The five elements of Nature also known as Pancha Bhoota/Bhuta or Pancha Tattvas. They are Earth (पृथ्वी), Water (अप:), Fire (अग्नि), Air (वायु) and Sky(आकाश). These elements also hold ayurvedic significance. Different Ayurvedic Doshas are based on the panchamahabhootas. Surprised?
Ayurveda is based on three doshas namely Vata, Pitta and, Kapha. Vata represents space and air; Pitta represents fire and water and; Kapha represents earth and water.
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In the Yogic Texts including Sankhya, the five elements of nature or Pancha bhoota or Pancha tattva are elements of the body also. Our body is made up of Pancha tattvas. Earth is the base of everything so it is the first element in the Pancha bhoota. It represents proper position/posture or the asanas for the practice of Yoga.
Water is the second element in the Pancha Tattvas. It represents the flow of our emotions and desires. Controlling the element water within the body would give one the ability to control emotions and desires. Water is also the essence of life, lord Narayana is seen resting on the snake of infinity on the cosmic waters.
Fire is the third Maha Bhuta. In Rig Veda Agni is said to be the messenger of Devtas. Whatever is being sacrificed in the fire reaches Devtas. In Yogic Meaning, Agni is the essence of Manipura Chakra. It helps in the proper supply of food after burning to different parts of the body. Control over Agni within one gives perfect health.
The fourth element of the five elements of nature is Air. It is the essence of whole Yoga. Our breath
The sky is the largest element in nature as well as the body. The human body has more space than water. It is all about our true existence. One who understands the sky element gets access to the hidden dimensions of the soul and supreme soul.
Pancha Tattva Mantra/Shloka from Yajur Veda
Tasmadva etasmadatmana akash sambhutah | Akasadvayuh | Vayoragnih | Agnerapah |Adbhyah prithvi | Prithivya osadhayah | Osadhibhyosnam |Annat purusah ||
Meaning: From that atman arises the Akasha, From the Akasha arose the wind, from wind fire came into exixtence, from fire came the water, from water, the earth, from earth came the plants, from plants we got the food, from food came human beings.
The mantra can be chanted in the morning and evening time while doing Japa. While meditating, you have to correlate your emotions and sensations with the five elements. For example, you have to Dharana considering your emotions/desires to be water, anger/attitude/ego to be fire, life current to be Air, Asana to be Earth, and Soul to be Sky. This itself is the Kriya of the Pancha Bhuta.
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