Today in our hectic lifestyle when one had to be continuously in action to cope up with the competition and ever changing external scenarios. Where the world around us is dynamic and changing each moment to give us surprises at every point, we wonder if there is any thing left certain except uncertainty. Since the Cosmos is dynamic in nature and hence challenging, Hindu scriptures also call it ‘JAGAT’ where GAT indicates the ever changing -‘sadaiv gachati’ (ever changing) nature of Cosmos. We as ‘JEEVA’ also the experiencer of the cosmos often feels insecure with this uncertainty and always search for something which is certain and changeless, we unknowingly want an anchor in our lives which is reliable and can help us in coping up with the dynamic nature of Cosmos. Our Hindu scriptures say it can be only ‘ISWAR’ (GOD) which is eternal, changeless and hence can help us as an anchor to the world. “JAGAT’ as a field of experience, ‘JEEVA’ as experiencer and ‘ISHWAR’ as an anchor in totality is known as ‘TRIPUTI’.
We as once of the entities of ‘TRIPUTI’ should understand the characteristics of other two elements – The ‘JAGAT’ and ‘ISHWAR’. To know the reality of ‘JAGAT’ we live in and to understand its working we should know the actual programming of this Universe System.
The Universe of our experience ie Cosmos or ‘JAGAT’ is composed of the five basic elements also known as ‘PANCH MAHABHUTAS’. These ‘panch mahabhutas’ (5 elements of nature) are present in subtle and as well as gross levels and with their varying levels of subtleness and grossness they make the entire Cosmos or jagat. These elements are Akash, Vayu, Agni, Aapa & Prithvi. The Universe or the jagat being the aggregation of these five elements put together well is also called Prapanch. Although there is no specific term or the exact synonym of these five elements – Panch Mahabhutas, but still for the sake of understanding we can term them as follows:-
Akash → Space
Vayu → Wind
Agni → Fire
Aapa → Water
Prithvi → Earth
The above elements are in order of their level of subtlety- Akash (Space) being the subtlest one among them. Prithvi (Earth) is the Grossest. In our hectic lifestyle and struggle to excel we fail to observe that this is a miracle of that Almighty GOD – also called ‘BRAHMAN’ in our scriptures that every thing in this world is made of just these five elements – starting from Sun, Moon, Stars, Plants, Animals, Mountains, Rivers & even us – the Human Beings. We as human beings or ‘JEEVA’ experience these five elements as five ‘TANMATRAS’, which are Shabda, Sparsha, Rupa, Rasa & Gandha. The English synonym of these Tanmatras can be put as follows:-
Shabda → Sound
Sparsha → Touch
Rupa → Vision
Rasa → Taste
Gandha → Smell
GOD has given us five indriyas (senses) to experience the cosmos through above Tanmatras.
However it is a matter of introspection that if there is Supreme Power called GOD or ‘BRAHMAN’ behind the creation of cosmos and if every thing in this cosmos is governed by Divine Laws then what is our role in this creation and are we sent here with a specific goal, do we have anything to contribute in this wonderful creation of GOD of which we are also a part. Vedas try to give answer to such questions which are as relevant today also as they were in past in Vedic Era.
Rajneesh Chaturvedi is the author and owner of the "Indian Ethos" Blog which aims to explore The Sanatan Dharma and discover the deeper insights of Hinduism and its relevance today in modern world, not only at personal front but also at professional front at work place. Connect to Rajneesh on Google+