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Panchatatva: The Essence of Life

Panchatatva (panch + tatva) implies five elements or the “panchamahabhutas“. These are: Prithvi (Earth), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire), Vayu (Air), and Akash (Space).
The whole universe is formed by these five elements.  The composition and blend of these elements in each form – animate or inanimate – differs in degrees conditional upon the structure, nature, and function of the created object. The variance of the blend is also what generates diversity in nature whilst the cycle of life prolongs when all these five elements are there in a state of harmony.  Each element is exclusively rich with its own core embryonic energy. 
We, as human beings are likewise born with the amalgamation of these five elements.  Apprehending the fundamental traits of these elements helps us in evaluating our own latent power, intrinsic natural traits, and character building


Terra firma, with its incredible magnetic fields and gravitational force, keeps everything grounded.  Earth’s rotation on its axis and revolution around the Sun is entirely disciplined.  Imagine if this rotation of the Earth became unmanageable, there will be complete chaos.  


The source of life, water is an imperative element. Over seventy percent of the earth is water as is the human body. It emerges in several forms – from raindrops to ponds, wells, brooks, lakes, streams, rivers, and huge oceans. This very presence of myriad forms tells us about the basic characteristic of water – that it accustoms itself in every possible and imaginable shape. 


The basis of heat and light, Fire makes the whole lot visible to us. While the controlled fire is contributory to the sustenance of life, an unrestrained fire leads to annihilation. Fire is Purity as anything when put into Fire gets changed to its original form.


Air is a prevailing source that is vital to sustaining life. It invigorates all the other energies to function. The flow of air in the form of winds is unrestricted from the restraint of directions. Air flows in all directions thus representing Freedom.


Space is the foundation and spirit of all things in the material world. It is the very first component in creation, is Universal, and is the ‘holder’ of everything. 

Since the ‘panchatatva‘ unwaveringly relates to our “Self” isn’t it time we explored deep and asked ourselves the following simple questions:

  1. Are we self-controlled in our work-a-day life or are we sufferers of our own procrastination and weariness?
  2. Are we cooperative in nature or are we hell-bent on an quarrelsome attitude to settle scores?
  3. Is our thought process pure leading to right ethics and principled deeds or do we find ourselves at incompatible crossroads?
  4. Do we treasure Freedom in the actual sense and thus give due dignity and space to others or are we absorbed in leading a egotistic life?

Lastly, the brief awareness of the ‘panchatatva‘ should also guide us toward a better cognizance of our environment.

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