Everything is this universe is made up of the Panchabhuta or the five elements. The five elements exist both as themselves and as all other objects. The five elements namely Ether (Akash), Air (Vayu), Fire (Agni), Water (Jal) and Earth (Prithvi) are the basis of all creations. They are the building blocks of nature and all matter. These five elements have varied characteristics and knowledge, balance and harmony of these elements is what leads to health and happiness.
Ether (Akash) also referred to as space is the most subtle element. Ether is emptiness; it is often filled with other elements. Ether is the first expression of consciousness moving into creation; it is the primordial space from which the first vibration or unmanifested form of sound emerges. Ether is all-enclosing, all-pervading and omnipresent and its primary characteristic is sound. The Vishuddha Chakra, Ajna Chakra and the Sahashara Chakra are directly related to the Ether element.
Air (Vayu) evolves from Ether, Air is the gaseous form of matter. Air element symbolizes motion and its qualities include that it is subtle, formless, cool and dry. The primary characteristic of Air is touch. The Air element relates to the action of giving and receiving. The Air element is not j ust wind or air, it has far deeper meaning. In our body the Air element manifests as the electrical energy in the nervous system. The Air element is directly related to the Anahata Chakra.
Fire (Agni) element evolves from Ether and Air; it is a form without substance. Fire element symbolizes heat, light and energy; it also symbolizes liberation of energy from its source. The qualities of the fire element are that it is hot, sharp, dry and subtle. The Fire element governs the sense of vision. The Fire element is neither stable nor mobile; it commands the power of transformation and understanding. The Fire element represents the mind consciousness and is directly related to the Manipura Chakra.
Water (Jal) evolves from Ether, Air and Fire and has the essence of the preceding three elements within itself. The water element represents the liquid state and it characterizes change. The water element also represents fluidity and cohesiveness. The qualities of the water element are that it is soft, cool and in liquid state. The primary characteristic of water element is taste. The water element represents the sol consciousness and is directly related to the Swadhisthana Chakra.
Earth (Prithvi) element evolves from the preceding four elements namely Ether, Air, Fire and Water. The process of densification continues until the final element Earth. Earth represents the solid state of matter and its qualities are that it is heavy, hard, stable, dense and rigid. The primary characteristic of earth element is smell. The earth element is where the body consciousness fully takes form. The earth element is directly related to the Muladhara Chakra.