Written by Robert Leon on 30 April 2013
New images in Science to Sage magazine for "Elements of Nature and Consciousness" feature storyView the PDF here
More about the Five Elements from Wikipedia
"In Hinduism's sacred literature, the "great" or "gross" elements (mahābhūta) are fivefold: space (or "ether"), air, fire, water and earth.
For instance, the Taittirīya Upaniṣad describes the five "sheaths" of a person (Sanskrit: puruṣa), starting with the grossest level of the five evolving great elements:
From this very self (ātman) did space come into being; from space, air; from air, fire; from fire, the waters, from the waters, the earth; from the earth, plants; from plants, food; and from food, man.... Different from and lying within this man formed from the essence of food is the self (ātman) consisting of lifebreath.... Different from and lying within this self consisting of breath is the self (ātman) consisting of mind.... Different from and lying within this self consisting of mind is the self (ātman) consisting of perception.... Different from and lying within this self consisting of perception is the self (ātman) consisting of bliss....
In the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, God is identified as the source of the great elements:
Some wise men say it is inherent nature, while others say it is time – all totally deluded. It is rather the greatness of God present in the world by means of which this wheel of brahman goes around. Who always encompasses this whole world – the knower, the architect of time, the one without qualities, and the all-knowing one – it is at his command that the work of creation, to be conceived of as earth, water, fire, air, and space, unfolds itself.
The same Upanishad also mentions, "When earth, water fire, air and akasa arise, when the five attributes of the elements, mentioned in the books on yoga, become manifest then the yogi's body becomes purified by the fire of yoga and he is free from illness, old age and death." (Verse 2.12)."
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