Pancha Bhutas – The Possibility of the Five Elements

Sadhguru answers a question about the significance of purifying the five elements in the system and how one can make use of such a process for their wellbeing.

Sadhguru answers a question about the significance of purifying the five elements in the system and how one can make use of such a process for their wellbeing.

Question: What are the pancha bhutas?

Sadhguru: Whether you want to know pleasure or you want to know bliss, for both your system has to become willing. If you want to know pleasure, your mind should come to a certain state of willingness and your physical body should be in a certain level of sensitivity. If you want to know the bliss of being one with something larger than yourself, once again your body has to cooperate. Whether it is the individual human body or the larger cosmic body, essentially, they are made of five elements – earth, water, fire, air and space. In this, the first four elements are the active participants – space is the catalytic force. It is in the lap of this boundless space that these four elements play the game. So, the pancha bhutas are the five elements of nature.

What you call “myself” is just a mischief of these five elements. If you want to realize the full potential of this mechanism that you call a human being or if you want to transcend this one and become one with the larger, cosmic mechanism, you need their cooperation. Unless you have a certain amount of mastery over these five elements you can neither know the pleasure of the individual self nor the blissfulness of the cosmic being.

For the five elements in nature, there are five temples, which are all geographically located within the Deccan Plateau – four in Tamil Nadu, and one in Andhra Pradesh.

The fundamental sadhana in yoga to gain mastery over these five elements or to purify the elements in the system in such a way that they cooperate, is referred to as bhuta shuddhi. If these five elements don’t cooperate, you can struggle as much as you want, nothing happens. Only with their cooperation, from the basic aspects to the highest aspect, your life becomes a possibility. This human system is like a doorway. A door has two aspects to it – if you are always facing closed doors, for you doors mean that which stops you. If doors are opening up for you, then for you a door means a possibility of entering into something. In either case, it is the same door; which side of the door you are on decides everything about your life, even in terms of time and space. Whether you experience this body as a great possibility or a great barrier simply depends on the extent these five elements are cooperating.

India is a land which has seen that kind of sadhana, focus, understanding and mastery for a very long time. For the five elements in nature, there are five temples, which are all geographically located within the Deccan Plateau – four in Tamil Nadu, and one in Andhra Pradesh. These temples were created not for worship, but for sadhana. People moved from one temple to the other to do sadhana on each of the five elements. At one temple, they did sadhana on earth, then, they went to the next temple to do sadhana on water, and so on. Unfortunately, this connection is not there anymore because the sadhana atmosphere has been taken away. This understanding and mastery is generally missing, but the temples still exist. Some of them have maintained that vibrance and quality, while some of them have become weak.

In Isha Yoga, every sadhana has something to do with organizing these five elements in such a way that you can reap the best out of the individual being and the cosmic nature because both are just a play of these five elements. Whether this individual physical body becomes a stepping stone for your ultimate possibility or a hurdle towards that essentially depends on how you are able to deal with these five elements. What you are right now is just a little bit of earth, water, air and temperature. All the ingredients are out there in the garden; it just takes a little divine touch to make these four things into a throbbing human being.

Sitting here, if you are aware of how the water, air, earth and fire in your body are functioning, suddenly you live your life with so much ease, people start thinking you are superhuman. But this is not about being superhuman – this is about realizing that being human is super. Being human is super if only you learn to use your humanity and this human mechanism as a possibility, not as a barrier.

Editor's Note: Every month, through a powerful process known as Pancha Bhuta Aradhana, Sadhguru opens up a unique opportunity for devotees to benefit from this deep yogic science which would otherwise require intense sadhana.

On the 14th day of every lunar month, known as Shivaratri, and especially on Mahashivratri , there will be an opportunity to experience the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana at the Dhyanalinga between 5:40 pm and 6:10 pm.

For registration, please contact:
Phone No: +91 422-2515425
Mobile No: +91 9487895878

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Pedro Enzo
3 years 4 months ago


6 years 9 months ago

Visited 4 out of these with your grace...Earth alone is near so far - Kancheepuram...You know when it is time for me to get there...Namaskarams...

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Shiva Kumar
8 years 6 months ago


Sadguru said water is also one of the elements in cosmos

can you confirm with Sadguru did water exist outside earth..

6 years 9 months ago

Akash, this is about life and not religion. Now that you can see a crack, open it a little and see, you may find the treasure inside. Just like so many of us logical minded coherent, consistent and pragmatic people have.

