Bhutagni, Bhūtāgni, Bhuta-agni: 3 definitions

Introduction

Bhutagni means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

The five Bhūtāgnis act upon the respective bhautika portions of food and thereby nourish the bhūtas in the body.

Source: Google Books: Ayurveda for health & Well-Being

Bhutagni (five elemental agnis) metabolise chyle to elemental components. Liver is their main site. They react biochemically to food partially digested by Jathara-agni, breaking down molecules into atoms, so that the Dhatu-agnis can convert them into seven tissue-layers, Dhatus.

They also supply nutrients to the five organs of perception, the Jnendriyas.

  1. Prithvi-agni:—The Agni related to the earth element separates atoms of earth from partially broken down food particles and supplies the subtle atoms fro mthem as nutrients to the sense organ of smell in the nose.
  2. Ap-agni:—Similarly, the Agni related to the water element nourishes the sense organ of taste in the tongue.
  3. Tejas-agni:—The Agni related to the heat, light and energy element, nourishes the sense organ of sight in the eyes.
  4. Vayu-agni:—The Agni related to the air element nourishes the sense organ of touch in the skin.
  5. Akasha-agni:—The Agni related to the space element nourishes the sense organ of hearing in the ears.
Source: Cogprints: Concepts of Human Physiology in Ayurveda

The function of ‘Bhūtāgnis’ is to metabolize the ingredients of food and to ‘sort them out’ into five groups depending on the predominance of particular ‘Mahābhūta’. These functions of ‘Bhūtāgnis’ can be explained through the functions of liver. Basically, whatever is digested and absorbed has to reach liver first and metabolic interconversion of the substances occurs there. For example, plant-derived amino acids can be used to synthesize human proteins, glucose can be converted into glycogen or in to fat, amino acids can be converted into glucose – and so on. ‘Sorting out’ of different substances occurs in liver and that is the function of ‘Bhūtāgnis’ too.

After the digestion in gastro intestinal tract is over, the ingredients of food (‘Rasas’) undergo metabolism once again. This metabolic end- product is called ‘Vipāka’(Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya Sūtrasthāna 9/20). This indicates that ‘Vipāka’ is the end product of the action of ‘Bhūtāgnis’. In other words to say, ‘Bhūtāgnipāka’ itself produces ‘Vipāka’ and therefore, ‘Vipāka’ in general, stands for intermediary metabolism.

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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