Life is mysterious! Since the dawn of ages, mankind has been fascinated by the conundrum of life and how it came into existence. Ancient Indian scriptures suggest that the human body is made up of the same elements that make up the universe! These elements are known as Panch Tattvas meaning Five Elements. Tattva is Sanskrit for principle. The five elements are Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Sky. The belief is that powerful forces of nature, witnessed all around us, form the key components that fuse with each other to create life. Each element possesses properties truly unique and vastly different from each other, yet they combine in unison to create life! Conversely, it is believed that upon death, the body breaks down into these elements and blends back with the universe. It is a continuum!
Earth is considered to be the personification of mother Nature. It forms the foundation of life. Earth supports the weight of everything that lives and otherwise. It not only provides food essential for our survival but also offers us raw materials in the form of wood, minerals and metals that bring prosperity to us humans. Earth is perhaps the most important element in the consortium of the 5 elements of nature. It is believed that the human body comprising of flesh and bones is made up of soil, a manifestation of the Earth element. In our human body, the Earth Element or Prithvi Tattva keeps us stable and grounded. It is associated with fertility, patience and a sense of security.
Fire is a mysterious element that has astonished people for centuries. It protects as well as destroys! Earliest definitive evidence of use of fire by humans go back to 2 million years ago. Those days, fire provided a source of warmth, a way to cook food, protection from wild animals and a means to craft advanced hunting tools. Today, fire is used everywhere on earth and in every field imaginable. While it is true that humans have befriended this mystical element, it has, on many occasions proven that it needs to be handled with care. In our human body, the Fire Element or Agni Tattva keeps us passionate and creative. It is associated with focus and dedication to achieve our aspirations.
Water is often believed to be the cradle of life, where the first life form took shape about 3.7 billion years ago on our planet. It isn't just the originator of life but a substance indispensable for the survival of life too. No wonder, scientists first look out for signs of water on other planets, in their pursuit to identify extraterrestrial life. Water is important for everything. All life processes depend directly or indirectly on water. It is without a doubt a vital element of life. In our human body, the Water Element or Apas Tattva keeps us loving and joyous and in tune with our own feelings. It is associated with compassion and sensitivity to our fellow humans.
The most important element for the existence of human life and life of many other plants and animals that breathe and exhale, Air truly transforms as life force and enters through our nostrils, animating every cell, every tissue and every organ in our body. So much so that there is a school of thought that our life is measured in the number of breaths and not years! Slow breathing - that’s the key to longevity according to this philosophy (popularly known as Pranayama). In our human body, the Air Element or Vayu Tattva provides the momentum for positive change and transformation. It is associated with creativity and imagination.
Not much is known about the Spirit Element, except that it houses all the other elements and forms a vessel for the magic of life to occur. Everything around us is space! It is the element that interacts with us the most and yet it remains intangible, both physically and metaphorically. Often assumed to be infinite, with no beginning and no end, space is certainly a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. In our human body, the Spirit Element or Akasha Tattva connects us to the cosmos and elevates our understanding of our place in the world. It is associated with spirituality and self expression so we can be our joyous best!
The five elements work in conjunction with each other. They are all equally important! The key is to keep them balanced, in line with our own core body composition. At Amahli, we really wanted to bring the ancient concepts alive in the form of beautiful jewellery. Hopefully, they will provide a focal point for your own healing efforts. In any case, we hope you feel enriched simply knowing the concepts. And, we hope you will smile and think of us the next time you walk barefoot on the ground or watch the fish in an aquarium!