mahabhutas (mä·häˑ·bhōō·täs), in Ayurveda, the five basic elements comprising all matter in the Universe—space, air, fire, water, and earth. The three body types or doshas are based on the predominance of one or more elements. See also doshas.
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There is only random discussion of air pollution, for example, an element covering perhaps two of the five mahabhutas and a tremendous issue in urban areas; and plant sentience (covering plant life and plant consciousness), as discussed in liturgical, epic, and medical texts, receives little formal attention.
The five mahabhutas, or elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ether, are each associated with one of the sense organs: eye with fire, ear with ether, nose with earth, tongue with water, and skin with air.
There is a problem, as Larson points out, that vata, pitta, and kapha should all be derived from tamas since they emerge from the mahabhutas.