Thursday 4 June 2020

The Origin of 5 Elements As Per Vedas

The material universe is a play of the 5 elements : Ether,Air,Fire,Water and Earth.

So how were these elements themselves born , for they sustain the entire creation itself ?

We first look at a reference from the Taittiriya Upanishad of the Yajur Veda.The 2nd chapter of this Upanishad is called Brahmananda valli.

adbhyaH (f) p^Rthvii 

Video : Brahmananda Valli by my Whatsapp Veda Learner Shravanthi.

As per this verse of Brahmananda valli - From Atma / Self / God ( tasmaadvaa-etasmaad aatma ) came ether ( aakasha , often misinterpreted as 'space' ).

From ether emerged air ( vayu )

From air arose fire ( agni )

From fire arose water ( aapa )

From water ( adbhyaH ) came earth ( pR^ithvii )

Absolute consciousness --> Aakasha --> Vayu --> Agni --> Water--> PR^ithvii

But How ?

We even have the genesis described in the Vedas.For this,we have to look at the Purusha Suktam - which appears in all 4 Vedas and their branches ( shaakha ).

adbhyaH sambhuutaH pR^ithivyai rasacca

adbhyaH sambhuutaH p^Rthivyai rasaacca

In this verse ( one has to recite the entire Purusha Suktam and recite it to realise the truth conveyed in this verse ) :

It describes as to how the absolute consciousness,after the Big Bang condensed and took the form of Ether.When pure energy is condensed - it forms matter.The subtlest form of matter is ether.

Ether then further condensed to form air which then condensed to form agni,which condensed to form water and finally earth.

We can see this sequence going from the subtlest aspect to the most gross.

This whole work of subtle --> gross is expounded as the very verse of Gayatri Mantra - Bhuhu ( grossest ) Bhuvaha , Suvaha ( Subtlest )

Purusha Suktam recitation by my student Shravanti and me 

How is Akasha subtlest and Earth most gross ?

Akasha : 

Can be perceived only by sounds ( shabda ).The Vedas were downloaded as sounds from the Akasha.The akasha is the cosmic archive that houses all information about the cosmos as sounds.

Air :

Air can be perceived through sound and touch ( sparsha )

Fire :

Fire can be perceived through sound,touch and form ( ruupa ).Fire is the first element to have a form

Water :

Water can be perceived through sound,touch,form and  taste ( rasa )

Earth :

Earth can be perceived through sound,touch,form,taste and smell ( gandhaaH )

In the Surya Upanishad of Atharva Veda,we find a verse that goes :

aadityo vai shabdasparsha-ruupa-rasa-gandhaaH..

Here, Surya ( Our very atma is Surya = the absolute consciousness ) is declared as the very source of shabda,sparsha,ruupa,rasa and gandhaaH.This again affirms on how the absolute consciousness is verily the source for the 5 elements.

As we move along the sequence,we realise that the elements can be perceived by an increasing order of sensory functions.

The deity who masters the sensory functions is Indra.This is why Indra is said to be the Chief of the forces of nature ( Control over Rain,wind,lightning etc )

One who attains mastery over his senses is Indra.

Can the Elements go from Gross to Subtle - The Other Way Round ?

Yes ! 

We now realise that all the elements came from the same source.Plus,they are just ONE essence just existing in different degrees of matter-form.

The forest treaties are called AraNyaka.The AraNyaka are portions of the Vedas traditionally learnt in the forest regions and they denote a certain discipline.

The first chapter of the Taittiriya AraNyaka of Yajur Veda has a small portion which is recited as 'mantra pusHpam'.

MantrapusHpam by Whatsapp Veda Learner

This portion speaks about the interrelation between the elements.

In this verse,it speaks on how fire is the source to water.This is what we already saw.

Yet,in another verse,we see as to how water is the source to fire ! 

So,it works vice versa.

How is Water a source to fire ?

We can see this manifestation as a natural phenomenon.

(1) Lightning ( fire ) is born out of the rain filled clouds ( water )

(2) The fire of digestion has its source from the digestive juices ( water )

In this stanza, we look at how water is the source for vayu ( air ).And then,air is said to be the source of water ! Again - both ways 

Water is the source for air when evaporation happens.

Similarly, vapour (air) condenses to water to form dew.

Recitation of first chapter of Taittiriya AraNyaka in Brickfields,Kuala Lumpur


(1) Secrets of Mantrapushpam

(2) Origin of Vedas

1 comment:

  1. This post is seriously so helpful. Thank you truly. Your post has given me answers to many of my questions and made me realize and understand something that I missed before. You are doing a great job. Please keep it up!