Five Elements

Planet Earth

In this vast universe – with its multitudinous stars, galaxies, and solar systems, there is one planet graced with incredible natural beauty.
And the symphony of the five elements coming together to form a magical, kaleidoscopic miracle called “life”
This is our dear Planet Earth, where Life thrives and flourishes in a billion forms, evolving and dissolving, arising out of the Pancha MahaBhutas or the 5 Elements.

Be it the plant that blooms slowly, the animal that prowls confidently or the human that marches hastily – they are expressions of the miracle of “ Life”

The diversity of Life forms on Planet Earth is absolutely mindboggling – she has birthed and nurtured 8.7 Million species and still counting.

No wonder then that she is revered as “Mother Earth”

Unity of Life

Is it possible that all 8 million plus life forms and all inanimate matter – normally termed ‘resources” are bound together?
A casual observer would dismiss it.
It seems impossible that such infinite variety could arise from something similar.

Vedic India’s scientific seers – the Rishis, have proved that there does exist an underlying unity to all this chaotic diversity.
The Vedic seers, were experts in the science of consciousness.
They perfectly postulated that all the myriad life forms on Planet Earth are composed of the
“Pancha MahaBhutas” also called the Pancha Tattvas or The 5 Elements.

In varying proportions, the 5 elements group together as animate Life forms and inanimate matter.
The essence of all life on this planet, therefore are the Pancha Mahabhutas.
This unifying knowledge that underlies all diversity of Life on Planet Earth is called “Tattva Gyan”

Verily, the whole Planet Earth is one giant Interconnected web.
Each strand of this interconnected web is held together by the Pancha MahaBhutas, which converge or diverge into various species

PanchaMahaBhutas course through all animate and inanimate matter
Just like how the all mammals are bound together by blood, so also the PanchaMahabhutas course through all of creation

These 5 Elements are Akash- Ether/Space | Vayu-Air | Agni-Fire | Jal-Water | Prithvi-Earth |

The permutation and combination of these elements and its quantity in a given matter determines its properties.
This is the beauty of Vedanta, to shine a light on the underlying unity of all life
The highest education is not just that which gives us information but makes us live in harmony with all existence
– Shri Rabindranath Tagore

The PanchaMahaBhutas and their attributes

Mahabhuta is the smallest divisible part of any matter.

Let us examine the properties and attributes of each of the Pancha MahaBhutas or Tattvas as they are also called & how they combine to form “Life” and “Matter”.

Just like the eternal dance of life, the 5elements are cyclical and each one births the succeeding element from within itself.

If we pay attention to this insight alone, the marvel called “Life” and its eternal harmony and unity is enough to stun arrogant humans into wonder and submission. The Harmonious eternal cycle of the PanchMahabhutas powers “all Life on the planet”

This beautiful PanchaMahabhuta cycle is a progression from the subtlest of all the 5 elements to the grossest and most solid.

Akash : Space or Ether

.Akash : Space | Freedom | Connection | Whole or Non-dual | Sound | Non-resistance.

Akash Tattva is the space without which matter cannot exist.
The all pervasive element, Akash or Space is the “Womb of Creation”.
It is the subtlest of all elements.
All other four Tattvas springs forth from the boundless intelligence of Space.
Akash Tattva or Space element is the dominant one of all the PanchaMahabhutas. Without Space, no other element would exist.
This supremely intelligent, all pervasive Akash Tattva, is the mother of all activity – all through the universe and also within our bodies.

All celestial bodies – the planets, solar systems, millions of galaxies, all life forms, our body – everything is held in place by “Space”

Space holds us all !!
No Space, No matter!

The main sense attribute of Akash element, which corresponds to sense organ in living beings of is “Sound” & its main property is “non-resistance”

Vayu : Air
Vayu : Air | Breath | Prana | Intelligence | Touch | Movement

The Vayu Tattva evolves out of the Akash Tattva. While it is also a subtle element, it differs in that it can be felt.
Vayu or air determines all movement and displacement on earth and also within the body.

How important is Vayu as the basis of Life?
As important as our breath!
Need we say more?

Breath is Life – No Breath, No Life!
Breath unites us all, in life or death.
The main sense attribute of air element is “touch” and its chief property is movement / mobility.

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Agni : Fire

The Agni Tattva evolves out of Vayu.

Agni : Fire | Light |Energy | Confidence | Sight| Transformation

Fire Creates | Fire Transforms | Fire Destroys

All energy within the human body & all life forms is due to Fire Element. All forms of energy, light & heat on the #Earth is only through the Fire Element.
Fire Element is responsible for vision, perception, digestion, elimination, passion, willpower and igniting ideas.

The main sense attribute of fire element is “sight ” and its chief property is heat – felt as hunger, thirst and transformation in all life forms.

All life forms experience hunger, which is an attribute of the “Fire Element”
Fire Element provides energy for all life forms. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Fire Element is responsible for transforming energy from one form to another within all living beings and also on planet Earth.

The Sun represents the fire element, connecting all life on the planet with heat, light and radiance.

The Jala Tattva evolves out of Agni.

Jal : Water| Liquid |Love | Taste | heals| refreshes

JAL or water is the elixir of life, common to every life form.
Thousands of years ago, the Vedas revered “Apah or JAL” as the element responsible for origin of life.
Life began in the #Ocean. The first single celled life form originated in the ocean.
Every life form begins in water – be it a seed, a fish, insect, reptile, bird in an egg, or a mammal suspended in amniotic fluid. Water courses though every living being on our planet.
JAL or water has a deep connection to the world we live in. The rain that showers upon us – nourishing, refreshing protecting and giving us life, the vast oceans that surround us, cooling the earth and making life possible, the fluids within us in the form of the blood that runs through our veins, various other fluids that make up the life systems or the amniotic fluid that carried us as an embryo, are all various avatars of this powerful element – JAL or Water
Occupying over 70% of the earth, water is also known to wash out negativity and is associated with calmness and tranquility.
JAL gives life, nourishes, refreshes, washes, renews, heals.
JAL is Hope.
JAL as Oceans, unifies our Planet.
JAL – a part of every life form on this planet.
We are connected by our Oceans. We are connected through our Water.

Prithvi | Earth | Smell | Home | Solid | Patient | Nurtures

The final element of all the Pancha Mahabhutas or 5 elements is Earth.

Earth is the only element that can be perceived by all 5 senses.
The most visible and solid of all elements.

Earth element, much like our planet, makes up the structure of all beings – flesh, skin, bones, hair, skin, feathers, nails, etc.

Earth nurtures, nourishes and protects.

We are all born unto mother Earth, nourished by her and perish back into her folds, liberating all 5 elements within as we perish.

The Earth is our home and we are all part of one large happy global family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam

These Pancha MahaBhutas or the 5 Elements are the basic building blocks of all life on this planet.
This timeless Vedic system of defining life is also the basis of Yoga and Ayurveda. Science today corroborates what ancient Hindu Rishis stated millenia ago. It is time we realise the unity of all forms of life on planet Earth and treat them all with equal reverence.

Humans typically tend to define family as that which is “United by blood and birth”
Our immediate and small nuclear family is bound by blood.
Our large diverse global family is bound by the 5 elements – with the Earth as the mother and Space as the father
This common parentage is what our timeless Vedic systems called “Prakriti – Earth” and “Purusha –Space/Akash”
Our large global diverse family is BOUND BY THE 5 ELEMENTS

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