climbers-trees-shrubs-animals-insects etc. non and non-living entities. Similarly the entities of the individual are also numerous.
Acharya had given the examples to grossly understand the similarity between the man and universe. The body is composed of six basic elements i.e. prithvi, jal, vaayu, agni, akash, and avyakt brahma (The invisible consciousness). These all six when combined in a particular ratio they constitute a living being.
The universe is composed of the five basic humors that make up all the entities, both living and nonliving, elements in the periodic table etc. These include the akash - sky and free space, vaayu - air, agni - the fire, jal - water and prithvi - the land, the earth.
When these five elements meet with the inner consciousness then that entity becomes living.
Correlation Of The Six Elements In The Body
Acharya had given the correlation of these six fundamental constituents of body as:-
- The Prithvi element of the body constitutes the solid structures in the body, making up the murti - basic framework of the body i.e. the bones, muscles, cartilages etc.
- Jalconstitutes all the klaid - fluid that includes the blood, lymph, extracellular fluid, intracellular fluids, CSF, aqueous humor, vitreous humor, and even synovial fluid etc.
- Agni is involved in the abhisantaap - humors that help in monitoring the adequate temperature in the body as required for living and optimum functioning of cells and overall body. These humors may include the HCl in the stomach, digestive enzymes, hormones etc.
- Vaayu is the basic need and termed as praan - life by the Acharyas. Apart from the breathing functioning, the air is required for the adequate movement of the blood, and other fluids within the body.
- Akash signifies the shushir refers to the empty space within the body, e.g the sphincters that helps in opening to a hollow organ, or to the space inside the gas vacuole. In Ayurveda, there is a large importance of this free space as the vitiated dosha or tridosha, travels in the whole body, and whenever, wherever they find this free space they start manifesting the disease there.
- Avyakt brham here signifies the antaraatma which refers to the inner consciousness, the power/energy (spirit) that regulates the metabolism and monitors the vital functioning, thermoregulation and other important vital functions of the body.
Purpose Of This Correlation
The person who understands this correlation begins to understand that whatever he sees outside, is as similar as within him. And as the one is the sole responsible for the pollution in his/her surroundings, he understands that his/her karma (actions) are responsible/cause for illness, happiness and sadness etc. Because the whole world is adamant with karma. These six humors make up the life and the universe both, hence these must be kept in the balance to maintain the harmony of life and the outer universe.