Pancha Mahabhutas – In Gita Verse 2.17 That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.

Krishna says in this verse  Man is a periphery, but also a center. Man is a circumference, but not only that. Your body is your circumference, but not you.

This verse is concerned with the identification of consciousness with the body, identification of the center with the periphery. The body is just your abode, just a house – not even a home, just a house. You are in it, but you are not it. But the mind believes itself to be the body. That is known as ADHYASA, illusion, projection.

Krishna says the way in which the universe is imperishable our soul is imperishable, as it is made from the same stuff. And our body is indestructible. Be rooted in your body if you want to become a soul. Our scripture says that our body is made up of five elements.

According to Ayurveda everything in the universe is made up of these five great elements: Pancha Mahabhutas; space, air, fire, water and earth. Each of these elements offers unique qualities to our experience of living. And together, they are the basis for our connection with the universe.

1. Space: The container for everything. It is pure possibility and potential.

2. Air: Movement, expansion and lightness. The breath in and out of the body, the opening and contraction of the muscles and the mind.

3. Fire: Discipline, transformation, inspiration.

4. Water: Fluidity, connection, adaptability.

5. Earth: Earth is home.

All these elements are indestructive. Means they can change the form but it cannot be destroyed. In my blog Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.12, I wrote what even Einstein said – “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”

What Krishna is saying is that the whole universe is made up of the same stuff, matter changes its form but the soul which holds all these elements is imperishable. In the presence of the soul every change is happening.

In front of us many things change:

1. Look at the caterpillars, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge.

2. Look at the candle, one flame disappears and another comes, Buddha calls it continuum – a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct. Means one disappears and another comes. In utter silence.

If you will become watcher then immediately you will be able to see the unseen, means without logical mind if you watch anything you will see that when caterpillar changes to butterfly, one flame to another flame, slowly slowly it will become your realization that something is changing on the surface which is at the centre is non-changing.

Try to understand what Krishna is saying in this way: Watch your misery very closely, a distance will be created between you and the misery. In fact, whenever you look at a thing, immediately a distance is created between you and the thing itself. Seeing causes distance. No matter what we look at, a distance immediately begins to take place.

If you look closely at your misery, you will find a separation between the misery and you, because only that which is separate from you can be seen. Obviously, that which is inseparable one of you cannot be seen. One who is aware of his misery, one who is filled with consciousness, one who is full of remembrance, experiences the misery as somewhere else, and he is somewhere at a distance.

The day a man comes to realize the difference between himself and misery, as soon as he comes to know his pain is happening somewhere at a distance, the unconsciousness caused by misery ceases to exist. And once a person comes to understand that the sufferings as well as the happinesses of the body occur elsewhere, that one is merely a knower of them, his identity with the body is severed. Then he knows he is not the body.

Krishna tells Arjuna to watch the misery and immediately you will be connected to your subjectivity, your soul. Then you will understand that your assignment of the universe is Fighting Without Enmity, which your logical mind will not understand. It will give you misery. So be a watcher of your misery. Krishna is not saying that come to your consciousness and remember your assignment of the universe. Krishna is just directing him to be a watcher.


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