The properties of sky (Akasha), air (Parana), fire (Dahana), water (Toya) and earth (Bhumi) are sound touch, colour, taste and smell, each of the preceding elements possessing properties less by one than those of the one immediately succeeding it in the order of enumeration. *
[Since a matter is designated after the name of the preponderant natural element, which enters into its composition], taste is said to be a water-origined principle. All material elements are inseparably connected with one another, and there is a sort of interdependence among them, each one contributing to the continuance of the other and jointly entering, to a more or less extent, into the composition of all material substances. This water-origined flavour (Rasa), which becoming modified through its contact with the rest of the material
* To put it more explicitly the property of sound belongs to the sky (Akasha). Theproperties of sound and touch appertain to the air (Vayu). The properties of sound, touch and colour form the characteristics of Fire (Teja). Sound, touch, colour and taste form the specific properties of water (Toya). Sound, touch, colour, taste and smell mark the earth matter (Bhumi), elements, admits of being divided into six different kinds, such as sweet, acid, saline, pungent, bitter and astringent. These, in their turn, being combined with one another, give rise to sixty-three different kinds. A sweet taste is largely endued with attributes which specifically appertain to the material principles of earth and water. An acid taste is pre-eminently possessed of attributes, which belong to the elementary principles of earth and fire. A saline taste is mostly endued with attributes which characterise the elements of water and fire. A pungent taste is largely possessed of attributes, which mark the elementary principles of air and fire. The specific attributes of air and sky predominate in a bitter taste. The specific properties of earth and air should be regarded as dominant in an astringent taste.
Tastes such as sweet, acid and saline are endued with the virtues of subduing Vayu. Tastes such as sweet, bitter and astringent are possessed of the virtue of subduing the deranged Pittam. Tastes such as pungent, bitter and astringent tend to subdue the deranged Kapham.
The Vayu is a self-origined principle in the human organism. The Pittam owes its origin to the bodily heat (Agneya), while the origin of Kapham is ascribed to the presence of watery (Saumya) principle in the body. Tastes such as sweet, etc. are augmented by causes in which they have their origin, and prove soothing or pacifying in respect of causes other than those which produce them.
According to certain authorities, there are only two kinds of tastes, owing to the two-fold (hot and cold) nature of the temperament of the world. Of these the tastes such as sweet, bitter and astringent are cold in their properties, while the pungent, acid and saline ones exercise fiery or heat making virtues. The tastes such as sweet, acid and saline are heavy and emollient in their character, while the pungent, astringent and bitter ones are dry and light. The watery (Saumya) tastes are cold. The fiery (Agneya) ones are hot.
Coldness, dryness, lightness, non-sliminess, suppression (of the urine or ordure) form the characterstic properties of the Vayu. An astringent taste should be considered as possessed of the same properties as the Vayu, and hence it (astringent taste) increases the coldness, dryness, lightness, non-sliminess and arres-tiveness of the latter with its specific coolness, dryness, lightness, non-sliminess and arrestiveness.
Heat, pungency, dryness, lightness, and non-sliminess form the specific properties of the Pittam. A pungent taste, which is possessed of the same properties as the Pittam, respectively increases the heat, pungency, dryness, lightness and non-sliminess of the latter with the help of similar properties of its own.
Sweetness, oiliness, heaviness, coldness and slimi-ness form the specific properties of Kapham. A sweet taste, which is possessed of the same properties as the Kapham, respectively increases the sweetness, oiliness, heaviness, coldness and sliminess of the latter with the help of similar properties of its own. A pungent taste is endued with properties which are contrary to those of the Kapham, hence the sweetness, oiliness, heaviness, coldness and sliminess of the latter, are respectively destroyed by the pungency, dryness, lightness, heat and non-sliminess of the former. These have been cited only by way of illustration.