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Five Elements

Five Elements

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04/08/2013

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The
 panchamahabhuta,
or "five great elements", of Hinduism are
kshiti 
or
bhmi 
(earth),
ap
or
 jala
 (water),
tejas
or
agni 
(fire),
marut 
or
 pavan
(air or wind),
byom
or
shunya (or akash?)
(aether or void).Hindus believe that the Creator used akasha, the most "subtle" element, to create the other fourtraditional elements; each element created is in turn used to create the next, each less subtle than thelast. Hindus believe that all of creation, including the human body, is made up of these five essentialelements and that upon death, the human body dissolves into these five elements of nature, therebybalancing the cycle of nature set in motion by the Creator. Each of the five elements is associated withone of the five senses, and acts as the gross medium for the experience of sensations. According toHindu thought, the basest element, Earth, was created using all the other elements and thus can beperceived by all five senses - hearing, touch, taste, scent, and sight. The next higher element, water, hasno odor but can be seen, tasted, heard, and felt. Next comes fire, which can be seen, heard and felt. Aircan be heard and felt. "Akasha" (ether)is the medium of sound but is inaccessible to all other senses.
PANCHABHUTA
Or 
Five Elements
.
Our whole cosmic quest of the world and beyondstarts from the point of 
 panchabhuta
(
five elements) which then manifests in an enjoiningmanner to form the life force and then, later, those five elements disintegrates to ensuea celestical traverse at the
Paramanu
 
(
atom) level
.
 
How
ever,
w
e
w
ill first try t
o
understand these five elements
w
hich are Earth
o
Prithvi;
W
ater 
o
Jal ;
Fire
o
Agni 
; Air 
o
Vayu 
and then Ether 
o
 Akasha
. Each
o
these Five elements has its
ow
n character and celestial elements
w
hich
w
e
w
illgauge in the f 
o
ll
ow
ing lines.
 
arth
Prithvi 
): One can touch earth and smell it too ! However, there are two types of earth one is Eternal or 
(
nitya
) which are in the form of atom
(
Paramanu
)
.T
he other typeis perishable
(
anitya
) which exists in the form of 
Karya
or Work at animate andinanimate levels
.
Symbolically speaking our body, sense organs are the earth which asa whole get the shape of 
Jiva
or life but those are perishable
.
But elements or atomsare eternal as after death may we bury, or burn the body, all the atoms get disintegratedto come back to its original eternal form
.
So our body and its
Karya
or Work areperishable as the mountain or rock forms but the atom remains which are eternal
.
 
ater 
or 
Jal 
is the second element which again has two characters as in the Earth i
.
e
.
 eternal in the shape of atom and
Karya
 
(
Work) be it as river, pond or sea are perishable
.
  As from sea or river water evaporates to be in the sky as cloud then again in the shapeof rain it comes down on earth
.
So the eternal atom is only changing its
karya
or shapeof work and what we see is the perishable form
.F
rom the sense organ perspective wecan touch it to feel and taste it as well
.
 
T
he thrid element is
 Air 
or 
ayu
.
 Again it has two levels as earth and water i
.
e
.
eternalatom and perishable
Karya
.
One can feel air, as we breath in or out
.
We feel the stormor strong breeze which are temporary but air at atomic level remains around useternally
.
In the
Purana
there is a mention of 49 types of 
Maruts
or winds
.
Seven are
 
important namely 1
.
 
Pravaha
2
 Avaha
; 3,
Udvaha
4
.
 
Samvaha;
5
ivaha
; 6
Parvaha
and7
.
Paravaha
.
 
T
he wind which takes the water from the ocean is called
Udvaha.
 
ire
or 
 
 Agni 
is the fourth element of Indian
Panchabhuta
.
Again it has eternal andperishable elements as we have seen above
.
 
T
he essential character of 
F
ire is togenerate heat
.
 According to Hindu Mythology,
 Agni 
is one of the Eight guardians whoguards our universe and is known as
 Asta-
 
dik-palakas
 
(
 Asta
-
eight,
dik--
Zone,
Palaka-
Guardian)
.
 
T
he
F
ire is posited in the South East of the Universe
.
 
However, in Indian mythology there are mentions of various types of fires
.
 
T
he four important ones are fire of the earth, fire of the sky, fire of the stomach
(
can meanhunger and digestive power as well) and the fire we commonly use
.
 
T
hen comes the last of the
Panchabhuta
or five elements which is sound or 
ether 
.
Ether is unique as it has only one character i
.
e
.
eternal
.
Ether is the carrier of sound be it manmade or otherwise
.
One can hear it
.
As ether is the only eternal element of the fiveelements it attracted the attention of various sages
.
 