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8 years 6 months ago

Namaskaram Sadhguru, Can you please name these 5 temples and their exact locatoons that you have mentioned here? Visiting these temples will help our sadhana? Please suggest...

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6 years 9 months ago

Before denying anything we must do research. Just simply we shouldn't deny because we are in a position of inacceptance with our PREFIXED IDEAS of RELIGIONISM. The main barrier for our INABILITY TO GROW /MATURE is our prefixed ideas. Here we are looking Dhyanalinga as Sivalinga in the Camouflage of RELIGIONISM. It is a SOLIDIFIED MERCURY Linga which has got lot of scientific background behind it. Instead we are unable to accept because we are unable to come out of CLUTCHES of RELIGIONISM which was unfortunately used by politicians (present as well as past) as a weapon for their selfish deeds / benefits.Even before the modern era of telescope all the planets were discovered. Without science how it would have been a possibility.

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8 years 6 months ago

Is the earth outside the cosmos?

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Iswari S
5 years 5 months ago

I learnt recently that each of the temples is also associated with a specific chakra, and that's as below:
* Kanchipuram (Earth): Mooladhara
* Trichy Thiruvanaikaval (Water): Swadhisthana
* Thiruvannamalai (Fire): Manipuraka
* Shreekalahasthi (Air): Anahatha
* Chidhambaram (Space): Vishudhdhi
This reminded me of an experience that shook me for hours together, after I came out of the Shreekalahasthi temple after a specific process and darshan. I was in absolute love that I couldn't feel away from any other. Its Sadhguru's Grace that had made me so... receptive to the Temple's energy that it had me know intense love so deeply(aspect of the Anahatha).
Every time I visit a temple now, I feel the way I relate to it and stay receptive towards it has transformed so much. I bow down to you, Sadhguru, for setting me right and helping me get better.

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Iswari S
5 years 5 months ago

Those of you who are making it to the Shreekalahasthi Temple, should definitely go to the Kannapar temple at the top of the hill nearby(very close to the temple and accessible via steps) and also to another temple there, which the locals call as the most ancient temple and about 4000 years old. This ancient temple, as I remember is also closer to the Shreekalahasthi Temple. Those of them who are wondering who Kannapar is, its the Kannapa Nayanar, for whom a panel is dedicated at Dhyanalinga Shrine(next to Akka Mahadevi's panel). Its said Arjun on his next birth was born as Kannapar and he attained salvation here.
Pic 1 shows the steps adjacent to temple and closer to hill, which one has to take to visit Kannapar's Shrine. Pic 2 shows Kannapar offering His eyes (kangal) to Shiv, as Shiva's eyes begin to bleed.
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Nakaskaram Sadhguru, Sahib bandhigi tells there is Amarlok from where we are decedents.. its the Kaal Purush Niranjan who is controlling the mind and is placed at the 7th Chakra of the body.. If we take Naam from Kabir sahib and be connected to him by concentration it seems that we can get salvation and get liberated from this universe..

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This is all hog wash. There is absolutely no logical coherence, consistency and pragmatism in what SJV says. He is only trying to promote Hinduism in disguise. Osho was blunt, but at least he was honest and vulnerable. SJV is a snake in the grass. He claims that there is no worship at Isha Centers. What is Pancha Bhuta Aradhana? Aradhana is worship. Dhyanalinga is nothing but a Shivalinga, the male fertility organ which is meditated upon and worshiped. If he wants to worship Shiva, that is fine if he owns up to what it is. But this kind of playing with words, dishonesty and lying does the cause of Hinduism no good. It will only underline the fact for the westerner. Hindus believe in no good or bad, truth or falsehood. Everything is opinion. Indians will be seen as sly, scheming and slimy. It will give birth to a world full of Rajat Guptas.

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Akash Sagar, pls do read on what Swami Vivekanada had to say about Shiv linga and increase ur knowledge,. Google comple works of Swami vivekanda.

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Cibi Singaravel S
6 years 9 months ago

it is absolute non sense to say shiva linga is a male fertility organ. if may look like one, but looking like doesnt mean actually it is. more over dhyana linga has nothing to do with the shiva lingas worshipped in hindu temples. It is just a tool. wiki says aradhana adoring. Pancha bootha aradhana means adoring the five elements which is just the the fundamentals of existance. As for as i have known, not even in one single hindu temple, they do pancha bootha aradhana. they do aradhanas only for their gods. this is just the fundamentals of your own body and you are adoring it. where hinduism comes here, i dont know !

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