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Etymology/ Definitionआयुर्वर्णो बलं स्वास्थ्यमुत्साहोपचयो प्रभा । ओजस्तेजः अग्नयः प्राणाञ्चोक्ता देहाग्निहेतुकाः । शान्तेग्नौ म्रियते युक्ते चिरं जीवत्यनामयः । रोगी स्याद्विकृते मूलमग्निस्तस्मान्निरुच्यते । च.चि.१५/३-४ यद्दा अङ्गति ऊर्ध्वं गच्छति इति । शब्दकल्पद्रुम
ReferenceC.Chi.15/3, S.Su.35/24,27, A.H.Su.1/8
Literary MeaningM / W – Fire, the fire of the stomach, digestive faculty, gastric fluid , The substance, which has a natural tendency for upward displacement and one which is found at the forefront of any happening is Agni.
Implied MeaningJat`hara ( Stomach ) is the seat of Agni . Hence it is also called Jaat`haraagni . It is the energy required for transformation of food and to stimulate all physiological processes in the body.
ElaborationIt is an important body constituent and is responsible for break down of all the incident stimuli but food conversion is its main function. The consumed food cannot be utilized by the body as it is. Hence it needs to be broken down to a level, which can be taken up by the smallest functional unit of the basic tissues – cells. For this the ingested food is subjected to three intensities, levels of conversion. Each is called a particular Agni . The fire with its natural flame form cannot exist in the internal environment hence the agency through which it functions is Pitta . As a result of their combined action ingested food is converted into various body constituents like stable tissues, tissue sub types ( Upa Dhaatu ), tissue specific waste products ( Dhaatu Mala ), subtle distal tissue ( Sookshma Uttara Dhaatu ) and they contribute to Ojas .
The Agni functions at three levels:
1. Gross – Jat`haraagni , responsible for breakdown of ingested food.
2. Moderate – Mahaabhootagni , five in number, responsible for converting the digested food to the elemental level.
3. Subtle – Dhaatvaagni , seven in number, responsible for individual tissue metabolism.
Malfunctioning of Agni leads to generation of Aama .
The Agni is not statutory but is present in every cell of the body. Accordingly it is named as Dhaatvaagni Bhootaagni etc.
Functional gradation of Agni are:
Vishama ( Irregular / erratic activity due to Vaata influence
Teekshn`a ( hyper activity level due to Pitta influence
Manda ( hypo activity to Kapha influence
Sama ( steady state activity due to balanced status of Tridosha Vaata Pitta , and Kapha ).
The branch of Ayurveda dealing with the management of intrinsic disorders Kaayaa Chikitsaa is mainly management of deranged Agni activity and it aims at establishing its optimum level. The Dosha activity is also influenced by status of Agni within.
SynonymsJaat`haraagni Kaayaagni Antaraagni Dehaagni Paavaka Vais`hvaanara Vaayusakhaa
Contemporary ColloquialDigestive Enzymes

Last updated on June 9th, 2021 at 09:11 am

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