Guiding Light: Panchami Panchabhuteshi

Guiding Light: Panchami Panchabhuteshi

Prof S AinavoluUpdated: Tuesday, May 28, 2024, 08:41 PM IST
article-image
Representative Image | Pixabay

Pancha in Samskrutam is number five. Panchabhutas are five natural elements. Five is sacrosanct. Karmendriyas, organs of action are five. Jnanendriyas, sense organs are again five. The ‘Kosha’ theory mentions that the number of sheaths we have are five. These are Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vigyanamaya, and finally Anandamaya. It begins more material based Annamaya, and extends to more holistic Anandamaya. Ananda is serene bliss.

Similarly, our natural elements are five. These are Prithvi, Apas, Agni, Vayu, and Akasa. Prithvi is the Bhumi or holistic soil. Our body is made of Prithvi tattva. Among the Shatchakras, the base or Mooladhara chakra is made of Prithvi tattva, and Ganapati is the adhi-devata of Mooladhara chakra. Apas is the water element, and we know that our earth and body are mostly made of water. Agni is the fire element, and our digestive system has ‘fire’ called ‘Jathara-Agni’. Vayu is the air element, and Vayu helps our prana to move in, and life goes on. Vayu according to Ayurveda is the Vata element. Akasa is the encompassing space element.

In the plant life as well, we see and feel the importance of Panchabhutas. The beeja or seed requires Prithivi and Apas, soil and water. Little warmth is required or gets generated, and this is Agni. Vayu contains Oxygen which is required, and given. Akasa is space element required for the growth. As mother Goddess is cosmos/nature herself, and nature has all the five elements, mother Goddess is identified as containing Panchabhutas.

Mother Goddess is also known as Shiva’s consort ‘Prakruti’. Appropriately, in Lalita Sahasranama, Mother is addressed as ‘Panchami Panchabhuteshi, Pancha Sankhyopacharini’. Pancha-sankhya means number five or five times. Upachara means ‘of addressing’. Thus, Panchasankhyopacharini means one who is addressed properly by performing five times Upacharas. The Upacharas can be as simple as five times performing the ‘parikrama’ (circumambulation), or performing five ‘namaskaras’ (respects) or offering five prasadas (offerings). Performing these for five days continuously is the tradition.

In the Nirvana Shatkam, Shri Adi Shankaracharya mentioned THAT is what is beyond Mano, Buddhi, Ahankara, and Chitta. Thus, our quest of realization takes us to the fifth level, beyond all that are perceived. Similarly we have five states, Jagrut, Swapna, Sushupta, Tureeya. Then comes the fifth state, Tureeyateeta. And, fifth is THAT.


Prof S Ainavolu is a Mumbai-based teacher of Tradition and Management. Views are personal. https://www.linkedin.com/in/s-ainavolu-6831b724/ . https://www.ainavolu.in/blog

RECENT STORIES

Guiding Light By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How To Not Let Anger Punish You

Guiding Light By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: How To Not Let Anger Punish You

Snaan Yatra 2024: 5 Things Every Devotee Of Lord Jagannath Must Know About This Holy Occasion

Snaan Yatra 2024: 5 Things Every Devotee Of Lord Jagannath Must Know About This Holy Occasion

Guiding Light: Yoga Solstice

Guiding Light: Yoga Solstice

Guiding Light: In Situations, What To Focus On?

Guiding Light: In Situations, What To Focus On?

Vat Purnima: Muhurat, Cultural Significance And All You Need To Know

Vat Purnima: Muhurat, Cultural Significance And All You Need To Know