I have this fascination with Siddha Tradition because the Siddhas are the masters abiding as “consciousness that illuminates”. The ancient Siddhas speak of numerous remedies solving basic human problems using everything available in the world for that purpose – every plant, animal or mineral. Their medicinal knowledge remains unsurpassed in the entire world. It is the first system to emphasize health as the ideal perfected state of the physical, psychological, social and spiritual components of a human being.
As a spiritual healer, it is very natural that I gravitate towards the healing science of Siddha Tradition. One of the fascinating truth that I am exploring now is the healing of the human body through the deeper understanding of the five elements! I discovered the guidance from the book “Siddhas – Masters of the Basics” which I like to share with my readers.
From the system of Siddha Tantra, Siddhars declare that human form to be a miniature of world itself. This truth is aptly expressed by Siddha Sattaimuni below:-
“Whatever is in the macrocosm is in the microcosm;
Whatever is in the microcosm is in the macrocosm.
Macrocosm and microcosm are one
When you look in with right understanding”
The Universe originally consisted of subtle atoms that contribute to the five basic elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. These correspond to the five senses of the human body and are the fundamentals of all corporeal things in the world. A close relationship is found to exist between the external world and the internal system of man.
If we observe the human body starting from the outside, we find Earth is the first obvious element. It gives the fine shape to the body through the bones, tissues, muscles, skin and hair. Earth has the principle of solidity. Its function is cohesion and special property is odour. This is of course in addition to the general qualities of flavour, form, touch and sound. Therefore, the Earth element can be smelt, tasted, seen, felt and heard. For instance, a rose has odour, flavour, form, touch and sound and thus Earth is the only element that can be known by all the five senses.
Aspect of Earth
The derived forms of five elements, listen!
Oh son, the aspects of Earth elements become
The hair, bone, the skin, the tendons of nerves, the flesh, five total
The magnificent aspect of Earth, as told
Understand it and abide in it consciously
After this, the aspect of water element
Oh! My good Pulasthiya, focus in it!
Water is the second element and is represented by blood, gland secretions, vital fluids within the body itself. Water has the principle of liquidity. The water element functions as contraction. Its own special property is flavour. But water has also inherited the general qualities of form, touch and sound from its ascendant elements, so water can be tasted, seen, felt and heard. But a glass of pure water is beyond the quality of odour as it cannot be smelt.
Aspect of Water
Speaking the aspect of Water, to see
The softest plasma, blood, the coherent sperm, brain and marrow
All these five are the aspects of Water
The significance of these Water aspects
You see with clarity, by sensing yourself
If you sense them as self-awareness
Then I would proceed to the aspect of Fire!
Fire is the third element and facilitates digestion of physical food, mental impressions and experiences, it also imparts emotion, vigour, vitality and intelligence to the physical system. Fire has the principle of luminosity. Fire has the special property of form. It also carries the general qualities of touch and sound inherited from the earlier elements. Fire, therefore, can be seen, felt and heard. For instance, a pure blue flame has form, touch ad sound but is still beyond flavour or odour, therefore it can neither be tasted nor smelt.
Aspect of Fire
Listen to the aspect of the Fire element
Nothing but hunger, the sleep, overwhelming copulation, fear and laziness
All these total five are aspects of Fire
Realising this razor edge Fire aspect
Be mindful of the inner nature of yourself
If your mindfulness becomes established
Then it leads to the aspect of Air!
Air has the principle of motion. It function as pressure or impact. Air’s own property of touch joins the general quality of sound Air inherits from Ether, therefore it can be felt and heard i.e. as a gust of pure wind or air that has both touch and sound but is still beyond form, flavour and odour i.e. it cannot be seen, tasted or smelt. Air element helps in the absorption of the digested energy and is responsible for circulation, stimulation and the respiratory and nervous system.
Aspect of Air
Oh! Listen to the aspect of Air itself, my Pulasthiya!
The walk, the run, the sitting, along with lying down and the getting up,
All become totally five
Understanding the expansive aspects of the Air element
Focus on the unfoldment of your inner self further
If you focus with the grace of the glorious Guru
Listen to the aspect of Ether!
Above all the five elements, Ether characterizes man’s mental and spiritual faculties. Ether has the principle of a vast emptiness. Having the special property of sound, it can be heard but cannot be felt, seen, tasted or smelt; i.e. a clear sound has no touch, no form, no flavour nor odour. It is sound beyond the array of the other four senses.
Aspect of Ether
Exclusively of the aspect of Ether itself
Telling you significantly its nature, Listen!
The enmity, the possessiveness, the greed, the envy and the pride,
All these five, seeing them, how they emerge in the base
If you establish as Self itself
The waning Vaasi gets augmented
These are the twenty five functions of the sacred five!
A suitable proportion of these five elements in combination with each other work harmoniously to produce a healthy organic mechanism without which life is not possible! According to the intrinsic nature of the five elements, each one is derived from the other and therefore eternally inter-related, inter-connected and inseparable. This inter-connectedness allows flexibility in their inherent proportions as in different ratios and combinations but never is an element non-existent. In other words, never can a single element be taken into account separately and apart from the others. Whatever there is one element in the body, the other four elements are also found well represented in combination with the others.
The elements stand can be classified under physical and subtle. The subtle ones are further sub-divided into two parts – of which one is retained and the other is once again sub-divided into four parts. This is the phenomenon of “Panchi Marna Vidya” based on which the Science of Siddha Medicine, Siddha Alchemy and Swara Yoga applications came into existence.
After these five elements emerge, there is no further need for evolution and nothing new is created or born. Everything subtle to the most gross and tangible manifests from here itself! All manifestation is nothing but a derived state of these five elements. Therefore, all manifestation also has to undergo the cosmic phenomenon of involution in order to fall back and rest in its origin, the Source. This process of creation and dissolution of the Macrocosm is individualised as the Microcosm or Human Beings!
Likewise, for us humans to realise our true nature can happen only by undertaking the quest of transcending every evolutionary stage until falling back into the origin, the Source. All manifestation also has to undergo the cosmic phenomenon of involution to fall back and rest in its origin, the Source.
In essence, this exploration helps to reaffirm my understanding that all beings are here to work through its own involution to get back to the Source. More importantly, through working with our body by healing the five elements and bringing it to work harmoniously, not only can we restore ourselves back to health, we can also reach the Source! Namaste