Panchbhoot the Five elements

Creation is made of five attributes, Pruthvi, Aap, Tej, Vayu and Akash, the Panchbhoot’. Pruthvi is solidity, often called Earth. Aap is fluidity, often called Water. Tej is called Fire but it means the energy which causes change. Vayu is called Wind but it is the vitality of energy. And finally Akash is often called Ether but it means the tremendous potential of creation. These five attributes are the manifested Creation. These are conscious energies and are linked to your energy body and are produced in your chakras where they maintain your personal body/mind/soul.

  • Panch means five, spread out, measure, union, clarity, evidence etc.
  • Bhoot is a Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskritam) )word which means world, element, spirit, created beings, that which exists, present, truth, pure, past etc.

panchamahabhootThese five, the Panchbhoot, are created from the Bindu, the Paramatma, the Ultimate Reality. Bindu is a concept, it exists but it does not have any dimensions. A line has length, space has three dimensions, but a point? A point is dimension-less. It exists but cannot be defined. The Bindu evolves and differentiates into these 5 elements, this is called Creation, this is called Pravrutti, ‘evolving-out’. When the five bhoot merge and dissolve into each other it is Involution, Moksh, also called Nivrutti, ‘evolving-in’.

The Swastik is a very common symbol of Hinduism/Sanatan Dharm. Swastik means (swa+asti) ‘self-existence’ or ‘well-being’. It represents this dance of Pravrutti and Nivrutti, the creation and dissolution. The four arms of the Swastik taper outwards, are drawn to suggest movement and represent Pruthvi, Aap, Tej and Vayu while the central joint is Akash. Now there are 4 additional dots drawn they too have a meaning, they represent the Nitya part of the element. When the arms are in the clockwise motion it is Creation. When the arms are drawn rotating in the anti-clockwise motion it represents destruction of the manifested. In Indian households you will always find the Swastik drawn in its Creation, Pravrutti form. The destructive/Moksh form of the Swastik is used only by spiritual or occult practitioners who know what they are doing.

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Pruthvi Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Solidity, it supports. It defines Gandha i.e. ‘Relationship’. It contains the energy of Shabda, Sparsh Roop and Rasa too. There are two types of Solidity. One is called the Nitya/Eternal and the other is called Anitya/transient. Nitya Pruthvi is the eternal form of solidity, the 108 types of atoms that make up matter. These cannot be discerned by the senses and cannot be ordinarily destroyed. This is the conscious part of Solidity. Quantum experiments have proved that electrons are ‘tangled’, i.e. conscious of one another. This is Nitya Pruthvi. The Anitya solidity is the temporary shape of the body taken on by all conscious beings. This changes shape and can be destroyed and reduced to the Nitya form. We can sense this form with our sense organs. These transient forms have different names and are classified into animal, plant, rock etc.

Aap Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Fluidity. It is linked to Rasa, i.e Essence. It contains the energy of Shabda, Sparsh and Roop too. The sentiment of continuity is Aap and so is the water drop. Here too the element exists in the eternal/Nitya and Anitya/transient form. There are different types of Anitya forms representing different types and aspects of liquid flowing forms, from rivers on the earth to blood in your body.

Tej Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Energy of Change. It is linked to Roop i.e. Tangibility. It contains the energy of Shabda and Sparsh too. The heat of touch is Tej. Here too this element exists in the imperishable/Nitya and transient/Anitya forms. Fire is of different types, doing different types of work within the body, from Jathar-agni to Shukra-agni. It is also the fire and the lightening you see with your eyes.

Vayu Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Vital Energy. This indicates Sparsh, i.e. Expression. It is linked to Shabda. Vayu too has its eternal/Nitya and temporary/Anitya forms. The temporary forms are of different types, viz, 5 major classes of Vayu move in your body. In the spiritual context, Vayu is the intelligence which rules over the Antariksha/atmosphere. This is also the pran/vital energy which flows in your energy body

Aakash Mahabhoot – The Great Element of Potential of Creation Shabda. This is the summation of the other four. This is the central dot of the Swastik. Aakash has only one form, the Nitya form. This cannot be sensed by any sense organ nor does it have different types. It is eternal and pervades everything. There is nothing called ‘vacuum’ as Akash exists everywhere. Outer space looks dark to the normal eyes but actually is in motion with spirals of energies. Material space is the Bhoot-aakash and the ether of the mind is the Chitta-aakash. But when one refers to Aakash in the spiritual context it means the Chid-aakash i.e. the place of the Paramatma, the Bindu.

These five elements combine in various proportions to create the Pancha-kosh, the five layered body of all beings, conscious/non-conscious.

If you go to a jewellery shop, you will see bangles, necklaces, earrings and other ornaments, they are all different. But they are also the same gold! So the ornaments are inherent in the gold and also gold is inherent in all the ornaments. Depends on how you see it, but remember without the gold you wouldn’t have any ornaments at all.

Similarly Paramatma is hidden in the Panchabhoot and the Panchabhoot are hidden within the Paramatma. The Paramatma is the root cause of the Panchabhoot thus Creation. Depends on if you can see it!