‘Agni is the life within us. It is the sacred fire that burns to keep us alive.
It is the foundation of life itself, and when extinguished, nothing can survive’
Agni, a very crucial concept in Ayurveda which refers to the fire within.
The fire is responsible for critical functions at the deepest cellular levels. The functions which help us stay metabolically healthy and mentally sane.
Agni is the gate guard of what is taken in, digested, and assimilated. It is the fire of life and as per the great classics, this fire when in sama awastha, that is when well balanced, results in longevity. While when disturbed, causes various diseases and dysfunctions and when extinguished, results in death.
In simple terms,
- A well balanced Agni: A healthy, disease-free, long life.
- Disturbed Agni: Cause of various dysfunctions and diseases.
- Extinguished Agni: Death.
Hence it becomes very important for us to strive and keep our Agni well balanced and optimally working. In this article, we explore just the same!
We closely introspect, on what exactly is Agni, its functions, causes, and signs of impairment. With that, we also dive into some small steps to keep your Agni optimally balanced.
So hold your horses, let’s dive in!
What is Agni, and why is it so important?
Agni with its Forty different types performs various functions, depending on its location and situation.
The primary and the central main of all the types is called ‘Jatharagni’ located in the ‘ Jathara’ the duodenum.
In this region, the Mother Fire governs the physiology of digestion, metabolism, assimilation, and segregation.
Overviewing the 13 main types out of forty,
- Jatharagni is the Agni present in the stomach and duodenum.
- Bhutagni is the Agni from five basic elements.
- Dhatu Agni is the Agni present, one in each of the seven dhatus (tissues).
Even though Bhutagni and Dhatu Agni work from cellular levels, Agni, in general, brings about various functions like,
- Digestion, Absorption, Assimilation.
- Cellular intelligence and growth.
- Providing strength and nourishment.
- Giving the body a particular luster, complexion, and glow.
- Maintaining body heat and temperature.
- Tissue level nourishment and metabolism.
- Longevity, health, valor, ojas.
- Courage, confidence, and activeness.
- Contentment and satisfaction.
So by now, we know that a healthy, well-balanced Agni is the key to stay physically fit and mentally sane.
Now let’s get to know some simple signs which help us identify if our Agni is wearing out,
Impairment of Agni only occurs if we interfere with the balance of the body, the doshas, and the elements they are made up of.
This disbalance occurs due to various reasons, most of them are within our control.
Our diet, lifestyle, personal habits, and stagnant emotions play a very important role in striking a balance and can be the very reason for impairment.
Feeling of heaviness, lethargy, Dullness, Weakness, etc are some simple indications to know that our Agni is weak. Other than that, frequent digestive issues, constipation, IBS, etc can also arise in the case of impaired Agni. Indigestion, gas, bloating, nausea, hyperacidity, loose stools, etc are commonly observed.
With that, a whole lot of mental dullness, anger issues, and insomnia, among other signs are also because of impaired Agni.
Impaired Agni is the primary root cause of vitiation of tridoshas, accumulation of waste, and impaired pachan kriya ( digestion ) leading to the formation of ‘Aama’ the stagnant toxic build-up, responsible for all the diseases, deterioration of health, and disruption of wellbeing.
How Doshas affect the sacred fire!
Impaired Agni when associated with Vata dosha becomes unpredictable, this means the appetite and the metabolism of the individual becomes way too erratic. This type of disturbed fire is called Vishama-Agni.
When Agni gets influenced by Pitta dosha, it becomes way too strong, hot, and sharp. This condition of the fire is called Teekshna-Agni.
And when impaired Agni is associated with Kapha dosha, the fire slows down. The appetite of an individual reduces and metabolism dulls down. Such a condition of the fire is called Manda-Agni.
Hence an impaired or weak Agni not only hampers the metabolic and physiological functioning but also affects the mental and spiritual awareness thus restraining the overall growth and development of the body.
How to fix and re-ignite the weak fire?
As simple as it can get, Don’t put extra load on the already weak fire. Let it digest what’s already present and let it rest to bloom with full force aka, FAST.
Fasting is the age-old remedy given by the Acharyas to literally flush out toxins from the body.
Working out not only helps to shed out toxins but also helps you to feel lighter and mentally happier.
Work out according to your dosha type and most importantly half of that your body’s strength.
Simple swaps from iced cold water to warm water for regular consumption can make a huge difference when it comes to digestion.
Sipping warm ginger tea before meals can help you boost up that fire and work efficiently in speeding up digestion.
Make sure you know your body condition before helping yourself with digestive aids.
Setting up your body clock/ schedule with the timings of the sun and the moon is the greatest gift that you can give to your body. Eating according to the sun helps you to keep track on how much you’re consuming and stops you from overburdening your system.
Panchakarma procedures are proven therapies determined to flush out toxins, bring back balance, and reignite the lost Agni. It checks the issue right from its roots and gives exceptional results. Please note to undergo panchakarma therapies from only well-trained Vaidyas aka Doctors.
With that said, Agni is the fire of life. A very critical element needed for survival. Agni not only keeps us physically healthy but also impacts our mental and spiritual awareness.
We hope this article helped you with the necessary basics of understanding Agni so we know what to do the next time we feel a burnout.
Join us in our mission of mindful living for the modern world by subscribing to our blog and hitting us a follow on Instagram and Facebook @sarvedalife.