Pancha Bhutas: The five elements

Pancha Bhutas: The five elements

Whether you want to know pleasure or you want to know bliss, for both your system has to become willing. Both, the individual human body and the larger cosmic body, essentially, are made of five elements – earth, water, fire, air and space. In this, the first four elements are the active participants – space is the catalytic force. It is in the lap of this boundless space that these four elements play the game. So, the pancha bhutas are the five elements of nature.

What you call “myself” is just a mischief of these five elements. If you want to realise the full potential of this mechanism that you call a human being or if you want to transcend this one and become one with the larger, cosmic mechanism, you need their cooperation. The fundamental sadhana in yoga to gain mastery over these five elements or to purify the elements in the system in such a way that they cooperate, is referred to asbhuta shuddi. Only with their cooperation, from the basic aspects to the highest aspect, your life becomes a possibility.

Whether you experience this body as a great possibility or a great barrier simply depends on the extent these five elements are cooperating. India is a land which has seen that kind of sadhana, focus, understanding and mastery for a very long time. For the five elements in nature, there are five temples, which are all geographically located within the Deccan Plateau – four in Tamil Nadu, and one in Andhra Pradesh.

These temples were created not for worship, but for sadhana. People moved from one temple to the other to do sadhana on each of the five elements. At one temple, they did sadhana on earth, then, they went to the next temple to do sadhana on water, and so on. This understanding and mastery is generally missing, but the temples still exist.
Some of them have maintained that vibrance and quality, while some of them have become weak. Whether this individual physical body becomes a stepping stone for your ultimate possibility or a hurdle towards that essentially depends on how you are able to deal with these five elements. What you are right now is just a little bit of earth, water, air and temperature. All the ingredients are out there in the garden; it just takes a little divine touch to make these four things into a throbbing human being.

Sitting here, if you are aware of how the water, air, earth and fire in your body are functioning, suddenly you live your life with so much ease, people start thinking you are superhuman.

But this is not about being superhuman – this is about realizing that being human is super. Being human is super if only you learn to use your humanity and this human mechanism as a possibility, not as a barrier.


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