T
he concept of 
 Akashvani 
or Devinesound which is heard by sages of higher order is related to this Ether or 
 Akasha
.T
heprimordial mantra
 AUM 
then in modern times
Raam
or 
Shyaam
are to work as linkagesbetween
Jivatma
(
life force
--
atman or soul) to
Paramatman
or 
(
Omnipotent of supremesoul)
.
 
Fundamentals OfVastuThe whole universe is made up of five basic elements, the earth, water, fire, air and space. Our body is alsomade up of these five basic elements of nature. The pancha-mahabhootas are related to our five senses of smell, taste, hearing, touch and sight. Any imbalance in our external and internal Vastu translates intounhappy situations. Vastu teaches the individual to live in balance and harmony with thepanchamahabhootas.Prithvi (Earth)Human beings have a natural and emotional affinity with the Earth. The Earth revolves around the Sun andhas gravitational and magnetic force. Scientists have proved that earth is a huge magnet with two poles-North pole and South pole.It has also been proved that the human body is aÔmagenetisableÕ object with a large percentage of iron inthe blood. As all know, opposite poles of a magnet attract each other and same magnetic poles repel eachother. The Vastu principle of placing the head in South direction while sleeping is based on earthÕs magneticproperty.Our ancients have found that sleeping with the head towards the South enables one to go with the natureand draw maximum positive energies from the cosmos to keep fit and healthy. Vastu also deals in detailabout inspection of soil, selection of site, shape, shape and size of plot to land.Earth is the only element linked to all five senses of taste, sound, touch, smell and sight and sight and thusexerts the maximum influence on us.Jal (Water)
 
After earth, water is the most important element. It is linked to our senses of taste, touch, sight andhearing. It is quantitatively the largest of the five elements, as more than 80% of our body and two-third of earthÕs surface is water. Most ancient civilisations came up close to rivers and water sources.Vastu provides important information about the placement of water sources like wells, boring, undergroundwater tank, overhead water tank etc, while planning the house. Positions for drainage of water, septic tanks,sewerage, drains etc. are decided carefully to optimize the benefits of water element.Agni (Fire)Sun is the most vital source of energy and light. It is the soul of the universe. Formation of day and night,charge in seasons is brought about by the movement of Sun in relation to the movement of earth. Fireelement is related to our sense of sound, touch and sight. It is difficult to imagine life on earth without Sun.The SunÕs rays can be split into 7 plus 2 colours. Beginning from the very beneficial ultra-violet rays in theEastern side corresponding to North-East, the SunÕs rays further split into violet, indigo, blue, green,yellow, orange and red (VIBGYOR) and intra-red in South-East. Violet and cold colours of the spectrum havea beneficial and soothing effect on the body and hence it is recommended to keep open space in the North-East.When these rays combine with water, they get additional benefits. it is, therefore, recommended to have awater source in North-East direction. To block North-East by building a toilet there is depriving yourself of most beneficial rays of Sun and has adverse results. The ultra-violet rays normalize the metabolism of thebody.The supreme wisdom of our sages is reflected in the ancient ritual of ÔSurtyNamaskaarÓ wherein thebeneficial rays of Sun become more potent when seen through fresh water offered to Sun god.The late afternoon and evening Sun with the harmful infrared rays should be avoided. It is recommendedby Vastu to have tall and big trees in the South so that harmful rays of Sun are blocked. In case light isneeded from afternoon or evening Sun, make sure it is diffused.Vayu (Air)The Air or Vayu is vital for our survival. Our sense of sound, touch and feel are related to Air. The air onearth is a mixture of various gases like nitrogen, oxygen, helium, hydrogen etc.Oxygen is vital for human beings and nitrogen is essential for the growth of plant life which in turn providesoxygen. Correct percentage of different gases, atmospheric pressure and humidity level is important for lifeforms on earth.Vastu recommends proper placement of doors, windows, ventilators, balconies, height of structure andplacement of trees and plants for balancing the Air element within the structure.Aakash (Space)Vastu is the only body of thought that gives Space the status of a natural fundamental element.Architecture in Eutope did not even recognize the importance of space till modern times. VastuShastra is,therefore, superior to any modern or traditional school of architecture in the world.Aakash or the space is infinite and limitless. It is related to our sense of hearing, in a house, space elementis related to the centre portion or the brahmasthan. It is important that brahmasthan be kept open andlight. Any disturbances in the space element are detrimental to your growth.

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