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Five Universal Elements

* An article by Col (Retd) S.C. Narang


As per Vedas, religious scripture and Indian Philosophy, this universe is composed of five basic Panchmahabhutas — five universal elements.  And they are earth, water, fire, air  and space (ether).  Even our human body is composed of basically these five principal elements.  In the event of death, the human body gets dissolved into these elements again.

All human beings have five gyan-indrias (knowledge sensors) and five karam-indriyas (action sensors ), each with a specific role  set for itself.  Gyan-indriyas have special qualities of touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. In other words, touch (skin), hearing (ears ), sight (eyes), smell (nose) and taste (tongue) are physical qualities.  One who is beyond all these is no one else but GOD.

If we analyse these five qualities philosophically, we can conclude that all five qualities are present in the Earth element, which is the first and foremost element.  That is why the Earth is the heaviest of all five elements of the universe. Water has only four qualities.  It does not have smell quality and hence Water is lighter than the Earth and keeps moving and shaking most of the time.  Third element is FIRE which does not have qualities of smell and taste.  Hence FIRE is lighter than WATER and is more mobile and minute than Water. The fourth element AIR is still more minute and more movable because it has only two qualities of touch and sound.  The qualities of sight, taste and smell are not present in the AIR element.  Lastly, we have SPACE or the ether or Akaash as in Hindi.  It has only sound quality.  Rest four qualities are not present  in Akaash.  Henceforth, Akaash is the lightest of all and present all-around.

The God is beyond all these elements and hence is the minutest – and omni- present.  Being omnipresent, He is also termed as Nirguna in Hindu scriptures. If we desire to be God like, we should become lighter – not only physically but also ego-less. The moment, we shed our ego forever, we merge with God because then unity of thought, word end  deed is achieved.  It is this unity of thought, word and deed that most of the human beings lack. The more they lack this unity, farther they are from the God, the embodiment of Truth and Righteousness.  Our Vedas prescribe for us ‘Satyam wad, Dharmam char’, meaning speak and follow Truth and move on the path of Righteousness (right actions). Unfortunately, we observe that the most of human beings do not follow it and go through the problems and difficulties in their lives.  Even our courts of law which decide the cases and fates of many people on legal, criminal and other related conflicts display prominently ‘ Satyamev Jayate’. But hardly , any truth is brought forward in these courts.  We defy the teachings of our scriptures and saints and undergo tribulations of life. So be truthful and right – minded to enjoy the life and its beautiful gifts. When you earn the love of God, you find all your desires fulfilled.

We should strive to practice the unity of thought, word and deed to remove the restlessness prevalent in the society and establish peace. Today, law and order is conspicuous by its absence. For reviving law and order, we need to practice Satya and Dharma and aim to achieve unity of thought, word and deed.

* An article by Col (Retd) S.C. Narang.

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