The air element Print
Written by Ayurvéda portál   

 A levegő elemThe air element is the second element in the creation process, just after the ether. Similarly to the other elements we can say, that this element is not similar to the air decribed by the science, it is much more widely interpreted. In the vedic interpretation the air element has not only material aspects but also consciousness aspects. 

Vayu means air in ayurveda, but we will use the phrase air element in this article. The air element is defined by the combination of three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas), so the air element carries the characteristics of these gunas spiritually and bodily also, in the way they define the element.

Similar to the other elements the air element has minimal self-awareness aspect so the effectiveness of sattva is minimal in it. As a result of this we can recognise, that the air element depends on the existence of the rest of the elements, can not be defined in itself only. The absence of heat for example (absolute zero degree) will lead to the fact that the air stops existing. The effect of rajas is more in the air element, which is ensured by the fire element. On the other hand this mobility could be controlled by the earth element. The effect of tamas is also significant in air element because of the attachment to the other elements, but this effect is less than in the water or earth element. Comparing with the fire element, where the rajas is bigger, the tamas is less present.

The spiritual air

The air element is an expletive, overflowing kind of element in spiritual sense. One of it’s main characteristics is the motion, the mobility due to the high level of rajas in it. Controlled (balanced with the other elements) air element ensures the necessary activity for man to fulfil his duties, but the uncontrolled air leads to numbers of meaningless actions. The air element is tamped by the ether element. Due to this man who is not able to express himself, his desires, will loose from his mobility sooner or later, and it could bring for example a Vata person into deathly duality. The air element is controlled by the earth element. In man the light of the air element is compensated by the heavy of the earth element. The water element is also able to control, but not directly. If the fire decreases because of the water element the air element forms back to water due to the lack of fire, and after it forms back to earth element, which also controlls the air element. Because of this it can happen, that a former sportsman, who stops his sporting activity, becomes lazy. As I mentioned before the fire element has direct effect on air element. The change will suggested by the fire element takes man always towards mobility, if there is not too much earth element in him, which retains this. At the same time we can see the same in the nature also, that due to strong solar radiation, so due to heat the water vaporises (turns into air element, which is not the scientific air!), and also the wind is the result of similar processes: due to heat the warmer air rises up, and cooler air circulates to it’s place. What is out,  is also within … this is the law.
Uncontrolled air is destructive. We can see it in the nature in the form of huge wind storms (tornado, typhoon, etc.). The strength of these could be experienced in Hungary also a couple of years ago. Too much air always causes duality in man, because with the reduction of earth and water element man would be lead by the meaningless and sudden acts, and distrust. Uncontrolled air takes man towards an ethical decline, helps to became criminal-minded and violent. The reason of this is that the rajas is so strong in man, that his motion force and desire may be bigger than his ethical attitude. Air type people have great desire for freedom, it is hard to tie them down. They do not recognise that the freedom they are chasing is only an illusion, because the freedom of movement is only illusory… actually rajas forces them, and they do not have the power to stay in one place for a long time because they feel themselves bad in those situations. Controlled air element strenghtens moral, love, ability to forgive and let out in man, and the essense of this is that man should not hurt anybody with his acts and with his mobility. Uncontrolled air encourages the desire of correspondence in man, because deep inside the fear of unacceptance made man to live together with uncontrolled air element. Fear from unacceptance is the limitation of the air element. Air type people counterbalance this deficiency with excessive and meaningless mobility.

The physical air

The air element is responsible for the aspects of motion and moving in the physical body also. Much air makes the muscles springy, little air makes them rigid and tense. The control of the motor motions are done by the air element, such as the heart throbbing, the lung, the stomach system, and the motions of the intestines. Limiting aspect of the air element is the fear from unacceptance. Who has this fear as a dominant one, the above listed aspects are limited by it. So the cardiac diseases, the lung diseases, the digestive disorders, and gas due to the lack of air element is because of this fear.
Burning feeling belongs to the fire element, itching belongs to the earth element, and pain belongs to the air element. If you feel pain in your body you can be sure that it is caused by the lack of air element physically.
Two senses belong to the air element: the hearing and the touch, but at the same time the air element is not visible, can not be tasted and can not be smelled. These aspects belongs to the fire element, water element and earth element.

The occurence forms of air

Finally let’s check the physical appearance forms of air how can we recognise air in life. Firstly the air element has aspects similar to gas, but air element is more than just a simple gas element. Secondly the air element indicates all strength, which is able to create movement, so because of this it’s most characteristic aspect is the duality. The potential-difference (voltage) arisen from the duality generates the movement. This is true for the consciousness and for the body also.
During nourishment we meet with the air element in the bitter and acrid flavours. They have a very good digestion (fire) increasing and earth and water element decreasing effect.
The increasingly intensive movements of the different types of destroyer winds (hurricanes, tornados) in different places all over the world refer to the churning of the air element. Man stripped the balance of the elements not only in himself but on the planet also. In Hungary we could also experienced very strong wind storms, which we have never seen here before, and these winds will not calm down, till man does not achieve peace with the nature and with himself.
Don't be afraid from the unacceptance, because it limits the air element in you. You can never suit to everybody on this earth, there will always be people, who would love to see you on a cross. Make efforts to not to hurt anybody, but your acts should be driven by your faith and not by your fears. When you know you act right you should not keep it back, and when you know you act incorrectly, you should consider it first. When you act according to morals and others do not accept you, they judget hemselves, because they have not accepted who was right in his faith, but if you are afraid to act because of your fears you judge yourself even if it is right what you believe in, just because you were coward.