Understanding of the Vital Source of Life: Agni (Digestive Fire)

by Meenakshi Gupta | July 22, 2014 8:57 am

According to Ayurveda Sarvam dravyam Panchabhautikam i.e. all creation arises out of five great elements known as mahabhutas. Our body is also formed by the panhca mahabhutas. Within this pancabautika body, various  metabolic transformations are going on continuously.

Agni is the term given in Ayurveda for the whole process of energy liberation through digestion at the level of digestive Tract and metabolism at the level of tissues. Digestion, metabolism and assimilation i.e. whole process of biological conversion and utilization of energy is symbolize by the term Agni. Agni is derivative of   tejas (fire) mahabhuta it carries metabolic transformations in which the inherent feature is change.

According to Ayurveda there are 13 types of Agni in body:

7 Dhatwagni
5 Bhutagni
1 Jathragni.

In Ayurvedic texts these 13 types of Agni are further divided into four types on the basis of function as follows:

RELATION OF AGNI WITH PRAKRITI (Biological Humor / Dosha Type)  

Agni has strong relation with different types of biological humor

  1. In Vata Prakriti individual Vishamagni (unstable digestive & metabolic power) is very common.
  2. In person having Pitta Prakriti , Tikshnagni (hyper-metabolism) is very common .
  3. Mandagni (Hypo-metabolism) is common in Kapha Prakriti individuals.

Malfunctioning of Agni leads to production of Ama (undigested foods that remains in tract and acts as antigens and are responsible for production of various diseases & autoimmune diseases). Production of Ama may be able to occur at the level of Jathragni (improper digestion in digestive tract), Bhutagni (liver dysfunction) or Dhatwagni (disturbed tissue metabolism).

Ama is said to be the root cause of all diseases & can be indicated by lethargy, a coated tongue and foul breath. This undigested substance can be recognized today as high cholesterol, chronic fatigue syndrome, candida, diabetes, constipation, obesity depression, anxiety etc. In Ayurveda we believe that every diseased state arises as a result of ama, whether physical or mental and all ama is the result malfunctioning of agni.

Healthy Agni

The key to a healthy agni is the intake of easily digested, freshly cooked, saatvic (Pure) & compatible foods eaten consciously at the appropriate times. According to Vedas the ancient texts of India, agni is worshipped in its Divine form as the bringer and sustainer of life. When we honor our agni thus, we become mindful of what we eat and how we accept it in ourselves. Within us arises a desire for metamorphosing – what we eat at our highest consciousness,   and manifestation of a balanced state of body, mind & soul.

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