(Last Updated on : 25/01/2011)
The whole universe is made up of the five basic elements namely the sky, air, fire, water and the Earth. These elements knowingly or unknowingly are affecting all the animate and inanimate objects. The effects of these elements are observed on the Earth to a larger degree than the other planets. The nature on the earth is made up of these five basic elements. The elements maintain a regularity and balance in nature. If the building meant as a residence for the defence of the wisest animal i.e. the man is constructed with due regards to the elements the infinite forces and powers of the nature are obtained by him his life is full of peace and prosperity. All these elements are not found together on any other planet except the earth and probably that is why life and nature do not exist there. If the residential and commercial buildings are constructed without any regards to these basic elements then they do not give any benefit.
These five basic elements can be discussed below.
Akash is the sky and that is the basic element, which gives us the important quality of words. The sound is produced due to the vacuum in the sky and from the medium of environment and air. Akash or Avkash i.e. the sky is infinite, limitless and incomprehensible. The intensity of energy, light, cosmic rays, the electro-magnetic force, the gravitational force is found to be different on the earth and other planets. The Earth is an important planet of the solar system. Every minute happening on the sun has knowingly or unknowingly an effect on the earth. After every ten to eleven years there are small or big explosions on the sun.
At this time only its good or bad effects are observed on the earth. There are many galaxies of stars in the universe where there are bigger suns than our sun. Every planet is moving in its own orbit according to its own time period. It must have some mathematical meaning. The universe is still, therefore all the directions are also still. The gift of sound given by space has enriched all human being's lives.
The living things get life from the air, virility and vitality is awakened. As there is atmosphere on the Earth it gives rise to nature. In the earths atmosphere the largest constituent is Nitrogen and that is calculated as 78%. Nitrogen is essential for the growth of all the plants. The plants cannot consume Nitrogen directly. Plants absorb nitrogen through the roots with the help of the bacteria on the roots of the plant. The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere is 21 percent, which is almost 5th. A part of five basic elements oxygen is also present in water as for example it's scientific name is H2O i.e. H=Hydrogen, O=Oxygen. As there is no oxygen on other planets and thus there is no life. In the atmosphere the percentage of carbon is very less and is 0.03. Carbon is found as carbon monoxide i.e. CO and carbon dioxide i.e. CO2. Most of the plants absorb the carbon dioxide and release oxygen during daytime. However it is exactly the opposite at the night. During the night they absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is harmful to the body therefore at night it is not advisable to sleep under a tree. Most auspicious ultra violet rays are coming to the North - East corner. If rubbish is kept in this corner carbon dioxide, nitrogen and other unnecessary gases contaminate the auspicious cosmic rays. Cremation ground should not be adjacent to the building because due to cremation of dead body, carbon and other prohibited gases give bad effects. Helium, hydrogen and other gases are found in the environment. The humidity, vapor and dust particle are also found in the environment where words and touch are the two special qualities of air. Touch creates sensation and sensation gives feeling or consciousness which results into response. Response gives it a meaning and it gives auspicious and inauspicious fruits, which gives results, which leads to impressions and thus leads to a way of life. The mind and the heart of a man work as per this way of life. Really air is the priceless gift received by mankind from the infinite forces.
Agni (Tej) Fire
The sun is the main source of energy. Heat is obtained from the sun. Heat is a form of Agni. The air, the dust particle and the clouds are attracted towards each other due to their magnetic force. This produces compression which creates a pressure. This pressure altogether creates energy which is transformed into fire. The lightening in the sky is an example of this. In our daily life Agni has a special importance. The food becomes ripe due to Fire. Fire creates light. All things can be seen because of light. Fire has a pious place in auspicious works. Due to heat waves prayers can be sent to our beloved father in the universe. Thus fire is regarded as very powerful. Aarti to God can also be done with the help of this fire. Fire has Tejus i.e. heat as the special quality. Therefore it is the medium of this perpetual ultimate truth of life. Truth is the achievement of fire as well as truth is immortal.
It is another important element on the earth. The presence of life in earth has become possible due to availability of water. Animals and plants cannot live without water. On cooling the hot air in the environment changes into liquid state. Clouds are formed from them and through these clouds water is obtained and collected in the rivers, lakes and the sea. In water oxygen forms one part. Water on cooling solidifies to form ice and on heating it gives vapors, which are in the gaseous state. Though fire and water are opposite elements yet water is purified on heating, Pure water has many pious qualities. While taking a vow water and fire are made witnesses. Water creates a new vitality on our life. In addition to word, touch, look, water has taste. This is an important characteristic. The earth has a proper division of land and water. When this proportion changes that means the proportion of water increases, that situation is known as Mahapralaya that is inundation. All the land is submerged in water and the world is destroyed. After thousand of years there are large scale disturbances on the Sun. Tremendous heat is produced. All the snow covered mountains melt. There is a heavy downpour of rain. Everything is destroyed in the great floods. The great water is converted into vapors and the land is seen again. And thus there is creation of new life.
The Earth (Land)
Millions of years ago some part was thrown out of the circular orbit of the sun. The nine planets and other planets, satellites were formed out of this. All these planets & satellites due to mutual attractions started moving round the sun in particular orbits. After a passage of time as the Earth at third place from the sun moved away it started getting cold. Mountains and valleys were produced from the lava. As there is a fixed south- North steady magnet in the interior of the Earth and also the gravitational force acting on the living and lifeless objects, the earth has obtained a special significance. From the earth and the elements life cycle was produced therefore we call the Earth mother, while
constructing a building the aim of Bhoomi Poojan is precisely this. The earth has a close relationship with the environment and the infinite forces outside the environment. In the solar system the planet Earth has life. Probably in the other solar systems of the universe on some planet like earth there might be living organisms more powerful more enlightened then the earth.
The earth in addition to touch, taste, words, look (sight), sound has the special quality of smell. We know the superiority of things due to smell.
Giving due respect and place to the basic elements a man must strive for health, progress, prosperity and peace of mind to the whole world. Vastushastra has a close relationship with the basic elements. We should not fall short in obtaining the celestial pleasures obtained from the natural elements.