Theme of the week

Issue VI (13.03.2011)

The Power of Five Elements


One of the ancient teachings is that a human being is made up of five elements of nature – Water, Sun (fire), Air, Earth, and Sky (space). These five elements are the source of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy. These five elements not only give us energy but also give us divine virtues and divine power. By exploring and understanding the secret of these five elements – the Panchtatva- we can enrich our lives to a very great extent. 
The Earth element is the originator of life. The Earth element gives us inner strength and power to heal and regenerate. Earth element within us leads to success. No amount of hurt – be it physical, emotional, or mental, can weaken us as long as the earth element is active within us.
The fire tatva (Sun) gives us energy and inspiration. The fire element purifies our soul. This element can be strengthened by experiencing and living with a passion to do something meaningful. When the burden of lower emotions and ignorance makes our soul dirty, the energy level comes down. By revitalizing the fire element, we can regain the natural freshness.  
The water element gives us compassion and the moral courage to forgive. River Ganges and other such holy waters are known for their power to forgive. It is believed that Lord Shiva took the huge flow of Ganga in his hair. The flow of compassion may be unlimited once the human heart is filled with it. But we also have Shiv Shakti with which we can do others’ welfare. Thus, a person who is filled with compassion and converts his compassion into activities for others’ welfare is as powerful as River Ganges whose water never decays.
The air element gives us internal strength through knowledge, hope and faith. The air element makes us intuitive and also protects us from the ill effects of negative thinking. That is why, symbolically, the son of Air (Lord Hanuman) is known for protecting us from negative elements.
The Sky or space element enables us to give a pause and feel the divine peace present in nature. This peace leads us to pure knowledge and also makes us understand the issues of life. When we look ahead we see only that which is visible. But when we take a pause; we allow space to come between what we see and what we understand. There is much more in the space to see and to know. Thus, the space element present in us gives us wisdom.
The same five elements are present in the Mother Nature. Since they are in their pure form there, Mother Nature is full of divine power. Thus, those who purify their inner self and experience these five elements in their pure form can experience the same divine power within themselves. This power gives us the actual freedom all of us are actually aspiring for especially during the moments of helplessness.
B. Know Yourself
Discover the Strength of Five Elements within You
Read the following statements carefully and give your response in terms of number according to the instructions below:
If your response is “Always”, put 5
If your response is “Very Frequently”, put 4
If your response is “Frequently”, put 3
If your response is “Sometimes”, put 2
If your response is “Rarely”, put 1

  1. When I decide to do something, I do it.
  2. When people hurt me, I feel for a while and very soon forget about it.
  3. When I commit a mistake, I easily confess it.
  4. I can do a lot of hard work to keep myself going and to fulfill my responsibilities.
  5. I do not criticize people in their absence.
  6. I know my qualities and I am working to express them meaningfully.
  7. I meditate to get rid of negative thoughts and feel revitalized.
  8. My life has given me immense opportunities to express my qualities. If ever I feel low, I immediately understand that I am not close to my core qualities.
  9. When I make a mistake, I introspect honestly and forgive myself with a resolution to improve.
  10. My sufferings and failures help me in growing.
  11. When I read about accidents or sufferings of people in the newspaper, I feel like helping them.
  12. I believe that human life is meant for helping others.
  13. I cannot enjoy my comforts when I come to know that someone is in trouble.
  14. I donate money for orphans and other needy people.
  15. I am very affectionate to children.
  16. I am eager to learn more and more.
  17. When I fail or feel bad about something, I immediately remind myself this is because I am not able to understand something.
  18. I believe that to know about human life is the essence of life.
  19. I think of many creative ways to solve an issue.
  20. People take my opinion to find a solution when they are stuck up with a problem.
  21. I take a pause before responding to anyone.
  22. I believe that everyone needs some freedom to live according to one’s own feelings and thoughts.
  23. People do not try to bind me against my wishes because they perceive me to be highly responsible.
  24. Whenever there is a conflict, I take it as an opportunity to understand something deeper about the other person or the situation.
  25. eople feel highly comfortable in my presence.

Scoring Key & Analysis

S. No.

The Five Elements

Corresponding Quality

Item Nos




Emotional and Moral Strength

1 to 5



Fire (Sun)

Inspiration, Life energy

6 to 10





11 to 15




Knowledge and Creativity

16 to 20



Space (Sky)

Mutual Understanding and Wisdom

21 to 25



Total Score




The total score in this questionnaire can range from 1 to 125 and the score of one element can range from 1 to 25. If your score is less than 18 in a particular element, just recheck whether you have faced a problem in recent past because of lack of the corresponding quality.  A total score of around 100 is generally indicative of a happy and successful life.
The above questionnaire gives a rough idea about the strength of five elements a person is experiencing at a particular point of time. To make a fair assessment of self, it is advised that the questionnaire is filled twice with the gap of a few days so that the effect of  one’s feelings at a particular point of time is neutralized. However, the feedback given by the scores give only a surface idea because as one continues to grow, the expression of five elements becomes deeper and deeper. 

We can continue further developing the strength of five elements within us by innumerable ways. The following life experiments can also help:

C. Life Experiments

  • For next fifteen days, do not respond to anyone instantly. Take a pause of a few seconds or more for reflecting and deciding how to give a positive turn to the situation. After fifteen days, make a review and continue thereafter. This practice would help you in developing space element within you and would give you tremendous peace of mind and greater wisdom.
  • For next fifteen days, whenever you feel low or hurt, immediately remind yourself that you need to understand something more deeply or there is a deeper quality in you which if you express properly, you will be happier and more successful. Do not allow negative feelings or thoughts to stay within you.  After fifteen days, make a review and continue thereafter. This would help you in developing fire or Sun element within you and would keep you energetic and in high spirits.

D. Frequently Felt Question
Question 1 : How to avoid being lethargic?
Answer    : When we are lethargic it denotes that some of our internal energy is not being released.  There may be various ways to tap this hidden resource. Some of them are as discussed below:

  • Compassion is the first key to internal energy. When we feel compassionate or concerned for others, we automatically become energetic and feel like doing something positive. We also experience such energy when we feel passionate for some of our won concerns. However, when there is a hope or dream, the fear of uncertainty also comes in and neutralizes some of our energy. Therefore, those who are highly concerned for others are never lethargic.
  • Lethargy also comes in when a part of life goes out of track. When we use our basic qualities actively in our life, everything goes smoothly. However, when we work against our qualities, confusion comes in our mind leading to lethargy.

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